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Irvine Lake steady catfish and bass action continues; trout opener slated for Nov. 5

October 20, 2010 | 11:43 am

BIGCAT Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The month of October is always one of the best of the year for catfish at Irvine Lake, and the whiskerfish bite just keeps going and going, reported General Manager Dave Noyes. "Anglers are catching lots of eating-size channel cats, and some of the nicer blue cats," Noyes observed. "A smaller piece of mackerel about 2 inches square is good for the channels, but you can use up to a whole half-mackerel or mackerel head if you want to zero in on the bigger blues."

Good catches of catfish were made at Boat Dock Cove and the west shoreline, but anglers spent most of their time at Santiago Flats looking for the bigger blue catfish that are moving into water as deep as 40 feet. Productive baits included mackerel, bonito, skipjack and shrimp.

Bass anglers are scoring good numbers of largemouth, primarily in the 2- to 5-pound class. Daytime bass anglers are concentrating on rocky structure, with jigs, dropshot baits, and Carolina-rigged plastics being tops. Low-light conditions will see some reaction bait fish and even a few swimbait fish.

Only a relative handful of crappie were checked in this week, and also only small numbers of bluegill, redear, and hybrid striped bass.  

Eager anglers are counting down the days until Irvine Lake’s big trout season opener on Nov. 5. Some 20,000 pounds of trout will be planted just prior to the opener.

The majority of the stocking will consist of rainbow trout in the 1- to 6-pound class from popular Calaveras Trout Farms, along with some steelhead, brookies, and brown trout. A liberal sprinkling of larger-grade fish from 8 to 12 pounds will provide extra excitement.

The lake will be closed to the public from  Nov. 1 through Nov. 4 to stock fish and prepare for the season. Beginning with the trout opener, winter operating hours will be seven days a week --  6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Pro Shop and Snack Bar will open at 5:30 a.m. for help with rigging and awesome breakfast burritos.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Katelyn & Michael Murphy of Aliso Viejo, 3 cats -- 7.16 lbs, with m&m / shrimp combo, Childrens' Lagoon.
-- Luis Ernesto of Costa Mesa, 6 cats -- 14 lbs, with Gulp Nuggets, Santiago Flats.
-- Bob Mitchell of Orange, 10.1 lb bass (released), with Brush Hog, Rocky Point.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 5.7 lb bass (released), with OD Rat Blackbird, Santiago Flats.
-- Nick "Mando" Vega of Garden Grove, 9.12 lb channel cat, with mackerel, mid-lake.
-- Nick Stanzione of Redondo Beach, 55.4 lb blue cat (released), with Mackerel, Dam buoy line.
-- Tim McAlory of Bellflower, 13.2 lb blue cat, with mackerel, West shore.
-- Marty Saucedo, Costa Mesa, 13.0 lb blue cat, with mackerel, West shore.
-- Terry Lairson of Huntington Beach, 13.4 and 13.8 pair of channel cats, with mackerel, West shore.

Photo: Nick Stanzione of Redondo Beach hauled in this massive 55.4-pound blue catfish while fishing the Dam. The fish was caught on fresh mackerel and was released to fight another day. Credit: Irvine Lake

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