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Irvine Lake enters 'Rocktober' with a bang; blue catfish to 18-4 go on the chew

October 6, 2010 |  2:50 pm


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

The traditional best month of the year for Irvine Lake's blue catfish population kept up with its reputation this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "Rocktober has arrived, and the catfish are chewing full speed," observed Getty. "Our daytime temperatures had been around 85, and the nighttime temperatures are down to 60, just perfect to get the fall pattern turned on. The last couple of days we have had a weird weather pattern including some heavy rain, but that's what autumn is about. The fish are moving deeper, to anywhere from 10 to 40 feet. Be sure to bring your heavy line and a big net!"

Plenty of channel cats from 2- to 6-pounds are filling the stringers, but the bigger blues are definitely active as autumn arrives, and October is prime time for the monster-size blues to over 80 pounds that inhabit Irvine's depths. Best baits are mackerel, bonito and skipjack, with Santiago Flats getting the lion's share of attention, although channel cats can be found in Boat Dock Cove and along the west shore.

Bass anglers are finding their quarry following two different major patterns. One group of fish are moving deeper and are hitting on jigs and plastics at 20 to 40 feet at the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point. Carolina-rigged Berkley Chigger Craws remain one of the top offerings for mostly 2- to 5-pounders. The second group of largemouth are orienting themselves in shallow water, and appear to be looking for the trout that will be planted in about 4 weeks. These shallow bass are not easy to catch, and are most vulnerable at dusk with a little breeze on the water.

Some crappie are visible with electronics suspended in tight schools at 40 feet. Very few bluegill, redear or hybrid stripers have been reported this week. The Kids Lagoon is good for families with children age 12 and younger, with 1- to 3-pound channel catfish biting on the marshmallow/mealworm combo.

Surface water temperature in the main lake is 74 degrees and dropping, with the water level receding slowly.    

For anglers planning ahead, Irvine Lake's 2010-11 Trout Season Opener will be on Friday, Nov. 5, with over 20,000 pounds of trout stocked. A special limited-entry "VIP Fishing Day" will take place on Thursday, Nov. 4; contact the Pro Shop, (714) 649-9111, for information on a great opportunity to beat the opening day crowds.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- 7-year-old Nathan Simpson of Long Beach, 18-4 blue catfish (released) on mackerel at the flats.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 18-4 blue catfish (released) on mackerel at the flats.
-- Don Didion of Long Beach, 16-8 blue catfish (released) on mackerel at the flats.
-- Tony Williams of Lynwood, 13-6 blue catfish (released) on mackerel at the flats.
-- Dave Bordere of Irvine, 11-8 and 11-2 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 5-1 largemouth bass (released), on plastics at Trout Island.
-- Rusty Gygax of Los Angeles, 34-1 double limit (10) of channel catfish, on mackerel at the creek inlet.

Photo: Seven-year-old Matthew Andreano of La Habra Heights lands his very first hybrid striped bass, a 3-pounder caught on mackerel in the Santiago Flats. Credit: Irvine Lake

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