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Irvine Lake's final day of the catfish season is Sunday

Marlon

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

Eager anglers are counting down the days until Irvine Lake’s big trout season opener on Friday, 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 final day of catfish season will be Sunday. The lake will then be closed to the public from Monday, Nov. 1 through Thursday, Nov. 4, to stock the fish and prepare for the season. Beginning with the trout opener, winter operating hours will be 7 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.

Meanwhile, the catfish bite on both blues and channels pleased the light crowds plying the lake’s waters. Good numbers of eating-size 2- to 6-pound channels were supplemented by enough larger-grade blue cats to keep everybody on their toes.

Good numbers of catfish were caught at Santiago Flats, Boat Dock Cove, and along the west shore. Productive baits included mackerel, bonito, and shrimp.

Bass anglers also did well on mostly 2- to 5-pound largemouth. Favored spots for bassers were the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point, at depths from 20 to 40 feet. Jigs, dropshot-rigged plastics, and Carolina-rigged Berkley Chigger Craws all caught fish. Very few anglers pursued crappie, bluegill, or hybrid striped bass.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Wylie Ishii of Tustin, 9-pound bass (released) on a Top Water Plug, at the West Shore.
-- Marlon Meade of Anaheim, 7.5-pound bass (released) on Spinner bait at the West Shore.
-- Dan O'Leary, Travis O'Leary (both of Rancho Cucamonga) and Tim (BooBoo) O'Leary of Wildomar all caught their limits of catfish on DuMong's mackerel in Sierra Cove. Total weight: 51 pounds.

Photo: Marlon Meade of Anaheim caught this 7.6-pound largemouth bass, which he released, while fishing a spinner bait in Woodys Point area. Credit: Irvine Lake

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