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Irvine Lake catfish and bass active; upcoming trout opener detailed

September 23, 2010 |  8:11 am


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

Anglers pursuing both catfish and bass at Irvine Lake this week saw plenty of success, but the upcoming trout season opener is already a major point of focus for many. The  general trout opener will be held on  Nov. 5. Over 20,000 pounds of rainbow, brown and brook trout will be stocked just prior to the opener.

Also coming up will be the second annual "VIP Fishing Day" on  Nov. 4. The $150 per person entry fee will include a boat rental, continental breakfast, and BBQ steak lunch. A limited number of passes will be available for VIP Day: contact the Pro Shop for reservations. 

Anglers this week found decent numbers of catfish, along with good numbers of largemouth bass, reported lake manager Dave Noyes. "Catfish are being caught in the mornings and evenings, but the bite is still better at night," Noyes said. "Our largemouth bass population has just exploded in the last few years because of our catch-and-release rules. This year has probably been the best bass fishing for both quality and quantity in the past 20 seasons."

The majority of channel cats at the cleaning tables this week were prime eating-size whiskerfish in the 2- to 6-pound range, with some of the larger-grade fish also tallied. Good catfish catches were checked in from Boat Dock Cove, the west shore, and Santiago Flats. Best reported baits were mackerel, bonito, shrimp, Gulp! and chicken livers. 

Bass anglers found good numbers of their quarry, with largemouth mostly in the 1- to 5-pound range hitting on a variety of techniques. Daytime anglers did best with jigs and dropshot-rigged plastics on rocky structure at 20 to 35 feet. Early morning and dusk saw chances for some reaction-bait fish. 

Wipers presented several distinct opportunities on primarily 3- to 5-pound class fish. Skillful use of electronics helped to locate fast-moving schools that hit best on vertical presentations. Anglers putting out floating crappie lanterns after dark often discovered that marauding groups of the hybrid stripers responded to the food chain that is attracted to the lights. Several incidental catches on mackerel or chicken liver baits intended for catfish were also recorded. Anglers are reminded that all bass species are catch-and-release only.

Decent numbers of crappie to 2 pounds were caught off of suspended schools at Santiago Flats by anglers dropping down Atomic Tubes or small Rapala Ice Jigs. Very good numbers of bluegill and redear sunfish hit on meal worms and red worms near brushy areas. 

Families with children age 12 and younger found good numbers of 1- to 3-pound channel catfish in the Kids Lagoon on the marshmallow/mealworm combo or fluorescent red Power Bait. The Pro Shop now sells all live nightcrawlers in EarthSmart biodegradable cups.    

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Tim McAroy of Bellflower, 55.4-pound blue cat on mackerel at the west shore.
-- Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 15-pound channel cat on mackerel/shrimp at Santiago Flats.
-- Luis Rena of Lynwood, 12.5-pound channel cat on mackerel at Santiago Flats.
-- Lukas Vujicic of Southgate, 10.8-pound channel cat on mackerel in Sierra Cove.
-- Elaine Dickerhoff of Artesia, 10-pound channel cat on mackerel/shrimp at Santiago Flats.
-- Tim McAroy of Bellflower, 8.3-pound hybrid striped bass (released) on an anchovy at the west shore.
-- Gilbert Andrews of Anaheim, 8.2-pound cat limit on mackerel at Santiago Flats.

Photo: Tim McAroy, right, of Bellflower caught the "Titan of the Year," landing this big blue catfish weighing in at 55.4 pounds on a filet of mackerel while fishing the west shore. The fish was immediately brought up to the shop, weighed and photographed, then taken back to the water and released. Credit: Irvine Lake

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