IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
MONSTER 57-9 IRVINE LAKE BLUE CAT TOPS GOOD OVERALL WHISKERFISH ACTION
LONGTIME PRO TEAM LEADER MEADE SCORES LIFETIME BIGGEST CATFISH
Big catfish were the major topic of discussion at Irvine Lake this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “We had our Pro-Team leader Marlon Meade check in with a 57-9 pound blue catfish”, remarked Getty. “The really got everybody’s attention of course, but lots of nice eating-size 3 to 6-pound channel cats were also filling up the stringers in the same general area that the big fish was caught. Folks should also know that Marlon released his whopper, so it is back in the lake, waiting to bite on somebody else’s line.”
Getty added, “Both the west shore and Trout Island boat ramps are in full operation. Smaller boats are preferred at the west shore ramp, and larger boats should go out at Trout Island.”
Irvine Lake Pro-Team leader Marlon Meade described the capture of his career-biggest whiskerfish. “We were anchored in about 10 feet of water, and casting into about 12-14 foot depths, and the bait was a whole market shrimp doused with cheese-flavor Berkley Catfish dip, pinned on a 2/0 Owner SSW hook. The rod was an 8-foot Shakespeare Ugly-Stik rated for 15-30 pound line, and the reel was an Abu Revo spinning reel filled with 20-pound test Berkley Trilene XL mono.”
Meade continued, “Fishing with the bail open and no sinker, the fish at first ran with the bait for about 10 yards before I set the hook. Once hooked, the head shakes were slow and very powerful, with the runs about 10 yards at a time. After about a 20 minute fight, we slipped him into a huge salmon net that we always bring with us. It weighed 57.9 pounds, and measure 44 inches long. In more than 50 years of fishing at Irvine Lake, this is my biggest catfish ever. The big fish was released back into the lake after we weighed it.”
Anglers are reminded that releasing the lake’s big blue catfish is mandatory. Angler who release a blue weighing 15 pounds or more will receive a free lake re-entry pass. Lucky anglers who release a whopper weighing 40 pounds or more also receive a free motorboat rental.
Bass anglers found good numbers of 2-4 pound largemouth, with daytime anglers using jigs and worms, with night-time anglers adding topwaters to their repertoire. The back of Santiago Flats and Rocky Point were standout bass spots.
Families with children age 12 and under found good numbers of 2-3 pound catfish in the Kids Lagoon using shrimp or marshmallow/mealworm combos. Surface temperature on the main lake is 76 degrees, with the lake level receding slowly. Underwater visibility is rated crystal clear, and the inlet pipe in Sierra Cove is off. The Kids Lagoon and the main lake will be re-stocked with catfish this week.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Marlon Meade of Anaheim, 57-9 blue catfish [released] on shrimp at the flats
Ryan Williams of Glendora, 9-4 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
6-year old Samantha Richardson of Orange, 6-9 channel catfish on mackerel at the Kids Lagoon
8-year old Shane Linehan of Orange, 6-4 largemouth bass [released] on a Bald Brothers Stickbait at the west shore
Kelli McManus of San Pedro, 9-4 carp on shrimp at the flats
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