IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
Irvine Lake catfish opener sizzles; parade of heavy whiskerfish stringers hit the scale
The opening weekend of catfish season saw Irvine Lake’s catfish action that was about as good as it gets, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “The bite was so good, one guy even caught a catfish on a pickle!”, quipped Getty. “The catfish were in anything from 2 to 20 feet of water, and were biting all day long. There was a minor lull at sundown, and then they started up again at 10:00 PM. Our $100 tagged catfish ‘The General’ was caught by a very happy Paul Dalool, Jr. on a nightcrawler.”
Getty added, “We will be re-stocking the lake with thousands of pounds of catfish every week all summer long. The night hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays give anglers access to the prime hours when catfish are the most active. Don’t forget we will be closed on Tuesdays only during the summer months.”
Good catfish catches were reported from the west shore and Boat Dock Cove, but Santiago Flats delivered the lion’s share of kitties. Productive baits included mackerel, shrimp, bonita, skipjack, pike mackerel, and even nightcrawlers. Strong scents such as Gulp! or Bite-On helped some anglers, while others reported fresher bait working best for them.
Bass anglers were tight-lipped about specifics as usual, but excellent numbers of 2 to 4-pound largemouth were being caught on all of the usual evening and night-time techniques, including buzzbaits, topwaters, and 10-inch Power Worms. Only a few anglers tried for crappie, and reported some decent success on nice slabs using white Atomic Tubes tipped with a mealworm.
Families with children age 12 and under found very good numbers of 1 to 3-pound catfish on mackerel in the Kids Lagoon. Surface temperature on the main lake is 74-76 degrees, with the lake level holding steady. Underwater clarity is rated up to 20 feet along the west shore, but somewhat dirty at the flats.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Mark Cristoph of Palm Desert, 10-11 blue catfish [released] on mackerel at the flats
Junior Virgen of Placentia, 13-7 channel catfish on shrimp at the flats
Judith Macias or Downey, 11-5 channel catfish on bonita at the flats
Adam Parda of Orange, 10-1 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
Ben Hinojosa of Costa Mesa, 10-0 channel catfish on Bite-On at the flats
Marty Sauceda of Anaheim, 9-13 channel catfish on mackerel/shrimp/Bite-On at the flats
Crag Adkinson of Orange, 9-13 channel catfish on Bite-On at the flats
Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 9-7 channel catfish on mackerel/shrimp at the flats
Diana Cortez of Corona, 9-6 channel catfish on secret bait at the flats
Paul Dalool, Jr of Monrovia, 8-12 channel catfish [The General, sporting a $100 tag], on a nightcrawler at the west shore
Eddie Williams of Costa Mesa, 4-5 largemouth bass [released] on plastics at Rocky Point
9-year old Nathan Takatsuka of Cypress, 6-7 steelhead on mackerel at the Kids Lagoon
Marty Sauceda and Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 10-catfish limit totaling 80-8, on Bite-On at the flats
Adam Parda of Orange, 5-catfish limit totaling 39-1 on mackerel at the flats
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