Irvine Lake sees steady catfish action topped by 12-0 channel
Catfish chasers at Irvine Lake found plenty of the whiskerfish, reported Daniela Gavaldon in the Pro Shop. “The catfish bite has been very steady”, observed Gavaldon. “We’ve been seeing a stream of nice stringers of catfish over at the cleaning tables.”
Most catfish on the stringers have been prime “eating size” 3 to 6-pounders, with a nice smattering of larger specimens from 8 to 12 pounds keeping things interesting. The bite simmers along starting in the afternoon, and really gets going at dusk. Good catches have been reported from Boat Dock Cove, Santiago Flats, and mid-lake.
Favored baits include mackerel, shrimp, and skipjack, either fresh or with strong scents added like Gulp! or Bite-On. One of the tricks to fool skittish catfish is to fish with absolutely no sinker at all so that the bait reacts naturally to the subtle underwater currents.
Leave the spinning reels bail open, or leave the conventional reel in freespool. When the catfish picks up your bait, let it run at least 10 or 15 feet without feeling any resistance or it may spit the bait out. Then put the reel in gear and set the hook.
Daytime anglers found decent numbers of 2 to 4-pound largemouth using dropshot-rigged plastics on hard structure at 25-foot depths. Evening and night time hours saw the bass moving up into the shallows, and hitting on reaction baits, swimbaits, and 10-inch Power Worms. A handful of wipers were caught on incidentally by catfish anglers soaking mackerel. Anglers are reminded that all bass species are strictly catch and release at Irvine Lake.
Plenty of plump bluegill were found in brushy shallows by anglers dunking mealworms or waxworms. Few crappie anglers ventured out or reported back. The lake is open until 11 PM on Thursday evenings, and until Midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays closing time is 4:00 PM, and the lake is closed on Tuesdays until the Trout Season Opener.
Families with children age 12 and under found fair action in the Kids Lagoon on 1 to 3-pound catfish using mackerel or shrimp. The 2013-14 public Trout Season Opener will take place on Friday, Nov. 1, with a special limited-entry “VIP Trout Fishing Day” on Thursday, Oct. 31. Contact the Pro Shop for VIP Day information. As always, thousands of pounds of trout will be stocked just prior to the opener.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Robert Saldana of Coachella, 12-0 channel catfish on Mak bites at mid-lake
Moses Saldana of Coachella, 11-0 channel catfish on Mak Bites at mid-lake
Ronson Smothers of Los Angeles, 10-12 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
Gary Delluge of Santa Ana, 10-1 channel catfish on Bite-On at the flats
Nyla Smothers of Los Angeles, 10-0 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
9-year old Sydney Duval of Orange, 5-13 channel catfish in the Kids Lagoon on mackerel
Follow Irvine Lake on Facebook, on the web at IrvineLake.net or call 714-649-9111
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