Getty added, “One angler who bought multiple-limit passes went home with 30 catfish, and lake regular Phil Hildebrandt had a 5-fish limit of channel cats that totaled 25-9, topped by a 7-8.”
The catfish start to bite right about dusk, and keep going until about 10:00 PM. Anglers report that nightcrawlers are best while there is still light, and mackerel becomes the hot ticket once full dark arrives.
Most of the prime eating-size 2 to 6-pound whiskerfish are being caught in 1 to 15 feet of water, with shrimp, DuMong’s and Gulp! also catching their fair share.
Irvine Lake Pro-Team member Dave Young reported wide-open catfish action on Saturday night. “We limited out in Boat Dock Cove within an hour”, related Young. “The catfish were breaking all around us in about 12 feet of water. Best rig was flylining 1-inch pieces of mackerel on 10 or 12 pound line and 2/0 long-shank hooks. The cats were so aggressive they were hitting the bait while it was sinking. All of our fish were stockers weighting 2 to 4 pounds.”
Largemouth bass continued to bite well, with many quality limits turned in like the 5-fish total of 14-6 tuned in by Joey Ninehuis of Newport Beach on a variety of crankbaits. Most of the 2 to 6-pound largemouth are holding at 15 to 40 feet on rocky structure.
Plenty of bluegill and redear are being caught in brushy areas on mealworms and Gulp! Crickets. Trout anglers are finding a moderate number of rainbows in the 2-pound category trolling with 7 colors of leadcore line trailed by a cop-car color Luhr Jensen Needlefish. Both crappie and hybrid striped bass anglers found slow action due to the full moon.
Families with children age 12 and under are finding very good numbers of catfish in the Kids Lagoon. The main lake water level is receding slowly, with surface temperatures averaging 78 degrees. Last week’s algae bloom has dissipated completely.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 7-8 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats Eric Miller of Orange, 6-5 largemouth bass [released] on a Power Worm at Crawdad Point Joey Ninhuis of Newport Beach, 4-0 largemouth bass [released] on crankbaits at Rocky Point Jerry Chang of Manhattan Beach, 12-3 carp [released] on an IMA Ramba at the Red Clay Cliffs Paul Johnstone of Villa Park, 2-4 rainbow trout on a fluttercraft worm at the west shore 8, 9, and 5-year old Kayla, Cameron, and Daryl Bellamy of Hawthorne, limits of catfish on mackerel at the Kids Lagoon.