SILVERADO — Anglers at Irvine Lake had to keep their heads low on Thursday and Friday, as intermittent summer storms rolled through, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “The catfish bite was a little off on Thursday and Friday nights when the worst of the storms hit,” observed Getty. “By Saturday night, things were back to normal and the numbers of catfish were very good again.”
Getty added, “Most of the catfish are sitting in 20 feet of water or less, and they really get going as the sun goes down, and keep going until about 11 p.m.”
Most catfish at the cleaning tables have been prime “eating size” 2 to 6 pounders, with a few of the larger specimens around. Best catches were reported from Boat Dock Cove, Santiago Flats and Sierra Cove. Favorite baits were mackerel and shrimp, with many other traditional catfish baits also enticing bites from the whiskerfish.
Nick Vega of Garden Grove used Bite-On Cajun Mackerel at the flats for a 10.2-pound channel catfish. Donte Mayes of Compton had a matching fish on mackerel fished in Sierra Cove. Terra Petry of Redondo Beach also soaked mackerel at the flats for a 7-2 channel. Claudio Gomez and Claudio Gomez Jr. of Santa Ana creeled a 10-catfish limit totaling 32.7 pounds on chicken liver at the flats.
Bass anglers continued to do very well on 2- to 4-pound largemouth, although the ‘frog bite’ slowed somewhat due to large numbers of anglers tossing the hollow-plastic amphibians. Daytime bassers scored best at the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point using drop-shot-rigged plastics and jigs at 20 to 25 feet. Evening time brings the fish up to where they are hitting well on reaction baits and topwaters along the west shore.
Whit Curry of Orange used a Triple Trout at the west shore for a 4½-pound largemouth.
Little effort was put forth toward crappie by anglers intent on chasing catfish and bass, but daytime anglers caught some nice bluegill on Gulp! Crickets near the west shore’s brushy areas. There were no reports of hybrid striped bass or carp this past week.
Families with children age 12 and under found good numbers of 1- to 3-pound catfish in the Kids Lagoon using shrimp and mackerel. Surface temperature on the main lake is 76 to 79 degrees, with underwater visibility rated gin clear in most areas. Lake level is receding 6 to 8 inches per week. The lake is open until 11 p.m. on Thursdays, and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays to take advantage of the night bite on catfish.
IRVINE LAKE BIG BLUE CAT — Anglers are reeling in lots of blue and channel catfish at Irvine Lake with the summer bite wide open. Mitz Onizuka of Irvine pulled out this 15-pound blue cat that bit on mackerel in Boat Dock Cove. The big catfish was released after the photo was taken. Pictured with Mitz is Mike Meredith.