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Thread: Recon trip to Irvine Lake over Labor day weekend.

  1. #1

    Default Recon trip to Irvine Lake over Labor day weekend.

    I haven't been to Irvine Lake in a couple of months because the last few trips there were all Skunk a Roonies! (it didn't help Lake Wohlford was on Fire at the same time) I had it going a little bit after they reopened it in the Spring. The Launch ramp on the back of Trout Island held a small group of 6-10 pound catfish. They were feeding along the sides of it. I took Rita and her friend there in April and we figured it out. (kinda by accident) We saw some caught around there the week before so we gave it a try. As I was unpacking the stuff, Rita said their is a Bass swimming by the ramp. (that's what Bass do especially in the Spring) So I didn't think much of it for a few minutes. So I asked her, "where is this Bass you see?" Right there under the ramp, I could only see half of it, but it was no Bass but an 8 pound catfish. So once I identified that's what we are after, Rita yells out "hurry up and get me a bait!" (thank God I rig up my poles before I leave the house) So I put on 2 juicy Night Crawlers on the hook and in 20 seconds she's hooked up and lands a nice catfish! We got a couple more that day and for the next month we had a Friday ritual. Get to the ramp first and catch 2 or 3 nice catfish in the first couple hours of the day. We milked that cow till the water receded to the point the ramp was out of the water. After that we couldn't buy a fish at Irvine Lake. (so I abandoned the place)

    Now I'm kinda of a historical kind of guy when it comes to my fishing. In other words, I know what kind of fish bite in each month of the year based on my past experiences. The really big Catfish bit in the Fall at Irvine Lake. So I wanted to go at least once this weekend to take a look at the Lake. (Man I'm glad I did!) Their draining the lake slowly as we speak. I guess in anticipation of closing it next year and draining the lake dry. Let me describe what I saw there. The West shore is about half the size of what it was in the Spring at it's peak! If they keep draining it at this rate, their won't be any lake to fish in the Winter! So I headed for the East shore dreading the worst case scenario. It was Bad too!!!! Shallow almost everywhere you went, with sticks sticking out of the water in most places! I did find an area that looked a little deeper to fish in. So I threw my bait out there and hoped for the Best! After about an hour I thought I saw my rod twitch. I let it sit there and definitely saw a small bite. I still didn't move till the fish tried to swim away. Then the bite started to look like a bite on Wicked Tuna, where the rod look likes it's trying to go in the lake! I then pick it up and to my "Horror" it's already wrapped up in some under water sticks! I lose it of course and it kind of Bummed me out! (that was the only bite I got all morning) My buddy Robert fished by the Ramp on Trout Island and had the same thing happen to him. (1 bite, 1 lost fish to the sticks) I heard of only 1 small Catfish caught by where Robert was fishing!

    Here is where it get's kinda of funny and pathetic at the same time.

    When they opened up the lake last year they had some pretty tough rules. Mandatory C&R on certain species and size limits to boot. Plus the most restrictive rule of only being allowed to fish with 1 pole. These rules would make sense if you wanted to maintain a long term sustainable fishery of Trophy fish. But if your going to drain the lake in a year or so and now it almost impossible to catch anything. These rules are just pathetic and make no sense at all! If anything they should go in the opposite direction. Let the people take anything they can out of the lake any way they want! (the fish are all going to be gone anyway, so why preserve the fish for the coyotes to feast on!) To further illustrate how pathetic it is, the people who are fishing there are constantly being watched for any fishing violations that might occur. In the 4 hours I was there in the 100 degree heat, the lake patrol went by me 5 times. Now here is the funny part, I was fishing by myself with 1 person to my right and no one else for 400 yards to my left. Here was the icing on the cake! One of the OC park rangers drove down where I was fishing and starred at me for 10 minutes with Binoculars. He wasn't done yet, he then walked down and checked me out to see if he could find any violations I was committing! He used the pretense of offering my a bottle of water, but I knew what he was up too! I was talking on the phone at the time, so I easily blew him off! Overall that lake is tough now and if you can catch anything, you are the Man!
    Last edited by etucker1959; 09-07-2020 at 03:05 PM.

  2. Default

    Thanks for the report. Bummer about the lake...why are they draining it?

    Also, I've also noticed the Fall pattern with big catfish, at another nearby lake.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carpanglerdude View Post
    Thanks for the report. Bummer about the lake...why are they draining it?

    Also, I've also noticed the Fall pattern with big catfish, at another nearby lake.
    To repair the Dam. Damn that Dam!!!!! Lol

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for the report and info. Is there any info posted at the lake regarding the drawdown? Sounds like the Ranger was bored but if yo're not doing anyhting wrong let him watch, maybe he'd learn something on how to catch a fish there.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Dog View Post
    Thanks for the report and info. Is there any info posted at the lake regarding the drawdown? Sounds like the Ranger was bored but if yo're not doing anyhting wrong let him watch, maybe he'd learn something on how to catch a fish there.
    Nothing been posted on the Lakes plans. Just word of mouth by credible people. When it comes to the Ranger, last year we fished Irvine lake every week and in doing so befriended one of the lake employees. She told us of one Hardass Ranger who loved to write tickets! I know his name and when the Ranger walked all the way down to where I was fishing. I suspected it was him. It was! (they have their name sewn on their uniform) No one in their right mind would walk that far over rough terrain in 106 degree heat, unless they were up to no good! Lol
    Last edited by etucker1959; 09-08-2020 at 02:06 PM.

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