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Thread: Went Sharking at Irvine Lake!

  1. #1

    Default Went Sharking at Irvine Lake!

    One of my favorite things in life is to quote famous movie lines to describe situations I get myself into. (it has to be a famous movie or it doesn't have much effect) My favorite quote of all times comes from the movie Godfather. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse! A lessor quote from the same movie that only my closest friends hear me use. Is what Al Pacino older brother say's to his cohorts, about planting a gun in the restaurant to kill his rival and corrupt police captain. In this case today, I'm quoting from the movie Jaws. When the Salty Captain Quint to prove what a rough and tough fishermen he was, say's "going Sharking" is the meanest toughest kind of fishing their is! In contrast going after an easy fish like a Tommy Cod is like fishing in a park pond!

    A good friend of mine went to Irvine Lake the day before and did really good on the Panfish. He also saw a few medium size Catfish caught along with some Trout and LMB. All these fish were caught in the easiest and closes part of the lake to fish. In contrast, the lake in many places is completely over grown with vegetation as tall as a person. You literally have to hack your way to get to many spots on the lake to fish. Couple that it was going to be a pretty warm day to boot! I really wanted to fish for some Trophy Catfish because the last 3 trips I went on were productive for small fish. I'm never shy about a challenge and besides next week their stocking Catfish in that same easy area to fish. (so that would be the time to fish that area) So that made my decision easy, I'm going Sharking for some double digit Catfish! The plan was to hit 4 spots and hopefully get bit in one of them.

    My plan was to hit the furthest spot first and work my way back towards the road. That walk out their was killer, (I wasn't dressed properly for the terrain) because it was going to be hot that day, I dressed more like I was going to the beach. Not the right attire if your crashing through 6 foot high brush. I finally made it to my first spot and I found a wall of vegetation 25 feet in front of the shoreline. I had to find a way to break through the vegetation to reach the shore line. My first attempt found me falling on my butt on some rocks getting to the shore. I eventually find an easier way to get to the spot and started fishing. While I was fishing there I realized I was totally hidden from view. I was also in a spot where I see a lot of Deer and that means their could be Mountains Lions around their too! To prove my point I'm really in the Brush, along comes a coyote just traveling the shoreline looking for an easy meal! Now besides fishing, I've got to come up with a plan to Kill a Mountain Lion if necessary! My first Mountain Lion I ever killed, "I did it with a .22 rifle!" This time I would have to do it with my Buck knife! I remember last year a guy killed a small Mountain Lion in Colorado, by repeating stabbing it in the neck! So if attacked that would be my plan and get in the water to boot. After awhile I got tired of this spot and moved on. (it made it easy to move, because I didn't get any bites there)

    My next spot was an open area with no vegetation which made me feel a lot more comfortable. (at least temporarily) I was the only fishermen in this part of the lake for awhile and finally a couple of other people should up to fish. I said Hello to 1 guy who was Bass fishing and a couple of other people went in the direction I just came from. (so now their is some other people around and that made me feel a whole lot better) When I hear another voice say to the other fishermen, did you get any bites? (typical fishermen small talk I thought) When this really weird dude shows up without any fishing gear! Who's this guy I'm wondering???? He moves on and I tell myself if doubles back in my direction, I'd better get my Buck knife again and stand up and watch this guy! (so it doesn't sneak up on me) I think he saw me watching him and thought it best to move on. All this excitement and I haven't even had a bite yet! (that's about ready to change in a hurry)

    In fishing for these Trophy Catfish, #8-80 pounds is what I'm going after. You need to have the right set up, #30 pound braided line and an 30 pound test leader and a stout rod and big hooks. (plus some kind of Mackerel bait) I now have on my 1 Trophy Catfish pole a 2/0 circle hook and sunk the rod holder deep and put a big rock in front of it. (so it doesn't get pulled in the lake) This way I can basically let the Catfish hook himself, hopefully in the mouth for an easy and safe release! Not long after the weird dude leaves I get a half way decent bite. I don't immediately run over there till I think he's hooked. He stops biting and I give it another 5-10 minutes to see if he comes back. When all of a sudden the rod shoots to the Left and bends completely over! I know he's hooked now and I grab the rod. I can feel the weight and the power on there so I know it's a good one. When he comes close to shore I see this big head of a very nice Catfish! I grab the net and he's mine! Perfectly hooked in the mouth so it's an easy hook removal. I turn him over and see that Blue hue and I know it's a Blue Catfish. With that big head it's hard to get a precise weight but I'm going to call him 20 pounds. After you get a big fish like that, it sort of disturbs everything in the area for a while so I move on. I've got 2 more spots to fish before I call it a day.

    In the next spot their is really 3 different casts to make. (this spot had a wall of vegetation around it too) After the first 2 casts and soaks were unsuccessful, I made the 3rd and finally cast at this spot. You want to give it a 30-45 minute soak time and then reel in. It's just about the end of the soak time and I'm making plans to move to my 4th and final spot for the day. I then hear what I thought was a big Carp jump and see the splash. I then glance over at my rod and it's bent over and strongly pointing to the Left. I knew immediately that fish that jumped was my hooked fish! I run and grab the rod already knowing by the size of the splash, I've got another Trophy Catfish hooked! I make short work of him and he's in the net. This Catfish is a very Yellow colored Channel Catfish and I guess his weight is about #15 pounds.

    So now I move to my 4th and final spot. This spot is actually the spot I thought I would do the best at, so that's why I saved it for last. Unfortunately this spot has a huge wall of bushes protecting it! So in I go crashing through the Bushes, I somehow cut the top of my finger pretty bad! (I'm bleeding all over the place) So now I've got to chose between trying for my 3rd Trophy Catfish of the day. Or go home and take care of my bleeding finger! I know what Captain Quint would have done! Lol But I choose to quit while I was ahead and went home early! My friend fishing the easy spot had a great day on Panfish and small Catfish. Which is great for him, but I still if I had to decided to do it all over again. I would chose to go Sharking over catching those Tommy Cod's! Lol
    Last edited by etucker1959; 06-17-2021 at 08:50 PM.

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