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82-Pound Catfish Is No Fish Story

May 01, 1996

A summer-like spring has catfish stirring at many Southland reservoirs.

And while that might not be the case at Lower Otay in San Diego County, one monstrous blue catfish decided it was hungry enough to go after a crawdad with a hook in it.

John Collins of San Diego eventually reeled in the whiskered beast, which tipped the scale at 82 pounds 2 ounces, a state record.

CASTAIC LAKE--Strong winds kept boats off the lake most of the week. Jeff Manning, Canyon Country, with guide Gary Harrison, several bass from 4-6 pounds, on True Trout and GS trout lures. Trout and bass fair in lagoon.

PYRAMID LAKE--Striped bass fair on anchovies, biting mostly at Yellow Bar. Catfish good on anchovies in channel. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fair off points, biting on crankbaits.

CORONA LAKE--Fishing slow, but some big trout taken at ramp. Tim Wager, Corona, 7-9 trout, on night crawler. Pathways to Fishing, a free program for children, will be held Saturday from 9 a.m-3 p.m. Details (909) 277-3321.

SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES--Trout not especially active, but some big ones biting. Jim Anthony, Yorba Linda, 12-3 trout, on Power Bait at pump house. Sean Hanson, Fullerton, 11-5 trout, on Panther Martin lure at spillway.

IRVINE LAKE--Trout slow to fair. A no-limit rule for trout, designed to rid the lake of fish before the hot weather kills them, goes into effect Saturday. Keio Ota, Whittier, removed a 14-9 trout, on Power Bait at Mayhugh Cove. Largemouth bass fair and will remain a catch-and-release species.

ARROWBEAR LAKE--Trout good. Bill Adams and son Jeffrey, 8-4 trout, on night crawler-marshmallow combination at south shore. Ron Kelly, San Bernardino, 7-12 trout, on gold spinner at south shore.

GREEN VALLEY LAKE--Trout good. Several limits. Most baits and lures working. Sean Thomann, Brea, 5-8 trout, on Green Power Bait.

LAKE CACHUMA--Trout good throughout lake, biting on Needlefish lures in all patterns. Catfish and crappie picking up, biting on mackerel and mini-jigs, respectively. Largemouth bass fair at 15-20 feet, biting on plastic worms, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

LAKE CASITAS--Largemouth bass fair for big fish, slow for small fish. Randy Crabtree, Oak View, 10-0 and 8-13 bass, on crawdads. Ed Guyette, Ventura, 9-14 and 8-5 bass, on crawdads. Several others in 10-0 range. Catfish picking up, biting on mackerel at Station Canyon.

LAKE PIRU--Most species fair. Mel Brown and Johnny Roussell, Los Angeles, two 7-8 bass, on chartreuse spinnerbaits near entrance to narrows. Marcus and Tim Lampley, Altadena, 25 crappie, four trout, two bass and a bluegill, on red and white mini-jigs near dam.

SAN DIEGO CITY LAKES--Hodges: Bluegill best bet; everything else slow. Meal worms and red worms getting most fish. Miramar: Trout and largemouth bass best bet, but most anglers getting skunked. Murray: 82 anglers checked, 85 trout, 53 bluegill and 26 bass caught. Lower Otay: Largemouth bass slow, but a 10-8 was caught from a boat. Bluegill very active, biting on worms. Upper Otay: Slow. San Vicente: Bluegill in a frenzy--more than 2,200 caught in past week. Some bass, trout and catfish. Sutherland: Bluegill very active. Catfish picking up.

LAKE PERRIS--Largemouth bass fair, with most in 4-0 range. Jay Bartman, Grand Terrace, 7-4 bass, on crawdad at east end. Bluegill picking up. Carl Eberhard, 2-0 bluegill, on night crawler at east end. Other species slow.

LAKE SKINNER--Striped bass from three to 14 pounds biting on surface plugs and anchovies. Best at inlet. Largemouth bass fair at Crappie Rock and marina point. Night crawlers and plastics best bets. Catfish picking up, biting on mackerel and anchovies.

EASTERN SIERRA--Bishop: South Lake and Bishop Creek best bets for limits and the occasional lunker. Lake Sabrina and Intake II fair for mostly pan-sized trout. Owens River and Pleasant Valley Reservoir slow. Mammoth Lakes area: Crowley Lake bite has slowed some since the opening-day massacre, perhaps because the fish are still in shock. But quality fish still being taken from shore and boats, biting on a variety of lures and Power Bait. Convict Lake and creek producing some limits and several fish to 6-0. Bigger lures, such as Rapalas, getting bigger fish in lake. Twin Lakes and local creeks fair. Upper-elevation lakes still frozen. McGee Creek good for limits to near-limits of 14- to 16-inch fish. Salmon eggs best bet, but dark-colored flies also working. June Lake loop: All four lakes producing limits of pan-sized trout and an occasional trophy-sized fish. Rush Creek slow to fair. Bridgeport area: Twin Lakes good for limits of small fish and an occasional larger rainbow or brown. Standard baits and lures working. Bridgeport Reservoir fair in early mornings for fish two to five pounds. Most caught by trollers. East Walker River good on streamers and small spinners. Lee Vining Creek producing some fish to 5-0. Kirman Lake good for brook trout.

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