IT TOOK 45 MINUTES for Charlie Kim of Fullerton (right) to wrangle in this 53-pound blue catfish from Chris' Pond at Santa Ana River Lakes this past Friday. Kim employed 3 mealworms on a size 6 hook and 6-pound test to bank the big cat before safely releasing it into the Catfish Lake.
ANAHEIM — Long known for its propensity to spit out big-fish catches with an often-unrivaled frequency, Santa Ana River Lakes once again lived up to its reputation this past week, giving up a 53-pound blue catfish along with another handful of other double-digit whiskerfish just to sweeten the deal for area anglers. The 53 pounder, hooked and landed this past Friday, was the second 50-plus pounder to hit the banks of SARL in just a three-week time span, after a 52 pounder was beached earlier this month – perhaps even the same exact whiskerfish.
“The big catch this week was Charlie Kim of Fullerton's 53-pound catfish, no doubt,” said Colby Elliott at SARL, who regularly oversees the lakes' day-to-day operations. “Kim was using 3 mealworms on size 6 hook and fishing in Chris' Pond when the big fish bit. He was using just 6-pound test and it took him about 45 minutes to get the big fish in.” The behemoth cat was safely released into the Catfish Lake after a few quick photos, Elliott added.
THE RUN ON big catfish continued for Rick Kizzee of L.A. this past weekend at SARL, catching this 21-pound, 4-ounce whiskerfish from a float tube in the Catfish Lake on Bite-On Mack Baits – Kizzee winched in a 52 pounder just a few weeks back.
A pair of twin 21-pound, 4-ounce catfish tied for second-biggest kitty of the week at SARL. It was familiar face Rick Kizzee of Los Angeles who had one of the 21 pounders, caught from a float tube in the Catfish Lake while soaking Bite-On Mack Baits. Kizzee, a regular big cat hunter, was the angler who recorded the 52 pounder a few weeks back. The other 21-4 was also nabbed by a tuber, also from the Catfish Lake – this one on a mackerel chunk for Anthony Pendergrass of Westminster. Both of those 20-plus pounders were also released in the Catfish Lake. Rounding out the week's top catches was lady catfish angler Judith Macias of Downey, who stuck a 12½ pounder using chicken livers in the Big Lake.
Along with the fat cats that made appearances, a number of anglers went home with some solid limits. Tilapia have been a part of the game too, for those looking to diversify their stringers – with the best tilapia action coming in the afternoons on nightcrawlers.
SARL is open six days a week (closed on Thursdays for stocking) and night fishing is an option for angler on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer months.