Photo by Jeanne RiceWake up at Dark:30, thinking of fish? Yearn to be trapped aboard small vessels stinking of fish with nothing more to keep you warm than a cooler of beer and your own dark thoughts of fish? Hey, maybe it's time you went fishin'! You can head to Irvine Lake (www.irvinelake.net), located in the foothills just seven miles east of the city of Orange. The lakes offer a wide array of fish, from trout to catfish to sturgeon, but they have a strict catch-and-release policy for bass and small children.
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Or head over to the Santa Ana River Lakes in Anaheim, where they boast trophy-class catfish weighing in at more than 10 pounds. The fish are biting all day long, so the lakes offer 24-hour passes Thursdays through Saturdays for die-hard fishermen and/or angry loners.
Too butch for puny lakes? Try a bit of deep-sea fishing at Davey's Locker in Balboa Beach. One of the largest marine recreation centers in Southern California, Davey's folks are available onsite to tackle your fishing needs. With seven sport-fishing boats in their fleet and the T's Tackle Shop, which carries everything from fishing, licenses, rod rentals and purchase and much more, Davey's is user-friendly to even the beginner fisherman.
Irvine Lake, 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd., Silverado, (949) 649-9111. Open year-round, 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; night fishing, 5-11 p.m.; Santa Ana River Lakes, 4060 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (714) 632-7830. Open daily, 6 a.m.-11 p.m. 24-hour pass, $40; Davey's Locker Sport-fishing, 400 Main St., Balboa, (949) 673-1434. Open daily, 5 a.m.-7:30 p.m.