Irvine Lake trout season opens today
The trout season opens today at Irvine Lake, with more than 20,000 pounds of newly released trout awaiting anglers.
Closed since Monday, the lake has been stocked with rainbows ranging in the 1- to 6-pound range, although there were also a decent number of fish released that weigh from 8 to 12 pounds and also some lunkers weighing in at more than 20-pounds.For good measure, some brown and steelheads were also added to the waters.
Longtime angler and outdoor writer Steve Carson offers the following trout angling tips:--Veteran trout chasers at Irvine Lake always recommend using ultra-light line to get their limit. Trollers can get by with 6-pound test line, but most lure casting and bait fishing should be done with nothing heavier than 4-pound test monofilament line. If the fish are acting finicky, or there is heavy pressure from weekend crowds, dropping down to 2-pound test line will often get trout when nothing else will.
--Bait fishing with Carolina-rigged PowerBait or Gulp! Trout Dough is the most common way to catch trout from shore. Under normal to clear conditions, go with a 12- to 18-inch leader, but when rains decrease visibility, leaders from 6 to 8 inches work best. Favored bait colors include chartreuse, rainbow and white.
--Trollers usually go for Rapalas, in most cases the smaller the better. Top choices are the Rapala Countdown CD01, CD03, and CD05 in firetiger color, or the Rapala X-Raps in the XR06 size and clown or hot pink colors. When the fish want more movement, the Jointed Rapala J05 and J07 in chartreuse or brown trout colors are the go-to baits.
Gates open at 6 a.m. daily at the privately run, paid-entry lake, where no state fishing license is required.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Jenn Ngyuen of Yorba Linda shows off the 15-pound, 4-ounce rainbow she landed near the boat docks at Irvine Lake last year. Credit: Irvine Lake