Irvine Lake rainbows to 11-0 go for trolling lures
Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:
Clear skies [for the moment] and dry roads were good news for trout anglers at Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “The overall trout bite has been good the last few days,” observed Getty. “All of the roads around the lake are now open and dry, but be sure to allow up to 36 hours drying time if the rains reappear. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, so be sure to call the Pro Shop, (714) 649-9111, for up-to-the-minute road conditions. We have been seeing a lot of limits for bait anglers coming out of boat dock cove because of the relatively clear water. The water over in Santiago Flats is still pretty muddy.”
Getty added, “We are getting an additional 2,000 pound load of 1.5- to 2-pound wipers [aka hybrid stripers or sunshine bass] on Friday of this week. These fish are on a “catch-and-release” basis only, but they dispersed into the lake almost immediately when we stocked them last week, and none had been caught as of Wednesday morning.”
Irvine Lake Pro-Team member Steve Hercht reported a wide-open troll bite this weekend at mid-lake. “It was easy limits for three anglers [15 trout] by 1 p.m., along with at least 6 or 7 additional fish that came unbuttoned,” remarked Hercht. “The hot trolling ‘zone’ started at the end of Trout Island and then moved toward mid-lake in the direction of Rocky Point. The trick setup was to place the lures 150 feet back on 4-pound test line, and troll slowly back and forth through the zone.”
Most of the trout on the stringers were in the 1- to 4-pound category, with decent numbers of bigger-grade fish keeping things interesting. A very hot tip from the Irvine Lake Pro Team for bait dunkers is the new “red salmon egg” color Power Bait, and keeping the bait leaders at 8 to 10 inches in length.
Bass anglers found fair to good action on largemouth in 2- to 3-pound range. Working jigs at 20 feet on main lake points was the ticket. Good numbers of 2- to 14-pound catfish were seen for anglers soaking nightcrawlers and chicken livers wherever creeks are flowing into the lake.
The Kids Lagoon is still suffering from muddy conditions, with mostly slow results seen. About two dozen hybrid stripers were also stocked into the Kids Lagoon this week.
Just prior to the “Presidents Day weekend,” the lake will see a bonus stocking of 5,000 pounds of steelhead in the 4- to 5-pound range. These “silver bullets” are well-known for their drag-sizzling runs and fighting spirit.
Outstanding catches of the week included:
-- Santiago Carrillo of Silverado, 14-0 channel catfish on chicken livers at the inlet.
-- David Nunn of Orange, 11-0 rainbow trout on a Thomas Buoyant at the west shore.
-- Mike Sachse of Santa Ana, 10-10 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the west shore.
-- Victor Joaquin of Orange, 10-10 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the west shore.
-- Billy Kathner of Fountain Valley, 9-14 rainbow trout on Gulp! near the ramp.
-- Raymond Gonzalez of Santa Ana, 9-4 rainbow trout on a Mira-Shad at mid-lake.
-- Whitney Curry of Silverado, 3-1 largemouth bass [released] on a jig at Rocky Point.
Photo: Victor Joaquin is all smiles after landing this full-tailed rainbow beauty that weighed in at 10.10 pounds and was caught off the West Shore. Credit: Irvine Lake