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Irvine Lake confirms 17-0 lunker is lake-record steelhead; crappie action increasing steadily

March 24, 2010 | 12:51 pm

Jim Sampson of Trabuco Canyon is all smiles after catching a 7.14 lb personal best. Jim caught his rainbow off the South Shore on a powermouse.

Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The big 17-0 fish caught last week at Irvine Lake was determined to be a steelhead, reported general manager Dave Noyes. "After further analysis, we have determined that the huge fish caught by little 8-year-old Daniel Morelos was a steelhead, easily topping our old lake record of 10-6 for the species. The angler who originally hooked the fish, Daniel LeBoef, graciously handed it off to little Daniel, and wants to make sure that the youngster receives full credit for establishing the new record."

Noyes added, "The batch of steelhead we stocked three weeks ago definitely contained several fish this size or larger, so it is possible that the lake record could be broken again."

Overall trout action this week was mixed, according to Daniela Gavaldon at the Pro Shop. "The trout bite was hit or miss, probably due to the hot weather," observed Gavaldon. "Some people limited out easily, while others caught very little."

Most of the trout on the stringers this week were in the 1- to 4-pound category, with only a handful of larger fish seen at the cleaning tables. Best locations for trout were the west shore, boat dock cove and Trout Island.

Trollers scored best on trout this week, with some results seen by anglers dropping down with three colors of lead-core line due to warming temperatures. Best trolling lures included the standard firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD05, along with hot pink XRS06 X-Rap Shad, and brown trout or brook trout-color Jointed Rapala J05s.    

Crappie numbers are starting to increase, with good numbers of slabs to 2 pounds hitting on mini jigs out in front of the docks and near submerged vegetation. A surprising number of crappie are also being caught incidentally by trout anglers trolling with Rapalas.

Bass fishing continued to be very good, although the bass fishing community largely clammed up regarding any kind of specifics. Finding the muddy areas left over from running creeks is still kicking out some nice catfish in the 3- to 8-pound class on shrimp and mackerel baits.   

The Kids Lagoon is yielding excellent action for families with children age 12 and younger. The recent warm weather has caused all of the wildlife that lives around the lake to become very active. The main lake is nearly at full pool, and is only about four feet from spilling, with a surface temperature of 63 degrees and climbing.  

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- 8-year old Daniel Morelos of Yorba Linda, 17-0 steelhead (official new lake record) on a Gulp!Egg/nightcrawler combo at the flats (catch made last week, positive ID as steelhead delayed).
-- Jim Sampson of Trabuco Canyon, 7-14 rainbow trout on a Power Mouse at the south shore.
-- Allen Swickerd of Signal Hill, 6-8 rainbow trout on a Rapala at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Varian Virgen of Buena Park, 4-14 rainbow trout (Sport Chalet Derby winner) on Power Bait at Boat Dock Cove.

Photo: Jim Sampson of Trabuco Canyon is all smiles after catching a 7.14-pound personal best. Jim caught his rainbow off the south shore on a Power Mouse. Credit: Irvine Lake