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Irvine Lake bass fishing sizzles; trout topped by 10-8 rainbow; floating footbridge to Trout Island installed

May 5, 2010 |  1:55 pm

Donny Spence displays the 7-1/2 pound bass he caught and released. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Trout anglers found continuing good action at Irvine Lake this week, reported general manager Dave Noyes. "We had good numbers of fish coming in from just about every area of the lake, using just about any trout technique you can think of," observed Noyes. "We have also installed a floating pedestrian bridge to give anglers access to Trout Island, now that the lake level has risen above the road. Our annual summertime catfish opener will be on Friday, June 12."

Noyes added, "We will have our 'May Trout Madness' event put on by the Angler’s Choice organization on May 8, with tons of tagged fish, raffle prizes and goodie bags. Then on May 14 we will have an evening Bass Tournament."

Trouters reported good numbers of mostly 1- to 5-pound fish from Trout Island, the west shore, and near the dam. Productive baits included Power Bait, Power Mouse and nightcrawlers. Numerous "double-limit" and even some "triple-limit" tickets were sold.  

Topline trollers got their trout using firetiger-color CD05 Countdown Rapalas and chartreuse Rapala Shad Rap GSR04’s and hot-tiger SR05’s. Those dragging 3 to 5 colors of leadcore line or using a half-ounce egg sinker scored with Luhr Jensen Needlefish in cop-car or bikini colors.

Bass chasers had another phenomenal week, with excellent numbers of 2- to 8-pound largemouth found at Rocky Point, the red clay cliffs and along the west shoreline. Plastics and jigs fished at 15 to 20 feet are the best bet for bass, and on some days the fish responded well to jerkbaits fished at 5 to 10 feet. Some anglers reported releasing up to 40 bass in a single day. 

Fast-moving schools of hybrid striped bass (aka sunshine bass or wipers) are popping up and boiling for short periods of time in open water areas, although none were landed this week. Lake management requires that all bass species be released immediately.  

The crappie bite continued to be steady for decent-size slabs to 1.5 pounds on white Atomic Tubes at Santiago Flats. Increasing numbers of incidental 2- to 4-pound catfish were reported by trout anglers soaking nightcrawlers. Action for bluegill and redear is kicking into high gear, with some extra-large 'gills starting to hit on mealworm or waxworm baits offered near submerged vegetation. 

The Kids Lagoon has become part of the main lake and will not reopen until this fall. The incoming water has been shut off, and the lake level rise halted. The road to Trout Island is also underwater, but a floating footbridge has been installed for foot traffic only. No fishing is permitted from the bridge. Absolutely no vehicles are permitted on the footbridge. 

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Scott Noseworthy of Orange, 10-8 rainbow trout on a mini jig at Woody’s Cove.
-- Mike Junghanel of Long Beach, 10 rainbow trout totaling 27-1 (double-limit ticket) on Rapalas at mid-lake.
-- Aaron Titleman of Tustin, 3-1 brown trout on a Kastmaster near the dam.
-- James Kingston of Long Beach, 8-1 largemouth bass (released) on a Roboworm at the flats.
-- Don Spencer of Orange, 7-8 largemouth bass (released) on a jerkbait at the flats.
-- Brian Yamani of Cerritos, 5-8 largemouth bass (released) on a jerkbait at the flats.
-- Raymond Adsitto of Orange, 1-4 crappie on an SC Shiner near the dam.
-- Darrell Shimmell of West Covina, 1-8 bluegill on mealworms at the flats.
-- Alfred Reyez of West Covina, 1-8 bluegill on mealworms at the flats.

Photo: Donny Spence displays the  7-1/2 pound bass he caught and released. Credit: Irvine Lake