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Irvine Lake hybrid striped bass going off; road to Trout Island reopens

June 30, 2010 |  1:32 pm

Who says trout season is over? Johnny Avila of Artesia pulled in this lunker, weighing in at 13.2 pounds, while while trolling a rapala near the dam.

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

Slowly receding water levels at Irvine Lake have allowed the road to Trout Island to reopen, giving easier access to many productive shore fishing areas, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The road to Trout Island is finally open again, but the catfish bite this weekend was only fair due to the full moon," remarked Getty. 

Roving schools of hybrid striped bass (a.k.a. sunshine bass or wipers) continued to thrill and amaze the lucky anglers who encountered them. Some of the hybrids were caught by using the traditional method of locating a school of shad and fishing around it, but several anglers reported that their mackerel or chicken liver catfish baits were also attacked. Anglers are reminded that all wipers must be released.

Catfish anglers found fair numbers of their quarry in the 2- to 6-pound category, using mackerel or chicken livers at Santiago Flats. The whiskerfish action has been rebounding as the full moon subsides, and some cats are also being taken by daytime anglers.   

Bass anglers also racked up some heavy catch-and-release numbers of largemouth in the 2- to 4-pound class, using a variety of techniques. One of the few bassers to give out details was James Urioste of San Clemente, who released over 30 bass for a day’s effort. Urioste nailed his fish on jigs, topwaters, and dropshot-rigged plastics in 1 to 20 feet of water.

Crappie fishing is just starting to hit its stride, with both afternoon drifting, and evening fishing near a floating lantern scoring slabs averaging about a pound. Best offering for crappie this week was a white Atomic Tube or 2-inch white Gulp! Swimming Minnow. 

Plenty of bluegill were on tap for anglers dunking mealworms or Gulp! Crickets. A few nice 2- to 3-pound trout were fooled by anglers deep-trolling with Luhr Jensen Needlefish, or motor-mooching with nightcrawlers at 30 feet near the dam.   

Another benefit of the dropping water level is the reopening of the Kids Lagoon. Families with children age 12 and younger made decent catches of catfish and a few bluegill using the marshmallow-mealworm combo. Surface temperature in the main lake is ranging from 76 to 78 degrees.

From now until the end of summer, Irvine Lake is celebrating a "Super Saver Mondays" program. On Mondays only, adult admission will be $11, kids age 4-12 $7 and motorboat rentals, $35.   

Legendary angler and Irvine Lake Pro Team member Marlon Meade will be conducting a crappie fishing seminar on Tues., July 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Longfin, 2730 E. Chapman in Orange. Admission is free, along with some great raffle prizes.    

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Chris Hagopian of Redondo Beach, 6-1 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats.
-- James Urioste of San Clemente, 4-3 largemouth bass (released) on plastics at the flats.
-- Don Spencer of Orange, 3-2 hybrid striper (released) on a Rapala at the flats.

Photo: Who says trout season is over? Johnny Avila of Artesia pulled in this lunker, weighing in at 13.2 pounds, while while trolling a Rapala near the dam. Credit: Irvine Lake

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