Irvine Lake full to the brim, will be open on New Year's Day
Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:
Last week's wild weather filled Irvine Lake to the brim, reported general manager Dave Noyes. "We are very happy to report that all of our buildings, facilities and rental boats were undamaged during last week's intense weather," Noyes said. "We had to delay last week's scheduled trout plant, but will be putting in a full 5,000 pounds this week; most of them will be 2 to 5 pounds, but some bigger fish to 8 pounds will be included. The water level is currently going over the spillway, Trout Island is again an island, and we are working hard to construct the foot bridge to give shore anglers access to that area as soon as the weather permits.
"Both rental and private boats are launching with no problems, but we are currently not allowing float tubers on the water. The water level is intermittently going over the spillway, and the former Kids Lagoon is conjoined with the main lake, so we are permitting all anglers to fish in the Lagoon area for now."
Noyes added, "We will be open on New Year's Eve until 5 p.m., and open our regular Saturday hours of 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on New Year's Day, so come on out and catch the first fish of the year!"
As commonly occurs during heavy runoff conditions, skilled catfish anglers found good numbers of 2- to 8-pound whiskerfish getting very active. The go-to bait for this circumstance is usually nightcrawlers, and some five-fish limits of channel cats totaling as much as 29 pounds were checked in.
Extreme wet weather will also cause the lakeside roads to be closed to vehicle traffic. About 24 to 48 hours drying time is needed after the rain stops, so be sure to call the Pro Shop for up-to-the-minute road conditions.
Outstanding catches of the week included:
-- Camden Patton of Long Beach, 6-0 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the west shore.
-- Jeremy Rivera of Anaheim Hills, 6-0 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 8-14 channel catfish on nightcrawlers at the flats.
Photo: Jeremy and Kaylene Rivera of Anaheim Hills check in two rainbows, one in the 6-pound class. The rainbows were caught on white Power Bait near Boat Dock Cove. Credit: Irvine Lake
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