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Irvine Lake reopens after storms

December 23, 2010 | 11:40 am

Curtis Meade of Anaheim (father of Pro Team Director Marlon Meade) catches a beauty on a gold/black Rapala on the troll at Trout Island. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The recent wild weather caused Irvine Lake to close completely on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, but the lake is open as of Thursday for shore fishing only, reported Jimmy Getty at the pro shop. "We had almost 21 inches of rain from this storm," observed Getty. "The lake is completely full, and water is going over the spillway, but all of our facilities, buildings, and equipment are intact.

"We will be open today for shore fishing only -- no rental or private boats will be allowed out on Thursday. On Christmas Eve we should be able to resume normal boat-launching and rental operations. The lake will be CLOSED on Christmas Day and open normal hours [6 a.m. to 4 p.m.] on Sunday, Dec. 26."

Getty added, "The lakeside roads are currently closed to vehicle traffic. It usually takes about 24 to 48 hours drying time after the rain stops, before the roads can reopen. Be sure to call the pro shop [714-649-9111] for up-to-the minute road and water conditions."

For anglers planning ahead: On New Year’s Eve, the lake will close at 5 p.m. and on New Year’s Day, the regular Saturday hours of 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be in effect.

Before the storms hit, most of the trout were quality-grade rainbows in the 2- to 7-pound class. A nice assortment of larger rainbows to 12 pounds, along with some colorful exotics, are spicing up the stringers. Productive spots included the west shore, Boat Dock Cove, Santiago Flats, and mid-lake.

Trollers scored their fish toplining with firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD05s and hot-pink Rapala X-Rap XR04s. Bait dunkers are advised to use the standard stained-water tactic of shortening up their leaders to around 6 inches, and making sure that all baits are heavily doused with Gulp! Alive Garlic Spray, or other strong scents.   

Although bass anglers found only modest numbers of 2- to 3-pound largemouth, large numbers of bass are starting to show on the electronics while suspended on points. This classic winter pattern should manifest itself in better catches over the next few weeks.

A few incidental catfish were caught by anglers fishing for trout. A handful of trout trollers also ran across concentrations of 1- to 2-pound class crappie at the flats.   

Families with children 12 and younger found very good action on 1- to 3-pound trout in the Kids Lagoon. Again the recommendation is for very short 6- to 8-inch leaders, along with very bright Power Bait colors and liberal application of garlic sprays.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Tim Blackshear of Rancho Cucamonga, 12-6 rainbow trout on a mini jig at Woody’s Cove.
-- Ricardo Zepeda of Balboa, 11-10 rainbow trout on a jig near the docks.
-- Tim McElroy of Bellflower, 10-2 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- Brian Carter of Orange, 10-0 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats.
-- Miles Peterson of Gunnison, Colo., 8-10 rainbow trout on a Tasmanian Devil at mid-lake.
-- Angelina Daquilla of Carlsbad, 8-6 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- Bill Anderson of Orange, 2-10 brown trout on a Rapala at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Anthony Aguilera of West Covina, 2-0 brown trout on an SC Shiner at the cliffs.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 3-2 largemouth bass (released) on a triple trout at the cliffs.
-- Mark Suarez of Orange, 8-0 channel catfish on Power Bait at the flats.
-- Nathan Niculae of Yorba Linda, 1-15 crappie on a Thomas Buoyant at the flats.
-- John Price of Mission Viejo, five-trout limit totaling 27-10, topped by an 8-8 rainbow, on X-Raps at mid-lake.

Photo: Curtis Meade of Anaheim (father of Pro Team Director Marlon Meade) catches a beauty on a gold/black Rapala on the troll at Trout Island. Credit: Irvine Lake

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