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Irvine Lake trout catch led by 11-6 rainbow; fish go wild during pre-frontal conditions

December 1, 2010 |  2:57 pm

Paul Dente shows off the 9-8 rainbow trout he caught on a Rapala at Trout Island.

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

Mixed weather conditions kept Irvine Lake anglers on their toes this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the pro shop. "Whenever we had pre-frontal conditions and low pressure, the fish really put on a show," observed Getty. "During our weekend tournament you needed a trout over 5 pounds just to get into the Top 10."

Getty added, "Whenever a rainstorm comes through, the roads may require 24 to 48 hours drying time before they can reopen. As of today [Wednesday], all the roads are dry and open. Be sure to call ahead to the pro shop [714-649-9111] for road conditions."

Irvine Lake Pro Team leader Marlon Meade had some sage advice for December anglers: "Natural garlic-color Power Bait has been very productive, especially in combination with a nightcrawler. As the water gets colder, the fish will move up to 6-8 feet of water, and the shore anglers will do better. The new 'Dude, You’re Bit!' strike indicators by Mark Claffey being sold in the pro shop really make detecting light nibbles easier."

Meade advised trollers, "The pink color lures have been on fire for several weeks. When the water gets stained, firetiger is the best color, and for very clear conditions, try natural shad-color lures. The 'go-to' lures are the Rapala Countdown CD5 and CD7."

During the holiday period overall, boat anglers fared better than shorecasters, with trollers scoring best of all. Best bet for bank anglers was to cross the newly installed foot bridge over to Trout Island, while trollers hammered the fish at Santiago Flats, the west shore, the Red Clay Cliffs and mid-lake.

Most of the trout are high-quality rainbows in the 2- to 5-pound range, with some brown trout, steelhead, and bigger rainbows keeping things interesting. Nine-year-old Brandon Rittenhouse, of Orange, and his dad nailed a hefty double-limit of trout to 5-4 while trolling with firetiger Rapala CD7s along the west shore. "The big one took me 10 minutes to reel in," said the younger Rittenhouse. Barbara Saltzberg of Moorpark and her party of five totaled 12 trout to 3-2, along with three crappie on nightcrawlers near the white cliffs. 

A few 2- to 4-pound catfish are inhaling nightcrawlers intended for trout, and some 1-pound crappie are hitting trolled trout lures. A handful of bass anglers skilled at deepwater techniques are finding their quarry in 35 feet of water at the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point.   

Families with children age 12 and younger were doing well in the Kids Lagoon on trout in the 1- to 3-pound range, with a sprinkling of larger fish to 5 pounds. The trick for Lagoon anglers was to shorten the leader down to about 6 or 8 inches, and combine Power Bait or a Gulp! Salmon Egg with a half-nightcrawler.

Successful junior anglers included 6-year-old first-timer Erik Garcia of Buena Park, who beached a 3-5 rainbow, remarking: "This is more fun than baseball. My favorite thing was catching this big fish; I want to come back!"

Also at the Kids Lagoon was 10-year-old Jacob Hughson of San Pedro, who fooled his first-ever fish, a 3-2 rainbow on the Power Bait/worm combo.  Georgi Chan, 11, of Alhambra, has fished before, and her experience helped her to catch her limit of trout on Power Bait/worms.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Juvenal Lopez of Riverside, 11-6 rainbow trout on a Power Worm at Woody’s Cove.
-- James Neal of Ontario, 9-12 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the east shore.
-- Paul Dente of Orange, 9-8 rainbow trout on a Rapala at Trout Island.
-- Brandon Rittenhouse [age 9] of Orange, 5-4 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the west shore.
-- Valton Boghauchien of Orange, 4-4 brown trout at the west shore.
-- Mike Bohnholt of Fullerton, 3-10 brown trout on a Thomas Buoyant at mid-lake.
-- Jerry Esposito of Mission Viejo, 5-2 steelhead on a Thomas Buoyant at mid-lake.
-- Paul Von Bargen of Cypress, 3-8 steelhead on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- Don Spencer of Orange, 3-1 largemouth bass (released) on a jig at the Red Clay Cliffs.

Photo: Paul Dente shows off the 9-8 rainbow trout he caught on a Rapala at Trout Island. Credit: Irvine Lake

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