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Irvine Lake lunker trout going off big time

February 9, 2011 |  2:30 pm

7-year-old Derek Weise of Huntington Beach checks in a 14.04 pound rainbow caught on the troll with a Thomas Bouyant at Santiago Flats. It took the young angler around 20 minutes to subdue the beast before his dad could net the fish. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Beautiful quality-grade trout were the rule this week at Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The trout bite has just been insane on big fish. We have had countless trout in the 5- to 9-pound class, and quite a few were even bigger than that. We also had a five-trout limit that totaled over 27 pounds, and a 14-4 trout caught by a 7-year-old kid!"

Getty added, "Just before Presidents [Day] weekend [Feb. 19-21], we will have two special trout stockings. The first will be another load of rainbow trout in the 10- to 20-pound 'super lunker' category. The second will be a batch of drag-sizzling steelhead in the 7- to 10-pound range."

Most of the trout on the stringers this week were beautiful 2- to 8-pound rainbows, with a surprising number of larger-grade rainbows from 9 to 14 pounds. A few exotic brown trout to 6 pounds and steelhead to 8 pounds also added variety.

The hottest baits for trout were Berkley Mice Tails and Pinched Crawlers. The Irvine Lake Pro Team has been fine-tuning the best presentations, and demonstrated that an exceptionally productive technique is slow trolling.

The Mice Tails are rigged on a Size 10 egg hook, and the Pinched Crawler is rigged on a Size 8 baitholder hook. Use a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce sliding sinker and a 2-pound test leader that is about 24 inches long. Slow the trolling motor speed all the way down to "one," and experiment to see how deep the fish are holding.

Top colors this week were the white head/pink tail or white head/white tail Mice Tails, and the natural nightcrawler/garlic Pinched Crawler. Also interesting is the observation that trout tend to tap at the Pinched Crawler first; so dropping back some slack and using some hesitation before striking may be required. Some excellent success has also been seen using a crawling retrieve.

Productive locations included Trout Island, Boat Dock Cove, and Woody’s Cove for shorebound bait dunkers; and the west shoreline, Santiago Flats and mid-lake for boaters and trollers. Trollers struck with the reliable firetiger color CD03 and CD05 Rapala Countdowns.  

Bass anglers continue to do better with the warming weather, with quantities of fish continuing to move up. Good numbers of 2- to 8-pound largemouth are hitting on dropshot baits, jigs, and Carolina-rigged plastics in a variety of areas of the lake. This weekend featured a Bass Federation tournament, with the winner using jigs and worms to weigh in a five-bass stringer totaling 14 pounds.

The Kids Lagoon is clearing, and families with children age 12 and younger are finding improved numbers of 1- to 3-pound trout. A key trick is dousing all baits with strong scents such as Gulp! Alive! Garlic Spray.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Sean McCarthy of Sierra Madre, 15-0 rainbow trout on a Rapala at Boat Dock Cove.
-- 7-year-old Derek Weise of Huntington Beach, 14-4 rainbow trout on a Thomas Buoyant at the flats.
-- Manuel Cruz of Santa Ana, 13-6 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats.
-- Randy Bruno of Huntington Beach, 12-0 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the flats.
-- Bradley Broderick of Fontana, 11-6 rainbow trout on a Panther Martin at the cliffs.
-- Bill Nelson of Garden Grove, 11-4 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Trout Island.
-- Rusty Gygax of Los Angeles, 10-12 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the west shore.
-- Jeff Price of Yorba Linda, 10-2 rainbow trout on Rapala at the dam.
-- Tony Magna of Buena Park, 9-8 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats.
-- Larry Verner of La Habra, 5-12 brown trout on a Tasmanian Devil at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Aaron Bounderant of Fountain Valley, 8-4 steelhead on a nightcrawler at the flats.
-- Manas Milikian of Huntington Beach, 8-2 largemouth bass (released) on dropshot at the flats.

Photo: 7-year-old Derek Weise of Huntington Beach checks in this 14-4 rainbow caught on the troll with a Thomas Bouyant at Santiago Flats. It took the young angler around 20 minutes to subdue the beast before his dad could net the fish. Credit: Irvine Lake

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