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Irvine Lake roads dry out and trout keep biting; trophy 14- to 20-pound trout plant slated for Presidents Day weekend

Tyler Prince of Yorba Linda checked in this 4.8 brown trout caught on a Senko at Boat Dock Cove. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The fast-moving storms that arrived just before noon on Sunday are a distant memory, reported Daniela Gavaldon at the Pro Shop. "All of our lakeside roads are dry and open to vehicle traffic again," observed Gavaldon. "I have weighed in a lot of 5- to 7-pound trout on Tuesday and today [Wednesday]."

Prospects for next week's Presidents Day holiday weekend just got brighter, as lake manager Dave Noyes announced, "Just before the holiday, we will plant another batch of the super lunker-grade rainbow trout, weighing from 14 to well over 20 pounds. We are hoping that the lake record may be broken."

Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop added: "The lake is completely full again. We’ve got so much water that the lake is going to remain at full pool up until mid-summer. The conditions will be great for all of the species that spawn in the lake."

Most of the trout on the stringers were quality-grade rainbows in the 2- to 7-pound class. An assortment of larger rainbows to over 14 pounds, along with some browns to 6 pounds and steelhead to 4 pounds made every hookup exciting.

Good catches were reported from Boat Dock Cove, Trout Island, the west shore, and mid-lake. Productive baits included Power Bait, Gulp! Salmon Eggs, and nightcrawlers for bait dunkers, with troll fish going best for firetiger-color Rapala CD03s and CD05s. 

An underground buzz has started around some new Berkley trout baits being field-tested by the Irvine Lake Pro Team. One is the Power Bait "Mice Tail," a pre-molded updating of the popular power mouse. The other is the "Gulp! Floating Pinched Crawler," which replicates the front half of a jumbo nightcrawler. The Pro Team members have been scoring some impressive catches for the last few weeks while using them.  

Bass anglers are finding that their quarry has started to move around, with numbers of fish available at depths from 5 to 30 feet. Considering the time of year, the bass fishing on 2- to 7-pound largemouth has been remarkably consistent. The deepwater fish have been on hard structure, and biting on jigs or dropshot presentations, while the shallow fish are responding best to crankbaits. 

The Kids Lagoon has been producing fair numbers of trout for families with children ages 12 and younger. Best baits in the Lagoon have been garlic Power Bait and nightcrawlers doused with plenty of garlic scent due to decreased visibility.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Anthony Crow of Garden Grove, 14-8 rainbow trout on a Mira Shad at the west shore.
-- Manuel Cruz of Santa Ana, 13-6 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Woody’s Cove.
-- Primo Bautista of Long Beach, 12-8 rainbow trout on a nightcrawler at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Jody Arballo of Orange, 6-8 brown trout on a Kastmaster at the west shore.
-- Tyler Prince of Yorba Linda, 4-8 brown trout on a Senko at Boat Dock Cove.
-- L.A. Sevilla of New Mexico, 7-11 largemouth bass (released) on plastics at the Red Clay Cliffs.
-- Mitz Onizuka of Irvine, 5-trout limit totaling 29-1 on Kastmasters at the west shore.
-- Jody Arballo of Orange, 5-trout limit totaling 28-8 on Kastmasters at the west shore.

Photo: Tyler Prince of Yorba Linda checked in this 4.8-pound brown trout caught on a Senko at Boat Dock Cove. Credit: Irvine Lake

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