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Irvine Lake sees trout to 14-2; crappie begin to stir

March 16, 2011 |  1:49 pm

The largest lunker rainbow of the weekend weighed in at 14.2 lbs and was caught on Power Bait by Mike Ramos of Downey. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Anglers chasing trout on Irvine Lake this week had two distinct choices, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "Trolling is the best bet in the a.m.," observed Getty. "Once the sun gets high, move over to bait fishing. Use a 12- to 18-inch leader made of 2-pound test with bait, gradually casting out further as the day progresses."

Getty added, "Best spots for bait fishing included Woody’s Cove and Boat Dock Cove, and trollers did best along the west shore, Santiago Flats and Sierra Cove."

Most trout on the stringers were quality-grade rainbows in the 2- to 5-pound range, with a few exotics like steelhead and browns, along with some bigger rainbows to 14 pounds keeping things interesting.

Favored baits for trouters were Power Bait Mice Tails in pink/white and glow colors, regular Power Bait in garlic flavor, and Gulp! Pinched Crawlers in natural color. Most popular trolling lures were the reliable firetiger-color Rapala CD3’s and CD5’s, along with hot pink Rapala X-Rap XR06’s.   

Another exciting situation is the development of the spring crappie bite. Irvine Lake Pro Team member Brian Ray scored a very nice limit of crappie near Trout Island. "We got a bunch of really nice crappie to 1.5 pounds," related Ray. "We were flatline trolling at slow speeds, with 4-pound line and a silver-color SC Shiner. The lures were running at the 6- to 8-foot level, and the fish were in tightly concentrated groups."

Bass anglers saw moderate numbers of 2- to 4-pound largemouth caught. A few fish are starting to be seen on beds, but the majority are still at 15- to 30-foot depths, with jigs and crankbaits doing best. A few catfish to 9 pounds are hitting gently for patient anglers offering mackerel near creek mouths.

Families with children age 12 and younger are doing well on 1- to 3-pound rainbow trout in the Kids Lagoon on Mice Tails and Power Bait. Surface temperatures on the main lake are ranging from 58 to 63 degrees, and the lake is brim full.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Mike Ramos of Downey, 14-2 rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats.
-- Kevin Benning of Trabuco Canyon, 10-3 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- Ashley Lewis of Orange, 6-6 steelhead on an SC Shiner at Trout Island.
-- Marty Sauceda of Costa Mesa, 9-0 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats.

Photo: The largest lunker rainbow of the weekend weighed in at 14.2 lbs and was caught on Power Bait by Mike Ramos of Downey. Credit: Irvine Lake

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