Irvine Lake trout and crappie active; 12-0 rainbow largest of week
Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:
Both trout and crappie aficionados had plenty to smile about at Irvine Lake this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The trout fishing perked back up this week, probably due to the cooler-than-average temperatures," observed Getty. "The trolling picked up along the west shore and near the dam, and the bait fishing stayed good at Woody’s Cove and the flats."
Irvine Lake Pro Team leader Marlon Meade has been hammering on the lake’s crappie population this week. "The crappie spawn is happening right now, and it’s pretty much limit-style action," Meade said. "The fish are in 10 to 14 feet of water, back up in Santiago Flats. Results are much better when the sun is shining, and drifting after 1 p.m. is the hot ticket right now. Hottest lure has been a 2-inch pearl white Gulp! Minnow, rigged on a 1/16 ounce jighead."
Trout trollers did well with firetiger-color Rapala CD05s, brook-trout-color Jointed Rapala J05s, and chartreuse/red head Rapala XR04 X-Raps, and some anglers are dragging them on two or three colors of leadcore line. Bait dunkers scored with Berkley Mice Tails, Gulp! Pinched Crawlers and Power Bait. Most trout on the stringers ranged from 2 to 5 pounds, with a few larger specimens to 12 pounds keeping things interesting.
A few wipers were seen boiling up on shad this week, but none were successfully landed. Catfish chasers found decent numbers of 2- to 4-pound whiskerfish at the mouths of creeks, using various cut baits.
Families with children age 12 and younger found very good numbers of 1- to 5-pound rainbow trout on Mice Tails and Power Bait. Surface temperatures on the main lake ranged from 68 to 72 degrees, with underwater visibility averaging 3 to 4 feet. The water level is rising slightly, as boards are in place at the dam.
Upcoming events include the largest-ever crappie tournament in Southern California on May 21, and the opening of catfish season on June 10.
Outstanding catches of the week included:
-- Joshua Cruz of Santa Ana, 12-0 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Woody’s Cove.
-- Mike Traut of Costa Mesa, 10-0 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- Paul Mintzer of Riverside, 9-8 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the west shore.
-- Don Spencer of Garden Grove, 4-2 largemouth bass [released] on plastics at Rocky Point.
-- Marlon Meade of Anaheim, 2-4 crappie on a Gulp! Minnow at the flats.
-- Mitz Onizuka of Anaheim, 3-8 channel catfish on mackerel at the creek.
Photo: Joshua Cruz of Santa Ana landed this 12-pounder with a little help from his dad, Manuel. Credit: Irvine Lake
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