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Irvine Lake sees crappie, trout, bass on the bite

May 11, 2011 |  2:08 pm

Steve Christopher of Pomona trolled a Needlefish to fool this 3-14 brown trout. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Trollers scored the lion's share of the trout this week at Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "Trolling at 15 to 30 feet with  shad imitations like Needlefish or Rapalas is working pretty well," Getty said. "Shore anglers are catching trout very early in the a.m. on Mice Tails, Pinched Crawlers and Power Bait. Best areas were the west shore, near the dam, and Santiago Flats."

Crappie anglers continue to score limits using a couple of methods, reported Pro Team leader Marlon Meade. "Trollers are doing very well on the crappie using anything with a shad pattern trolled about 10 yards outside of the trees and off the cliffs," Meade said. "Drifting with Atomic Tubes at 15 feet in the same areas is also working very well for slabs up to about a pound. The fish are mostly spawned out at this point."

Bass anglers are finding fish in both pre-spawn and post-spawn conditions. Some topwater action is available early, but the mostly 2- to 7-pound largemouth are spread out at 1- to 40-foot depths, and are hitting best on various plastics and jigs.

Anglers targeting catfish using mackerel baits found that action on a steep improvement ramp. One impressive 10-whiskerfish stringer weighed over 40 pounds, and was topped by a 10-1 channel cat. No hybrid stripers were reported this week, although at least one monster carp exceeding 26 pounds was weighed in. 

On May 21, Irvine Lake will play host to the largest crappie tournament ever held in Southern California -- the inaugural "Crappie Classic." A pair of free crappie fishing seminars conducted by Meade should be a big help for prospective tournament competitors. The first seminar will take place Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Fisherman's Hardware, 2801 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. The second seminar will be held on May 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Longfin, 2730 E. Chapman, Orange. 

Families with children age 12 and younger are finding good action on 1- to 4-pound trout in the Kids Lagoon on Berkley Mice Tails and Gulp! Pinched Crawlers. Surface water temperature in the main lake is between 68 and 73 degrees, with the lake level remaining at peak maximum. Catfish season and evening hours will commence on June 10.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Joshua Estrada of Los Angeles, 4-4 rainbow trout on nightcrawlers at the Kids Lagoon.
-- Elizabeth Seely of Buena Park, 4-4 rainbow trout on a plastic worm at the Kids Lagoon.
-- Steve Christopher of Pomona, 3-14 brown trout on a Needlefish at the west shore.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Garden Grove, 10-1 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats.
-- Brett Wright of Santa Ana, 6-12 largemouth bass (released) on a jig at the flats.
-- Andy Garcia of Inglewood, 26-2 carp on Power Bait at Woody's Cove.

Photo: Steve Christopher of Pomona trolled a Needlefish to fool this 3-14 brown trout. Credit: Irvine Lake

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