Irvine Lake multi-species bite explodes; overall action 'best in years'
Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:
Irvine Lake’s famous April multi-species bite is going off with a vengeance right now, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "It’s the best overall fishing at Irvine Lake in years; just about everything is biting really well," observed Getty. "The best catch was made by Dave Pierson, who had a catch of five largemouth bass totaling 39-10 that included fish going 9-5, 8-0, 8-0, 7-5, and 7-0 using 10-inch Berkley Power Worms. According to our records, that’s the heaviest five-bass catch ever made at Irvine Lake. The bass fishing is just a dream right now, longtime lake regular Don Spencer said; it’s the best he’s seen in over 12 years.
"The trout bite was helped by very good weather compared to last weekend, and the crappie are biting full speed. There are balls of shad all over the lake; the entire lake system is healthy and has just come alive!"
Getty tipped, "This morning [Wednesday] we had the hybrid stripers [aka sunshine bass or wipers] starting to go off along the west shore, and they look to be very healthy. At least 11 fish in the 2-pound class were checked in by anglers using night crawlers."
Trout anglers did best with Gulp! Garlic Rainbow or Power Bait in chartreuse garlic or red salmon egg flavors, fished on an 18-inch leader due to clear water conditions. Trollers scored with firetiger-color Rapala CD03’s or CD05’s. Good catches were made at Trout Island, boat dock cove, and along the west shore.
Bass anglers found phenomenal numbers of fish in anything from 1 to 15 feet of water, and just about every legitimate bass fishing technique has been productive. Largemouth from 2 to 9 pounds are holding on both rocky and brushy structure, especially along the west shoreline, Rocky Point, Sierra Cove, and the red clay cliffs. Anglers are reminded that bass fishing at Irvine Lake is strictly catch-and-release only.
Crappie fishing is also excellent right now, with the fish moving into spawn mode. Lots of good-size slabs up to 2 pounds are being caught at depths of 5 to 15 feet on white Atomic Tubes, either with or without a mealworm trailer. Best locations are Santiago Flats and out in front.
Very few of the lake’s regular catfish and carp fishing specialists have been in attendance, but good numbers of both species are being caught incidentally in the pursuit of other fish. No doubt a direct effort would yield some excellent catches of whiskerfish and buglemouth, and some whopper carp to over 20 pounds are being seen cruising around in the shallows.
The Kids Lagoon kicked out very good catches of trout to families with children age 12 and younger, using the same baits and tactics as the main lake. The surface temperature on the main lake is 62 degrees and rising.
Outstanding catches of the week included:
-- Dino Martorano of Pasadena, 15-10 rainbow trout on a Kastmaster at Trout Island
-- Scott Noseworthy of Orange, 13-8 rainbow trout on a Power Mouse at Woody’s Cove
-- Mark Weiss of Los Angeles, 12-2 rainbow trout on Power Bait/salmon egg combination at the south shore
-- John Grando of Irvine, 9-8 rainbow trout on a Kastmaster at mid-lake
-- Scott Nakata of Garden Grove, 8-8 rainbow trout on Power Bait near the ramp
-- Marty Sauceda of Costa Mesa, 4-0 steelhead on Power Bait near the ramp
-- Brandon Calabrise of Orange, 2-5 brown trout on a Panther Martin in the Kids Lagoon
-- Marty Sauceda of Costa Mesa, 4-2 brook trout on Power Bait near the ramp
-- Dave Pierson of Garden Grove, five largemouth bass totaling 39-10 (lake record), including bass weighing 9-5, 8-0, 8-0, 7-5 and 7-0 (all released), on 10-inch Berkley Power Worms at Rocky Point
-- John Melin of Costa Mesa, 7-1 largemouth bass (released) on Power Bait at Trout Island
-- Robert Simons of Orange, 7-0 largemouth bass (released) on a Rapala at mid-lake
-- Aaron Garcia of Orange, 12-10 channel catfish on a Lip Ripper at Woody’s Cove
-- James Getty of Silverado, 21-1 carp (released) on a crankbait near the creek
-- 12-year-old Rafael Salgado of Anaheim, 20-8 carp on a lure in the Kids Lagoon
-- Curtis Meade of Anaheim, 2-0 crappie on an Atomic Tube at the flats