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Irvine Lake trout to 11-6 on the chew; trophy rainbow and steelhead plants this week

February 16, 2011 |  2:43 pm

John Incampo of Chino checks in a 6.12 lb exotic Brown caught on a mini jig at Woody's Cove. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Good trout action greeted Irvine Lake anglers this week, despite rainy midweek conditions, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "We have had too many 3- to 5-pounders weighed in to even keep track of," observed Getty. "They have really been whacking them right out in front [of the Pro Shop]."

Getty added, "For the President’s Day holiday this week, we will have two special trout stockings. The first will be another load of rainbow trout in the 10- to 20-pound 'super lunker' category. The second will be a batch of drag-sizzling steelhead in the 7- to 10-pound range."

Daniela Gavaldon at the Pro Shop also advised anglers, "With the rain we are having right now, the lakeside roads are currently closed to vehicle traffic. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours drying time after the rain stops before they can reopen. Be sure to call the Pro Shop [714 649-9111] for up-to-the-minute road conditions."

The hottest trout baits continue to be the Power Bait Mice Tails and Gulp! Pinched Crawlers. Irvine Lake Pro Team leader Marlon Meade has been perfecting the techniques being used with the Mice Tails.

"The crawl, drag and stop along the bottom method has been working very well," advised Meade. "I have been using a size 10 egg hook, but a size 8 will work. The more stained the water has been, the slower you need to move the baits. Most productive colors this weekend were the red head/chartreuse tail or the white head/pink tail."

Meade continued, "We also had a group of former Indian Guides and their Dads from the Coyote Tribe in San Diego at the Kids Lagoon on Saturday. All four of the kids caught their three-trout Lagoon limits in just over an hour, using the Power Bait Mice Tails for the first time."

Trollers have been sticking with firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD03’s and CD05’s, and plying the areas along the west shoreline and mid-lake. A few incidental crappie are also being caught by trollers. Bait dunkers have done best at Boat Dock Cove, Woody’s Cove, and Santiago Flats.

Overall bass fishing results decreased slightly because of the drop in water temperatures. The largemouth are in pre-spawn stage, and most were in the 2- to 5-pound class this week. Best producers were jigs and dropshot baits fished at 30- to 40-foot depths at Rocky Point and the Red Clay Cliffs.  

The water temperature has dropped 3 degrees in the past week, with the main lake surface temperature currently at 54 degrees. The main lake water level is holding steady. This weekend (Saturday through Monday) will feature lots of cash and prizes for the big "President’s Day Tournament," which is also a Master’s Tournament qualifying event.

The March/April issue of the respected national fishing publication "In-Fisherman" featured an article on springtime catfish angling.

Irvine Lake was named among the seven top bodies of water in the United States for the springtime pursuit of channel catfish, and the only one that was located in California. The other lakes ranked on the list with Irvine for whiskerfish are located in Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa.

"Being named to this list is quite an honor," said Irvine Lake general manager Melanie Montoure. "We have always known that our fishing was good, and it’s nice to see that a publication as well-respected as In-Fisherman thinks so too. Summertime is even better for catfish here at Irvine Lake, and we plan to have a bang-up catfish season opener on June 10."

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- James Chadwick of San Clemente, 11-6 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the dam.
-- Anthony Jules of Huntington Beach, 8-8 rainbow trout on a Gulp! Shad.
-- Mike Romero of Orange, 8-4 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Boat Dock Cove.
-- Bill Nelson of Garden Grove, 7-9 rainbow trout on a nightcrawler in the flats.
-- Chris Griffith of Orange, 7-2 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake.
-- John Incampo of Chino, 6-12 brown trout on a mini jig at Woody’s Cove.
-- Trevor Cigatch of Villa Park, 5-1 largemouth bass (released) on a zipper worm at the Red Clay Cliffs.
-- Matt Engle and Kyle Kristini of Placentia, 10-trout limit totaling 50-2, topped by a 6-14 rainbow, on Power Bait Mice Tails at Boat Dock Cove.
-- 11-year olds Michael Holbrock, Jake Becker, Noah Hytken, and Jake Walker of San Diego, limits of rainbow trout on Power Bait Mice Tails in the Kids Lagoon.
-- 9-year old Wally Korbler of Newport Beach, five-trout limit totaling 19-8 on Cultivas at mid-lake.

Photo: John Incampo of Chino checked in this 6-12 brown trout caught on a mini jig at Woody's Cove.
Credit: Irvine Lake

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