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Irvine Lake crappie going wild; 13-14 rainbow tops trouting

April 20, 2011 |  2:03 pm

Ed John of Tustin lands another lunker rainbow, this one weighing in at 13.14 pounds. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The annual late April crappie explosion at Irvine Lake is going off right on time, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The crappie bite has busted wide open," gushed Getty. "There were lots of nice fish being caught, especially at Santiago Flats, Sierra Cove, and along the west shore. Best lures are white or yellow Atomic Tubes. The little 1/32-ounce jigs were best because the fish are mostly shallow, and there are even some sight fish available."

Trout anglers found their best results fishing early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Good numbers of 2- to 4-pound rainbows were supplemented by a few of the larger specimens, ranging from 6 to 13 pounds. The trout are more focused on trolling lures right now, with firetiger-color CD5 Rapalas the top producer. Bait dunkers scored best with Mice Tails and Gulp! Pinched Crawlers.

Bass anglers found last week's torrid action had subsided slightly, but plenty of 1- to 5-pound largemouth are still available. The lake's bass population is spread out all over, with fish in pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn modes. A few fortunate anglers also found marauding schools of 4- to 8-pound wipers chasing shad at Santiago Flats.

Channel catfish are stacking up at creek mouths, with limits of 3- to 4-pounders easy to get for anglers focusing on the whiskerfish with cut mackerel. An impressive visual display of large carp went lacking for attention, and anglers skilled in specialty European carp techniques should be able to score some heavyweight buglemouths.  

Families with children age 12 and younger found good action on 1- to 4-pound trout in the Kids Lagoon on Mice Tails and Power Bait. Surface temperatures on the main lake ranged from 64 to 72 degrees, with underwater visibility from 4 to 6 feet. The lake level is rising slightly.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Ed John of Tustin, 13-14 rainbow trout on a Berkley Mice Tail at Woody's Cove.
-- Luis Gonzalez of Tustin, 12-4 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Woody's Cove.
-- Trevor Barajas of Fountain Valley, 10-0 rainbow trout on a spoon at Trout Island.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 5-2 largemouth bass [released] on Havoc plastics at the west shore.
-- Kevin Slap of Upland, 4-1 largemouth bass [released] on a Mira-Shad at the cliffs.
-- Don Spencer of Orange, 8-8 hybrid striper [released] on a crankbait at the flats.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Garden Grove, 4-5 channel catfish on mackerel at the creek.

Photo: Ed John of Tustin lands another lunker rainbow, this one weighing in at 13.14 pounds. Credit: Irvine Lake

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