Fishing :: Report

Irvine Lake Fishing Report


By Steve Carson




Irvine Lake to begin stocking Nebraska Tailwalkers

                Happy news came to Irvine Lake trout anglers this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “We will be stocking a total of about 12,000 pounds of the famous Nebraska Tailwalkers spread out between February 11 and April 17; roughly from President’s Day to our Sierra in the City event”, related Getty. “The majority of these beautiful rainbows will be in the 2 to 7-pound class, with some trophy-grade fish to 15 pounds mixed in. Our overall total stocking quantity will remain the same, but having these beauties in the mix will really add to the fishing experience.”

                Getty added, “The number of beautiful brown trout being caught this week was still unbelievable. Irvine Lake regular Scott Nakata caught three really nice ones over 4 pounds each in less than two hours around lunchtime, just walking along the west shore and casting. Also, the biggest largemouth bass in the lake are starting to exhibit some pre-spawn behavior due to the nice weather.”

Bass anglers found good numbers of 2 to 4-pound largemouth on dropshot rigged plastics and jigs fished against hard structure at 20-25 feet near the Red Clay Cliffs. Some shallow bass are also being caught at Santiago Flats on chatterbaits, and the lunker hunters are seeing a few bucketmouths from 6 to 9 pounds, but details were hard to get from the successful anglers.

Trout anglers generally did best using stained water techniques. Ultra-short bait leaders in the 6-8 inch range were the norm, and white PowerBait was most productive for rainbows. Brown trout chasers went with inflated nightcrawlers as bait, and either trout species responded better if strong garlic scents were used. Most stringers were checked in from the west shore and Trout Island.

Trout trollers stayed with firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD05’s for rainbows, and brook trout-color Jointed Rapala J05’s and J07’s for brown trout. Favored trolling zones were at mid-lake, and along the west shoreline.  

                Catfish anglers are finding their quarry has settled back into deep water until the next big rainstorm. Some 3 to 6-pound whiskerfish are available to anglers who patiently soak mackerel and shrimp at 25 feet near Rocky Point.

Families with children age 12 and under found fair numbers of 1-3 pound trout in the Kids Lagoon, and the Lagoon will be re-stocked this week. Surface temperature on the main lake is 54 degrees, with underwater visibility rated limited. The lake level continues to rise slowly as the inlet pipe in Sierra Cove is on.

Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:

Scott Nakata of Garden Grove, 4-9 pound brown trout on a Kastmaster at the west shore

Jeff Gonzalez of Santa Ana, 5-9 channel catfish on mackerel at the west shore

Paul Campbell of Orange, 9-6 largemouth bass [released] on jig at the west shore

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