IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
IRVINE LAKE TROUT, BASS, CATFISH CHEWING WELL
Springtime always means variety fishing at Irvine Lake, and the arrival of March did not disappoint, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “A lot of bass boats came to the lake on multiple occasions this week, almost like they are keeping a big secret”, tipped Getty. “Trout fishing was really good for mixed browns and rainbows, with both trollers and bait dunkers getting them. Sierra Cove really emerged as a trout hotspot this week. Some pretty good stringers of catfish came in, and there were even bluegill for folks who tried for them.”
Getty added, “In addition to our continuing regular weekly stocks of browns and rainbows from Calaveras, we will be getting a truckload of the famous Nebraska Tailwalkers just before several of our upcoming tournament events in March and April, including the Sport Chalet Tournament on March 14, the Berkley Cup Masters Qualifier event on March 28, and finally our huge Sierra in the City event on April 8.”
Trout anglers did best at Sierra Cove, but also scored at Trout Island and along the west shore, with trollers doing well at mid-lake. Bait bites were garnered on PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and MiceTails, with 2-pound leader material increasing the success rate. Trollers went with shad-color Rapala Countdown CD05’s and shadRap SR04’s.
Bass anglers saw continuing excellent numbers of their quarry, although details about any oversize pre-spawn females was tough to come by. Plenty of 2 to 4-pound largemouth were caught on dropshot-rigged plastics, Senkos, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. In some spots the bottom was visible at 8-10 feet, so expect some sight-fishing opportunities over the next few weeks. Overall best bass action was seen at Rocky Point and the red clay cliffs.
Catfish anglers kept hoping for more substantial rainfall than the slight drizzle that was seen. However, surprising numbers of 3 to 8-pound whiskerfish were still caught in the vicinity of Rocky Point by anglers soaking mackerel and shrimp. The cats seem poised to go on a biting spree if enough rain falls to get the creeks running into the lake. Some plump bluegill to 1.5 pounds were starting to be seen both incidentally by trout anglers, and also by targeting them with mealworms or waxworms near the boat docks.
Families with children age 12 and under found fair numbers of 1-3 pound trout in the Kids Lagoon; the Lagoon will be re-stocked this week. Surface temperature on the main lake was 57-61 degrees, with underwater visibility rated mixed. The lake level is rising a few inches per week, and the inlet pipe in Sierra Cove is on. The main lake will be stocked with brown trout and Calaveras rainbows this week.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
7-year old Samantha Richardson of Long Beach, 4-2 rainbow trout on PowerBait at the west shore
Daniel Merssinhauser of Lake Forest, 3-8 brown trout on a Johnson Splinter at the west shore
George Salinas of Tustin, 5-9 largemouth bass [released] on a Zipper Worm at Rocky Point
Steve Hathaway of Anaheim, 8-1 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
Matt Northrup of Irvine, 1-1 bluegill on a nightcrawler at Trout Island
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