IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
Irvine Lake catfishing good; October 31 trout opener to feature huge stocking of brown trout
Lots of exciting news for Irvine Lake anglers this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “We had excellent fishing for catfish, largemouth bass, and even bluegill this week”, observed Getty. “Even more exciting, we just confirmed that we will be planting 10,000 total pounds of beautiful hook-jawed brown trout will be planted just prior to the October 31 Trout Opener, along with 10,000 pounds of the lake’s always popular bright Calaveras rainbows, for a total of 20,000 pounds. This will be the largest single stocking of brown trout in the history of the lake.”
Getty added, “The catfish bite is still very good, although the fish are sliding deeper in the water column, and are now mostly at 20-30 feet. Some nice big ones to 22 pounds were checked in this week. Bass fishing has also been incredibly good. We now have the inlet pipe in Sierra Cove running, and it will be running intermittently from now until mid-November.”
Good catches of catfish were made at mid-lake, along the west shore, and Santiago flats. Favored baits included mackerel, shrimp, bonito, and skipjack.
Bass anglers have found excellent numbers of 2 to 4-pound largemouth, along with a decent number of bucketmouths to 8 pounds. Reaction baits are still the choice of most bassers, although Senkos also fooled a few fish. Large bluegill and redear sunfish to 2 pounds continue to bite on mealworms or waxworms fished under a bobber. A handful of hybrid striped bass were caught incidentally by catfish anglers soaking mackerel baits.
Anglers are invited to a free pre-opener trout fishing seminar by Pro-Team leader Marlon Meade at 7 PM on Thursday October 23 at the Sport Chalet location on E. Imperial Highway in Brea. Topics covered will include trolling, jigs, and the newest baits and lures to help you catch more trout.
Surface temperature on the main lake is 73-75 degrees, but Getty noted, “The days are getting much shorter, and it gets down to the mid-50’s here at night, so things will have cooled off nicely in time for the trout opener.” The pipe in Sierra Cove is running intermittently, casing a slight rise in the lake level, and the West Shore Road is open. . The lake will be closed to the public on Monday October 27, Tuesday October 28, Wednesday October 29, and Thursday October 30. Starting with the opening day of trout season on October 31, the lake will be open 7 days a week.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Alex Ishi of Woodbridge, 22-0 channel catfish [released] on a spinnerbait at Trout Island
Ricardo Zepeda of Santa Ana, 19-0 channel catfish [released] on skipjack near the cliffs
Kelli McManus of San Pedro, 9-8 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats
Mike Rollins of Tustin, 8-1 largemouth bass [released] on a crankbait at Jim’s Point
CJ Smith of Orange, 2-0 bluegill on a Berkley Grub at Sierra Cove
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