IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
Irvine Lake rises with rainfall; catfish, bass, and trout all biting
Last week’s heavy storms left their mark on Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “We had the lake level come up a little over two vertical feet”, observed Getty. “There is a little color to the water, so the hot tactics for trout include using very short 6 to 8-inch bait leaders, and strong garlic scent on your baits. Trollers should stick to bright colors like firetiger, hot pink, and fluorescent red. The catfish bite is still excellent anywhere there is water flowing into the lake.”
Getty added, “We collected over 100 toys along with $500 cash to purchase additional toys with our toy drive. All of it is slated for donation to the local Orangewood Children’s Foundation. Also, don’t forget that Irvine Lake will be closed on Christmas Day, and open on New Year’s Day.”
Trout anglers typically had from 1 fish to limits on their stringers. Nightcrawlers or white PowerBait were the ticket for bait dunkers, along with small flashy metal baitfish-imitating lures for anglers intent on fooling brown trout. Good catches were reported from Trout Island and the west shoreline. Trollers also did best with flashy lures like firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD05’s and fluorescent red Rapala Scatter Rap SCRCD07’s.
Catfish anglers have been doing very well where any of the creeks are entering the lake, as the whiskerfish gather to feed on what gets washed into the water. One of the most popular tactics is to use a slip bobber with the bait set to suspend at 15 feet, and allow it to float freely like a piece of natural food. Mackerel, shrimp, and bonito have all been good baits, with most of the cats running 3 to 10 pounds, but some very large ones hooked and lost.
Bass anglers did well on 2 to 4-pound largemouth using a variety of techniques. Fish were caught on jigs, crankbaits, and dropshot-rigged plastics, and a few secretive lunker hunters were out tossing large swimbaits. Productive depths ranged from 5 to 25 feet, with hotspots including Rocky Point and the Red Clays Cliffs.
Families with children age 12 and under found fair action in the Kids lagoon, with most of the catch being catfish. Launching conditions at the west shore ramp are excellent, with the Trout Island ramp moving toward readiness in a few weeks. The consistent 59-degree water temperatures means that the trout stockings will begin to include some of Irvine Lake’s famous trophy rainbow trout in excess of 10 pounds.
With rain in the forecast this week, anglers should note that it takes about 24 hours of drying time for the lakeside roads to dry out; call the Pro Shop [714-649-9111] for up to the minute road conditions. The lake will be CLOSED on Christmas Day, and OPEN on New Year’s Day. Hours on Christmas Eve will be 6 AM-4 PM, and hours on New Year’s Eve will also be 6 AM-4 PM.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Santiago Hernandez of Santa Ana, 5-10 rainbow trout on nightcrawlers at the west shore
Varian Virgin of Buena Park, 4-9 rainbow trout on PowerBait at the west shore
Jamie Robles of Orange, 5-12 brown trout on a Johnson Splinter at the west shore
Joey Quick of Costa Mesa, 4-10 brown trout on a Lucky Craft at mid-lake
Keniti Fageta of Irvine, 4-2 largemouth bass on a jig at Rocky Point
Chris Hagopian of Redondo Beach, 9-8 channel catfish on mackerel at Rocky Point
Joey Quick of Costa Mesa, 1-1 bluegill on nightcrawlers at the west shore
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