Irvine Lake Pro Team leader Marlon Meade has been hammering on the lake’s crappie population this week. “The crappie spawn is happening right now, and it’s pretty much limit-style action”, remarked Meade.
“The fish are in 10 to 14 feet of water, back up in Santiago Flats.
Results are much better when the sun is shining, and drifting after 1:00 PM is the hot ticket right now. Hottest lure has been a 2-inch pearl white Gulp! Minnow, rigged on a 1/16 ounce jighead.”
Trout trollers did well with firetiger-color Rapala CD05’s, brook trout-color Jointed Rapala J05’s, and chartreuse/red head Rapala XR04 X-Raps, and some anglers are dragging them on 2 or 3 colors of leadcore line. Bait dunkers scored with Berkley Mice Tails, Gulp! Pinched Crawlers, and Power Bait. Most trout on the stringers ranged from 2 to 5 pounds, with a few larger specimens to 12 pounds keeping things interesting.
Bass anglers found the action on their quarry slowed slightly, but skilled bassers were still releasing 7 to 10 largemouth per day, mostly in the 1 to 4-pound class. Jigs and plastics at 10 to 15 feet were the top enticers for bass.
A few wipers were seen boiling up on shad this week, but none were successfully landed. Catfish chasers found decent numbers of 2 to 4-pound whiskerfish at the mouths of creeks, using various cut baits.
Families with children age 12 and under found very good numbers of 1 to 5-pound rainbow trout on Mice Tails and Power Bait. Surface temperatures on the main lake ranged from 68 to 72 degrees, with underwater visibility averaging 3 to 4 feet. The water level is rising slightly, as boards are in place at the dam.
Upcoming events include the largest-ever crappie tournament in Southern California on May 21, and the opening of catfish season on June 10.
Follow Irvine Lake on Facebook, on the web at
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Manuel Cruz of Santa Ana, 12-0 rainbow trout on Power Bait at Woody’s Cove Mike Traut of Costa Mesa, 10-0 rainbow trout on a Rapala at mid-lake Paul Mintzer of Riverside, 9-8 rainbow trout on a Rapala at the west shore Don Spencer of Garden Grove, 4-2 largemouth bass [released] on plastics at Rocky Point Marlon Meade of Anaheim, 2-4 crappie on a Gulp! Minnow at the flats Mitz Onizuka of Anaheim, 3-8 channel catfish on mackerel at the creek