IRVINE LAKE LARGEMOUTH BASS BITE SIZZLING; SUPER SAVER MONDAYS ANNOUNCED.
CATFISH SEASON OPENER SLATED FOR JUNE 11.
Trollers did the most damage to Irvine Lake’s trout population this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “Trolling was working best for trout this week”, observed Getty. “Limits were pretty easy to get, it was just a matter of covering enough water to find the fish.”
General Manager Dave Noyes announced, “Our big catfish season opener will be on Friday June 11. Starting with that date, we will be open until Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate catfish anglers. Also starting with that week, we will be closed on Tuesdays.”
Noyes added, “Starting on May 10 and going until the end of summer, we will introduce our ‘Super Saver Mondays’ program. On Mondays only, adult admission will be $11; kids $7 [age 4-12]; and motorboat rentals will be $35!”
Productive spots for bait dunkers were the west shore, Trout Island, and boat dock cove. Trollers found their fish at Santiago Flats and mid-lake. Best trolling lures for topliners included Rapala CD05’s in firetiger, and hot pink SC Shiners. Leadcore users put out 3 to 5 colors of line, and cop-car or bikini-color Luhr Jensen Needlefish. Plenty of trout up to 6 pounds were evident, but no whoppers over 10 pounds were checked in this week. The final trout derby of the season will take place on Memorial Day weekend, May 29-30.
Bass anglers found phenomenal action this week, and some anglers reported releasing 40 or more largemouth bass per day. The bass moved down slightly in the water column, and largemouth in the 2 to 8-pound class were hitting best on jigs fished at 15 to 20 feet near rocky structure. A handful of hybrid striped bass in the 2-pound range were caught incidentally [and released] by trout trollers.
Crappie fishing slowed somewhat, but switching to a drifting strategy still paid off for some nice catches of slabs to 1.5 pounds for anglers using white Atomic Tubes with a mealworm trailer. Bluegill and redear are biting well on mealworms and waxworms in shallow brushy areas. A few incidental catfish from 2 to 4 pounds were caught on nightcrawlers.
The lake level is receding slowly, with the currently inundated Kids Lagoon expected to re-emerge sometime in early July. Surface water temperatures vary between 67 and 71 degrees. A foot bridge has been installed to allow anglers to walk over to Trout Island. Absolutely no vehicle traffic is allowed on the foot bridge, and no anchoring or tying-up of boats is permitted.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Tim Blacksher of Orange, 6.55 pound rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats Korey Cox of Orange, 5.86 pound rainbow trout on Power Bait at the flats Mike Junghanel of Long Beach, 10 rainbow trout totaling 27.1 pounds [double limit ticket] on Rapalas at mid-lake Gilbert Vega of Westminster, 5-trout limit totaling 14.5 pounds, topped by a 4.5 pounder, on a Luhr Jensen Needlefish at mid-lake Don Spencer of Orange, 7.5 pound largemouth bass [released] on a jerkbait at the flats Brian Yamani of Cerritos, 5.5 pound largemouth bass [released] on a jerkbait at the flats Sue Burns of Costa Mesa, 2.0 pound hybrid striped bass [released] on a Rapala at mid-lake