“Lots of people are catching their 5-trout limits early, and are buying ‘double limit’ and even some ‘triple-limit’ tickets so that they can keep at it. The crappie bite is also starting to heat up, and we are seeing some double limits of crappie brought in as well.”
Getty added, “Legendary trout and crappie fishing expert Marlon Meade will be sharing his vast knowledge at two Turner’s store locations this week. On Thursday May 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM, Meade will be at the Turner’s store in Signal Hill [2201 E. Willow St.], and on Saturday May
22 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, he will be at the Turner’s store location in San Bernardino [401 W. Orange Show Rd].Topics covered by Meade will include both trout and crappie fishing strategies for local and Sierra lakes. Discussions of Gulp! baits, Power Bait, plastics and more will be on the agenda.”
Most trout on the stringers are ranging in the 1 to 5-pound category, with a sprinkling of 6 to 10-plus pounders being checked in. Good trout catches were garnered at the west shore, and the flats, with Woody’s Cove being a particular hotspot.
Bait dunkers scored best with Power Bait or Power Mouse presentations, sometimes in combination with a nightcrawler. Trollers did their damage with firegtiger-color Rapala Countdown CD05’s, brook trout-color Rapala Jointed J05’s, and chartreuse-color Glass Fat Rap GFR05’s while flatlining, and cop-car or bikini-color Luhr Jensen Needlefish behind 2 to 4 colors of leadcore line.
Bass anglers kept finding phenomenal action for their quarry, and an evening bass tournament saw large numbers of bass in the 2 to 6-pound range brought to the scales. Jigs, plastics, jerkbaits, topwaters, and even plastic frogs fooled bass at the west shore, red clay cliffs, Santiago Flats, and Rocky Point.
Anglers fortunate enough to locate marauding schools of hybrid striped bass [AKA sunshine bass or wipers] got into red hot bites on 2-pound class fish, using just about anything that imitated a shad in the 3 to 5 inch range. Anglers are reminded of the mandatory release policy on all bass species.
Crappie anglers did best in the submerged trees at Santiago Flats, on slabsides to 1.5 pounds, using white Berkley Atomic Teasers. Incidental catches of channel catfish from 2 to 5 pounds, along with pan-size bluegill and redear keeps increasing with the water temperatures.
The night-time catfish season will open at Irvine Lake on June 11. The Kids Lagoon is currently inundated by the main lake, and a “pedestrian only” foot bridge gives anglers access to Trout Island. The lake level is receding very slowly, and the Lagoon is expected to re-emerge sometime in July.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Ed Robinson of Orange, 11-10 rainbow trout on nightcrawlers at the west shore Jillian Solis of Newport Beach, 11-0 rainbow trout on nightcrawler/Power Bait combo at the west shore Scott Smith of Orange, 6-8 largemouth bass [released] on a Brush Hog at the red clay cliffs Don Spencer of Orange, 2-2 hybrid striper [released] on a Rapala at the flats Ken Glenn of Orange, 2-1 hybrid striper [released] on a Rapala at the flats Mike Traut of Costa Mesa, 10 rainbow trout totaling 35-1 [double limit-ticket], on Rapalas at mid-lake Rick Vega of Fountain Valley, 5 rainbow trout totaling 17-2 on a Luhr Jensen Needlefish at the flats Jerome Clayton and Kevin Coleman of Inglewood, 20 crappie to 1-8 [double-limit tickets] on Atomic Tubes at the flats Scott Smith/Kevin Massey of Orange, 5 largemouth bass tournament-winning bag totaling 17-0 [released] on plastics on rocky structure