SILVERADO — Very good trout action was on tap at Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. “The trout trolling is on fire,” Getty observed. “Those who know how to troll or fish bait deep can really whack them right now.”
Trout trollers are doing best with three to six colors of leadcore line, downriggers set at 20 to 30 feet. Favorite lures include cop car-color Luhr Jensen Needlefish or FireTiger-color Rapala Jointed J05s.
Bait dunkers are advised to fish from 15 to 30 feet down with the usual PowerBait, Power Mouse and nightcrawler offerings. Most trout are in the 2-pound category, with a few larger fish to 10 pounds keeping things interesting. Good catches are being made off the west shore and near the dam.
Adleso Estrada of Wilmington nabbed a 10-pound, 10-ounce rainbow while soaking PowerBait in Woody’s Cove.
The Friday Night Bass Tournament was a resounding success, with 49 teams finding good action on mostly 2-pound-class largemouth, and a 14-pound limit with a 6-8 kicker taking home the top prize. Fish were reported at depths of 0 to 15 feet, hitting on drop-shot-rigged plastics, spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished around rocky points. Some bassers report releasing 20 or more fish per day.
Catfish continue to stir, with a nice 9-2 whiskerfish topping what were mostly catches consisting of 2 to 4 pounders. Best baits were chicken liver and nightcrawlers fished in Boat Dock Cove and the back of the flats.
Joshua Williams of Compton bagged the 9-pound, 2-ounce kitty using mackerel at the flats.
Crappie are hitting on white Atomic Tubes and drop-shot-rigged 2-inch white Gulp Minnows at 15 feet. Try near the docks and Sierra Cove for mostly hand-size slabs and a few to 1.5 pounds.
The Kids Lagoon is still kicking out excellent catches of trout to families with children age 12 and under. Excitement is already starting build for the catfish season opener on June 12, when 10,000 pounds of channel catfish will be stocked to supplement the lake’s abundant resident population of channel and blue cats.
Trouting slows, but catfishing picks up at the Santa Ana River Lakes
ANAHEIM — It was a slow week for trouters at the Santa Ana River Lakes, however, catfish anglers scored decently enough.
“Trout fishing has slowed down as catfishing has picked up,” noted Lake Manager Holly Jelderda. “A few lucky fishermen are still getting 3- to 4-pound trout. The hot baits have been shrimp and mackerel for the cats, and nightcrawlers and chartreuse Nitro Dough for trout. Hot spots have been Three Pipes, La Palma Point and the Bubble Hole for both trout and cats.”
Jimmy Sushi of Anaheim bagged a 121⁄2-pound kitty using shrimp at the Bubble Hole.
On the trout tip, Samantha Gray of Anaheim scored an 8-pound ‘bow while soaking yellow Nitro Dough at 3 Pipes. Logan Ariallina of Anaheim nabbed a 61⁄2 pounder on a nightcrawler fished at the Bubble Hole. John and David West, both of Duarte, had a 4.12 pounder to cap their 8-fish, 211⁄2-pound stringer, all caught on green Nitro Dough at La Palma Point.
The last trout stock of the season was this week. Fisherman Appreciation Day is set for this Sunday, May 17, with half-price adult admission and no-limit on trout.
Warm water stymies the ’bows, but catfish start to go
CORONA — Warming water temps have basically put the kibosh on Corona Lake’s trout bite, but the recent warming trend seems to have been wholeheartedly embraced by the fishery’s catfish, as the whiskers starting chewing this past week.
“The warm water started to turn on the catfish this past week,” said Lake Manager Glen Looney.
Melissa Welford of Norco landed a 16-pound kitty using “Melissa’s Mac” from a boat. James Camacho of Riverside stuck a 13 pounder on an unknown bait fished near the dam.
In terms of trout, Caesar Martinez of Moreno Valley scored a 17-pound rainbow on chartreuse Nitro Dough fished from shore. Earl Savaro caught a matching fish using the same approach. Eduardo Silva of Covina also hit the shore for a 16 pounder on a nightcrawler. Tito Baltazar rounded out the trout catches with a 12-pound fish taken on rainbow Nitro Dough, also fished from shore.
On May 17, the lake will be hosting a Fisherman Appreciation Day. All adult fishing passes will be only $11; children $9.
“There will also be three days of 24-hour fishing on May 22, 23 and 24,” Looney added. “Enjoy three great days over Memorial weekend.”
Crappie bite goes full-bore at Lake Lopez
ARROYO GRANDE — Well, although it might have taken longer to manifest than both lake staffers and anglers would have liked, the springtime crappie bite finally got underway at Lake Lopez this past week, and crappie chasers tapped into what has easily been the best bite of the year, thus far.
“The fishing is good and it’s just going to get better,” said lake staffer Jerry Weatherly. “I can tell you the crappie are coming up. I went out the other evening and had 20, 25 fish in an hour-and-a-half. I had fish up to around 2 pounds, with lots of hand-sized in the mix. They’re running very shallow, in the 10- to 12-foot range.”
The excellent slab bite undoubtedly owes much to warming water temps, and not surprisingly, the lake’s largemouth population seemed to respond quite well, also.
BJ Westbrook of Oceano bagged a 10.5-pound largemouth while working a 5-inch swimbait. Roger Vogel of Avila Beach managed a 3-pound, 12-ounce fish while tossing a swimbait at the dam. Reed Brewer of Guadalupe scored a 2 pounder on an unknown offering fished in Cottonwood Cove.
Striper action jumps a few notches at Pyramid Lake
GORMAN — Striper action has been steady at Lake Pyramid since the onset of spring, yet the action seemed to improve a bit this past week, with anglers checking in respectable numbers of linesides in the 2- to 7-pound range.
Jose Perez of East L.A. bagged a total of 4 stripers, capped by a 7 pounder, while soaking nightcrawlers off the rocks near the swim beach. Toby (last name not given) of Bakersfield had a pair of linesides to 6 pounds using a “lure” off the marina rocks. Eric Reynolds of Lancaster bagged a total of 10 stripers for a total stringer weight of 20 pounds. His big fish was a 41⁄2 pounder, and all were caught on cut bait fished in Yellowbar. Jason Marxmiller of Saugus also hit Yellowbar for his 10-fish, 23-pound stringer; capped by a 4 pounder and all caught on anchovies. Leland Holden and Fred Perez, both of Sylmar, combined their efforts for 10 stripers to 4 pounds (total stringer weight in the 25- to 30-pound range) using sardines in Yellowbar. Fidel Santiago of North Hollywood creeled 5 fish to 3 pounds using nightcrawlers off the marina rocks. His stringer weighed a total of 10 pounds.
Henshaw crappie bite hits high gear
SANTA YSABEL — While catfish and bass have been keeping anglers content at Lake Henshaw, the fishery is notorious for its springtime crappie action, and last week produced the first substantial slab bite of the season, thus far.
“The crappie bite is cooking!” according to lake staffers. “The fish have been biting on minijigs fished along the shoreline near rocks.”
Lyle Daniels of Santa Ysabel landed nine fish during his outing this past week. Jose Tillery of Imperial Beach scored a total of 31 slabs to about a pounds during his two-day stint. Kevin Burnett of Santa Ysabel bagged five fish. Antonio Celvallos of Oceanside landed 20 slabs, capped by a 1 pounder. Kai Kang caught 18. Jim and Bob Murphy of San Diego limited out (25 fish each) in two consecutive days. Their heaviest fish weighed 2 pounds. Rodney Hendricks of Riverside reeled in 32 over two days. John Seo of San Diego landed 21. Ruth Mouk of Adelanto brought ashore 15 slabs, with her heaviest going 1 pound. Mike Petrovic of Escondido had 16 slabs to his credit. Sam Chek of Long Beach caught 25 over two days. John Vokov of Escondido bagged 15 slabs to 2 pounds. Bonson Lay and Hanh Nakhonthap, both of Hemet, teamed up to land 40 crappie, with their heaviest weighing 11⁄2 pounds. Ed Horgan of Spring Valley nabbed 25. Jim Walker and Robert Bourne, both of Ontario, combined their efforts for 25 fish. Doug Tik had the same number of fish in two days of working jigs just north of the Fish-N-Float. Lue Vue of San Diego had 23. Richard and Claynette Ramsey of Moreno Valley took 86 fish over two days, topped by a 2 pounder. Keo Fongsaly of Temecula hit the shoreline for 20 slabs to 1-pound. Alfreda Lindsey of Temecula limited out two days in a row. Jeraldine and James Parker each caught 13 fish to about a pound. Jim Murphy stuck 21 slabs using mealworms near the dam. David Kottke of Chula Vista limited out. Carl White of Pasadena also caught his limit of slabs to 11⁄2 pounds. Raul Loya of Los Angeles also managed a limit while using minijigs near the dam. Jeff Blokzyl and his 8- and 5-year-old sons, Cody and Garrett, respectively, brought ashore 45 slabs to 2 pounds.
“There were plenty of other anglers coming out last week who were able to catch their limits — too numerous for this report,” staffers noted.
With the crappie bite being so darn good, it’s hard for anglers to focus their attention on other species, however, last week’s lunker catfish was a 6 pounder landed by shore fisherman Rick Morgan. Darrell Langley of Mesa Grande had a 6-pound, 10-ounce largemouth to his credit.