Irvine Lake back on the menu for O.C. anglers

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Catfish plant set for this week

BY BLAKE WARREN

SILVERADO – Orange County anglers once again have one of their prime waters back on their fishing access menu after Irvine Lake reopened to fishing Saturday, May 16. Moving forward, the lake will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and the tackle shop will be open for business with restrictions – only one customer allowed in the shop at a time and masks are required. There will also be no passenger rides or transport by lake employees in the immediate future due to social distancing measures.

This coming weekend ought to prove a good one for catfish anglers, as a whiskerfish stocking is set to go in midweek to help bolster the bite. Just a few cats were reported through this past weekend, but look for kitty numbers to jump with the fresh plant arriving.

BRANDON MACIA put some solid rainbows on the stringer while fishing PowerBait on the West Shore of Irvine Lake over the weekend after the lake reopened May 16.

Fishing was fairly decent over the weekend with moderate counts of holdover trout to 3 pounds being stringered, mostly on your standard PowerBait and nightcrawler offerings. Murky water along the West Shore is also providing solid conditions for fishing reaction baits for largemouth, with some solid bass being reported on spinnerbaits, glide baits and the occasional crank. The oddball catch of the weekend was a hulking 11-plus pound bucketmouth that ate a gob of dough bait on the end of the line of Dustin Lawayne of Los Angeles. Anglers targeting bluegill with mealworms are also connecting.

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“Rainbow PowerBait was the dominant bait for trout this weekend, and the bluegill are abundant off the West Shore, with the trout being about 20 yards out from the bank,” said tackle shop manager Daniela Gavaldon. “The water level is decent and touching the main launch ramp so anglers can enjoy fishing the southern West Shore. The bait and tackle shop is open and stocked with nightcrawlers, mackerel and everything else needed to catch fish.”

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