Orange County 3/30/2012

SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES: Very good trout action after big trout plants last week, and the catfish bite kicked into gear after a stock of blue catfish. The biggest trout reported were fish at 10 pounds. One was caught by Brian Hart, Agoura Hills, fishing an anchovy in Chris’ Pond, while John Drexel, Carson, was fishing red, white and blue floating bait at the Bubble Hole to land his 10-pounder, which topped off a five-fish 24.5-pound stringer. Eddie Espinosa, Anaheim, had rainbows at 10, 8.5 and 8 pounds. Rainbows at 9.5-pounds were caught by Humburto Bautista, Anaheim, (who also had a nine-pounder), Robert Vierregger, Long Beach, and Jonathan Saenz and Occar Ceballos, both of Tujunga. Nine-pound rainbows were posted by Sean Garcia, Azusa, and John Omiya, Villa Park. While a lot of quality stringers were reported, Luis Rodriguez, Santa Ana, weighed in five trout that weighed in at 21+ pounds, including a 7.5-pounder, all on nightcrawlers in Chris’ Pond. The best action continues to be on floating dough baits in chartreuse and rainbow colors with garlic scent impregnated or added to the baits. But Power Mice or homemade versions with nightcrawler or plastic trout worm tails have also been very good. The usual array of small trout jigs and trout plastics, especially in bright colors, have also been good for the trout. The catfish bite is also picking up on nightcrawlers and cut baits, but the overall big fish of the week was a 16.8-pound carp landed by Joyce Woodall, Norwalk, from Chris’ Pond while fishing for trout with rainbow-colored floating bait. Other than float tubes, no watercraft are allowed, due to fears of invasive quagga mussels being introduced into the water system. No state fishing license is required here. Information: (714) 632-7851; fishinglakes.com.

ANAHEIM LAKE: Closed. Anaheim Lake only opens when Santa Ana River Lakes is closed for cleaning and maintenance. Information: (714) 996-3508 or fishinglakes.com.

IRVINE LAKE: A huge rainbow trout and even bigger blue catfish were the highlights of the action here this past week. The 21.25-pound rainbow was landed by Ronn Anderson, Mission Viejo, fishing an Atomic Tube bait. The 35.5-pound blue catfish was caught and released by Nick Sepulveda, Silverado, while bass fishing with a California-legal Alabama rig in Boat Dock Cove. Overall, the trout action has been good with most fish from 2 to 4 pounds, and trollers were have better luck than shoreline bait or lure tossers this week. The Daiwa March Madness Tournament was won by Mike Meredith, Irvine, with an 11-14 steelhead caught on a Lucky Craft lure while trolling at mid-lake, and this Saturday is the Berkley Cup Tournament. Other good trout include fish at 11-4 caught by Joseph Fernandez, Placentia, and a 10-4 caught by Shaun Martinez, Ontario. Phil Hildebrant, Anaheim, caught a 9-pound steelhead. The bass bite remains very good with a lot of fish in the 2- to 4-pound class in the shallows. Top action has been on plastics, jerkbaits and swimbaits. The bluegill and crappie are also kicking into gear with a few reported on nightcrawlers and small jigs, respectively. Outside of the big catfish, the cats are still pretty tough with little fishing pressure. No state fishing license is required here. Lake information: (714) 649-9111 or irvinelake.net.

LAGUNA NIGUEL LAKE: Heavy stockings of trout every Tuesday have made for excellent action here, and trophy fish were planted again last week. Nightcrawlers and any color of PowerBait dipped in Bite On garlic scent has been the hot ticket for bait anglers, but fly anglers fishing bead head midges in black and red patterns are also scoring. Information: (949) 362-3885 or lagunaniguellake.com.

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