SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES: The rainbow trout bite has continued to sizzle. The big fish of the week was an 18-pound rainbow landed by Dave Holguin, Rowland Heights, fishing a chartreuse floating bait at Levitz’ Corner. John Gguyen, Tustin, caught a 16-pound rainbow on a green plastic worm off La Palma Point. Nick and Robert Avemaria, Placentia, had 10 rainbows for a total of 28.5 pounds, topped off with a 10.5-pounder, all caught in Chris’ Pond on a chartreuse floating bait doused with garlic Eagle Claw scent. Gene Naka, Whittier, had a 9.5-pound rainbow, while Doloars Anderson, La Puente, topped off her 10-fish, 25-pound stringer with an 8.5-pound rainbow. Garrett and Robert Paterson and Eric Wilkerson, all Orange, had 15 rainbows for 35 pounds. The best action has been on a wide variety of floating dough baits, Power Mice (or the custom-made equivalent), small trout jigs or trout plastics, especially in bright colors, and adding one of the scents improves the bite. Garlic-flavored scents have been particularly popular. The tagged trout event continues through March 4, with tags worth up to nearly $150 value. Sierra Bow plant this week. Only plant of Lightning Trout this season set for March 15. 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 or 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: Trout action continues very good for both bait and troll anglers, but few big rainbow from this past week’s trophy plant have been landed. Hot top for bait anglers has been to fish an 18 to 24-inch leader because of clear water with PowerBait Mice Tails, traditional PowerBait in a variety of colors, and 2-inch Gulp! Fat Trout Worms rigged wacky-style. The trollers are getting most of their fish flat-lining and using firetiger-color Rapala Countdown CD3s, pink X-Rap XR4s, and pink SC Shiners. Productive spots included the west shoreline, Boat Dock Cove, Santiago Flats, and trollers also hit mid-lake very hard. Top rainbow reported was an 8-8 caught by Jim Price, Mission Viejo, on a Rapala off the west shore. Gino Lamas, Whittier, had a six-pound rainbow on PowerBait fishing the flats. Eric Apelian, Orange, landed a 4-12 rainbow on an SC Shiner off the flats, while Mike Warren, Lancaster, landed a 4-2 ‘bow on a nightcrawler off the west shore. Top brown was a 3-8 posted by Lucas Salazar, Orange, on a Rapala off the west shore. A few crappie are starting to show, mostly for the slow trollers targeting trout. Eric Ateolian, Orange, landed a two-pound crappie on an SC Shiner off the flats. The largemouth are starting to move shallow, but few fish over 3 pounds landed this past week, most of those on jigs and drop-shot plastics. No bluegill or catfish reports. 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. 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. Top fish this past week was landed by Brad Dew, Huntington Beach, a 14-pound rainbow landed on a nightcrawler from shore. Refugio Garcia, La Verne, had a 12.25-pounder garlic PowerBait. John Lacey Jr., Orange, had a 12-pounder using a Lip RipperZ trout worm, while Rick Rabago, Corona, caught a 10.5-pound ‘bow using chartreuse PowerBait. Hisao Morimoto, Hacienda Heights, landed a 9.5-pounder using a small yellow Roostertail from shore, and John Parmenter, Laguna Beach, landed a 9.25-pounder at three pipes from a float tube using a green Trout King worm fished drop-shot style. Keith Pacheco, Lakewood, caught a 7.5-pound rainbow on chartreuse Power Bait. There are two upcoming events in the Lip RipperZ Tournament Series here — March 3 and March 24. Information: (949) 362-3885 or lagunaniguellake.com.