SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES: For the second week in a row, two rainbow trout topping 17 pounds were reported, and Lightning Trout were also reported in good numbers. The biggest rainbow was a 17-pound, 14-ouncer caught by Nick De Vroede, Fullerton, fishing at Levitz’ Corner with gold dough bait last Thursday. On Saturday, Craig Adkinson, Orange, landed a 17.75-pound rainbow at the boat docks on a Lip RipperZ. Orange Countyís Jay Lamori won the Lip RipperZ Tournament at SARL this past Saturday with a 14-pound rainbow, winning the $450 top prize. Other big fish included a nine-pound rainbow that topped off a three-fish stringer posted by Daniel Maestas, Santa Ana, fishing chartreuse Nitro Bait in Chris’ Pond. Evelino Silan, Placentia, also had three rainbows and his top fish was an 8.25-pounder caught on a Power Mouse off the Sandy Beach, and Kyle Kim, Temple City, landed a 7.5-pound trout. Floating dough baits in chartreuse and rainbow colors with garlic scent impregnated or added to the baits have been the most popular bait used by anglers. But Power Mice, or homemade versions with nightcrawler or plastic trout worm tails have also been very good bets. The usual array of small trout jigs and trout plastics, especially in bright colors, have also been good. Last week’s Lightning Trout plant was the first time this season these fish were planted, but trout plants go in each week. 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: The trout action held up through the weekend rains, with a lot of limits and some nice trout reported — and it took at least a 3-6 rainbow to break into the top 10 in during the Saturday Sports Chalet tournament. The event was won by Brian Carter, Fullerton, with a 10-10 trout to win the $1,533 top prize. Andrew Aparicio, Fullerton, was second with a 5-2 trout, and Darrell Leslie, Beaumont, was third with a 4-14 trout. Another tournament is set for March 24, the Daiwa March Madness event, which includes one tagged trout worth $1,000 and is a qualifying event for the Berkley Cup the following weekend. The best bite has been on PowerBait Mice Tails, Gulp! 2-inch Fat Floating Trout Worms, and nightcrawlers for bait dunkers. Trollers did well with fire tiger-color Berkley Flicker Shad lures. The best bite has been at Trout Island, Boat Dock Cove, the west shoreline and Santiago Flats. 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. Steve Garcia, Anaheim, landed a 9-6 bass on a drop-shot plastic off Crawdad Point. The bluegill and crappie bites are also kicking into gear, with a few reported on nightcrawlers and small jigs, respectively. 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 this 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. Top fish this past week was a 13-5 landed by Jeffrey Vangyi, Santa Ana, caught and orange jig/worm combo while float tubing in the flats. Albert Rodriguez, Garden Grove, weighed in a 11-8, while Mark Arnold, Rancho Santa Margarita, caught a 10-10 trout. Arthur Samakian, Los Angeles, landed a 10-2, and Raenette Johnson, Orange, topped off her five-fish limit with a 10-pound trout. Behdad Khojasteh, Lakewood, also landed a 10-pounder. Information: (949) 362-3885 or lagunaniguellake.com