2892 HIGHWAY 49   ANGELS CAMP, CA.  95222
Phone: (209) 736-4333      Fax: (209) 736-4339
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Fishing Report

February 13, 2017

Water Conditions
New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,327,711 acre-feet of water.  The lake level came up thirty four feet this past week and will continue to rise with the recent and upcoming rainfall.  It is currently at 984 ft. above sea level and 104 ft. from full.  The water clarity is stained in most of the lake with some areas clearing faster than others. There is scattered debris floating on the surface throughout the lake.  The water temperature is a steady 49-52 degrees. 
Collin Kelley of Modesto spent a couple of days trolling for trout.  He caught his limit both days fishing a trolling spoon near the surface.
It looks like the next couple of days will be clear and then we will be getting some more rain. It is amazing how much fresh water has come into the lake up to this point.  The fresh water and flooded vegetation will produce nutrient, making the lake extremely healthy.  Many anglers have been doing well on both clear and stormy days.  The trout can be found near drainages that have had or have running water.  Trolling anglers should target areas near flowing water, trolling just outside of the debris.  The water will wash small insects into the lake.  Fish will swim just below the surface in search of a meal.  Try using a lure that can be fished on a top-line.  Small billed plugs and trolling spoons are both good choices.  Bright colors continue to produce fish.  With live crawlers and insects being pushed into the water, the fish will be very comfortable feeding on these offerings.  Try using a small tear drop slingblade trailed by a crawler.  The blade will draw the fish near and they will bite the crawler without hesitation.  Bank anglershave been catching a few fish during these rapidly rising water conditions. It may take a day or two for the fish to move into shallow and freshly flooded areas.  Look for coves and pockets that have a slow tapering shoreline.  The trout will swim just below the floating debris that will be pushed into these areas.  Try using nightcrawlers in combination with Power Bait or Power Eggs.  Once the water clears, try using natural colored Power Bait and fish with bright colors when it becomes stained.  This is a great time to use a bubble and fly technique fished on the surface.  A wooly bugger or bead headed nymph would be a good choice.  You can also fish a crawler, mini jig or artificial minnow with this technique.    We do encourage catch and release of brown trout, as there does not seem to be a large population of them in the lake.  Carefully measure, weigh and photograph trophy fish and send us pictures and information.  


The kokanee generally will not start to bite until spring.  April is a good month to start targeting the kokanee again.    
With the water level rising rapidly, the fish have scattered throughout the lake.  Some fish will hold deep and others will move shallow.  They will also be holding on a variety of structure types.  As the water level becomes more consistent, so will the bite and the fish behavior.  The water temperatures are fairly cold and the fish are in a winter-like pattern.  Slow moving baits will draw strikes.  Keep an open mind and fish different depths throughout the day.  The fish will move and relocate.  There is an abundance of freshly flooded vegetation lining the lake.  Weedless presentation can be used to effectively cover water without hauling in grass on every cast.  A Texas rigged worm is a great choice.  The bullet shaped weight pulls through grass and a texposed rigging is completely weedless.  A Carolina rig is another good choice.  Many anglers will continue to catch fish on a drop-shot rig.  A long leader will hold the worm above the grass.  As the water warms, some fish will become more active and be willing to chase.  A small swimbait fish on an underspin is a good option. 
PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE.  Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.


The catfish bite during the winter months is generally pretty slow.  There will be small critters that are trapped during these conditions and the catfish will often take advantage. Nightcrawlers are a good choice for bait during the cold winter months and into the spring. A little scent will also help the fish locate your bait.
The crappie are starting to bite and the prime time to catch them is right around the corner.  With the recent rising water level the crappie will start to move back into some of the coves and creek channels.  They love flooded brush and vegetation.  Try using small spinners or mini jigs to locate crappie. We will have live minnows in a week or so. They work extremely well for locating schools of fish. 
We are very excited about the condition of the lake.  The water came up thirty four feet in the past week.  

The lake is currently at 55% of total capacity and 92% of historical average for this date.

At this rate, the lake might come very close to filling.  We are only 104 ft. from full with an impressive snow pack and plenty of weather in the forecast.  
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Guide Report from Xperience Fishing Guide Service

The bass bite on New Melones has been a little tough for the past few weeks.  We had a great summer of catching a bunch of fish, including some nice 3 to 5-pound fish.  The the water temperature cooled a bit and the fish became difficult to find, and tough to get them to bite once you did find them.
We decided with this cooler weather and tough bite for numbers, we would take a shot at some of the big ones.  Well, it paid off.  We started catching some of the larger fish in the lake.
Dave Long contacted me and explained how he was not interested in catching quantity, he wanted to learn about big bass behavior and possibly have a chance to see or catch one.  He absorbed all of the techniques and we applied them throughout the day.
In the afternoon Dave got to see a fish of a lifetime swim up directly behind his bait and start to track it.  We both got very excited and then BOOM! She ate!  Dave hooked and landed a beautiful 9-pound largemouth bass.
We carefully photographed the fish and then released her.  A couple high fives and big smiles later, we went back to fishing.  It was a great day and Dave and I both Xperienced some awesome fishing and beautiful day on the lake.
Xperience Fishing Guide Service
John Liechty

Guide Report from Take it to the Limit Guide Service

New Melones bite has not changed, oh wait, the bows are up in the 80’and 90′ range with a few still being hooked around a 100′. Next week the air temperature drops into the 60’s and we should see the water temperature cool down, which will bring the big bows closer to the surface.

The bows we got this week are still in the same areas, the main lake from the dam to the spillway trolling 2.4 mph. There is one worm that’s putting more fish in the boat and that’s a Gary Yamamoto 3″ Swimsenko  Electric Chicken, it’s green and pink with a paddle tail. It’s not a fast bite as I have said every week but if you want to put big bows in the boat stay on the water, the best bite seems to be late am into the afternoon. We put bows in the boat this week up to just over 4 lbs, go out and get’em.

Lyle put four beautiful rainbow in the boat this week, he told me that’s the biggest bows he ever caught and that he can scratch that off his bucket list, good job Lyle.

See Ya On The Water
Gary Burns
Take it to the Limit Guide Service

Select the links below for information about other local lakes.

New Melones Lake Fishing

Don Pedro Lake fishing,

Camanche Reservoir fishing,

New Hogan Lake fishing,

Pardee Lake fishing