May 18, 2015
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 467,222 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped three feet this last week. It is currently at 850 ft. above sea level and 229 ft. from full. The water clarity is fairly clear in most of the lake with a few areas having some stained water. The water temperature has warmed, with the average being 66-72 degrees. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a two lane dirt road leading off of the end of the point. There is not a courtesy dock and 4-wheel drive is recommended.
Trout: Good. The trout bite continues to be productive with many anglers catching limits. The main lake has been a good spot to search for actively feeding fish. With the weather remaining fairly cool, the trout can be found near the surface and down deep. Trolling anglers have been targeting fish near the surface by running a shad patterned plug on a top-line and fishing 150-200’ behind the boat. This setup work well in low light conditions and can be used in the mornings and on cloudy days. Once the sun comes up try switching to baits fished on a downrigger. Many anglers have found luck using trolling spoons and others are doing well on spinners. If the water is a little stained in the area you have chosen to fish, try using a spinner with a gold Colorado blade. The gold has a higher reflective quality than silver, and a Colorado blade will produce more sound and vibration than a willow blade. It is also a good idea to tip your presentation with a chunk of crawler. Night anglers are starting to catch some fish under a submersible light. This is a great way to catch quality fish. The light draw baitfish near and the big trout will follow. Try using large minnows fished under the light. The bite has slowed for the bank anglers and most of the trout have left the shorelines. It would be best for shoreline anglers to fish the local lakes and streams in the high country. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to Michael Dunn who caught a 1-pound, 11-ounce rainbow while trolling a chartreuse hoochie in the main lake. We do encourage catch and release for the brown trout as The Department of Fish and Game will no longer be planting them. Carefully measure, weigh and photograph trophy fish and send us pictures and information.
Kokanee: Good. The kokanee bite continues to improve each week. We are seeing some healthy, fat kokanee being caught and can anticipate them growing to a very respectable size by mid-summer. Most anglers are finding luck fishing the main lake near the dam and the spillway. Pink, orange and chartreuse have been good color choices for both dodgers and lures. A small tear drop dodger with a micro hoochie has always been a go-to setup on New Melones. Another presentation that has been working is a slingblade trailed with a spinner. Uncle Larry’s Spinners makes a pink/splatter spinner and an orange/splatter spinner and both have been putting limits in the boat. Be sure to add scent to your blade and lure and tip each hook with a piece of dyed and scented corn.
Bass: Fair. The bass have completed their annually spawn and are moving from shallow water out toward deeper water for the summer. During this post-spawn stage the bass tend to feed heavily to try to recuperate from the stress of spawning. Early morning they will chase shad and cruise the shoreline looking for baby bass and sunfish. This is a good time to be tossing reaction baits and top water. Once the sun comes up it is best to move out to deep water structure. Chatterbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits have been working well. Try to find areas where there is plenty of bait, the bass will be nearby. This is a great time of year to use baits that resemble baby bass. The bigger bass will eat smaller bass. Also, bluegill will move shallow to eat the bass fry and the bass that are guarding will crush any bluegill or sunfish that comes near. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. The bigger fish are the future of our lake. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.
Catfish: Very Good. Some really big cats are up in shallow water feeding and spawning. We have had reports of giant fish seen cruising the shoreline and have had tales of unstoppable fish breaking heavy line. New Melones has some crazy big cats that are usually spread out. Due to low water levels we expect to see a handful of 20-pounders caught this summer. Each week we are seeing some really nice cats. Typically catfish are known as bottom feeders. On New Melones they tend to feed on small bait fish and can often be caught roaming, suspended off of the bottom. Try using frozen shad, mackerel and sardines to target these fish eaters.
Crappie: Good. The crappie will be holding in the standing timber that lines the lake. The best way to catch crappie is with live minnows. Try using a small minnow fished under a slip-float or casting a Beetle Spin into the brush. A few anglers are dropping submersible lights and catching a bunch of crappie doing so.