September 8, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 540,940 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped three feet this week and is currently at 866 ft. above sea level and 212 ft. from full. The water is stained in most of the lake. There are mud lines forming near the shore throughout the day, especially on windy days and days with a lot of boating traffic. The average water temperature is 76-82 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open, and there are no plans to close it. There will be some transition periods between launches where launching will be limited to one or two lanes.
Trout: Slow. The trout fishing has been getting better and will as we approach fall. There are very few anglers on the lake and very little boating traffic in general. Late summer/early fall is a great time to troll deep water and catch some hefty trout. The lake record rainbow trout was caught at this time of the year, fishing a deep water pattern. John Gray landed a massive 8-pound, 2-ounce rainbow while fishing with Take it to the Limit Guide Service. Trolling anglers try using shad patterned spoons trolled in 60-90’ of water. Excel, Needlefish and Speedy Shiners are good choices. Another trick that will trigger strikes is a tandem spoon rig. This is when you troll two spoons at a time separated by an 18-24” leader. The two baits will resemble a couple bait fish that have strayed from the school making them an easy target. Night fishing anglers have been doing well fishing under a submersible light. Live minnows, Power Bait and nightcrawlers work well fished under and around the light. Bank fishing has been very slow and usually is during the summer months. Best bet for shore anglers is to head to the high country lakes. Fly fishing anglers the bite has been pretty good fishing local streams and rivers. Try using a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, or a Light Cahill for rising fish. Also try using a hopper/dropper setup with a Stimulator and a Copper John. 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: Almost Done. The season is winding down and very few anglers a targeting the kokanee. The fish are heading upstream for their annual spawn and die. Some fish will migrate later than others. To target these fish try trolling in 70-90’ of water. Darker colors will work best and larger baits and blades will get more strikes. Be sure to add scent to your presentations.
Bass:Fair. The FLW College Teams fished and event on New Melones this past weekend. Some teams found some really nice bass. Top 3 went to Fresno State Teams, with Jeremy Pitts and Michael Cantu taking first place with over 22-pounds for five fish. They had a 12-pound largemouth that ate a CRL Jig in the mid-morning. The bass are in a late summer/early fall pattern. The shad are starting to school up in the deep water and the bass are hunting them in wolf packs. Many trout anglers that are trolling over deep water with shad patterned spoons are catching chunky 2-pound spotted bass. This can be tricky to target these fish with a traditional chunk and wind method. Crank baits and jerk baits are both a good choice to use when targeting these fish. Also, now is a good time to have a spoon tied on to fish vertically below the boat when fish appear on the graph. Shad pattern worms fished on a drop shot or on a shakey head will work too. Wright Bait WB101 is a great soft pour and comes with various colored blood lines. Fish that are keying on crawdads can be caught on jigs, brush hogs and beavers. CRL Jigs has a great selection of colors that work extremely well on New Melones and other Mother Lode lakes. 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.
Catfish: Good. This is a good time of the year to target the catfish. The lake is really nice in the evenings and through the night and this is when the big cats come to the shoreline and search for food. Try using shad, anchovies and nightcrawlers for bait. It is a good idea to use an ample amount of scent to help the fish locate your bait.
Crappie: Slow. It’s been a tough year and we have seen very few crappie. They have been hard to find. Your best bet would be to target them at night with a submersible light. Try using a mini jig with a live minnow on the back.