April 14, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,022,239 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped two feet this week and is currently at 945 ft. above sea level and 140 ft. from full. The water is slightly stained with some areas forming mud lines. There is also a little bit of debris on the surface. The average water temperature is 58-64 degrees and rising daily. The boat launch ramps on the Glory Hole side have been moved back out to the end of the point which makes for a very short walk.
Trout: Slow. The trout has slowed down quite a bit and very few fish are being caught. The lake level is dropping and the water temperature is warming. This will push the trout from the shallows back out to deeper/cooler water. Try to find areas with clearer water that are protected from the wind and have deep water access. Also, if you are fishing an area with slightly stained to murky water, try using bright colored baits and lures. Bank fishing has been tough with most of the trout moving away from the shoreline. If you do choose to fish for trout from the shore, try fishing near Glory Hole Point and near the 49-bridge because the main river channel and cooler water is close. For bait try nightcrawlers, or chartreuse or rainbow garlic scented Power Bait. Trolling anglers have been catching a few fish while trolling over deep water on the main lake. To target these fish try using downriggers or leadcore line, 30-60’ deep over 150-200’ of water. The fish are relating to the old river channel and deep water. They will be in cooler water areas during the hotter summer months. Brighter colored baits have been working best. Orange, chartreuse and firetiger will work for browns and rainbows. When fishing the main lake and deep water it is a good idea to have a couple lines out that are targeting brown trout. There have been many really nice browns caught and released in the last few weeks. Try rolling shad or trolling large jointed plugs or swim baits. A good area for browns is out in front of the dam/spillway area or between the bridges. It is also a good idea to add plenty of scent and remember to reapply throughout the day. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to 8-year old Carson Wiere of Vallecito. He landed a beautiful 1-pound rainbow on a red and white crappie jig. He also caught a big crappie as well. 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: Fair. The fish are starting to bite and we have had reports of a few limits being caught. Most anglers targeting the kokanee are finding a few here and there, along with a few rainbow trout. Some of the kokanee seem to be a decent size for this time of the year, and they have months left to grow. Pink is always a great color for dodgers and baits, with orange and green producing fish as well. It is a good idea to troll various sizes, colors, baits and blade combinations. The fish will favor certain rigs, and it can be a process of elimination to find what appeals to them throughout the day. Be sure to tip your baits with dyed and scented corn. Also apply scent to you blades and lures, and continue to reapply multiple times on each outing.
Bass: Good. Some bass have moved into shallow water to spawn, some are staging to spawn, and some have already spawned. The water temperature has warmed a bit each week and the fish have become very active. It is a good idea to fish for them with reaction baits such as spinner baits, crank baits, and jerk baits. If they don’t respond to faster moving baits try slowing down a bit and fishing soft plastic baits. A great way to target fish at many different depths is with a Carolina Rig. This rig consist of a sliding sinker, bead, swivel, 24-48” leader and then a worm hook. Soft plastic baits that have many appendages such as Brush Hogs and lizards work well on this rig. Dan Marzi of Douglas Flat caught and released a giant 10-pound bass. He hooked this lunker in shallow water first thing in the morning on a Big O jerk bait. Please practice catch and release during the spring months. The fish are full of eggs in preparation for the spawn. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.
Catfish: Fair. The big cats should be up and eager to feed in preparation for the spawn. The water temperature is getting warmer each day which will encourage the cats to move shallow. Try using frozen shad or a ball of crawlers to target these fish. Catfish are drawn to bait by scent so it is a good idea to add additional scent to your bait.
Crappie: Fair. The crappie bite is getting better each week and we are hearing of more being caught each day. We expect a fairly good bite this spring due to the lower water levels and the amount of standing timber. Try fishing with mini jigs and grubs under a slip-float. Also, a great way to catch them is with live minnows. The crappie that are being caught are chunky 1-2 pound slabs.