December 2, 2013
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,037,513 acre-feet of water. The lake level rose very little this week and is currently at 947 ft. above sea level and 139 ft. from full. The water is fairly clear in some areas and slightly stained in others. The water temperature will be cooling a bit each week and the lake is starting to turn over. The lake has cooled some and is 57-61 degrees depending on what part of the lake you are fishing. The docks have been moved back to the middle ramp on Glory Hole Point.
Trout: Fair. The weather forecast is predicting some pretty cold days and freezing nights. This cold snap should cool the surface temperature drastically making for some pretty good fishing. The cold surface temperature will move more fish to the surface making them easier to catch for both trolling anglers and bank anglers. Trolling anglers should try fishing from 30’ to the surface. With a large majority of fish moving to shallow water, it’s a good idea to troll near the shoreline or use a side planner. Try using small shad patterned spoons and spinners fished behind a string of flashers. Also, be sure to let plenty of line out. The fish that are feeding on or near the surface will be easily spooked by the boat wake. This is a great time of year to catch some trophy browns and rainbows. One of the best ways to hook into a trophy is by rolling shad. Try fishing at least one shad rig on each outing and you’ll have a chance at catching a fish of a lifetime. We do encourage catch and release for the brown trout as The Department of Fish and Game will no longer be planting them. Bank anglers have been catching more and more fish each week. Most anglers are targeting fish that are feeding near the bottom. Try using a sliding sinker with an 18-24” leader and a light wire hook. With this set up you will be able to use Power Bait Dough, Power Eggs, marsh mallows, crawlers, or a combination. The key is to use a light wire hook, and before you make a cast, check to see if your bait is floating. There are also quite a few fish feeding and cruising near the surface. The best way to target these fish is with a bubble/crawler, or a bubble/fly rig. Also, casting and retrieving and Kastmaster, is a great way to cover water and find feeding fish. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish Week goes to Dale Knight of Angels Camp. He caught a limit of very nice rainbow including a hefty 4.73-pound fish. He reported catching them while still fishing from a boat with eggs and crawlers.
Kokanee: Done for the season. The kokanee are upriver doing their annual spawn and die.
Bass: Slow. The lake is starting to turn and the fish are on a late fall/early winter pattern. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water anywhere from 5-70’ of water. It is very important to use your electronics to locate fish and bait. Most anglers are catching a few while finesse fishing with small baits and light line. Try using a drop shot rig near the main lake. Small shad patterned soft plastics and 4” hand poured worms are producing some fish. Also, the shad are starting to school up in the major creek arms. If you find the bait the fish will be near by. Try using a spoon fished vertically through the balls of bait. Usually if you catch a fish or two it will trigger the school and create a feeding frenzy. The bite should pick up once we get some weather. Margaret Shelton caught and released a 5 to 6 lb spotted bass Sunday 11/24/13 on a 1/2oz brown & purple jig with a twin tail green pumpkin trailer (made by her husband) while fishing a rock wall. Pat Olson of Bishop caught and released a massive 12.07-pound largemouth. He reported catching this fish on a trout patterned swim bait near the main lake. If you do keep a bass, please keep the small spotted bass and release the big female (largemouth) black bass. Glory Hole Sports can teach you the difference, so you can practice good conservation of the species.
Catfish: Fair. The catfish are still in fairly shallow water and feeding heavily. At this time of the year we generally see some really large cats being caught, especially if we get a little rain. They will move into feeder creeks and feed on whatever washes into the lake. Try using a variety of different baits until the fish tell you what they want to feed on. Night crawlers, liver, shad, and anchovies seem to produce the majority of fish. It is very important to use a sliding sinker or no weight at all. The fish will drop the bait if they feel any weight. It is a good idea to leave your bail open while waiting for them to bite. Let the fish run with the bait for a few seconds then set the hook. For bigger cats try using a whole mackerel or sardine fished on a double hook rig. Many catfish will roam flats, points, and humps to feed. When choosing a location to fish focus on flat dirt/rock areas near deep water.
Crappie/bluegill: Very slow.