Fishing Report

January 19, 2015

New Melones Lake Fishing Report

Water Conditions:  New Melones Lake is currently holding 555,925 acre-feet of water.  The lake level came up just a little this last week. It is currently at 869 ft. above sea level and 207 ft. from full.  The water clarity is clear in most of the lake with a few areas being a little stained. The water temperature continues to cool with the average being 52-55 degrees.  Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open with a two lane concrete ramp and a dock.  4wd is no longer needed to launch.

Trout:  Good.  Many anglers are having much success targeting trout.  The trout are in the upper portion of the water column which makes them easier to locate and catch.  Bank anglers are catching a fish on each outing, along with a few limits.  In many areas of the lake the bottom in covered with trees and snags.  When fishing these heavily covered areas, use a presentation that will suspend above, free of snags.  The best way to achieve this presentation is with a slip-float.  With a bobber-stop you can adjust your leader to the water depth you are trying to fish.  Nightcrawlers, live minnows, Power Bait and soft plastics are all good choice to use suspended below a slip-float.  Another good way to catch them is by making multiple casts with a Kastmaster and covering a lot of water. Trolling anglers have been catching a handful of nice rainbow trout.  The fish are near the surface which makes long-lining, leadcore line and side-planers a good approach.  Try using a trolling spoon to put fish in the boat.  Needlefish, Excel and Speedy Shiners are all good choices.  Some days the fish prefer a natural rainbow trout or shad pattern and other days they have been partial to bright colors such as chartreuse, orange and fire tiger.  It is a good idea to carry a few colors and change throughout the day.  Trolling at faster speeds from 2.5 to 3.0 mph will work.  Be sure to add scent to your bait.  Shad, garlic and bloody Tuna have been good scents to use to attract trout.  Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Bob James of Murphys.  He caught a limit of rainbows on Power Bait between the two bridges.  His biggest weighed 1-pound, 14-ounces. 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: Done. Kokanee fishing generally is good from April to September.

Bass: Good.  Most anglers are catching plenty of fish on each outing.  The lake is full of 1 to 3-pound spotted bass that will feed multiple times throughout the day.  The lake also has a very large population of shad.  These schooling bass will gorge on these balls of shad and can be caught anywhere the baitfish is located.  Creek channels, bluffs and rocky points are all good places to find aggressively feeding fish.  The shad will often suspend in the water column over deep water.  These suspending fish can be caught on a dropshot rig.  Try using light line, light hooks and a small shad patterned worm or minnow.  Another good way to target suspended fish is with a deep diving rip-bait.  A Lucky Craft Stayee 90 should do the trick.  Not all the fish will use shad as their primary food source.  Many fish will feed on crawdads and other creatures that are holding tight to the bottom.  To catch the fish that scour the bottom for food, try using heavier ½ to ¾-ounce football head jigs.  Crawdad colors, brown, purple or green pumpkin are good choices.  California Reservoir Lures has a selection of jigs that are tied specifically for our Mother Lode lakes.  Multi-colored baits with different hues work better than solid colors.  Most creatures have dark backs and light bellies, or stripes and spots.  Taking note of these slight variations will help you boat more fish.  In winter months it is a good idea to use scent on your lures.  The fish will be more lethargic at this time of year and scent will help them find your bait, pick it up and hold on longer.  PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASEWe are approaching the annual spawn.  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: Slow.  The catfish will be moving to deep water near rock piles and ledges.  Most anglers don’t target catfish at this time of the year.  But, the ones that do will hook into some lunkers. Try fishing near large rocks and boulders.  A large ball of crawlers is hard to beat.  At this time of the year you will have to be very patient for the bites are few and far between.  Be sure to use plenty of scent on you bait.

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