September 28, 2014
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding
520,010 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped just over one foot this week and is currently at 862 ft. above sea level and 216 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. The average water temperature is 74-78 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is the road leading off the end of the point. It is a dirt launch without courtesy docks and 4wd is recommended.
Trout: Slow. It is hard to establish a report with such few anglers on the lake. Late summer/early fall in years past has been a good time to troll deep water and catch some hefty trout. Trolling anglers it is time to start trolling shad patterned plugs or rolling shad. The trout feed on the shad that are schooling in the main lake. Rattle Traps, Speed Traps and Shad Raps work well when targeting large rainbows and browns. These baits are the same size and shape of the bait fish and the rattles will draw fish from a distance, especially in stained water. Be sure to add plenty of shad flavored scent to your presentation. Night fishing has slowed down but could get good with some cooler evenings on the way. 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. 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.
Bass: Fair. The bass bite has been a bit on the tough side but, recent cool evenings and cloud cover has made them a little more active. In the fall months, bass will gorge themselves on shad and crawdads in preparation for the colder winter months. The shad can be found schooling in the main lake at the mouths of major creek channels. The bass will lay wait and ambush or hunt for their prey in wolf packs. The fishing can be extremely slow and then bust wide open in seconds when you stumble upon an aggressively feeding pack of fish. Try using fishing methods that will help cover water, find the sweet spots and eliminate unproductive water. Faster moving baits that can be fished at various depths will work best. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits and small swimbaits will help locate actively feeding fish. Once you locate fish and catch a few in an area, you can slow down and fish soft plastics to boat a couple more. To target fish that are feeding on crawdads try using natural colored soft plastics or dragging a jig along the bottom. 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. Keep an eye on the weather. Some huge cats move up during some of these small warm rain showers. Try fishing nightcrawlers tight to the shoreline to resemble bait that has been recently washed from the shore. With the water being low there are areas of lake that can be accessed from the shore that have been underwater for years. This is a good time of the year to fish for 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: Very 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.