May 23, 2016
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 610,979 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up three feet this past week. It is currently at 883 ft. above sea level and 202 ft. from full. There is plenty of snow to melt in the high country, hopefully the runoff will help fill the lake and offset releases. The water clarity is clear in most of the lake. The water temperature is gradually rising, with the average being 66-74 degrees. The dam area is still buoyed off. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a two lane concrete ramp with a courtesy dock in place.
Trout: Fair. The trout are still biting in the main lake over deep water. The shad are starting to school up and move out to deep water as well. The trout will target these schools of shad and feed on them throughout the summer months. Trolling anglers are mainly targeting the kokanee and picking up a handful of trout as well. For anglers that want to catch some chunky New Melones trout, try trolling a large shad patterned spoon on leadcore line or on a downrigger. The fish will be near the surface in the mornings and evenings and will move down to deeper water as the day progresses. Bank anglers will have better luck heading to the high sierra lakes, rivers and streams. 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: Good. The kokanee have been a little tough to find. However, when you do hook up they are extremely fat and healthy fish. The kokanee being caught this year are ranging from 14-16”. The kokanee anglers have also been catching some nice trout while trolling with kokanee gear. Try fishing in the main lake over the deepest water in the lake. The fish will hold over this deeper and cooler water. Kokanee will strike a lure out of aggression so it is best to use a presentation that offers plenty of action. Try using an Uncle Larry’s Spinner trailed behind a Rocky Mountain slingbalde or a Glitterbug’s micro hoochie trailed behind a teardrop dodger. Another lure that has been working well is an Apex. These baits have a wide side-to-side swinging motion that will draw strikes when trolled through a school of fish. Many colors will work, but pink, blue, gold and copper have been triggering most strikes. It is also very important to add scent to both your blade and lure or use an Oregon Tackle Scent Chamber above your dodger to ensure you will be leaving a scent trail. The fish will find scent and then follow it to your bait. Also, try adding scented maggots or dyed and scented corn to each hook.
Bass: Good. The bass bite has been changing daily with the water coming up and the weather being inconsistent. It looks like the weather is going to be fairly stable this week which will make the bass much easier to pattern. Most fish are done spawning and are in a post spawn phase. They will pull of the shoreline and start to move to some of their deep water haunts. After the spawn fish will be feeding heavily in order to recuperate. The topwater bite has been very hit and miss. Some mornings and evenings they are crushing baits on the surface and others it is tough to get a swirl. If they do not want to commit to the surface baits, try switching to subsurface baits that can be fish slower. Ripbaits, crankbaits and small swimbaits are all good choices. If they are not in the mood to chase these reaction type baits, try slowing down and switching to a soft plastic presentation. Large slow moving baits offer a large meal and will attract some hefty post spawn fish. Lizards and large ribbon tailed worms on a Carolina Rig or a Texas Rig will produce bites. Also the bass hate bluegill and other sunfish at this time of the year. Keep this in mind when choosing a lure or soft plastic color. The fish that are in deep water are feeding on shad and can be caught on a shad patterned worm fished on a drop shot rig. 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. The cats are really starting to bite and the summer months are a great time to catch some giants. They will bite during the day, but are more likely to feed in the mornings, evenings and at night. Catfish have very poor eyesight and use their sense of smell to locate prey. It is best to use bait that has soaked in additional scent to help attract fish. Frozen shad, anchovies and mackerel are all good choices. Also many anglers will use a mallow/crawler combo to catch catfish. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to the Big Cat Daddy Crew. They brought in four cats and the biggest one weighed 8-pounds, 7-ounces.
Crappie: Good. The crappie bite has slowed a bit, but there is a large population of fish and we can expect the bite to be good throughout the summer. With the weather starting to heat up it is a good time to drop a light and do some night fishing.