July 27, 2015
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 367,383 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped four feet this last week. It is currently at 823 ft. above sea level and 265 ft. from full. The water clarity is stained in many areas and will occasionally clear up. The water temperature is warm, with the average being 76-81 degrees. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a two lane dirt road and gravel leading off of the end of the point. There is not a courtesy dock and it is best to launch with a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Trout: Fair. Most anglers that are on the water are not targeting trout. The trout are down in deep water and holding near the old lake and existing river channel. The shad have also headed toward these deep/cool areas, and the trout will feed on them throughout the day. Trolling anglers try trolling down to 50-70’ of water. Use a good topographical map or the contour map on your fish finder to avoid snagging your presentations on the bottom. When fishing in deep water you should use baits that rattle or wobble side-to-side. Fish will be able to find baits that create commotion. Plus, a little scent will go a long way. The fish will key in on the scent and track the bait down. Night fishing anglers have been catching a mix bag of fish while fishing under a submersible light. Trout, bass, catfish and crappie will swing by to feed on the shad that have been drawn to the light. Some of the biggest fish will lurk on the outside edge of the light. It is a good idea to occasionally make a few casts with a shad patterned lure. A Rattle Trap or lipless crank works well and has the same profile as the shad. Bank anglers have been fishing in the high country and catching some nice trout. 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. Some anglers continue to target the kokanee and a still catching fish on each outing. The bite should remain throughout August and September. Then it will taper off as they move upriver to spawn. Most anglers are finding their luck trolling in 45-65’ of water on the main lake. The main body of water is still plenty deep and can be trolled without getting snagged. It is best to have a good topographical map or use the contour map on your GPS to find any submerged island tops. The water clarity is stained and dark colors have been working best. Black, blue and purple are all good choices. Also, try to use contrasting colored beads. This will make your bait more visible for the fish. It is a good idea to use an ample amount of scent when trolling in deep and stained water. Garlic, anise, bloody tuna and carp spit are all proven to attract fish. Use these scents in an Oregon Tackle Scent Chamber to ensure your presentation is producing a scent trail. Don’t forget to tip each hook with shoepeg corn.
Bass: Okay. The bass bite has been a little unpredictable. Some days they have been easy to find and other days they are tougher to locate. The lake level has been dropping each day. This will make the fish a little finicky, and many will pull offshore and suspend making them difficult to target. The morning topwater bite has slowed, but it’s always a good idea to have one tied on. Most fish are being caught on the bottom using soft plastic baits. It is best to use a weedless presentation to avoid getting snagged in the wood. Crawdad and shad patterns will continually produce bites. To target suspending fish, try using deep diving crank baits or fishing a shad patterned paddle tail swimbait. Keep in mind that anglers trolling for trout are catching nice bass in the middle of the lake. It is a good idea to make occasional casts out in deep water. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. 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: Great. This has been a great year for large catfish and anglers continue to haul in some lunkers. The catfish are cruising the shoreline and feeding on small fish and crawdads. Traditionally catfish are considered bottom feeders, but they are actually fairly aggressive and will hunt for their prey much like a bass would. They also have very poor eyesight and rely on smell and vibration to track down each meal. Keep this in mind and be sure you add scent and movement to your setup. Most of the time the natural scent of frozen fish will be enough, but it’s not a bad idea to add additional scent. To create movement and vibration try using a bead below the weight. Lightly shake your rod to make the weight and bead tick. On a calm night or in stained water this will help fish locate the bait. Also, try using a rattle in-line below a slip float. The motion of the waves will cause the rattle to shake. Just a little sound can go a long way. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Christine Cedillo of Modesto. She caught a 10-pound, 2-ounce catfish out of 30’ of water while fishing upriver.
Crappie: Fair. Some anglers have been catching a few crappie at night with mini jigs fished under a submersible light. They have been suspending in the branches of the standing timber and feeding on shad.