August 18, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 580,434 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped four feet this week and is currently at 874 ft. above sea level and 207 ft. from full. The lake is 84’ lower than it was at this time last year. The main body is well over 200-260’ deep, under the 49-Bridge is aprox.160-180’ deep and under Parrot’s Ferry Bridge there is 70-90’ of water. The water is stained in most of the lake. There are mud lines forming near the shore throughout the day, especially on windy days and days with a lot of boating traffic. The average water temperature is 76-82 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open, and there are no plans to close it. There will be some transition periods between launches where launching will be limited to one or two lanes.
Trout: Fair. The best bite has been for the night fishing anglers. They have been catching some nice rainbows while fishing under a submersible light. Try fishing near deeper/cooler water in the main lake. Most anglers have their best luck dropping nightcrawlers, Power Bait or live minnows below the light. If there is no sign of bait within a couple hours, pull anchor and relocate. You might have to try fishing a few areas to find a school of feeding fish. Trolling anglers have been catching a few fish trolling from 40-60’ over deep water. We expect the late summer trout bite to really start picking up in the next few weeks. Shad patterned spoons are a good choice. Needlefish, Excel Spoons, Slim Fins and Speedy Shiners work extremely well when the fish are keyed in on shad. Another setup that works is a flasher/crawler combo. Thread a crawler onto a straight shank hook and troll it behind a string of flashers. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Brian Basacker of Sonora. He caught some nice rainbows while night fishing under a submersible light. His biggest fish weighed 2-pound, 5-ounces. Bank anglers are catching very few fish. It would be best to try your luck at other local lakes that are at a higher elevation. 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: Okay. The fish have been a little harder to find, but the anglers that are targeting them are still catching a few limits. The fish have moved to deeper water. Try trolling in 70-100’ of water to find the schools of kokanee. The fish are schooling on the main lake near the dam, the spillway, Glory Hole Point and Rose Island. It’s a good idea to try heading up the main river channel in hopes of intercepting the schools that have started to migrate. The kokanee are getting more aggressive each day, and are starting to lose their scales as they get ready to spawn. Try using a bladed hoochie behind a sling blade or dodger. Some anglers run two sling blades in tandem, or run a hoochie through and directly behind an Apex to increase the overall size of the presentation for these more aggressive pre-spawn fish. Darker colors work best in deeper water and pink is always a good choice. Gold, copper and painted blades have been working well. Try adding a slight bend to your blade to give it more action. Don’t forget to add scent to your presentation and tip your hooks with dyed and scented shoepeg corn.
Bass:Fair. It’s Official the New World Record spotted bass 10.48-pounds caught by Keith Bryan on February 22, 2014. The bass are in a summer pattern where they will move shallow at night and in the morning for a short period of time to feed. Then they will head back to cool water for the hot hours of the day. First thing in the morning try using reaction type baits. Flukes, spinnerbaits and square billed crankbaits have been working. Once the sun comes up try switching to slower moving baits. Try dragging a Carolina Rig near deep water or, shaking a Texas Rig near some wood. The shad have been schooled up and are in deep water. If you can locate the shad there should be some bass nearby. Try using a jigging spoon to target fish that are feeding on deep water baitfish. 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. This is a good time of the year to target the 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: Slow. We have had a handful of reports of anglers catching some chunky 2-pound slabs while fishing at night under a submersible light. Try using live minnows and crappie jigs.