November 17, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 504,690 acre-feet of water. The lake level has stopped dropping and is starting to rise. It is currently at 858 ft. above sea level and 218 ft. from full. The water clarity is stained in some areas, and clear in others. The water temperature continues to cool with the average being 64-68 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: Good. Anglers that are targeting trout have been bringing in limits of healthy 2-pound trout. The water temperature continues to drop and the trout are moving toward the surface making them much easier to catch. The shad are schooling in the main lake and on the outside of the major creek channels. The trout are feeding heavily on small 1” to 2” shad. Trolling anglers have been finding most of their luck top-lining a Rapala JSR plug or fishing shad patterned spoons in 10-20’ of water. Needlefish and Excel spoons are always a good choice for fall fishing. The erratic wobble of a spoon will look like a wounded or fleeing shad and will trigger strikes from nearby fish. For those who do not have downriggers, try using leadcore line or a diving plane to access the depth the fish are holding. Bank fishing anglers are starting to catch a few fish but it has been pretty slow. It would not be a bad idea to fan cast a ¼ oz Kastmaster for roaming fish. Also, try floating a ball of rainbow or chartreuse Power Bait with a long leader off of the bottom. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Steve Proctor of Danville. He caught a nice limit of rainbows with the biggest one weighing over 2-pounds. 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. The fish have entered spawn mode and will soon start dying off. We have not seen or heard of any in shallow water.
Bass: Very Good. The fall bass bite has been really good for numbers and for big fish as well. It is not uncommon to catch 30-60 fish in a day. Most fish are in the 1 to 2-pound range with an occasional 3 to 4-pound fish showing up. Spooning has been a go to method to catch these fish that are gorging on schools of shad. Try using a 3/8 to 3/4oz spoon fished alongside submerged tree, outside bends and rock bluffs. Another way to catch a bunch of fish is with a shad patterned worm fished on a drop-shot rig. Once you locate the bait you can catch multiple fish in that area. For bigger bites try using a C.R.L. Jig. These jigs are made locally and come in a variety of fish catching colors that are designed for our Mother Lode lakes. Not as many bites throughout the day but, the bigger fish can’t resist a natural colored crawdad patterned jig dragging across 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: Very Good. -SIGN UP FOR OUR NOVEMBER CATFISH CONTEST- We are just half way through our Catfish Contest and have seen some heavy fish already. With the rain in the forecast we are anticipating weighing in some giants. Each year the bigger cats will move up during the rain and feed in areas that have fresh water coming into them. The fresh water will wash nutrients and insects into the lake. This will attract crawdads and small fish. The big cats will move up and feed on these smaller creatures. Try using frozen fish baits fished in shallow water. Shad, anchovy and sardine are all good choices. A good way to fish for catfish is without any added weight. Use enough bait to make a cast and let it sink to the bottom and lifelessly drift. This weight-less approach has been known to fool some of the biggest cats. Be sure to leave slack in the line so the fish does not feel any tension. Also try using nightcrawlers and chicken liver. It is not a bad idea to soak your bait in scent before you get to the water. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Mark Schneider of Angels Camp. He brought in a fat 13.80-pound catfish to the scales. He reported catching this fish near the 49-bridge on a nightcrawler.
Crappie: Very Slow. It’s been a tough year and we have seen very few crappie. The crappie will feed on shad along side bass and trout. Live minnows work best.