August 25, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 566,408 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped three feet this week and is currently at 871 ft. above sea level and 207 ft. from full. The lake is 85’ 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. There have been a few reports of trout being caught in the main lake by the Dam, spillway, and near the 49 bridge. The trout are hanging around the old river channel in deeper/cooler water. The shad are starting to school up near the mouths of major creek channels. The intersection where a major creek channels meets the old river channel is great area to target the trout. Night fishing anglers are still catching a few limits of chunky 2-pound plus rainbows while fishing under a submersible light. Try using night crawlers and Power Bait to target these quality fish. Trolling anglers try using shad patterned baits that have a large profile. Shad Raps, Rattle Traps, Speed Traps, and Apexs are a few good choices. Trolling in dingy/stained water it is a good time to use a large string of flashers. Ford Fenders, Cow Bells, Lake Trolls, and Ball Trolls will create a lot of commotion and draw fish from a distance. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to Larry Leatham of Sonora. He caught a nice 1-pound, 13-ounce rainbow trout while trolling Rapalas and spoons on the main lake. 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. Try using a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, or a Light Cahill for rising fish. 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. 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 late summer/early fall pattern. The shad are starting to school up in the deep water and the bass are hunting them in wolf packs. Many trout anglers that are trolling over deep water with shad patterned spoons are catching chunky 2-pound spotted. This can be tricky to target these fish with a traditional chunk and wind method. Crank baits and jerk baits are both a good choice to use when targeting these fish. Also, now is a good time to have a spoon tied on to fish vertically below the boat when fish appear on the graph. Shad pattern worms fished on a drop shot or on a shakey head will work too. Wright Bait WB101 is a great soft pour and comes with various colored blood lines. Fish that are keying on crawdads can be caught on jigs, brush hogs and beavers. CRL Jigs has a great selection of colors that work extremely well on New Melones and other Mother Lode lakes. 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. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Floyd Crow of Tuolumne he landed a massive 15-pound, 8-ounce catfish while fishing with frozen shad near the dam.