April 20, 2015
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 512,291 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped five feet this last week. It is currently at 860 ft. above sea level and 219 ft. from full. The water clarity is fairly clear in most of the lake with a few areas having some stained water. The water temperature has warmed, with the average being 58-66 degrees. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a two lane dirt road leading off of the end of the point. There is not a courtesy dock and 4-wheel drive is recommended.
Trout: Fair. There is a surprising amount of trout in fairly shallow water and feeding on the surface. These fish that are still up are active and easy to catch. They are chasing small shad and feeding on insects that have fallen into the water. The rest of the trout have moved to deep/cooler water and will stay there throughout the hot summer months. Trolling anglers have been doing well fishing a top-line 150-200 yards behind the boat. For this presentation a small billed minnow or a trolling fly and crawler will work well. If the surface activity slows, try dropping down to 30-40’ of water and target the fish that are holding in the cool water over the main river channel. Spoons are always a good choice. In stained water use gold spoons and in clear water use silver spoons. Bank anglers have been finding a few fish. The trout will feed in the cool hours of the morning. It is best to get to the lake early and try to target fish that are more active and feeding. A good way to cover water and find fish is by casting a heavy spoon and retrieving it quickly. It is important to make very long cast, to do this try using light line and a heavy Kastmaster. Once the sun comes up, try switching to Power Bait or soaking a mallow/crawler combo. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Shirley Tyree of Antioch. She caught a few nice trout and her biggest weighed 2.6-pounds. She reported catching her fish near the surface on a broken-back Rapala. 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: Very Soon. Some anglers are starting to catch a few nice kokanee. We have had reports of some larger than average kokanee being caught. Please send pictures or stop by the store to have a photo taking of your catch. To target kokanee try trolling in 40-60’ of water. A small blade trailed by a small hoochie is a good setup that works every year. Last year many anglers did well on tiny spoons such as Sockeye Slammers and Simon Baby Wobblers. Don’t forget to tip your lures with dyed and scent corn.
Bass: Good. The bite this spring has been really good and there have been a bunch of really nice fish caught. There are fish in both deep and shallow water. In the spring months the bass will go through different stages of the spawn. There are pre-spawn bass, spawning bass and post-spawn bass. If you want to fish in deeper water you can catch pre-spawn and post-spawn fish or you can move shallow and find fish that are trying to spawn. Many different techniques have been working. The key is to adjust appropriately to the conditions. Try fishing a variety of soft plastics. The fish will be somewhat territorial even if they aren’t spawning. Baits that pose a threat will get plenty of bites. Try using bluegill and bass baby patterns. Also, creature baits and lizards seem to trigger fish into biting. Remember bass don’t always bite because they are hungry or trying to eat. Sometimes they bite to protect an area or because they are aggravated or curious. Some reaction baits have been producing fish. 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: Good. The cats are moving shallow and many anglers have been hooking into some real nice ones. Each week we are seeing some really nice cats. Typically catfish are known as bottom feeders. On New Melones they tend to feed on small bait fish and can often be caught roaming, suspended off of the bottom. Try using frozen shad, mackerel and sardines to target these fish eaters. Use a large slip-float to float the bait and target your desired depth. Catfish will typically hunt by sense of smell, so it is a good idea to add plenty of scent to your offerings. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Jerry Christie of Ranch Cordova. He caught a 6-pound, 10-ounce catfish on a live minnow.
Crappie: Good. The crappie will be holding in the standing timber that lines the lake. The best way to catch crappie is with live minnows. Try using a small minnow fished under a slip-float or casting a Beetle Spin into the brush.