April 21, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 984,966 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped five feet this week and is currently at 940 ft. above sea level and 145 ft. from full. The water is slightly stained with some areas forming mud lines. The average water temperature is 62-68 degrees and rising daily. The boat launch ramps on the Glory Hole side have been moved back out to the end of the point which makes for a very short walk.
Trout: Slow. The trout has been tough and very few fish are being caught. The lake level is dropping and the water temperature is warming. This will push the trout from the shallows out to deeper/cooler water. Try to find areas with clearer water that are protected from the wind and have deep water access. Bank fishing has been tough with most of the trout moving away from the shoreline. If you do choose to fish for trout from the shore, try fishing near Glory Hole Point and near the 49-bridge because the main river channel and cooler water is close. For bait try nightcrawlers, or chartreuse or rainbow garlic scented Power Bait. Trolling anglers have been catching a few fish while trolling over deep water on the main lake. To target these fish try using downriggers or leadcore line, 30-60’ deep over 150-200’ of water. The fish are relating to the old river channel and deep water. They will be in cooler water areas during the hotter summer months. Brighter colored baits have been working best. Orange, chartreuse and firetiger will work for browns and rainbows. When fishing the main lake and deep water it is a good idea to have a couple lines out that are targeting brown trout. There have been many really nice browns caught and released in the last few weeks. Try rolling shad or trolling large jointed plugs or swim baits. A good area for browns is out in front of the dam/spillway area or between the bridges. It is also a good idea to add plenty of scent and remember to reapply throughout the day. 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. The fish are starting to school up making them easier to find and catch. We have had reports of multiple limits being caught. Some of the kokanee seem to be a decent size for this time of the year, and they have months left to grow. Pink is always a great color for dodgers and baits, with orange and green producing fish as well. It is a good idea to troll various sizes, colors, baits and blade combinations. The fish will favor certain rigs, and it can be a process of elimination to find what appeals to them throughout the day. Be sure to tip your baits with dyed and scented corn or Gulp Maggots. Also apply scent to you blades and lures, and continue to reapply multiple times on each outing. Garlic, carp spit, kokanne special, and bloody tuna are all good flavors to use.
Bass: Good. The bass are in transition to and from shallow water. At this time of the year they are dawn to the shallows for the spawn. The lake level is falling at an exaggerated rate making the fish a bit leery. In the mornings and evening the bass have been moving closer to the shoreline to feed. Throughout the day try fishing main lake points near deeper water. The water is warming a bit each week and there has been a pretty decent reaction bite. Try using spinner baits, crank baits, and jerk baits to catch the more aggressive fish. Then slow down and fish a jig, Carolina rig, or Senko to catch fish that aren’t willing to chase. Please practice catch and release during the spring months. The fish are full of eggs in preparation for the spawn. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.
Catfish: Fair. The big cats should be up and eager to feed in preparation for the spawn. The water temperature is getting warmer each day which will encourage the cats to move shallow. Try using frozen shad or a ball of crawlers to target these fish. Catfish are drawn to bait by scent so it is a good idea to add additional scent to your bait. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to Doug Chew, and Luke and William Lum. They landed a massive 13-pound catfish while fishing with a white and chartreuse spinner bait.
Crappie: Fair. The crappie bite is getting better each week and we are hearing of more being caught each day. We expect a fairly good bite this spring due to the lower water levels and the amount of standing timber. Try fishing with mini jigs and grubs under a slip-float. Also, a great way to catch them is with live minnows. The crappie that are being caught are chunky 1-2 pound slabs.