March 2, 2015
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 606,233 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up a little bit this last week and a total of over nine feet since February 1st. It is currently at 879 ft. above sea level and 200 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 is stable and has warmed slightly with the average being 54-60 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open with a two lane concrete ramp and a dock. 4wd is no longer needed to launch.
Trout: Good. The trout are still in fairly shallow water and many anglers are catching them using a variety of presentations. The trout are nice, chunky 1 to 2-pound fish. On calm days, you can watch the surface and find fish feeding in shallow, protected bays. Trolling anglers have found much success trolling near the surface with spoons. Excels, Needlefish and Speedy Shiners have all been good choices. Trolling at faster speeds seems to be triggering more bites. Try trolling from 2-3mph and following the contour of the shoreline. Bright colors have also been getting bit. Orange, chartreuse, gold and copper are working well. Bank anglers have been having luck floating a nightcrawler off of the bottom. Use a worm threader to put the worm on the hook and a worm blower to inflate it. Another good idea is to add scent to your box of crawlers. Garlic and anise have both been working well and will help you get a few more bites. Another presentation that is hard to beat is Power Bait. Rainbow, chartreuse, garlic and salmon egg are good choices and have been responsible for many limits this year. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Bob James of Murphy’s. He caught a 1.81-pound trout while soaking garlic Power Bait on the south end of the lake. 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: Soon. A few local guides have found some kokanee and expect them to start biting in the next few weeks.
Bass: Good. We have already seen some giant fish caught this year and the bite for numbers has been pretty consistent. The spring bite is around the corner and we expect to see some trophy fish caught and released. The majority of the fish are in 25-35’ of water and filling their bellies in preparation for the spawn. Plenty of bass can be found on rock ledges and bluffs. To catch these fish try using a light weight darthead or fishing a Hula Grub on a football head jig. Natural crawdad colors and earth tones seem to fool the fish when the water is clear. Bright colors and darker colors work best in stained water. When fishing around wood and standing timber try using a more weedless approach. The fish are still feeding heavily on shad. Shad patterned Roboworms and minnow shaped baits have been putting fish in the boat. The fish are starting to get a little more active and have been biting deep diving crankbaits and rip-baits. Lucky Craft Staycee 90’s ripped down to 15’ will draw fish from a distance and will produce many bites. It is a good idea to add scent to your presentations to help the fish locate them. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. We are approaching the annual spawn. 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 catfish are showing up near the bank and many anglers are catching multiple fat cats on each outing. Catfish anglers have been using frozen shad, mackerel and anchovies to haul in some hefty cats. One key to getting bites is soaking your bait in scent. Garlic and bloody tuna seem to be the best choice for enticing lunker cats. There is a bunch of exposed wood and the catfish seem to relate to it. Be sure to use stout hooks and heavy line to keep them from tangling in the brush.
Crappie: Early spring is a great time to get into some big crappie. With the lake being lower than normal there are a bunch of trees that the crappie will hold in. The best way to catch the crappie is with a live minnow fished under a slip-float. Another good trick is to put the minnow on a mini jig. The color of the jig will help attract fish and the action of the minnow will make them bite. To locate crappie try using a Beetle Spin and making multiple cast toward the structure. Once you find an area that is holding, slow down and thoroughly fish it with other presentations.