June 17, 2013
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,292,844 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped two feet this week, and is currently at 980 ft. above sea level and 107 ft. from full. The average water temperature is a very warm 72-80 degrees. The lake is stained with mud lines forming near the shore in the afternoon.
Trout: Good. The fish have moved out to deeper/cooler water. The fish are feeding in 40-60’ of water on main lake points near the old river channel. Night fishing anglers are catching limits of fat healthy trout under a submersible light. Try anchoring the boat in 40-50’ of water, and dropping the light 15-25’ feet down. Be patient, it may take awhile for the light to attract plankton, baitfish, and trout. To catch them, try using live minnows, mini jigs, Power Bait, and crawlers. Trolling anglers should target trout in 40-60’ of water. The trout are feeding heavily on 2-4” shad. Try using the larger size Needlefish and Excel spoons. Plugs that have a large profile and put of a lot vibration will produce fish in deeper/cooler water. Fish will feed on sight, scent, and sound (vibration). In deep water there is less light penetration and visibility, so it is important to focus on scent and sound. The Rapala Scatter Rap is a new lure that will work well for trolling. This bait has a unique bill and an unpredictable action that is going to produce some nice bows and some big browns. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to Dave Hemphill of Valley Springs. He caught a very healthy 2-pound, 11-ounce rainbow while trolling a pink/white hoochie near Rose Island. Bank anglers should try using a bubble and a fly rig in the mornings and evenings. Also, try fishing some other local lakes and streams. Fly Fisherman, head to rivers, streams, and creeks. Try using nymphs and buggers midday. Switch a dry fly for some evening surface activity.
Kokanee: Fair. Anglers are catching most of their fish in the early morning and picking up a few here and there throughout the afternoon. There are a lot of schools of kokanee holding tight to cover. Try fishing near deep under water points and humps. Most of the fish are being caught from 65-95’ on the main lake near the dam, spillway, and Rose Island. Try using lures that produce vibration. Spinners and hoochies with Colorado blades will draw fish from a distance. Try using an Uncle Larry’s Spinner with a gold or copper blade. Or, a Mag Tackle Mini Mag with a painted blade. Pink, purple, and green Apex and hoochies have also been producing some nice fish. Larger gold, copper, and painted dodgers and sling blades seem to work best in deep water. There are many blades that need light to draw out color, U.V., and reflective qualities. There is very little light penetration in deep water. Be sure tip your hooks with shoe peg corn and add extra scent to your blades and baits.
Bass: Fair. Early morning bite has been good. The fish are primarily feeding on large balls of shad. Anglers should try using shad patterned top water baits in the morning and switching to shad patterned soft plastics as sun comes up. There has been a good jig bite. California Reservoir Lures makes a variety of jigs design for mother lode lakes. Try using natural crawdad patterns with a brush hog, twin tail grub, or beaver for a trailer. In stained water it is a good idea to use a chartreuse dye pen to dye the tips of your soft plastics offerings. We have been seeing a lot of big spotted bass being caught and we possibly have a world record swimming around out there. If you do keep a bass, please keep the spotted bass and release the big female (largemouth) black bass. Glory Hole Sports can teach you the difference, so you can practice good conservation of the species.
Catfish: Good. Some big cats are showing up in shallow water. Melones catfish tend to be fish-eaters rather than bottom foragers, so use live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel, or anchovies for best success. Also while bait fishing, it is a good idea to drag your bait across the bottom every few minutes to attract nearby fish. Use a sliding sinker with a bead to create a ticking noise as your bait is moving. In dark water add murky water it is a good idea to add extra scent to your bait. Catfish hunt by sound/vibration and smell. Jeff Henry of Angles Camp was fishing near Tuttletown when he caught a lunker 12-pound catfish. The fish took a garlic scented Power Egg fished under a drop light. He reported catching the fish in 50’ of water around midnight.
Crappie: Fair. Some pretty decent slab-sides being caught. Try using a red/white or chartreuse crappie jig with live minnow, fished under a slip-float. The night fishing has been good for crappie and trout. Also, the big blue gill have moved to shallow water to spawn.