July 28, 2014
New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 636,575 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped three feet this week and is currently at 885 ft. above sea level and 200 ft. from full. The water is stained in most areas of the lake, and fairly clear in others. 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. Night fishing anglers have been doing well. They are catching limits of fat healthy trout under a submersible light. Try anchoring the boat in 25-50’ 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 are starting to catch a few more on each outing. The trout feed on 2-4” shad. Try using baits that match the size, profile and color of the baitfish. Rapala Shad Raps, Scatter Raps, Rattle traps, and Jointed Shad Raps are a very close match to the natural forage. Another way to get a few more bites is to add scent to your lures. Pro Cure gel in shad scent, or threadfin shad scent will do the trick. Don’t forget to bring some crawlers. A single crawler threaded on the hook fished behind a single gold or silver blade is a great way to pick up a few fish. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Brian Basacker of Sonora. He caught a nice limit while night fishing at the spillway. His largest fish weighed 1-pound, 13-ounces. Bank anglers try using a heavy sliding sinker to make long casts into deeper water and soak some night crawlers and Power Bait midday. Also, try fishing some other local lakes and streams. 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 in the main lake and holding near the deepest parts of the lake. The main river channel from the dam to the 49-bridge will have schools of kokanee throughout. Anglers have reported catching most of their fish in the early to mid-morning. Once you locate a school of fish it is a good idea to stay in the area to catch your limit. The average size is a chunky 11-13” with a few fish measuring 14-16”. A variety of colors are producing limits. Darker colors do work best in deeper water. Try using baits that have a large profile such as Rocky Mountain Super Squids, or Apex. Larger blades will disperse more water which will help attract fish when there is little visibility. It is also a good idea to modify your dodgers by adding a little bend to them. This modification will give the blade and bait more side-to-side swing. Add a Scent Chamber/chain swivel to ensure your setup will have plenty of scent. Garlic, bloody tuna, anise, and kokanee special will work. Don’t forget to tip your presentations 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 summer pattern where they will move shallow at night and in the morning for a short period of time to feed. Then they will head back to cool water for the hot hours of the day. There is a short window off opportunity to catch some topwater fish, and this style of fishing will produce some of the larger fish. Once the sun comes up it is best to switch to slower moving sub-surface baits. Try dragging a Carolina Rig near deep water or, shaking a Texas Rig near some wood. The shad have been schooled up and in deep water. If you can locate the shad there should be some bass nearby. Try using a jigging spoon to target fish that are feeding on deep water baitfish. 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. Most anglers that are targeting the cats are catching multiple fish on each outing. 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. In dark water and murky water it is a good idea to add extra scent to your bait. Catfish hunt by sound/vibration and smell. Try using a couple rods to offer the fish a variety of baits. Also, large baits and large portions of bait will tempt the monster catfish. Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Harold Monks of Stockton. He landed a 10-pound catfish on an Uncle Larry’s Spinner while trolling near Rose Island.