New Melones Lake Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,758,779 acre-feet of water. The lake level has dropped three feet this week and is currently at 1029 ft. above sea level and 59 ft. from full. Water temperature is in the mid-70's, and climbing. Lake is slightly stained, with mud lines forming around the shore on windy days.
Trout: Trolling anglers are catching quality fish- usually mixed kokanee/trout limits. Trolling spoons and spinners seem to be producing quality fish. Tie on a Needlefish, or a Rocky Mountain Serpent Spoon trolled behind flashers, or a Mack's Wedding Ring tipped with a crawler. We have a tie for The Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest.
James Quick of Sonora brought in a nice 3-pound, 3-ounce rainbow, caught on a nightcrawler trolled 55' deep.
Joe Goodman of Copperopolis brought in a nice 3-pound 3-ounce rainbow, caught on a nightcrawler while night fishing by the dam.
Bank anglers- Slow (head to the local creeks for better action). Bank-anglers fishing Melones should target deeper water near the main lake and throw shad or rainbow trout patterned Rapala Countdowns, or other minnow style baits. Or use a worm threader to thread a nightcrawler on the hook and fish it with a Berkley Power Egg or a marshmallow to float your bait off the bottom. Night Fishing under submersible lights has been very good. Drop Power Bait, Gulp Minnows, or live minnows under a submersible light near the spillway/dam, or under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge. Be patient- it takes some time for the trout to start biting once you drop your light in the water. Fly Fishing has been very good on local streams. Try using a hopper-dropper setup to locate fish. Tie a #6 yellow stimulator with a #14 copper john of pheasant tail as a dropper fly. By doing this you can determine if the fish are feeding on the surface, or sub-surface.
Kokanee: Good, with most anglers getting easy limits of fat 13-14" fish. The fish are growing quickly now. Troll 40-65 feet deep in the spillway/dam area or near the 49 Bridge. Try using the new Anglers Market Kokanee Bites with an additional spinner, or to target larger fish, use baits that have a large profile and produce a lot of action. Rocky Mountain Super Squid or an Apex will trigger these larger fish. Pink is always a good color on this lake, but the fish are moving into deeper, darker waters, and pink/purple, watermelon, and blue will be more visible to these deeper fish. Be sure to add scent to your bait. Garlic, carp spit, kokanee special, and anise have been good choices. Don't forget your corn soaked in the same scents.
John Darroch caught some kokanee and a nice rainbow using his Glitterbug Micro Hoochies.
Bass: Good. Bass anglers are reporting catching fish all day long. Most fish are 12-15 inches with a few 3-pound plus fish caught. Bass are post-spawn, and have moved out to main lake structure. Try using topwater (poppers, spooks, and buzz baits) in the mornings and switching to soft plastics (Stick-baits, creatures, and hand pours) as the sun comes up. There is good drop shot bite on submerged island tops and main lake points at 25-45' deep. Also, bass will feed heavily on bluegill and other sunfish at this time of the year. Keep this in mind when choosing colors and lure presentations. Remember to practice catch and release! 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: Wide open. Melones cats tend to be fish-eaters rather than bottom foragers, so use frozen shad, mackerel, chicken liver, or anchovies for best sucess. Larger cats will also feed on natural bait like crawlers, so to target large cats try using a big ball of crawlers. Larger fish are smarter, so use a fluorocarbon leader to entice more bites.
Chris Limas of Manteca wins Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest. He and 3-year-old Brook Limas caught a 10-pound, 4-ounce cat on nightcrawlers while still fishing from a boat at night.
Crappie: good, especially for those fishing at night under a submersible light. This is prime time to target the crappie. Use Beetle Spins, Mini Jigs, and minnows in. Try a live minnow in tandem with a mini jig. The color of the jig will draw fish to it, and the live minnow triggers the bite. With the water warming up the fish will suspend in the middle of main lake creek channels. Try to find trees and flooded timber in 25-40 feet of water.