Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,584,495 acre-feet of water. The lake level has dropped two feet again this week and is currently at 1012 ft. above sea level and 76 ft. from full. Water temperature is in the low 80's. Lake is stained, with mud lines forming around the shore on windy days, and days with a lot of boat traffic.
Trout: Great! We are seeing a surprising number of trout caught, for this time of year. Trolling anglers are bringing in some great trout.
Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest goes to Dave Duggan of Murphys, who spent a day fishing with Gary Burns "Take it to the Limit Guide Service." He brought in a 3.6-pounder he caught while trolling a Rapala 75' deep near Coyote Creek.
Mike Cachero with a 2-pound, 11-ounce rainbow.
Mike Van Laar with a 2-pound, 7-ouncer.
Most anglers are picking up mixed kokanee/trout limits while trolling 50-80' deep in the main lake. Excels and Slim Fins have been good lure choices, and crawlers are working great, too. Now is the time to tie a ball troll flasher like Vance's Cannonball trolls to your downrigger weights. When the fish are scattered like they are now, and not holding to a particular depth, big flashers will attract them to your bait. Using ball trolls allows you to use flashers and still feel the fish on your line without dragging around a bunch of metal. Night fishing under a submersible light is really good right now, and should be for the next couple months. Most anglers that are targeting fish at night are bringing in limits of fat 2-3 pound rainbows. Try fishing the main lake by the dam or spillway. Anchor your boat in 50-100 ft of water and drop the light down as far as it will go. Power Bait, Gulp Eggs, and nightcrawlers have been working well. Bank anglers should head to the high country lakes and rivers. Try using spinners such as Panther Martins and Rooster Tails with 4# test on an ultra light spinning rod.
Sidney and Cody Vaeth with kokanee and a big trout caught on spinners/dodgers.
Kokanee: Good, with most anglers getting easy limits of fat small but meaty kokanee with a big rainbow or two thrown in. Kokanee are very aggressive now, and are starting to lose their scales as they get ready to spawn. Try using a bladed hootchie behind a sling blade or dodger. Most of the fish are schooling in deep (60-90') waters, due to the recent hot weather. Some anglers run two slingblades in tandem, or run a hootchie through and directly behind an Apex to increase the size of the presentation for these more aggressive pre-spawn fish. Excel Spoons and Vance's Slim Fins trolled at a faster speed (2.0-2.5 mph) have also been catching the larger kokanee. Remember, when trolling deeper water, use darker colors. Be sure to add plenty of Pro Cure Scent to your dodger and your bait. Garlic, carp spit, and kokanee special have all been producing. Don't forget to bring corn soaked in these same scents.
Bass: fair. The fish are a little harder to find on these hotter days but they are still biting. Most fish are 12-15 inches with a few 3-pound plus fish caught. The water is heavily stained, so throw a chartreuse spinnerbait, a Carolina-rigged 6" worm with a chartreuse tail, or a Senko fished weightless. Some plastic baits have chartreuse tails, but you can also use a Spike It dye pen to color any worm or Senko's tail. The water has been dropping all summer long, leaving some of their favorite haunts high and dry. This will force the fish to suspend. Find the depth they are suspending and target them with a crankbait that will dive to that depth. 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: Good. Melones cats tend to be fish-eaters rather than bottom foragers, so use frozen shad, mackerel, chicken liver, or anchovies for best success. Larger cats will also feed on natural bait like crawlers, so to target large cats try using a big ball of crawlers- many anglers use a weightless set-up. Target shallow flats or areas with large chunk rock, these are prime locations for big cats to hang out. Larger fish are smarter, so use a fluorocarbon leader to entice more bites. Generally these fish will feed at night, but anglers have been hooking them at all hours, day and night.
Crappie: Fair, especially for those fishing at night under a submersible light. Use Beetle Spins, Mini Jigs, and minnows. 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. Look for fish suspended in the middle of main lake creek channels. Try to find trees and flooded timber in 25-40 feet of water.