12-30-13 Fishing Report
Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding
1,047,722 acre-feet of water. The lake level rose very little this week and is currently at 949 ft. above sea level and 137 ft. from full. The water is fairly clear in some areas and slightly stained in others. The water temperature dropped quite a bit due to freezing weather and snow fall and is in the mid to low 50's. The recent cold snap was enough to complete the annual turn over of the lake. The docks have been moved back to the middle ramp on Glory Hole Point.
8-year old Matthew Baptista of Escalon caught a nice limit of rainbows on rainbow/garlic Power Bait.
Trout: Very Good. The trout are still biting with anglers landing some nice limits of planted and holdover rainbows. The fish have moved from the main lake toward the coves and creek channels. Most fish are being caught in fairly shallow water. The surface temperature has dropped to a stable winter temperature forcing the majority of the trout out of the deeper water. The Department of Fish and Game has had multiple plants so far for the month of December. Bank anglers have been doing really well of off Glory Hole Point and near the Tuttletown boat launch. Most anglers report having success floating Power Bait on a standard bait rig. Many different colored dough baits seem to work with rainbow, chartreuse, salmon egg, and pink being favorites. Also, the fish seem drawn to the garlic scented bait. If you are fishing with a color that is not scented try adding some garlic scented oil to entice more bites. For anglers who prefer using artificial presentations, try fan casting Kastmasters and Krocodiles. Another way to catch them is with a mini jig under a slip float or behind a bubble.
Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to 7-year old Makenna Tutthill of Murphys. She landed a chunky 3.10-pound holdover rainbow trout while bank fishing with Power Bait. She and her 9-year old brother Bradey Tutthill reported catching a bunch of fish in just a few hours off of Glory Hole Point.
Tadeo and Josh Fernandez of Turlock brought is some nice rainbows.
Trolling anglers should try fishing from 30' to the surface. With a large majority of fish moving to shallow water, it's a good idea to troll near the shoreline or use a side planer. Trolling spoons have been working well. Speedy Shiners, Needlefish, and Excel Spoons are all good choices. Another setup that catches them is a nightcrawler threaded onto a straight shank hook or a trolling fly tipped with a chunk of crawler. Be sure to let out plenty of line, 150-200'. This is a great time of year to catch some large brown trout. When trolling with multiple rods it's a good idea to have one setup for browns. Try using large jointed plugs or rolling shad. When that rod hits it could be a fish of a lifetime. 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: Done for the season and done spawning upriver. The fish generally start biting again in the spring mid-April into May.
Bass: Fair. The bite seems to be getting better for most anglers. The spotted bass in Melones are chunks. When you do catch them they are usually quality 2-4 pound fish. Most fish are schooling in deep water from 40-70' and moving up throughout the day to feed. It is very important to use your electronics to locate fish and bait. Try using vertical jigging spoons near the balls of bait. A great cold water tactic is drop shot rig. Try using small shad patterned bait and light fluorocarbon line to get these finicky fish to bite. Another good thing to keep in mind is with cooling water their metabolism will slow also. Try slowing down a bit and using baits that crawl across the bottom. A ¾ oz. football jig is hard to beat for this style of fishing. Try using a crawdad colored twin tail grub, Brush Hog, or Beaver as a trailer. Also, use plenty of scent and reapply multiple times throughout the day to help the fish locate your bait. With the Department of Fish and Game planting rainbows now is a good time to target giant fish with trout patterned swim baits. If you do keep a bass, please keep the small 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: Slow. The catfish will be moving to deep water near rock piles and ledges. Most anglers don't target catfish at this time of the year. But, the ones that do will hook into some lunkers. Melones cats tend to be fish eaters. Frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel work well for bait.