Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding
1,039,799 acre-feet of water. The lake level rose very little this week and is currently at 948 ft. above sea level and 138 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 should be in the low 50's. This cold snap is enough to complete the annual turn over of the lake. The docks have been moved back to the middle ramp on Glory Hole Point.
Trout: Fair. The weather forecast is predicting a clear and fairly sunny weekend. Last weeks cold weather and snow has cooled the surface temperature. The cold surface temperature will move more fish to the surface making them easier to catch for both trolling anglers and bank anglers. 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 planner. Try using 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. 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. Bank anglers have been catching more and more fish each week. Most anglers are targeting fish that are feeding near the bottom. Try using a double up bait rig. With this set up you will be able to use Power Bait Dough, Power Eggs, marsh mallows, crawlers, or a combination. Using multiple presentations is a great way to find out what the fish are feeding on. There are also quite a few fish feeding and cruising near the surface. The best way to target these fish is with a bubble/crawler, or a bubble/fly rig. Also, casting and retrieving and Kastmaster, is a great way to cover water and find feeding fish.
Glory Hole Sports Big Fish Week goes to Jeremy Ortega of Mountain Ranch. He caught a limit of rainbows. His biggest weighed 1.43-pounds after being cleaned. He reported catching them while bank fishing with Power Bait off of Glory Hole Point.
Kokanee: Done for the season. The kokanee are upriver doing their annual spawn and die.
Bass: Slow. The lake is starting to turn and the fish are on a late fall/early winter pattern. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water anywhere from 5-70' of water. Once the lake turns and stabilizes the fishing should get better and the fish will be at a more consistent depth. It is very important to use your electronics to locate fish and bait. Try using vertical jigging spoons near the balls of bait. 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. Also, use plenty of scent to help the fish locate your bait. The bite should pick up once we get some weather.
Margaret Shelton caught and released a 5 to 6 lb spotted bass Sunday 11/24/13 on a 1/2oz brown & purple jig with a twin tail green pumpkin trailer (made by her husband) while fish a rock wall.
Be sure to use a popping needle on fish that are caught in deep water.
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. Try fishing near large rocks and boulders. A large ball of crawlers is hard to beat. At this time of the year you will have to be very patient for the bites are few and far between. Be sure to use plenty of scent on you bait.