New Melones Reservoir Report

New Melones Reservoir - Angels Camp, CA

by Glory Hole Sports Staff
(209) 736-4333

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 275,513 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up one foot this past week. It is currently at 801 ft. above sea level and 284 ft. from full. The water clarity is stained in many areas and will occasionally clear up. The water temperature is starting to cool, with the average being 68-72 degrees. The dam area has been buoyed off due to current that is created when releasing water. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a one lane dirt and gravel road leading off of the end of the point. There is not a courtesy dock and it is best to launch with a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Trout: Slow. The trout are starting to move up in the water column and holding at a more catchable depth. Each week the surface temperature continues to drop. This drop in temperature will encourage the baitfish to move shallow and the trout will follow. Plus, the lake has a higher inflow and lower outflow. This will cause the water level to rise slowly which makes the fish more comfortable and more likely to bite. The trout are feeding primarily on small shad. Weather you decide to troll or bank fish, it is best to use a presentation that resembles fleeing shad. Small shad patterned spoons will be a good choice for the next couple of weeks.

Kokanee: Done. We have not had any kokanee reports for awhile now. Typically this is when they start to move up river to spawn. We hope to see some of the kokanee up near the Parrots Ferry Bridge.

Bass: Good. The fall bass bite continues to get better each week. The shorter days and cool nights will help the water temperature drop. This will cause the shad to school up and the bass will feed heavily on them. Use your electronics to find the bait and the fish will be nearby. There are many ways to target fish that are schooled up and feeding on shad. One way to target these fish is with a suspending rip-bait. Try using a Lucky Craft Staysee 90 or a small sized Pointer. When fishing with rip-baits the cadence of the retrieve becomes very important. Some days the fish will take on a fast and erratic retrieve and other times they will bite best on a slow retrieve with long pauses. Try to vary retrieves and let the fish tell you which one they want. When you find fish and they are located beneath the boat, try using a vertical presentation to catch them. A dropshot rig with a small shad pattern worm will work well. Another good technique that will put a bunch of fall bass in the boat is spooning. Once again this is a vertical presentation that is fished directly under the boat. There will always be fish that feed on crawdads, even if they are chasing shad. Try using a football head jig in a crawdad pattern. Brown, green pumpkin and purple are all good choices. California Reservoir Lures makes a variety of jigs that will resemble the natural forage in these Mother Lode lakes.

Catfish: Good. There are still a few anglers each week that are targeting catfish. Most bank anglers have been finding their best luck to be off of Glory Hole Point on down by the 49-bridge. One nice thing about the cooler weather is the catfish will be more active during the middle of the day. Try to fish flat areas that have deep water nearby. The catfish will use these areas as a dinner table and will check them throughout the day. The fall is a time of year when the shad will school up together. All other species of predator fish will gang up on them and eat as many as possible. The catfish will feed on large schools of shad and then come back and clean up afterwards. With this in mind, using frozen shad would be a good choice of bait. The catfish are programmed to eat them off the bottom and will not hesitate. Another presentation that can be used to target catfish that often gets overlooked is a crawler/mallow rig. Most anglers think of it as a trout rig, but each year many catfish are caught using it. Catfish have very poor eyesight. A presentation that floats up off the bottom and out of the brush and rocks will get notice. Also, the bright color of the mallow can be seen from a distance and in stained water. Plus, the mallow has scent that will help the catfish locate the bait and it will work well holding any additional scent.

Crappie: Okay. We have had a few reports of anglers catching some nice crappie. Crappie mini jigs and minnow-like soft plastic will often out fish live minnows when fished properly. Try using light line on an ultra-light spinning setup.

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