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 264,976 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped two feet this past week. It is currently at 797 ft. above sea level and 288 ft. from full. The water clarity is fairly clear in most of the lake and stained in some of the creek arms. The water temperature continues to cool, with the average being 62-66 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 bite should be getting a little better each week. The recent rain will help bring some fish to shallow water, making them easier to locate and catch. Some of the small drainages and creeks that lead into the lake will have an increase in flow, which will attract the smaller fish. The larger fish will soon follow. We have not had any reports of anglers fishing for trout and there have been very few boats on the water each day. This makes it difficult to write and accurate fishing report. However, we have an archive of reports to reference from years past. Once the lake level starts to rise again and cools a little more, the bite should be really good. The lack of boating traffic and fishing pressure can also be a good thing. The fish will not be conditioned to lure presentations and will most likely be more aggressive and willing to chase a variety of offers. For those anglers that want to target trout, try using lures that can be fished at various depths. A Kastmaster can be fished near the surface or counted down to a desired depth. Try using a shad pattern during blues skies and switching to a firetiger pattern when we get a little cloud cover and rain. 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. 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 bite has been really good for the few anglers that have been targeting bass on New Melones. With the recent weather being so nice, it makes for comfortable fishing conditions and more time on the water. The fall can be a great time to catch a bunch of nice fish and some of the big ones. They are filling their bellies in preparation for the colder winter months. The fish are schooling up and feeding on balls of schooled shad. Once you find the bait the bass will be nearby. Try fishing many different locations until you find an actively feeding school. A good way to target suspended fish is with a vertical presentation. Try using a jigging spoon fished directly under the boat. Free spool the spoon below the bait and rip it upward through the bait. Often times this will disturb the school of shad and that will get the attention of nearby bass. Also, a drop-shot rig lowered down to the fish will often coax some of the more finicky fish into biting. Try using small shad-shaped worms or 4" hand pours. Another trick is to nose hook in open water and Texas Rig if you are fishing near cover. Not all of the fish will target shad and some will still be scouring the bottom for crawdads. Try using brown, purple and green pumpkin soft plastics to coax a few bites off of the bottom. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. The bigger fish are the future of our lake. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.

John Chiarpotti owner of California Reservoir Lures has been catching a bunch of nice fish on each outing. These chunky spots and largemouth were safely released after being photographed.

Catfish: Good. We are still getting plenty of reports from the catfish anglers. The bite has been good and should continue for the next few weeks. Once the water temperature drops to the low 50's the catfish will become very sluggish. There has been a little rain and the forecast is calling for more. This will encourage the catfish to move shallow and search the shoreline for food that has been washed into the lake. In years past, catfish have been caught in extremely shallow water during fall rain storms. Look for areas that have been muddied from the rainfall or from wind. These are likely spots to find fish that are using the murky water to disguise themselves. One trick that works well is fishing your presentation without any weight. In order to make a cast you must use plenty bait on a fairly heavy hook. Let the bait sink to the bottom and leave your bail open. When the fish picks up the bait they will not feel the weight and be less likely to drop it. Also, nightcrawlers are a good choice to fish near drainage ditches and fresh moving water. These areas will naturally wash nightcrawlers into the lake and once the fish realize this, they will wait nearby for their next easy meal.

Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Troy Morris of Angels Camp. He caught a nice 4-pound, 1-ounce catfish while fishing with a nightcrawler near Angels Creek.

Crappie: Slow. We have had a few reports of some crappie being caught. Try using a live minnow fished under a slip-float.

Some anglers will swim Beetle Spins and Mini Jigs near brush and standing timber to search for crappie.

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