New Melones Reservoir Fish Report

New Melones Reservoir - Angels Camp, CA

by Glory Hole Sports Staff
(209) 736-4333

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 538,151 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up almost two feet this last week. It is currently at 865 ft. above sea level and 211 ft. from full. The water clarity is clear in most of the lake with a few areas being a little stained. The water temperature continues to cool with the average being 54-57 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open with a two lane concrete ramp and a dock. 4wd is no longer needed to launch.

Trout: Good. Most anglers are finding limits of trout that are up close to the surface and feeding. The trout bite will continue to get better as the water gets cooler. There is an abundance of small shad that the trout are using as their primary food source. Bank anglers are catching a handful of fish on each outing and some limits. One nice thing that has happened is the water is starting to rise every day. This makes the access to the water not as muddy as it has been. There are a lot of trees and bushes in the water. The key is to find small stretches of shoreline in between the trees that have more dirt and rock. The most productive setup has been floating an egg or ball of Power Bait off of the bottom. Try using a light hook and light line to ensure your bait is floating. A good way to catch fish that are keying on shad is with a slip-float rig. Try using a Berkley Minnow suspended 15-25' below the slip-float on a ball head jig hook. Trolling anglers are finding much success in many different areas of the lake. The trout are up and cruising the surface in shallow water and over deep water. Trolling spoons have been producing limits. Try a few different sizes and colors until the fish tell you which lure they are most interested in. Some anglers have also been having success with a single blade followed by a threaded crawler. Be sure to add shad scent to help attract more fish. 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. The fish have entered spawn mode and will soon start dying off. We have heard very few reports of them in shallow water.

Bass: Good. The lake has been fishing well throughout the fall and into winter. Most anglers are finding plenty of nice fish that are eager to bite. The lake is full of feisty 1 to 3-pound spotted bass that can be caught on many different presentations. The most productive setup has been a small shad patterned worm fish on a drop-shot rig. The shad that the fish are feeding on are small, so it is a good idea to use smaller 2-3" shad patterns. Berkley Minnows, Tiny Flukes and Roboworm Alive Shad are all good choices. For those who like to fish with reaction baits try using a Lucky Craft suspending jerkbait or a 3/4oz shad patterned spinnerbait. The jig bite has been good and tends to produce some larger fish. Melones has huge largemouth and huge spotted bass.

Catfish: Slow. The winter months are slow for catfish but some giant ones are still caught each year. Catfish will fall victim to trout offerings. Power Bait and a nightcrawler/mallow combo continually catch some hefty cats. The best part of this is you can target trout and catfish without switching baits. The bigger cats will move up during the rain and feed in areas that have fresh water coming into them. The fresh water will wash nutrients and insects into the lake. This will attract crawdads and small fish. The big cats will move up and feed on these smaller creatures. Try using frozen fish baits fished in shallow water. Shad, anchovy and sardine are all good choices. A good way to fish for catfish is without any added weight. Use enough bait to make a cast and let it sink to the bottom and lifelessly drift. This weight-less approach has been known to fool some of the biggest cats. Be sure to leave slack in the line so the fish does not feel any tension.

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