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 545,759 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up two feet this last week. It is currently at 867 ft. above sea level and 209 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 53-56 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. With the recent cold front, the water temperature has dropped a few degrees and will continue to do so. This should solidify the lake turn over. Each year when this happens schools of trout will move into shallow water and some of the biggest trout will be up and near the shore. This makes for a great winter trout bite for bank anglers and boating anglers. Bank anglers have been having luck near the 49-bridge and off of Glory Hole Point. 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 wire hook and light line to ensure your bait is floating. Another sure fire way to achieve buoyancy is with a Corky. These little floats will keep your bait floating all day and they come in a variety of fish catching colors. 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. Head upriver between the bridges to catch a bunch of fish or troll near the dam and spillway to target the larger fish. 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 bass bite continues to be good with most anglers catching plenty fish on each outing. The water temperature has been dropping and we are moving into more of a winter bite. Try fishing creek channels, points and bluffs until you have located the baitfish. The fish are stuffed with shad and feeding heavily. It is not uncommon to catch fish that spit multiple shad out on the deck of the boat. Smaller baits have been working best. Try fishing a Roboworm Alive Shad or a Zoom Tiny Fluke on a drop-shot rig. It is a good idea to add some shad scent to your presentation. You can also catch fish on shakeyheads, dartheads and jigs. The deep water bite from 40-70' has been good. The best way to target fish that are holding in deep water is with a 3/4oz football jig. California Reservoir Lures makes a bunch of really natural and realistic looking baits that continually produce better than average fish. You can also use a jigging spoon to catch fish that are holding in deep water. Some of the big fish are showing up each week.

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. 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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