Glory Hole Fishing Report

New Melones Reservoir - Angels Camp, CA

by Glory Hole Sports

Water Conditions

New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,980,930 acre feet. The lake level came up six feet this past week and should continue to rise throughout the spring months. It is currently at 1050 ft. above sea level and 38 ft. from full. There is a very solid snow pack that will provide plenty of water to fill the lake. On the surface is some floating debris which will increase as you travel upriver.


The trout bite picked up quite a bit this past week for the anglers who are on the water trolling for them. The lake is getting closer to full each week. There have been substantial amounts of fresh, highly oxygenated water flowing into the lake for the past few months. This should keep the trout near the surface and actively feeding into the warmer summer months. Trolling anglers are straying away from traditional trout lures and using some of the brightly colored kokanee lures to catch trout. Try using hoochies that have a lot of action. Wiggle hoochies and bladed hoochies are both good choices. When trolling multiple lines be sure to drop at least one down to the 30' to 40' range to catch those giant kokanees we hope to see this year. Bank anglers have been striking out and not catching any trout from the shoreline. The large amounts of flooded vegetation have made shoreline fishing a little more difficult. The river and streams in the high country are going to open the last Saturday of April and will be the best bet for bank anglers during the summer months.


We have yet to see or hear of any kokanee being caught this year. Typically, the first couple weeks of April a few kokanees will start being caught. However, this year we are dealing with drastically different conditions. The weather has been much colder keeping the water temperatures down. Once the water warms up a little more, we might start to see some kokanee being caught. For anglers who want to target kokanee a pink hoochie trolled behind a tear drop dodger will work. Garlic is a good scent to try as well.


Many anglers have been successfully catching bass out of New Melones. The lake is beautiful at this level and there are fish to be caught on the main lake, in creek channels and upriver. The shoreline is covered with freshly flooded vegetation. It is very important to use a presentation that will pull through the grass without getting hung up. A Texas Rig or a weedless drop-shot are both good choices. On the Texas Rig, try using a lizard or a brush hog. On the drop-shot a straight tail worm will work best. A Senko is always a go-to rig during the spring months and can be fished on a variety of presentations. With the water temperature warming we can expect some fish to respond well to faster moving baits. A suspending ripbait would be an appropriate choice and can be fished fast or slow depending on what the fish want. Some anglers continue to toss large swimbaits in search of those giant bass.


The giant catfish in New Melones are starting to move into shallow water. The temperature continues to rise and the fish will become more active as it does. Catfish will scour the shoreline in search of critters that have been caught off guard by the rising water. They will also cruise into shallow coves and feed on baby bass and bluegill. Some of the largest catfish are caught at this time of the year. A massive ball of nightcrawlers on a treble hook should tempt these giants into biting.

Art Smith and Gary McCoy with 2 bass and 4 crappie, total weight 13-pounds, 10-ounces. All fish were caught in flooded willows with watermelon wacky worms and blue/yellow crappie jigs.


Crappie fishing remains good. Anglers will have a few more weeks to target the springtime crappies in shallow coves. Crappie jigs and live minnows have been the best bet. Use the color of the jig to attract fish and the action of the minnow to coax them into biting. Once the water temperature rises they will move out to deeper water and suspend. During the summer months, they can be caught under a submersible light.

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