The Trout are biting at New Melones

New Melones Reservoir - Angels Camp, CA

by Glory Hole Sports Staff
(209) 736-4333

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,040,094 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped approximately two feet in the last 30 days, and is currently at 948 ft. above sea level and 138 ft. from full. The water is fairly clear. The water temperature will be cooling a bit each week until the lake turns over. The lake has cooled some and is 62-68 degrees depending on what part of the lake you are fishing. Use caution when launching at the Glory Hole ramp. The end of the ramp is close and the tires of your trailer might drop off the edge. The Tuttletown launch is the best launch to be using for now.

Pictured Above: Donald Dearing of Livermore caught a limit trolling a crawler/dodger combo near the dam.

Trout: Good. The trout bite was good this last weekend with most anglers catching a few fish. The trout are moving from deep to shallow water. They have been in deep/cooler water all summer and are coming to the surface. Once the surface temperature cools and the lake turns the trout bite should be wide open.

Photo #1: Doug Yaeger of San Jose spent the morning trolling shad near the dam. He reported catching this nice limit out of 35' of water.

Trolling anglers should try trolling 25-35 feet deep with downriggers or diving planes. The trout are feeding on balls of shad so shad patterned spoons are a good bet. Needlefish, Excels, Kastmasters and Speedy Shiners are good spoons that produce many limits. Also, there are fish feeding on the surface in the early morning. To target these fish try top-lining a F5 or J5 Rapala. A feeding fish will travel a long way to hit a single shad that has strayed from the school. Be sure to add shad scent to your bait to help draw fish from a distance.

Photo #2: Bill Brown of Woodland caught a nice rainbow trout on a silver Kastmaster while bank fishing near the Glory Hole boat launch.

Bank anglers have a good chance of catching them because the fish are starting to show up near the shore line to where they are more accessible. To cover water and target actively feeding fish try using a small Kastmaster. Chrome, chrome/blue, or chrome/prism spoons will work best on clear days and gold or fire tiger colored spoons work well on overcast days. For bait try using a mallow/crawler combo or a Power Egg/crawler combo. Also dough bait works well. Rainbow garlic Power Bait seems to be the most popular color and scent each year. Fly fishing season is winding up as the rivers will be closing November 15th.

Kokanee: Done for the season. The kokanee are upriver doing their annual spawn and die.

Bass: Slow. The lake is in transition from summer to fall. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water. The shad are schooled up and there are bass that target these balls of bait. The tough part about fishing for these fish is there is generally a short window of opportunity where they will be feeding. Try using a shad patterned grub on a oz. darthead. This is a great setup that can be fished in multiple ways. You can drag it on the bottom, fish it vertically, or swim it at any depth. Also if you use your electronics and find bait in deeper water a great way to catch them is with a vertical jigging spoon or with a drop shot rig fished directly under the boat. The bass are also feeding on crawdads. Try using football head jigs to target these bass. California Reservoir Lures has an excellent selection of crawdad colored jigs that are designed specifically for our Mother Lode Lakes. The trout are moving to the surface and toward the shoreline. Big bass eat trout. If you do keep a bass, please keep the small spotted bass and release the big female (largemouth) black bass. Glory Hole Sports can teach you the difference, so you can practice good conservation of the species.

Catfish: Good. The catfish are still in fairly shallow water and feeding heavily. At this time of the year we generally see some really large cats being caught, especially if we get a little rain. They will move into feeder creeks and feed on whatever washes into the lake. Try using a variety of different baits until the fish tell you what they want to feed on. Night crawlers, liver, shad, and anchovies seem to produce the majority of fish. It is very important to use a sliding sinker or no weight at all. The fish will drop the bait if they feel any weight. It is a good idea to leave your bail open while waiting for them to bite. Let the fish run with the bait for a few seconds then set the hook. For bigger cats try using a whole mackerel or sardine fished on a double hook rig. Many catfish will roam flats, points, and humps to feed. When choosing a location to fish focus on flat dirt/rock areas near deep water.

Crappie/Bluegill: Slow. The crappie will chase shad much like the bass and trout do at this time of the year. Try using small Kastmasters and Beatle Spins to target them. They also will hold tight to standing standing timber and there is plenty of it available with the water level being low.

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