Trout bite at New Melones is getting better each week as the water temperature continues to drop

New Melones Reservoir - Angels Camp, CA

by Glory Hole Sports Staff
(209) 736-4333

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,024,285 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped very little this week and is currently at 946 ft. above sea level and 140 ft. from full. The water is fairly clear in some areas and slightly stained in others. 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. The docks have been moved on Glory Hole Point. This makes for an easy launch and very short walk to and from the parking lot.

Trout: Good. There are more fish showing up near the surface making them easier to catch for both trolling anglers and bank anglers. The trout are targeting balls of very small shad. The trout will push the bait from deep to shallow water. Try finding shallow water areas with deep water access. Trolling anglers should try top lining small plug style baits. Rapalas, Speed Traps, and Lucky Craft baits will do the trick. Be sure to let plenty of line out, to where your lure is clear of your boat wake. Try shad patterned colors on clear days and firetiger or rainbow trout colors on cloudy days. Be sure to add scent to entice a few more strikes.

Pictured Above: Bob James of Murphys caught a limit of nice trout while top lining a Glitterbug Tear Drop Dodger and a crawler. His biggest weighed in at 2-pounds, 10-ounces and is good for this weeks Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest.

Jed Bender of Angels Camp went out with Guide Gary Burns of Take it to the Limit Guide Service. They caught a limit of chunky rainbows while trolling shad patterned Excel spoons.

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. We had a few reports of some nice trout being caught from shore.

Jerry Brown of Angles Camp brought in three nice rainbows he caught from the shore. He reported catching the on crawlers and rainbow Power Bait.

John Picazo with a nice limit caught from the shore using Kastmasters and Power Bait.

Molly Williams of Danville caught this trout using a rainbow trout patterned Kastmaster.

To cover water and target actively feeding fish try using a small Kastmaster. 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.

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

Bass: Fair. 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.

Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Donald Cline of Angels Camp. He caught a nice chunky 3-pound, 12-ounce catfish near the Tuttletown boat launch.

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 timber.

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