The Fish Sniffer - Mother Lode- New Melones
Mother Lode- New Melones

Written By: Dan Bacher, February 27, 2014
Species: Trout Bass
Location: New Melones Reservoir,

Trout fishing continues to be productive for bank anglers at New Melones Reservoir.

“The trout are in shallow water and feeding on and near the surface throughout the day,” said Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole Sports. “With recent rain and cloud cover, the fish seem to be drawn close to the shore. The creek channels and feeder creeks have some water flowing creating a food source and adding oxygen to the area.”

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has made multiple plants of rainbow trout so far and has more scheduled. Bank anglers are catching fish off of Glory Hole Point and near the Tuttletown boat launch.

“Try fishing wind protected pockets and coves just off of the main lake,” said Lewis. “ Power Bait and Gulp Eggs fished off of the bottom will work well. Following a storm, many fish will look for nightcrawlers and other insects that might have been washed into the lake. You can also try fan casting Kastmasters and Krocodiles.”

Trolling anglers should try fishing from 15’ to the surface. A teardrop dodger with a threaded crawler has been and is always a good fish catching presentation. Also, top-lining a spinner or trolling fly will work for fish that are feeding near the surface.

Big fish honors go to Brent Goucher of Angels Camp, who brought in a limit of trout with the biggest weighing 1.78 pounds while soaking PowerBait in Angels Cove.

Lewis said the bass bite has been “hit and miss.” When you find the fish, you can catch a bunch of fat 2-4 pound spotted bass,” she disclosed.

“The hard part is spotted bass tend to roam, they will be there one day and gone the next,” she tipped. “The key is to use your electronics to locate fish and bait. Once the fish have been located, try using a drop shot rig fished vertically over the top of them. Small shad patterned baits and light fluorocarbon line is the best way to get them to bite. “

“Another way to search for fish is by slowing down a bit and using baits that crawl across the bottom. A Carolina rigged Brush Hog or Senko will work well as a slow dragging presentation. Or a ¼ oz darthead tube or grub fished on the fall and twitched back to the boat will work.

Catfish action has been slow, but some giant cats have been caught in shallow water during and a few days after a winter rain in past years.

New Melones is currently holding 1,045,129 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped very little this week and is 949 ft. above sea level and 137 ft. from full. The water is very clear in some areas and slightly stained in others, with a little bit of debris on the surface.

The average water temperature is 52-55 degrees with some areas reaching 57-58 degrees on warm sunny days. The docks have been moved to the middle ramp on Glory Hole Point.     


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