New Melones Lake is an artificial lake in the central Sierra Nevada foothills of Calaveras- and Tuolumne County, California near Jamestown. This reservoir created by the construction of the New Melones Dam across the Stanislaus River has a 2,400,000 acre·ft (2,960,000 dam³) capacity with a surface area of 12,500 acres (5,100 ha). When full, the shoreline is more than 100 miles (160 km).
"Night fishing is great for trout, catfish and crappie," said Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole Sports. Night fishing anglers are catching limits of fat healthy trout under a submersible light. Try anchoring the boat in 40 to 50 feet of water and dropping the light 15 to 25 feet. Try using live minnows, mini jigs, Power Bait and 'crawlers. Anglers are catching most of their kokanee in the early morning. There are a lot of schools of kokanee holding tight to cover. Early morning bite has been good for bass. The fish are primarily feeding on large balls of shad.
from Calaveras Enterprise
Department of Fish and Game is now planting rainbow trout weekly at New Melones. With the lake turned over, trout are schooled up in hunting "wolf-packs," chasing shad right up into the shallows, so that is where the action is. Bank anglers and those who cast lures or bait into the shore from their boat will have the best luck for rainbows. Trolling anglers should head upriver, or into the mouths of major coves and creek arms. Try fishing near the surface with large shad patterned plugs. Top-lining shad patterned plugs such as Rapalas, Speed Traps, and Rattle Traps, or spoons such as Needlefish (003 size), Excels, Kastmasters, and Speedy Shiners are your best bet for trolling. In rainy or overcast weather, try a firetiger pattern. read more...
Trolling anglers had very little luck this week fishing the main lake. The trout seem to be in transition from deep to shallow water. We have had reports of fish being caught from 5’ to 65’ of water. With the water temperature dropping we should start seeing more fish being caught toward the surface. Try using shad patterned trolling spoons such as, Needlefish, Excels, Slimfins, and Speedy Shiners. The fish are feeding heavily on 3-5” shad. Large plug baits like Countdown Rapalas, Rattle traps, and Speed traps might coax a few fish into biting.” Bass fishing is starting to pick up as anglers are fishing deep 20’ to 40’ deep while dragging small worms through the schools of actively feeding fish.
Guide Danny Layne says the trout were biting before the storm hit, and that should resume with fish in the top 25 feet. Areas with water inlets nearby should be good bets as the fish move in to feed on nightcrawlers and other insects that get washed into the lake.
Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported outstanding rainbow trout action at depths from the surface to 25 feet with orange or watermelon Apex lures, Excels, or Kokanee Killers tipped with garlic scented shoepeg corn.
New Melones Lake dropped three feet again this week and is currently at 1,047 feet above sea level and 41 feet from full. Levels will continue to drop as room needs to be made to accommodate upcoming winter rains. Water temperature is really dropping now and is currently 67-69 degrees. The lake will “turn over” when surface water cools to the same temp as the deeper water – around 53-54 degrees.
Trout: Pretty good.
Bass: Fair to slow.
The Kokanee bite is going strong. Try using spinners, Kokanee Killers, Kokanee bugs, or hootchies.
Kokanee fishing is hot right now. Try trolling off of the Glory Hole Point and head right up to the dam. Fish are holding at 30 to 45 feet.
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