Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 2,339,759 acre-feet of water. The lake is still rising, but now as fast as it was. The lake level rose one foot this week and is currently at 1081 ft. above sea level and only 7 ft. from full capacity and almost as full as it has ever been (in 1998 it reached 1085 feet). Water temperature is a balmy 80-82 degrees. Water is green-stained (lots of plankton- a good thing!) with strong mud lines near shore. Watch for floating debris and unmarked island tops.
Trout: With the kokanee action so hot, few anglers are targeting trout, but we are seeing the occasional rainbow thrown in with a limit of kokanee. If you wish to troll for trout, fish 35-45 feet deep over deepest water in the main lake with shad-patterned lures such as Excel, Apex, Needlefish, or Rapala Countdowns, and use Bang or ProCure threadfin shad scent on your lures. If you are in the mood for a boat ride, head upriver and still-fish under the logjam. Fishing for trout at night under a submersible light is a lot of fun in the summer on Melones. We have a selection of night-fishing drop lights at Glory Hole Sports. The light attracts plankton, which attracts the baitfish, which attracts the rainbows. Drop a nightcrawler/Power Bait combo or a live minnow under the light. Allow an hour or two for the baitfish to come around the light- then the action starts! Bank anglers should head to local creeks like Angels Creek.
Kokanee: Still going strong. Kokes are 15-16.5", and very fat. Kokanee are finally behaving the way they should at this time of year, and are congregating in the main lake and moving deeper. Troll 50-80 feet deep in the main lake. The waters around Rose Island and the dam seem to be holding the most, and also largest, fish. Tie on a R & K Micro Hootchie, Uncle Larry's Spinner, or a Crystal Basin Wiggle Hootchie, in pink, orange or purple, or a watermelon, orange sparkle, or Kevorkian Apex. Run your lures behind Slingblades or Vance's dodgers in the same color family. Always tip your hooks with shoepeg corn and apply scent liberally. Carp Spit has been a hot scent, with Kokanee Special, garlic, and Gary Burns' special scent also attracting limits. Many anglers are using natural or pink Berkeley maggots instead of corn. There is a lot of floating grass and debris in the water right now because of how fast the water is rising, so be prepared to catch a lot of salad while trolling. Project Kokanee held a tournament on Melones last Saturday. There were 134 participants. James Franco took 1st place in the adult division, with two fish weighing a total of 48.8-ounces. Rich Collins came in 2nd with 44.5-ounces, and he caught the biggest fish of the derby- a 24.9-ouncer. Wes Lemos won the youth division, with 2 fish weighing 38.6-ounces. Upcoming derbies include Central Valley Anglers (July 30), and Jackson Rancheria-sponsored $50,000 Kokanee Power 5-lake Mother-Lode Shootout on September 24-25.
Dave Green and his daughter Susan cought these limits of kokanee while trolling bythe dam. They had their limits in the boat by 9:20 am.
Bass: Fair action. Throw top-water lures in the morning and evening hours. Spinnerbaits, jigs and Senkos will work better in the heat of the day. Target the backs of creek arms and protected pockets off the main lake in the early morning with topwater baits such as Zara Spooks or pencil poppers. Later in the day, target main lake and secondary points with Senkos, jigs or other larger-profile soft plastics. Remember to practice catch and release.
Catfish: Now is the time! Catfish are moving into the coves and into shallower water as the water warms up. A sliding sinker rig, and a ball of crawlers or a piece of anchovy or sardine is your best bait. Leave your bail open so the cats can't feel the line. Successful catfish anglers move their bait often. Fishing for cats is usually best at night, but plenty of anglers catch them during the day as well.
Jeff Burnham of Dorrington wins our Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest and a free deli lunch with a 9-pound, 8-ounce cat that he caught while throwing green Roostertail 10-15 feet deep in a cove near the dam.
Crappie and bluegill: Look for crappie holding close to submerged trees where water and feed are running into the lake. Bear Cove and Coyote Creek and the submerged tress upriver are good sport to try. Night-fishing under a submersible light is the most effective way to target crappie in the summer. Use Beetle-spins, red and white crappie jigs or small or medium minnows under a slide-rig bobber.
Peter Jogopulos always has great luck night-fishing. He caught 4 while night-fishing by the spillway with crawlers.
Take It To The Limit Guide Service
The water is getting higher and the kokanee are getting bigger and fatter at New Melones. The water is getting close to going over the spillway and is in the trees chasing all the little critters out, so watch out for snakes. The fishing was great again this week with koks holding between 50' to 72'. Most of the week we fished in the middle of the lake between the dam and Rose Island. We are starting to see more 15 to 16 inchers and the koks look like footballs. Shoepeg corn with garlic and ginger worked well for us, this week we even used carp spit and that put some nice koks in the boat. Shasta Tackle Slingblades in UV blue or in red and gold are still working well towing R and K hoochies in pink and orange, Glitter Bug tube hoochies in pink with the willow leaf blade also the watermelon Apex. I did not have to deal with a lot of grass in the water in the latter part of the week and I hope it stays that way. It makes for a nicer day of fishing. Water temp. went up to 85 degrees and I'm surprised we are not catching koks in the 80' range, but it won't be long. Thank you everyone on the boat this week it was a pleasure having you.
Striper action remains unchanged. We're still finding good numbers of linesides in the 3 to 5 lbs. class in the main lake. Rolling shad and anchovies has been our method of take. Start out 10 to 15 feet early morning and move down 20 to 30 feet as the day goes on. Water conditions are very good, lake receding somewhat but still have plenty of water. Surface temperature is 84 degrees.
Gold Country Sportfishing
This fishing at New Melones is still cranking out the kokanee in big numbers. A trip on Friday to the lake this week was with return clients Lucas, Candace and Larry Edwards of Turlock and they experienced some great action of fat kokanee, while fishing with Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing. The three had no problem catching their three limits of kokanee to 15 inches. They caught their fish while using Vance's dodgers, Sling Blade dodgers along with pro-troll kokanee killers, Vance's hoochies and Shasta tackle hoochies all tipped with shoe peg corn soaked in pro-cure oils. The fish came from depths of 40 to 65 feet deep by the dam area. The lake is at or near full capacity what a site to see!
I had two trips to Don Pedro this week again with return clients on Wednesday was with Roger Elsberry and Harry Moitozo both of Modesto, the weather was smoking Hot! and the fishing was pretty good as well, but they were having a hard time getting the big two pound kokanee to the boat. The fish we are catching have been coming from 60 to 100 feet deep, and they are falling for Vance's dodgers, Sling Blade dodgers and Uncle Larry's spinners all tipped with shoe peg corn soaked in various pro-cure fish oils. .Saturdays clients were return clients as well was with 94 year old Sal Bravo along with Cory Whitehurst and his six year old son Gavin all from San Martin, Sal bought the trip for his family as he just wanted to sit back and watch his family catch fish. This day we found tougher conditions but the two fishing still managed nine fish to the boat and had three lost fish and they wanted to call it a day at 10:30 as little Gavin was getting restless. They caught two nice kokanee, one King Salmon and six Rainbows we had one big Rainbow that measured twenty two inches that fell for shad at 50 feet deep the fish we caught were out in Middle Bay.
This lake rose three feet in two days and is also at full capacity. Both lakes water temps are around the 80 to 84 degree mark.