Fish and Wildlife had no trout plants scheduled for area waterways this week. For a complete listing of plants throughout the state, go to dfg.ca.gov/ fish/hatcheries/fishplanting.
• At New Melones, Bob James of Murphys won the Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week contest with a 2.05-pound rainbow trout he caught while fishing the south end of the lake with garlic Power Bait. Murphys also caught a 9.76-pound catfish on garlic Power Bait.
New Melones fishing report
By Melanie Lewis, Glory Hole Sports
Trout: Fair. This past week we had some windy days and some much needed rain. Most anglers chose not to fish in the foul weather. With the new fresh water coming into the lake the trout bite should pick up a bit. The weather forecast looks like there will be a few breaks in the weather. These would be good days to hit the water and try your luck. The trout are still near the shoreline and feeding in shallow water. Try to find areas with clear water that are protected from the wind. Bank anglers are catching fish off of Glory Hole Point and near the Tuttletown boat launch. Power Bait and Gulp Eggs fished off of the bottom will work well. Also, crawler/mallow combo will work well. Be sure to use a light wire hook to insure your bait is floating off of the bottom. Trolling anglers should try fishing on and near the surface in the early morning and in the evening when the sun is off of the water. During the mid-morning and afternoon try dropping your baits down to 15-25’. Some areas of the lake the water is slightly stained from the recent high winds. The trout are still is these areas but they will bite better on brighter colors.
Kokanee: The fish generally start biting again in the spring mid-April into May. We expect an earlier start to the season due to the abnormally warm weather. Try trolling a pink hoochie, spinner, or bug behind a teardrop dodger toward the end of March while trout fishing and you might pick up a few kokanee. Also, nightcrawler and garlic nightcrawler scent works best at the first part of the season.
Bass: Fair. The weather feels like spring but the days are still a bit short for the fish to commit to shallow water. This cold weather will most likely put the bass out in deeper water on main lake structure. Try fishing points near the main lake that lead to shallow spawning bays and flats. Try fishing soft plastic worms on dart heads, shakey heads, and drop-shot rigs. There has also been a pretty decent jig bite. Try fishing a ½ to ¾ ounce football jig in 25-45 foot of water. California Reservoir Lures makes jigs that are specially designed for Mother Lode lakes and are proven fish catchers. Be sure to add a matching trailer to your jig to enhance its overall appearance.
Catfish: Slow. The catfish will be moving to deep water near rock piles and ledges. Most anglers don’t target catfish at this time of the year. But, the ones that do will hook into some lunkers. Melones cats tend to be fish eaters. Frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel work well for bait. The water temperature is warming faster than most years due to lack of rain and extremely warm weather. In past years some giant cats have been caught in shallow water during and a few days after a winter rain.
Crappie: Slow. The crappie bite is right around the corner. We expect a fairly good bite this spring due to the lower water levels and the amount of standing timber. Try fishing with mini jigs and grubs under a slip-float. Live minnows work great.
This much needed and long awaited storm is good for everyone except fishermen. Rain and wind has kept lots of bank anglers and trollers at home since mid-week. Earlier this week, the Mud Hole was a good spot and continues to be popular with those anglers willing to brave the present weather conditions. Plants continue to prowl the Recreation Area longer than expected. There were also some individuals working Blue Herron Point and Stoney Point Landing until midweek when the rain and wind arrived. White Power Bait or eggs with garlic and orange mouse tails with a half full water bubble has been the best combo thus far.
Trollers continued to work the River Mouth and back and forth to the face of the Dam. Trolling has not been as good this report due mainly to wind and rain starting midweek. When you can get out there the fish are very near the surface currently at 5 to 15 feet. Three to five colors of lead core, trolling with beaded spinners, Uncle Larry’s pinkies and white/pink hoochies all behind a medium dodger are a good bet, German Browns have been hitting Rapalas, broken back or not, gold or rainbow minnow.
Presently Lake Level is 20 feet below capacity and stable due to rainwater influx. The current water temperature is 48 degrees at 20 feet and 54 at surface, and water clarity is good to 18 feet.
Lake Recreation and The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have planted a total of 6,000 pounds of fish to date.
March 22-23: Lodi Bowmen Cartoon Classic (lodibowmen.com).
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