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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/12/2015 04:53 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/12/2015 04:58 PM
Expires: 01/01/2020 12:00 AM

New Melones Fishing Report for January 12th~By Glory Sports

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 555,176 acre-feet of water. The lake level came up one foot this last week. It is currently at 869 ft. above sea level and 207 ft. from full. The water clarity is clear in most of the lake with a few areas being a little stained. The water temperature continues to cool with the average being 52-55 degrees. Tuttletown launch is closed. Glory Hole Point boat launch is open with a two lane concrete ramp and a dock. 4wd is no longer needed to launch.....

Trout: Good. The cold winter weather and freezing temperatures have encouraged the fish to follow winter patterns. The lake has turned and the surface temperature has dropped. Each year when this happens many of the larger trout will move up in the water column and can be found cruising the shoreline, making them easier for anglers to catch. Bank anglers have been having luck near the 49-bridge and off of Glory Hole Point. Fan casting lures and covering water has been a good way to catch a handful of chunky trout. Rapalas, Kastmasters, Tasmanian Devils and Little Cleos are all good choices. For those who prefer a less active approach try floating an egg or ball of Power Bait off of the bottom. Try using a light wire hook and light line to ensure your bait is floating. Another sure fire way to achieve buoyancy is with a Corky. When fishing in areas with a lot of brush, it is a good idea to use a clear bubble, bobber or slip-float to suspend your bait above the cover. This technique will help you catch more fish and fewer snags. Trolling anglers have been catching a handful of nice rainbow trout. The fish are near the surface which makes long-lining, leadcore line and side-planers a good approach. Small Rapalas, Needlefish and Speedy Shiners have all been good choices. Be sure to add scent to your lures to help fish locate your bait and to encourage them to commit. It is not a bad idea to take a break from trolling and find an area to park or anchor the boat to do some still fishing. Power Bait and nightcrawlers work well for this style of fishing.

Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week goes to Bob James of Murphys. He brought in a limit of chunky trout that weighed from 1 to 2-pounds. He reported catching them on the main lake with a shad patterned Rapala. We do encourage catch and release for the brown trout as The Department of Fish and Game will no longer be planting them. Carefully measure, weigh and photograph trophy fish and send us pictures and information.

Kokanee: Done. Kokanee fishing generally is good from April to September.

Bass: Good. Most anglers are catching plenty of fish on each outing. The lake is full of 1 to 3-pound spotted bass that will feed multiple times throughout the day. The lake also has a very large population of shad. These schooling bass will gorge on these balls of shad and can be caught anywhere the baitfish is located. Creek channels, bluffs and rocky points are all good places to find aggressively feeding fish. The shad will often suspend in the water column over deep water. These suspending fish can be caught on a dropshot rig. Try using light line, light hooks and a small shad patterned worm or minnow. Another good way to target suspended fish is with a deep diving rip-bait. A Lucky Craft Stayee 90 should do the trick. Not all the fish will use shad as their primary food source. Many fish will feed on crawdads and other creatures that are holding tight to the bottom. To catch the fish that scour the bottom for food, try using heavier ½ to ¾-ounce football head jigs. Crawdad colors, brown, purple or green pumpkin are good choices. California Reservoir Lures has a selection of jigs that are tied specifically for our Mother Lode lakes. Multi-colored baits with different hues work better than solid colors. Most creatures have dark backs and light bellies, or stripes and spots. Taking note of these slight variations will help you boat more fish. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. We are approaching the annual spawn. The bigger fish are the future of our lake. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.

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. Try fishing near large rocks and boulders. A large ball of crawlers is hard to beat. At this time of the year you will have to be very patient for the bites are few and far between. Be sure to use plenty of scent on you bait.
Drop Shot Rig

With most soft plastic presentations, the weight will be tied inline or molded to the hook. With a drop shot rig the bait is attached below the hook and the bait. This allows the bait to move freely without the weight interfering with its natural action. That is what makes this setup so effective.

It is a finesse light line, light tackle setup and can be used to catch finicky bass and trout (yes, trout fall victim to a drop shot rig all the time). Bass and trout can be caught at any depth, from shallow to deep with this setup.

Fluorocarbon line is the best choice, because it will practically disappear under water and it sinks allowing your bait to be fished in deeper water. Fluorocarbon is a bit pricey, so using it for your leader is a good idea. Braid or monofilament will work for the main line.

Once you have attached your leader be sure to tie a small swivel inline. The bait will spiral and roll on the fall and also on the retrieve. Without a swivel your line will become twisted and tangled.

Next step would be to tie on a hook. You can use a handful of sizes depending on what type of bait you are using. To keep it simple just match the hook to your worm and make sure it's not too big or too small. Once you have selected a hook, use a standard Palomar Knot to tie it to your leader. At this point you would normally cut the tag end off. Instead of cutting the tag, simple run it back through the eye of the hook. Then attach your weight to the end of the tag. Be sure your hook point is facing up so when you get bit, the fish is hooked properly.

The line between your hook and weight can be many different lengths, but 12-24" usually works well. Choose a soft plastic bait that resembles what the fish are feeding on and your set.

There a three basic ways to rig your soft plastic.

First would be by nose hooking it. This allows the bait to have a ton of action, but the exposed hook is tricky to fish around brush and trees.

Second would be a weedless setup, which is a great choice when fishing cover. The downfall is the hook has to go through the bait to hook the fish, which results in more missed fish.

Third would be to rig it wacky, right through the middle of the bait. It looks wacky, but the fish seem to bite it real good some days. The drop shot can be fished vertically or cast toward the bank, give it a try. If there are bass or trout in the area they will be tempted.

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