The Water is High and Mother Lode Fishing is Great
Lake conditions – The current elevation is 234.04 feet above sea level, a drop of .04 feet since last Sunday. The lake should rise slowly this week. Currently water is flowing into Camanche at a rate of 1,316 c.f.s., and is flowing out of Camanche at a rate of 1,255 c.f.s. The lake is about 97 percent full. Surface water temperature at the dam is 75 degrees. The water is clear, with a Secchi reading of 10 feet. Gate hours for North and South shores are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Trout – Even with the warm temperatures and crowded conditions, trollers are still having great success in the main body of the lake. The big fish for the week was a beautiful 9-pound Rainbow Trout, caught by trolling in front of the dam with a Cop Car Needlefish. This fish was caught by a gentleman named Tony, from Amador County and his party caught two limits before 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The boat owner was the winner of the Trout Derby in May, in which he had another 9-pound trout – giving him two 9-pounders in the last two months. The bait fishing at Dike 3 continues to be terrific, with limits a common occurrence. Anchoring in about 46 feet of water and dropping Power Bait or Power Eggs to the bottom is the hot ticket. Fishermen still report lots of trout all the way up the river, with minnows and Power Bait being used while anchored or drifting slowly back down with the current.
Bass – Lots of Bass have been reported this week, with top water plugs fished early in the morning being especially productive. Camanche Arm, Causeway Cove and the entry of Camper´s cove all hold a lot of flooded trees and brush and they offer a great place to pitch top water baits in the morning and evening. Camanche Jack´s worms and leeches have been doing well also; with green, purple and smoke being some of the favorite colors. Green tube baits were catching a lot of Bass in the Lancha Plana area and green Rib Hogs were working around Dike 2 in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Catfish – The catfish bite is staying hot, with the warm temperatures and murky water in all the coves. The Marina Cove, East Cove, Camanche Arm and Camper´s Cove are all reported as very successful this week. Mackerel, anchovies and liver are some of the favored baits and a lot of people just love to use nightcrawlers – which are a favorite multi-tasking bait. You might catch a bass, trout, catfish or crappie while using a worm. Fish for catfish in 5 to 15 feet of water. Use 15 pound test line and be ready for some fun.
Panfish – There are still plenty of bluegill in all the coves, especially near submerged trees and brush. These fish are generally small, but are a lot of fun for kids to catch. Rooster Tails, Matzuo Sickle Shockwave lures, or red worms work well here. Camper´s Cove, China Gulch and Causeway Cove are all holding plenty of fish. A small lure and light line is all you need for lots of panfish action.
On behalf of Camanche Recreation Company – please fish and boat safely, have lots of fun and best of luck fishing.
Call for camping reservations- (877) 444-6777 or www.reserveusa.com. You must ask for the campsite you want to stay at, instead of New Melones Lake (for instance, ask for Glory Hole Recreation Area, Tuttletown Recreation Area, Big Oak or Ironhorse).
Important – Please take a minute to let the Department of Fish and Game know how important New Melones Lake is to you! With recent budget cutbacks, they are looking to concentrate planting efforts on the lakes that see the most angler demand. By letting them know that we anglers fish Melones, we will insure that Melones continues to get regular plantings. Which is especially important because we may not get regular creel surveys (where DFG biologists ask anglers how the fishing was at a particular lake) since we are not close to any DFG office. Don´t let them close our Moccasin Creek Hatchery! Please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/fh/hatcheryplan.html and insert your comments. Thank you.
July 4, 2005 – Happy Independence Day! Thank you to everyone who has served, or is serving, in our nation´s military. We owe our continuing freedom to you!
Water conditions – New Melones Lake is currently holding 2,046,000 acre-feet of water and is at 84 percent capacity. The lake is full and beautiful and the elevation continues to rise and is now at 1,056 feet above sea level and only 32 feet from full capacity. Surface water is approximately 68 to 74 degrees and is clear.
Ramp update – All ramps are open. We are now using the uppermost ramp at Glory Hole and at Tuttletown. The lower parking lot at Glory Hole is underwater, so parking is somewhat limited on busy summer weekends so plan on arriving early until the water level drops and uncovers the big parking lot again!
Trout – Trollers are bringing in limits of Kokanee with an occasional Rainbow mixed in. If you are fishing from the bank for trout, you will have the most luck in the local rivers and creeks. The trout in the lake have moved to deep water, so a downrigger is a necessity. Trollers are catching Rainbows and Browns in the main lake (dam or spillway area) or by Rose Island, anywhere from 30 to 65 feet deep. Night fishing with droplights should really pick up now that the trout are deeper.
Kokanee – The sudden change in weather, from unusually cool to record-breaking heat, as well as heavy holiday boat traffic, seemed to slow the bite a little this week. Most anglers who got on the water early still reported easy limits of big (up to 2-plus pounds, and 17 1/2 inches long Kokanee. All successful anglers agree that the bite is best in the early a.m. and you must be on the water early. The Kokes seem to be moving deeper and most limits were caught from 45 to 60 feet deep, near the spillway/dam area, near Rose Island, with a few taken upriver. Pink, chartreuse, or Kevorkian (purple ghost) Hootchies and Apex lures have provided the most action, as well as Glitterbugs Fat Fish and Spinner Hootchies and Uncle Larry´s Spinners. All should be trolled behind a nickel/chartreuse, nickel/silver prism, or watermelon dodger or Sling Blade. Ball troll flashers are another good choice. Don´t forget to tip your lure with shoepeg corn soaked in Pro-Cure Scent. Garlic or a combination of garlic and Kokanee Special or Carp Spit seems to be working best right now. It is important to troll slowly, from 1.2 m.p.h for Kokanee. As the season progresses, the Kokanee get more and more aggressive and making more commotion in the water will get more strikes. At this time last year, using larger dodgers and lures seemed to up the action. Try a Sep´s 3/0 dodger or a Kone Zone instead of a traditional dodger. A larger spoon such as an Excel or Needlefish in the traditional Kokanee colors, run 12 to 15 inches behind a dodger, will sometimes entice a bigger fish to bite. Another trick is many anglers remove the hooks from an Apex and run a Hootchie through the holes so that it is right behind (or nosed into) the Apex, making a bigger lure.
• Ashley Wolfe, Joe Hallett and Richard Kowski all had good luck with pink or green Apex, while Guide Fish ‘n´ Dan Layne found limits for David Noble and Dick Niebour with pink Uncle Larry´s Spinners and Hootchies.
Bass – Concentrate on areas with lots of structure. There is a good top-water bite going in the early morning and late evening, when the sun is off the water, so throw a buzz-bait, a Pop-R, or Zara Spook. During the day, drop-shotting 4-inch crawdad-colored worms, or throwing Senkos´ Spinnerbaits and green pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hogs have been the best producers. Many anglers report large numbers of 1 to 2 pound spotted bass upriver, in the area between the two bridges.
Catfish – Good! Tuttletown, Angels Cove, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge are all good spots to try for big cats. Use mackerel, anchovies, or sardines, a sliding sinker, leave your bail open and be sure your hooks are sharp. Night fishing is always best for catfish, but we see plenty caught during the day, too.
• Ben Willis of Angels Camp wins the Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest with a 9-pound catfish that he caught on nightcrawlers while bank fishing off of Glory Hole Point.
• Jessie and Becky Lee caught a 3-pounder on crawlers in Black Bart Cove.
Crappie and bluegill – Fair. Try fishing live minnows or trying to entice them with jigs in red/white or purple/white. Best spots on the lake are the south side of the lake near Bear Cove, the back of Coyote Creek, Black Bart Cove and especially cuts upriver near the Parrotts Ferry Bridge that have a lot of stand-up trees in them. As always, fish tight to structure. Bluegill and sunfish are biting in the coves, especially behind the marina. A piece of crawler under a bobber is the best way to catch bluegill. They are great fun for the kids to catch!
Lake Don Pedro
The bite remains good at Don Pedro. Rainbows are very active in the top 35 feet and scattered throughout the lake. ´Bows will hit most shad-looking lures such as Ex-Cel, Needlefish, etc., or troll scented grubs or crawler/flasher combos. King Salmon seem to bite best at daylight for those slow-rolling shad or anchovies, or trolling a silver Apex with orange dots, at depths from 40 to 90 feet. Woods Creek, the Flume, Big Creek arm and off the face of the dam all hold nice fish.
• Lorraine Melendrez from Pleasanton took big fish last week with a 4-pound King taken on a rolled anchovy at 40 feet in the Big Creek arm.
Kokanee are on a hot bite off the Osprey Nest, behind the Nudist Colony, Big Oak Island and Jenkins Hill. Uncle Larry´s Green Tiger or Green Apex trolled behind a Vance´s watermelon dodger has been a constant winner for me all week when fished at depths from 45 to 55 feet. Pro Cure Carp-spit is a good scent for your corn.
Kokanee – The fishing at Don Pedro for Kokanee is still wide open for anglers, the best spots are Jenkins Hill area, the graveyard and willow tree areas.
The best lures working are Apex lures in pink, purple Kevorkian or Hootchies in pinks and purple ghost and spinners. The dodgers that are working are Sep´s copper and blue, silver starlight prism and pink and copper dodgers. Troll these combinations at depths of 55 to 75 feet and you should be happy with the results.
Trout – The action for trout is still consistent but most are targeting the Kokanee. However, if you troll these same areas from the 30 to 50 foot range you should be able to intercept these fish while trolling Excel lures in shad-patterned, blue with silver flake and pinks. Add some sort of scent on these lures such as shad bait oils and fresh water shrimp oils made by Pro-cure. Troll from 1 to 2 miles per hour to get the action out of these lures they are designed for.
King Salmon – The fishing for the Kings has slowed somewhat, probably due to the extreme heat this past week. This is pushing the fish into deeper water such as 80 to 120 foot levels, but they still can occasionally be caught at shallower levels when going after bait. The areas for these fish are by the dam and out by Jenkins Hill and Woods Creek has plenty of fish being caught. Excel lures work, but shad and anchovies with bait oils injected into them trolled to look like wounded bait fish will outperform the lures and get you bigger fish.
Reprinted with kind permission Amador Ledger Dispatch