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Fishing The Lake

Regulations:

Fishing regulations change annually, check in the California Sport Fishing Regulations for current changes.

  • Trout: Open season all year. Limit: five trout
  • Bass: Open season all year. Limit: five bass. Minimum length: twelve inches.
  • Catfish: Open season all year. Limit: twenty (except Bullheads no limit.)
  • Crappie: Open season all year. Limit: twenty-five
  • Other species,: Other species of fish may be taken in any number and at any time of the year by angling.
Trout: (rainbow & brown trout)
To catch larger trout at New Melones, try trolling in deeper water (to 75 feet and more in summer months) with Cripplures, Hummdingers, and Needdlefish in minnow patterns, between 49er bridge and Parrotts Ferry bridge. Winter and early spring fishermen can try trolling Rapalas, Rebels, and Speedy Shiners with lead-core line at 10 to 30 feet down.
Shore fishing is often productive using Power Bait, small marshmellows and night crawlers a foot and a half off the bottom at both the Tuttletown boat ramp and the Angels Creek boat ramp.
Bass: (largemouth, smallmouth)
From late October thru early March look for bass in the main body of the lake on deep points and deep underwater brush. Slowly jigging spoons or dropping large minnows down will often produce fish. In pre-spawn and spawning months try casting shad colored crankbaits and saltn'pepper plastic bait in shallows. Summer months the fish go deep again. Letting chartruese and white colored spinner baits flutter down past stickups can work.
Crappie - Panfish:
From January thru early May is a good time for crappie at New Melones. Fish around the rocky points and in the coves where there is vegetation. At night use a crappie light about half way back in the coves. Drop a minnow down about 35 feet or so. Warmer water puts the crappie up in the shallows of the coves. Mini jigs, live minnows and nightcrawlers all work well during this time.
Catfish:
Catch catfish at night from the shore with anchovies, chicken livers, sardines, and packaged catfish bait. There are some huge cats in Melones.