new melones lake fishing
Sport Fishing
California Lakes
California Rivers

New Melones Lake Fishing



New Melones Lake is a large reservoir located in the heart of gold country and features great fishing for Trout, Bass, and Salmon. As is true in other locations, at New Melones Lake the larger fish are usually found in deeper water. This is true for Trout, Salmon, Bass, and Crappie. So if you're trolling and catching smallish trout, drop it down 5-10 feet and you're likely to catch some larger fish. Salmon trollers on New Melones in the summer go down 75-100 feet, whereas trout trollers hit at 35-60 feet. Still fishing, off the dam and spillway, is often good for trout and salmon, especially during the evenings and night. Trout move into shallow water in the winter looking for warmer water, and into deep water seeking cold in the summer. Big brown trout and rainbows, 4-6 pounds and some up to 10 pounds, are taken in winter by trolling minnow-shaped Rapalas, Rebels, etc. In April and May, many anglers troll with leadcore line at about 10-30 feet down using Speedy Shiners, Super Dupers, or Kastmasters. Downrigger trolling begins in earnest around Memorial Day in 50-80 feet. In August and September, many anglers night fish with live bait down 60-100 feet. Often the trout are feeding right on the bottom at these depths.


Bass fishing on New Melones Lake can be tricky at times, especially when targeting larger fish. In winter, from November through February, the bass are living off the deep rocky points or deep, brushy cover. Look for them in 30-45 feet of water. Anglers take them by dropping down large minnows or spoons. Fish near the bottom or around the tops of underwater pine trees while jigging spoons up and down slowly. When warmer spring rain water starts flowing into New Melones Lake, largemouth bass become more active. Bass usually spawn in New Melones in May, and the largest bass are taken around nesting areas. At this time, lunkers seem to strike out at whatever comes near them. Topwater plugs are good in this shallow water. By July and August, successful bass anglers are working deep again using plastic worms, pig 'n jigs, and deep-running crankbaits. Work crankbaits parallel to shore just over underwater structures and brush. Letting spinnerbaits tumble down past sunken tree tops is a good summer and early fall technique for bass. New Melones Lake is very deep with a maximum depth of 565 feet near the dam.


Location: Jamestown, California


Lake Size: 12,500 Acres


Fishing Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Redeye Bass, Kokanee Salmon, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish




New Melones Lake Map





New Melones Lake Boat Ramps


Reynolds Ferry Rd. Boat Ramp


New Melones Lake Boat Ramp


Glory Hole Recreation Boat Ramp


Angels Creek Boat Ramp





Check California Fishing Reports on New Melones Lake Fishing