Exploring New Melones Reservoir: A Comprehensive Guide to Premier Fishing

New Melones Reservoir, cradled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, stands as a haven for fishing enthusiasts seeking a challenging and rewarding experience. As the fourth-largest lake in California, its expansive waters and diverse fish species make it an angler’s paradise.

Latest Fish Plants

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How To Read Fish Plant Graphs

To interpret fish plant graphs effectively, consider the following key elements:

  1. Blue Vertical Bars and Numbers:
    • Representation: The blue vertical bars on the graph represent individual fish plants.
    • Weight Measurement: The associated numbers indicate the total weight of the plants in pounds (lbs.) that occurred during a specific week.
    • Significance: Monitoring these bars helps identify weeks with higher planting activity, aiding anglers in selecting optimal times for fishing near recent plantings.
  2. Orange Trend Line:
    • Purpose: The orange trend line represents the moving average of all fish plant activities at the specified location.
    • Indicator of Activity: A rising trend line suggests a consistent increase in planting activity over the designated period. This indicates the potential for more catch opportunities and signifies a growing fish population over the weeks.
  3. Interpreting the Moving Average:
    • Upward Trend: A rising moving average implies an upward trajectory in planting activity, indicating an increasing number of fish being introduced into the area. This suggests a positive outlook for anglers, as it implies a larger and potentially more accessible fish population.
    • Downward Trend (Not Specified): The description does not provide information on the interpretation of a decreasing trend in the moving average. It might be beneficial to include information on what a decreasing trend could signify in terms of fishing prospects.
  4. No Data Present:
    • Possible Explanations: If no data is visible on the graph, it may indicate that the location had no fish plants in the last three months. Alternatively, the absence of data could be due to non-disclosure of fish plants for that location.
    • Natural Population: Some fishing areas in California rely on the natural growth of fish populations, and graphs may not show plants if this is the case.
  5. Graph Disclaimer:
    • Data Source: The graphs reflect a combination of publicly disclosed data and estimates. Some locations may disclose fish plants without specifying exact amounts.
    • Not Universal: Not all fishing areas have fish plants, and the natural growth of fish populations plays a significant role in many California fishing locations.

Understanding these elements will empower anglers to make informed decisions about when and where to fish based on historical fish plant data.

Note: If no data is present in the graph above, this location may not have had any plants the last 3 months, or may not have publicly disclosed plants. Graphs reflect both publicly disclosed data and estimates, as some locations disclose plants, but not exact amount.

Map & Fishing Location

Fish to Expect:

  1. Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass: Reigning supreme in New Melones, these aggressive fighters inhabit rocky shores, submerged trees, and weed beds. Crankbaits, jigs, and topwater lures are essential tools in your arsenal.
  2. Rainbow Trout: Feisty and ever-ready for a chase, rainbow trout thrive in cooler waters. Trolling near the dam, coves, and the main channel during spring and fall promises substantial catches.
  3. Kokanee Salmon: Unique to New Melones, these landlocked salmon gather near the dam in spring and fall. Target them with small jigs and flashers for an exciting angling experience.
  4. Catfish & Crappie: Bottom-dwellers with a penchant for structure and baitfish. Utilize worms, anchovies, or jigs around the dam, coves, and submerged trees.

Local Insights:

  • Glory Hole: An underwater canyon near the dam, this area is a hotspot for monster bass, especially during shad migrations in spring and fall.
  • Spillway Area: When the spillway releases water, it attracts hungry trout and kokanee. Time your visit right for a reel-screaming treat.
  • Hidden Coves: Explore the numerous coves and inlets off the main channel. You might discover secluded havens teeming with bass, crappie, and unsuspecting catfish.

Unique Things to Note:

  • Size Matters: New Melones is vast, offering advantages to boaters. However, don’t overlook bank fishing—some coves and shorelines provide excellent opportunities.
  • Seasonal Shifts: Fish movements align with water temperatures and prey availability. Spring and fall are optimal for trout and kokanee, while summer evenings shine for bass.
  • Sun & Wind: The relentless sun can be harsh, so pack sunscreen and stay hydrated. Strong winds can challenge boat fishing; check the forecast before venturing out.

Specific Locations:

  1. Rock Creek Arm: A long arm serving as a haven for bass and crappie, especially near submerged trees and rocky outcrops.
  2. Spillway Cove: Active during spillway releases, this cove attracts a frenzy of hungry trout and kokanee. Prepare for a fast-paced fishing experience.
  3. Glory Hole Point: Dropping into an underwater canyon, this point is legendary for battling trophy bass. Exercise caution regarding strong currents and boat traffic.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

New Melones Reservoir transcends a mere fishing hole; it’s an adventure waiting to be embraced. So, equip yourself, apply sunscreen diligently, and prepare to conquer the depths of this San Joaquin gem.