Accurate Fishing Products


Northern CA Freshwater

New Melones still kicking out some quality rainbows

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff Writer Published: Jun 07, 2018

ANGELS CAMP — Although they are few in number, trophy rainbows continue to be the story at New Melones. Trollers are working hard for the chance at a single big fish, and on most trips with experienced guides, their clients are rewarded with a trophy fish.

A BEAUTIFUL BROWN that went 9 pounds, 10 ounces was caught by Butch Betschart of Milton at New Melones last week while fishing with guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing. They tried to revive the fish, but no luck, so now it’s going on the wall!

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “We were trolling Apex lures at 25 to 30 feet, and we kept hooking crappie in open water. When we went deeper from 35 to 50 feet with rolled shad, we landed rainbows to 5.5 pounds. We are finding big rainbows, but it is a concern that there aren’t any smaller rainbows in the lake. The net pens from Kokanee Power were released in April, and there does not seem to be any of the smaller grade of rainbows around.”

Jason Meeuwse of Sierra Sport Fishing took out father and son, Larry and Mike Moorman, this week, and he said, “ The big trout didn't want to play too much as they did the prior week, but while we battled the wind for the first few hours, we landed a rainbow that weighed almost 4 pounds along with a few smaller fish. After the wind calmed, we had a few hookups and landed a beautiful 7-lb. rainbow. After that the bite slowed, but we were able to put another fish in the boat that was smaller. Everything was taken either rolling shad and trolling Bikini Needlefish at 30to 40 feet deep.”

The crappie have moved out into deeper water, and Nikos Vellios landed a 2.73-pound slab on an artificial lure.

The bass are repositioning themselves daily with the dropping water, and starting the morning with topwater lures before working the subsurface with reaction baits are finding quality spots and largemouth bass.

The lake dropped from 82 to 81 percent.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Advertise with Western Outdoor News
The Longfin Tackle Shop