Umarex Gauntlet


Northern CA Freshwater

Angels Camp: New Melones still kicking out huge kokanee

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff Writer Published: Aug 07, 2019

ANGELS CAMP — New Melones remains the prime location for big kokanee in northern California, and the size of the landlocked salmon are approaching those found from far off locations such as Priest Lake and Flaming Gorge.

A NEW LAKE record kokanee for New Melones Reservoir was caught by Rick Hansen of Wilton using a pink JPex lure behind Paulina Peak dodger while fishing with Kyle Wise. The big fresh­water salmon weighed in at 3.8 pounds.

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing posted quick limits this week trolling JPex lures behind a custom dodger and Sling Blades at depths from 60 to 73 feet. He said, “We picked up and moved after scoring a few fish, as several boats came into the area we were trolling, so we went around the corner and we found kokanee in a new area, but they were shallower at 50 to 65 feet. We never had to change gear.”

Jason Meeuwse of Sierra Sport Fishing confirmed the good action, saying, “The kokanee bite is still rolling along, as we had 4 clients on Wednesday and had 13 fish in the box by 8:30. We were soon surrounded by 10 to 15 boats, and the bite shut down. After a location and lure change, the bite kicked back in and we landed the 20th fish just before noon. We scored with Apex lures, Uncle Larry’s spinners, and some of my custom-made J-Pexs behind Paulina Peak Tackle’s or Brad’s dodgers between 55 and 65 feet deep towards the south end of the lake.”

Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp reported Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Sport Fishing continues to score limits of kokanee, and the 3.8-pound kokanee landed by Rick Hansen of Pioneer on this boat last week is the unofficial new lake record. He said, “The trout bite is tough, but the best action is in Angels Cove next to the stream inlet where the oxygen rich water flows into the lake.”

For bass,John Leichty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The action has been fairly tough lately. With dropping water levels, warming water temperatures, and the recent algae bloom, the fish are holding in fewer areas and feeding during short windows throughout the day. Even so, we are finding areas that are holding quality fish and have been able to score. The key to getting bites is to slow down.

The most consistent bite by far has been finesse rigging and jigs. Drop-shotting, NED rigs, or shakeyheads fished in a crawdad or shad pattern have been the main staple. Fishing football head jigs in dark and light shades partnered with a twin-tail grub is also good.”

The lake has dropped to 89 percent.

APEX PREDATOR — Carol Hansen of Pine Grove caught this 2.6-pound kokanee while using a pink/purple Apex lure at New Melones Reservoir in the Motherlode.

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