New Melones the best bass fishery in the state right now? Maybe!

By Joel Shangle

Best place in NorCal for fish like this? New Melones Reservoir. (Photo courtesy Glory Hole Sports)

ANGELS CAMP-Let this serve as an official preview of a story that hits the newsstands in about a week, with the May issue of California Sportsman: get thee to New Melones Reservoir for what some locals are declaring “the best bass fishing EVER.” As in, better than last year, better than 10 years ago, better than any other time since the Stanislaus River was dammed back in 1978.

Here’s what they’re saying at Glory Hole Sports:

The fish are in three different modes, pre-spawn, spawn, and post spawn. There are a lot of fish being caught shallow. The larger fish will be in deeper water either preparing to spawn or recovering from the spawn. To catch some nice fish try dragging a Brush Hog or a lizard on a Carolina rig. Try targeting areas that are protected from the main lake disturbance (wind and boating traffic). These are places where the bass like to spawn.

With the weather getting warmer everyday, the top water bite should be picking up. Try throwing Spooks, Rovers, and Sammys in the morning hours for some exciting blow-ups.  We have been seeing a lot of big spotted bass being caught and we possibly have a world record swimming around out there.

The current state record and world record was caught May 3, 2001 out of Pine Flat Lake. It weighed 10-pounds, 4-ounces.  If you catch a fish that is larger, and want it to be recognized as a state record, it must be weighed on a certified scale.  The post office or the grocery store meat department has a certified scale.

It is very important to practice catch and release during the spring months!  If you do keep a bass, please keep the spotted bass and release the big female (largemouth) black bass.  Glory Hole Sports can teach you the difference, so you can practice good conservation of the species.

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