Friday, December 13, 2013

Not Camanche, But New Melones

I got an email from Yuki last night saying he and Marisa both caught limits at New Melones yesterday. I was planning to go out there today anyway so that was just icing on the cake.

Headed out at 0715 and after the usual coffee stop at Starbucks in Angels Camp, hit the lake at 0845. My plan was to fish lures since my take was that there should be a lot of fish there. Just in case, I put out a rod with rainbow Power Bait. One can't be too arrogant when it come to fishing.

First lure was a 1/8th oz. silver Kastmaster. The lure never hit the water before the Power Bait rod started bouncing. I used one of those screaming reel ins (I didn't want the lure to get stuck on anything on the bottom) and grabbed the Power Bait rod. A 9 inch rainbow came to hand, well not exactly to hand since I cut it loose right at the edge of the shore.

For my next move, I put the Power Bait rod back out and once again it was jumping before I could reel in the lure. This time I let the lure sink and brought a 14 inch Rainbow to hand. I'd been there less than 10 minutes.

This time I left the Power Bait rod out of the water and proceeded to work the silver Kastmaster, then a gold one, then a black/gold Panther Martin, and then yellow/silver Panther Martin. The trout were oblivious of the lures so I reached deep into my tackle box, well actually it was on the top shelf of the box and pulled out the 1/4 oz. chartreuse "Magic Bullet". Between that one and the 1/8th oz. green one, I got NOTHING.

Back to Plan A. Seemed like all the trout wanted was Power Bait so I figured I just have a little fun. About that time Jim, his neighbor Chuck, and Bear the dog showed up. I took my little Okuma (with 2 pound test) and put a #18 gold treble hook on the end of the line. Added a split shot sinker small enough to just pull the Power Bait slowly down and the fun began.
Before I get into the fun, I wanted to show you this log. I'm sure you've seen logs before, but this one was high and dry a week ago, so you can see the water is rising, leaving this log to collect tackle for those unaware of it's presence once it disappears into the lake. 

Tackle Collecting Log
Chuck was the newcomer to this group so we babied him some so he would catch a few fish. Jim and I gave him a few instructions and turned him loose to start reeling in fish and reel in fish he did. I think that when I left he had at least four. Jim on the other hand caught and released seven or more after putting five on his stringer.   

Chuck, Jim, and Bear
By the way, I wanted to mention that Bear is a big fan of Starbuck's cinnamon swirl coffee cake. He and I shared two pieces and had it been up to him, I wouldn't have gotten any.

Back to my little Okuma and the Power Bait. Thirteen and fourteen inch trout are a blast on 2 pound test. In fact I stopped counting at twelve, keeping five of the biggest. Those were in the pound plus category.  

Sometime around 10:00 Yuki and Marisa joined us and they spent the day, well you can see by the picture that Yuki pulled the Dad rank thing and Marisa did all the work. When I left at 1:00, I'm pretty sure they had two limits or were darn close.  

Marisa and Yuki
And the five I brought home, my neighbors John and Carolyn are having a couple fish dinners this week.

Finally, I took a couple shots coming in the driveway. The first one is just as you drive into our property. You can see it veers to the right. Kind of a slippery curve when it's full of snow.  

Property entrance
Once you get around the curve, it's a straight shot to the house on the left in the back of the picture.

Rest of the driveway
It's been a week since the storm hit last Friday night and there is still a bunch of white. Now you can see why I'm already tired of white.


  1. Mark, once you got rid of that hex, you have really turned it up a notch. Great outing and thanks for sharing. I agree with you. Ultralight tackle and fighting Rainbows are a match made for great memories.

  2. Mark
    This trip just goes to show, persistence pays off. There were some variable that triggered the hit for you that day. It could have been the barometer, falling/rising, wind direction, water temp, change in oxygen level in the lake, or the trout were just hungry. In any case I am glad you made the connection. By the way I like where you and the wife live. thanks for sharing

  3. Mark, awesome day the sky and the water look wonderful. The last two photos I can do without ;)
    Tight Lines

  4. What a great day. Looks warm, too. I'm envious.

  5. Proof you can't catch fish without a line in the water.