The Union Democrat Sports Department


Some anglers are referring to the kokanee salmon bite at New Melones as "exceptional" and some go as far as calling it "red hot." Even the increasing summer heat is not slowing it down, other than they will go a little deeper.

As reported by local guide Danny Layne, the kokes are found in many areas of the lake, from the Stevenot Bridge to Bear Cove on the South end. Lures of choice have been Glitterbug Hootchies in orange or pink and Uncle Larry's spinners in patterns such as "Pink Tiger" and "Mad Irishman" tipped with scented shoepeg corn. Last week, scents that worked well were garlic, vanilla, and kokanee special.

Most fish are found from 35-to-50 feet and early morning is the time to

get out as the surface temperature of the lake is up to 80 degrees.

Melanie Lewis, of Glory Hole Sports, reports that the lake is now

only eight feet from full capacity. Out last week for early limits were

locals Wayne DeGennaro, Dave Urquhart, and Cas Munoz who had their fish

by 10 a.m. On Wednesday, Bob Post, of Sugar Pine, along with his

four-legged fishing partner, "Rachel," had his five fish by 7:15 a.m.

Rachel sometimes gives him a look as if to say, "Why don't you get me a

fishing license?"

Also out Wednesday were Stan Blanchard and Dave Sefton, of Sonora,

who switched to Lake Don Pedro and found fewer, but larger kokanee,

boating three in the 17-inch range and two 16-inchers.

Night fishing is becoming more popular as we get deeper into the

summer heat. Submersible lights work well for catfish, trout, and

crappie. Crappie are found close to submerged trees and a couple of

areas of note are Bear Cove and Coyote Creek.

Live minnows or crappie jigs are the best enticers. For the catfish, gobs of worms, mackerel, or chicken livers work well.

Big Fish contest winner at Glory Hole Sports last week was Ralph

Dawson, of Fairfield, who boated a 6-pound, 13-ounce brown trout while

trolling a Rapala lure in Angel's Cove.

The big Project Kokanee Derby at Melones takes place tomorrow and

should draw over 100 anglers hoping to get into the money. I will have

the results next week.

Along the Highway 4 corridor, Spicer and Alpine lakes have the

launch ramps in use and Alpine is now ice-free. Camping is still

limited at Big Trees State Park and for information call 795-2334. For

more information on fishing go to

Along Highway 108, the middle and South forks Stanislaus are still

running high but fishable, mainly with bait or lures. For information

from Kennedy Meadows call 965-3900 and for South Fork information call

the Strawberry store at 965-3597. They also have reports from Beardsley

Lake from time to time.

Pinecrest Lake continues to draw the most anglers and weekly trout

plants are being made. The July 4 weekend was crowded and many fish

were caught. Trollers have the most success with the "old reliable"

flasher/worm combo and shore anglers go with Power Baits and salmon

eggs. The inlet area is a popular spot. For current information on boat

rentals and fishing, call the marina at 965-3333.