California Fishing That Can’t Be Beat

California Fishing

A spotted bass that nearly broke the world record was caught in Calaveras County on New Melones Lake just a few weeks ago.  So we thought it was time to take a closer look at the local fishing scene.  We sat down with Melanie Lewis from Glory Hole Sports, which has been the area’s fishing hub since 1984, to find out a little bit about her business, as well as what makes fishing in the area so good.

Tell us a little bit about Glory Hole Sports. 

We’ve always loved to fish.  We always as a family said we should open a tackle shop someday.  The store has been here since 1984.  Our family bought it in 1996.  We specialize in fishing, tackle and water sports…anything you need on the lake to have fun.  We have everything.  Cold beer and ice, marine parts, and we have a comprehensive selection of fishing tackle.  We have a full-service deli.  Pretty much we have everything.

You’re located just outside the entrance to New Melones Lake.  What makes the fishing there so great?

It’s been amazing lately.  Just last week we had a spotted bass caught that was 3 ounces short of the world record.  So that’s been a buzz in the bass world.  It’s a healthy fishery.  It’s big.  It’s a beautiful lake and it’s not as crowded as most.

What other kinds of fish are people catching?

We have kokanee salmon in the summer that’s phenomenal and tastes great.  And we have rainbow and brown trout, large-mouth bass and spotted bass. We have crappie and blue gill.  People like crappie, it’s good eating.  Hard to catch though.

Let the secret out, where are the best spots to fish on New Melones Lake?

Depends on the time of year.  Fish move.  Right now, the surface water temperature is the same as the surface water temperature so that brings cold-loving fish like trout to the surface, whereas in the summer, they’re down 80-90 feet because that’s where the coldest water is.  So it just depends on the water conditions, the weather and the time of year.  Right now, if people were looking for trout I’d tell them to fish the creek arms and coves because the trout are up shallower, where the bass are a little deeper.  About the only thing I can say that is pretty common is that in the summer the kokanee are in the main lake by the dam and Rose Island.  It’s about the only fish you can reliably count on being some place at a particular time.

We’ve got several other great lakes and rivers in Calaveras County.  Where else do you recommend people go to fish?

I’d tell them to go up to Lake Alpine or Spicer if they’re looking to get out of the heat a bit.  It’s nice to go up there and catch trout.  We like to go to Spicer.

Is there a time of year that’s best for fishing in this area?

If you’re fishing from the bank the winter is definitely the best time of year for trout and summer is best for bass.

stanislaus river fishing

Why should people come to this area over other areas for fishing?

I can’t think of any place you can go and have a greater variety of fishing.  We have every species, and wonderful streams, lakes, high country, low country.  And it’s also beautiful.  For me, when we’re out fishing, I don’t even care if we catch fish.  It’s just so pretty to be out there.

Make Your Way to Glory Hole Sports:

2892 California 49

Angels Camp, CA 95222


The Inside Scoop:

  • Perfect for visitors, Glory Hole Sports rents fishing poles for $10 per day.  So if you’re traveling and just want to give it a try, you can get a pole from them and get in on the action.  Need a boat too?  New Melones Lake Marina can help you out.
  • While you may not think about eating at a bait shop, Glory Hole Sports is rumored to have the best tri-tip sandwich in the county.  They make it themselves.
  • Glory Hole Sports will host a free Fishing Seminar on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 8 am to 3 pm.  Come and learn about fishing the area lakes from fishing guides that know all the local spots.

The Full List of Fishing Hot Spots in Calaveras County…

  • Lake Alpine (technically Alpine County, but we like to claim it as our own)