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While relatively young compared to some of its neighboring reservoirs, New Melones Lake has quickly made a name for itself as an excellent fishing destination. Nestled in the heart of California’s historic Gold Country, this large reservoir promises an exciting angling adventure amidst scenic landscapes.

A Foothill Favorite

New Melones boasts the impressive stature of one of the largest foothill lakes in the Mother Lode region. Straddling the border between Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties, it rests at an elevation of 1,088 feet, nestled amidst rolling hills and offering picturesque views. Highway 49 crossing over the Stanislaus arm of the lake adds a convenient touch for visitors approaching from various directions.

A Lake with History Beneath

Interestingly, New Melones Lake conceals a piece of the past. The original gold rush town of Melones lies submerged beneath its waters – a fascinating reminder of the area’s rich history. Whether you imagine those bygone days while casting your line or not, the unique setting adds to the lake’s appeal.

From Spartan to Well-Equipped

In its early years, facilities at New Melones were limited. However, the lake has seen significant development in recent times. Now, anglers and visitors can enjoy a range of excellent on-shore amenities that provide comfort and convenience.

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Beyond Fishing

While the fishing draws in avid anglers, New Melones isn’t just for those with a rod and reel. Night fishing is permitted, creating a unique ambiance for those who enjoy angling after dark. Additionally, waterskiing and swimming are allowed, making New Melones a destination for the whole family to enjoy.

Fishing Highlights

Diverse Species: New Melones supports a healthy population of trout (rainbow, brown, and kokanee), bass (spotted, largemouth, and smallmouth), crappie, catfish, and more.
Potential for Trophies: The lake has produced trophy-sized fish across various species, adding to the excitement for seasoned anglers.
Boat or Shore Access: The lake’s structure offers both ample boat access points and shoreline fishing areas, catering to various preferences.

Resources and Tips

Explore the Glory Hole Recreation Area: This popular spot provides boat launches, picnic areas, campgrounds, and more.
Boat Rentals: If you don’t have your own boat, take advantage of rental options to explore the many coves and inlets of the lake.
Know Your Seasons: Research ideal times of year to target specific species and adjust techniques accordingly.

New Melones Lake offers a blend of excellent fishing, convenient amenities, scenic beauty, and a touch of the past. Its location in the Gold Country adds an extra layer of charm, making it a worthy destination for anglers and recreational visitors alike.

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