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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,372,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 57 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose two feet this week, and is now at 989 feet above sea level and 99 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature has warmed to approximately 52-54 degrees.

We are now using the middle Tuttletown Ramp, as opposed to the lower muddy ramp. We are using the second highest ramp at Glory Hole. Angels Cove Ramp will remain closed for the winter, as it does every year, until March 30.

Trout fishing for planters, both from the bank and trolling, has been good, especially near Glory Hole Point, Angels Cove, and under the 49 Stevenot Bridge. Trollers may also want to try the dam/spillway area. Rainbows being caught are mostly planters. Both bank anglers and those who are still fishing from a boat may want to throw a shad-imitation spoon such as a Kastmaster or Krocodile, or a Panther Martin or Mepps. This is especially effective in the evening when you can see trout swirling on the surface. Warmer water temps have moves the trout slightly deeper. Trollers looking for rainbows should target the surface during overcast weather, to as deep as 30 feet if we get warmer, sunny days. Most productive lures have been crawler/spinner combos, or a small shad imitation lure such as Apex or Excell. Brighter colors such as pearl, bikini or firetiger are good choices for spring fishing. Remember - when fish are on the surface, it's important to have as much as 100-150 feet of line out behind your boat. Using side planers is a great way to get your lure away from the boat chop and commotion that your boat causes, which scares the fish away from the area behind your boat. Lucky anglers like John Gasper, who wins our Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest and a free deli lunch, are catching brown trout. John trolled 25 feet deep with a broken-back green (firetiger?) Rapala near Rose lsland to catch his 3.4-pound brown trout. Anglers wishing to target big browns should troll 30 feet deep in the main river, as well as upriver. Trolling frozen shad or shad or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels work best for big browns. Broken-backed lures like the one John used are a favorite of brown trout anglers. When trolling shad, you want a slow, easy roll to simulate a wounded shad. When fishing for browns, don't use dodgers or flashers. Browns tend to stay close to structure that has deeper water accessible nearby, so anywhere there is a steep drop-off with trees is a good place to troll for them.

While this is not the time of year for Kokanee to be showing up, we do get an occasional report of trollers catching small Kokes while trolling for rainbows. The average size of kokanee being caught right now is 14". Good Kokanee action will start back around May.

Warmer water temps have stimulated the bass and we are seeing more of a reaction-type bite, in shallower water. Fish have moved up to around 20-30 feet, and are feeding more aggressively. Big largemouth (including a new lake record 15.3-pounder!) have been caught recently. Swim baits, jigs, drop-shot jigs, deep diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Zoom Baby Brush Hogs have all been productive lures lately. Target the main lake, on main lake points and humps with structure. Upriver is a good place to find an easy limit of spotted bass - try drop-shotting a 4" bold bluegill or crawdad-colored worm there.

This week we had reports that the catfishing is picking up. Howard Cloud has been consistently catching big cats year-round on Melones. He uses chicken livers, and says that using a sliding sinker, leaving your bail open, and sharpening your hooks is the key to catching catfish.

For crappie and bluegill, areas with heavy structure at 30-40 feet deep would be a good choice. Try fishing live minnows or trying to entice them with jigs in red/white or purple/white.

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333

Lake Don Pedro - Best spots to try are around partially submerged trees, near the marina and rocky points.

John Van Unen of Oakdale and his son Johnny fished with guide Monte Smith of Gold County Sportfishing on Feb. 12 at Don Pedro for trout. They started fishing just east of the Flemming Meadows Marina, trolling frozen anchovies and shad from the surface down to 30 feet deep. They instantly had a hook-up with the anchovy, but no fish. The day looked as if it was going to be a good day, but the bite was not an easy one. They caught seven rainbows in 12 to 13" range by using side planers and crawler/spinner combos on the surface. They caught one kokanee trolling frozen shad at a depth of six feet on the downrigger. Lots of bank fishermen were out on Saturday enjoying the sunny weather by the Flemming Meadows Marina. Soaking Power Bait this time of year is a popular method for the bank fisherman, along with casting out Kastmasters. With recent plants, this should boost your luck.

852-2369, 989-2206, 848-2746.

Tulloch Reservoir - Fish the main part of the lake for the best action.

The water has been drained from the lake again for more work on the dam. There are no launching capabilities at the moment, unless you have a portable or small aluminum boat. If you can get on the water, the bass bite is improving and the trout are hitting in shallow water.

881-0107, 847-3447.

McClure Reservoir - Fish in Barrett Cove, Horseshoe Bend, Cotton Creek and Temperance Creek for the best luck.

Diana Mello of A1-Bait said bass fishing is starting to pick up. They are moving around, ready to spawn and are hitting on a variety of live baits, especially crawdads and minnows. Drifting night crawlers in the backs of coves is also a solid strategy. There has been a decent topwater bite in the morning with a variety of lures. The trout bite has been fair, and most trout are coming from around the dam area and the buoy line in front of McClure Point. Boaters, be wary of floating debris caused by rapid water-level rise.

563-6505, 378-2441

McSwain Reservoir - Try your luck at the brushpile, in front of the campgrounds and marina, and at Gilligan's Island and the handicap dock.

The trout bite is good with inflated night crawlers behind flashers, and blue Kastmasters. The best spots off the bank have been the handicap dock and the brushpile. Limits were not uncommon and most fish are around 14-15 inches.