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New Melones Reservoir - Winter store hours are Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gas pumps are closed for upgrades. The store will continue to be open.

Glory Hole Sports' sixth annual Free Fishing Seminar Weekend is coming up! Seminars will be held on April 3. On-the-water fishing demonstrations will take place on April 4. Five dollars will buy you two hours on the water with a fishing guide, who will teach you about rigging and using your downriggers effectively. We are now taking sign-ups. Space is limited for the on-the-water lessons, so be sure to call and reserve your space early. On Sunday, April 3, Dick Pool will be testing your boats to see if you need a Black Box, so if you want your boat tested, be sure to sign up for that, too.

We have new fish raising pens in New Melones Reservoir. The pens, paid for by Kokanee Power, were installed in a boat slip donated by New Melones Lake Marina. The Department of Fish and Game will be bringing rainbow trout to put into the pens sometime in the next few days, and volunteers from Glory Hole Sports, and the marina will feed and care for the fish, until spring, when they will be released. The original plan was to put brown trout in, but rainbows will be put in them this year, due to the late start. Next year, brown trout will be placed in the cages in the fall, and they will be fed all winter. Be sure to go to the marina and check it out!

New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,469,000 acre-feet of water. At this date last year, there were 1,428,000 acre-feet of water, so we are slightly up from last year. Lake is at 61 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose two feet, and is currently at 1000 feet above sea level, and 88 feet from full capacity. Water temperature is 59-60 degrees, and stained.

Trout fishing has been slow. Trollers have been having the best luck up in the river or creeks where the water is colder. Our local, Joe Hallett, caught four rainbows trolling up river at 15 feet deep with crawlers. There was a trout derby on Saturday. First place weight was 6.64 pounds with big fish being 1.9 pounds, caught by Mike Williams and Marty Morfey on the top with wedding rings up river. Bankies should target Glory Hole Point as well as under the 49 Bridge, where you can access deeper water from shore. Try a crawler/marshmallow combo or pink, rainbow, or sherbet Select Power Bait on an 18- to 24-inch leader. Make sure your bait can float the hook and leader before you toss it into deep water. Trollers should tie on a red or pink Apex. Other good lures are shad-pattern, fluorescent red or firetiger Rapala Countdowns, Needlefish, Kastmasters and Wee-Tads. More anglers are reporting luck using flashers, so it may be time to tie on a flasher or dodger. Try varying your trolling speed and doing figure eights while trolling. This will cause your lure to rise and fall, and slow down and speed up. This time of year, doing this will sometimes trigger a strike when nothing else will!

Trollers are catching the occasional kokanee. We have been seeing kokanee in the 13-inch (at the tail fork) range, which is really big for this time of year (at this time last year, they were 8-9").

Bass fishing is excellent, with some really nice black bass showing up, as well as spots in the 2-3 pound range. Most anglers report a good early (dawn) spinnerbait bite. Jigs are producing fewer, but bigger fish. Try black/blue, brown/brown or brown/green jig/trailer combos. Worming is picking up the most fish. Use Carolina-rigged or split-shotted oxblood Roboworm Shakin' Worms, green pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hogs and green pumpkin Yamamoto Senkos. Fish are moving up, and are staging 10-30 feet deep in water adjacent to spawning areas. Look for flats near cuts and creek arms that have structure at different depths. Bass will use the creek channels and structure to move up and down from deeper into shallower water as they prepare to spawn (spawn usually happens during the full moon at the end of April or the beginning of May on Melones). The smaller males move into the shallows first, looking for a suitable spot to build a nest. The bigger females generally stay in deeper water until they are ready to spawn. Remember - with bass on the move, be patient - really work over a likely area thoroughly, since bass will not be holding tight to structure, but will be cruising as they search for a good nest site.

The catfish bite is slow. Glory Hole Point or Angels Cove, near Tuttletown or under the 49 Bridge are all good places for bank anglers to fish for cats. Use mackerel, anchovies or sardines, crawlers, chicken liver, or live large minnows.

Faye Townsend from San Andreas wins Big Fish of the Week contest of Glory Hole Sports with her fat 2.3 pound crappie which she caught still fishing in the middle of the day in the southern end of the lake, 10-12 feet deep with minnows. Good job, Faye!

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333.

Lake Don Pedro - Fish around partially submerged trees, near the marina and rocky points.

Both trout and bass are hanging around in the shallow waters. Bass are hitting plastic worms in orange colors. Offshore, anglers are catching trout.

Bass have been out in the middle bay, pretty much hitting on anything, but especially favoring minnows.

Lake Don Pedro, 852-2369 or 989-2206.

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

Don Jason of Oakdale Bait and Tackle said the bass bite is hot. Riverbank's Gary Truitt caught a 15-pound, 13-ounce largemouth bass - a new certified Tulloch record. Plastics in green and watermelon colors are working. So is white spinner bait for smallmouth bass around weedbeds.

Trout are a little deeper. Try trolling a No. 2 Needlefish in brown trout color.

881-0107, 847-3447.

McClure Reservoir - Best places to try your luck are Barrett Cove, Horseshoe Bend, Cotton Creek and Temperance Creek.

There are reports of easy limits on bass, which are five to 15 feet deep. Anglers are still catching crappie with small minnows and red and white jigs.

Catfish are biting night crawlers and anchovies. One angler caught a 4 1/2 pound bass on a Pop-R.

Pulling in limits of trout and catfish at Hunter's Point were Bart Ledsma and Charlie Zeller, using needlefish and scented corn.

The majority of catfish have been caught with flashers and crawlers.

563-6505, 378-2441

McSwain Reservoir - For the best chance at catching some fish, try the brushpile, in front of the campgrounds and marina, Gilligan's Island and the handicap dock.

There was an unscheduled plant of mostly small fish from the state recently and the search is still on for the brook trout. John Kemper from McSwain Marina believes they might have gone upriver. Try the brush pile with rainbow Power Bait and crawlers.

Trolling is far with a flasher/crawler combo. Some are using firetiger Rapalas.