By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
New Melones Reservoir - The Department of Fish and Game delivered catchable-sized brown trout to the trout pens at New Melones Lake Marina last Thursday. The fish will be held in pens and fed a rich diet for several months, and will be released into the lake when the water temperature warms. If you would like to help in the care and feeding of the fish, please call Glory Hole Sports at 736-4333, and leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached during the day.

New Melones Lake Visitors Center has some great free weekend guided hikes planned for the month of December. For information, call 536-9094 ext. 22, or visit Glory Hole Sports to see the schedule.

New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,185,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 49 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose almost two feet again this week, to 967 feet above sea level, and 121 feet from full capacity. Water temperature has cooled to approximately 57-58 degrees, and the lake has "turned over."

Big rainbow trout are showing up in the major creek arms such as Mormon Creek, Coyote Creek and Rose Creek upriver (these are accessible by boat only). Bank anglers are doing well in Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, and under the 49 Bridge. Power Bait or Pautski's Salmon Eggs are the best choice for bank anglers. Use a marshmallow to float your bait. You may also want to throw a small silver/blue Kastmaster, a small Rattletrap, or a shad-colored spinner such as a Mepp's or Panther Martin. Trollers are reporting easy limits in the top 10-20 feet of water in the main lake, and at the mouths of major creeks. Remember - when fish are on the surface, it's important to have plenty of line out behind your boat (as much as 100-150 feet). 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. Spinner/crawler combos alone or behind a dodger have enticed many trout this week. Larry Gross and Coogie had great luck trolling rainbow trout-patterned and silver spoons such as Kastmaster or Needlefish on the surface under the 49 Stevenot Bridge. Frozen shad or shad, or rainbow or brown trout-patterned Rapalas are your best bet for big browns. The Spro Sliding Hook Rig is an easy way to rig a frozen shad for trolling. We had one lucky angler bring in a beautiful brown trout this week. He posed for a picture with the 5.4-pound brown, and then left before we could get any information from him! We think his name was Harold Kinne from San Carlos. He wins the Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest and a free deli lunch, whoever he is!

Kokanee are done for the season, although some trollers are still picking up a 12-13 inch fish while trolling for rainbows.

Bass fishing has been fair, with smaller fish feeding in the shallows and bigger fish in deeper water and hard to find. Try fishing near main lake points or by steep drop offs. Smaller fish are hitting drop-shotted 4" crawdad-colored worms, such as Roboworm Bold Bluegill or Keeper 411 or 1038 (oxblood). Bass have also recently been caught on Rattletraps, crankbaits, swim baits and spoons. Using a blue/silver spoon over submerged structure and island tops will catch bass as the water temperature falls. The fluttering fall of the spoon imitates the shad that die in the cold water.

The catfish bite has been slow, but one angler recently reported catching a 9-plus pounder while bank-fishing near Tuttletown with chicken liver. Try Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, under the 49 Bridge, or near Tuttletown. Use mackerel, anchovies or sardines, crawlers, chicken liver, or live large minnows. The action is always best at night for catfish, when they move into the shallows to feed.

Crappie and bluegill are showing up occasionally. The south side of the lake has been good, and near Tuttletown is another good choice. Best crappie bite has been at night under a submersible light, with minnows or red/white crappie jigs.

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333.

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

While it is foggy in the valley, it is beautiful and sunny at Don Pedro. The temperature has been getting up to 65 degrees, and you can almost have the lake to yourself to fish. The trout fishing remains good - as long as this weather pattern holds you should be able to catch fish. Trollers are still finding fish in the dam area and the backs of coves, or you can try going up to Moccasin Creek and launching, and fishing the river arm. Troll from the surface down to 20 feet, and use Uncle Larry's Spinners behind a Sep's Sidekick.

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

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

The trout bite has picked up, even though the lake is dropping. It's scheduled to stop draining on Dec. 23, when it will begin to fill back up. Wedding rings are working for trout from the surface to 20 feet. There has not been much of a bass report, but there are launch capabilities now. The gap between the launches is covered. But if you want to shore fish, take some boots because it's muddy with the drain. Bank anglers and trollers are both having luck with medium and small minnows. Night crawlers and Power Bait also work.

881-0107, 847-3447.

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

The bass bite is getting tough. Fish are moving deep, and anglers are going right along with them. Try 40 feet deep with crawdads. That seems to be the best strategy. The trout bite is good with worms and Power Bait.

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.

John Kemper from McSwain Marina said fishing at the brush pile was wide open with rainbow Power Bait, but that was about the only good spot for bank anglers. It was slow at the handicap dock. Trollers are using rainbow or firetiger Rapalas about 8 feet deep. Anglers using flasher/crawler combos had less luck. Stick to the slot area. The lake is full and doesn't look like it's going to drop any time soon.