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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,115,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 46 percent capacity. Lake elevation held steady again this week, at 958 feet above sea level, and 130 feet from full capacity. Water temperature is approximately 71-76 degrees, and stained.

People have been expressing their concern about the low water levels. While the lake is lower than it has been in recent years, there is still plenty of water, and we will not have any problems with boat launching facilities this year. The agricultural draw is done for the season, so water levels, for the most part, are done falling. The Angels Cove Boat Ramp is out of the water (we lost it when lake elevation reached 975'). The third ramp at Glory Hole Boat Ramp is being used right now, and will continue to be unless water levels reach 899'. Then the lower ramp will be used - it will be usable until the water level reaches 860 feet. There is another ramp below it that volunteers built during the drought, but I have not been able to find any information about how long it is. At Tuttletown Boat Ramp, we are using the lowest ramp. It will be usable until the water level reaches 900'. The unimproved launching area at old Highway 49 at the Visitors' Center will be usable until the water level reaches 760'. So the water levels have to drop another 198 feet for the last ramp to be inaccessible!

The trout bite has been slow, and will continue to be slow until the weather and water cools off in November. There are large schools of shad upriver, and that is where most trollers do best for trout at this time of year. Locate the big balls of shad on your depth-finder, and fish 10-15 feet below them. Night fishing under a submersible light is probably your best bet for trout fishing right now. The best places to anchor to night fish are near the three exposed islands between the spillway and Glory Hole Point, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge. Drop your submersible light in the water and fish 10-15 feet below the light. For bait, use a worm-threader to thread a nightcrawler onto your line, and put a piece of Power Bait onto your hook, below a small split-shot. Bank anglers should target the creeks, such as Angels Creek or Murphy's Creek.

Kokanee action has been very slow. For the most part, kokanee are done for the season, although anglers will still pick them up as they prepare to spawn.

Bass fishing has been slow during the day, except for smaller fish. Night fishing during the full moon is good, with good numbers of 1 1/2-to-2-pound fish being caught. The new Yamamoto Creatures have been catching fish, when rigged with a rattling weight or brass 'n' glass - noise is very important right now. During the day, tie on a green pumpkin or watermelon and fish 20-25 feet deep on main lake points near wood. At night, a black w/ blue or red flake is your best bet, fished in the same areas, but much shallower. Many anglers are having luck catching good numbers of small fish, mostly spotted bass, by wacky-worming a salt/pepper Senko or other shad-patterned grub under the 49 Stevenot Bridge or near the steep rock walls by the dam.

The catfish bite is your best bet for big fish right now. We are still seeing big cats. Try Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, 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, but many anglers are having great luck during the heat of the day, too. The ladies rule again this week - Pat Martin of Ione won the Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest with her 13.4-pound cat. She was fishing above the Parrots Ferry Bridge with anchovies. She caught five cats, and says the big one bit at 8 a.m. Howard Cloud caught a 10.4-pounder in Angels Creek. Jon Marshall caught a 5-pounder in Bear Cove.

For Bluegill and pumpkinseeds, tie on a large bobber and a small piece of crawler and go have some fun! Fish tight to structure in the back of brushy coves and cuts. Crappie are showing up occasionally as well. 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.

An angler trolling for trout at 45 feet caught two bass with a Needlefish. One was 7 1/2 pounds, the other 4 1/2. Meaning: Bass are deep. A few trollers did catch trout trolling with Needlefish, and bass are also hitting on rubber worms.

852-2369, 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 trout bite has been picking up, and smallmouth bass are hitting like crazy on crickets and medium or small minnows just up from the bridge.

881-0107, 847-3447.

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

Diana Mello of A-1 Bait and Tackle said there is a good catfish bite on chicken liver, anchovies, and night crawlers. Catfish are averaging 2 pounds, but a few up to 8 pounds have been caught. The bass bite picked up with cooler weather. Anglers having luck with crawdads and in top-water with Zara Spooks and Pop-Rs, but the trout bite is slow.

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 there was a plant last week from Calaveras. Shore fishing has been good at the brush pile with white power eggs and rainbow Power Bait. Boaters are having success with flashers and crawlers between Gilligan's Island and the first fenceline.