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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,145,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 47 percent capacity. Lake elevation dropped only one foot this week, to 962 feet above sea level, and 126 feet from full capacity. Glory Hole and Tuttletown ramps are open. Water temperature is approximately 79-84 degrees, and slightly stained, with good mud lines. With school back in session in most areas, the lake has been quiet and peaceful during the week.

The trout bite has been slow, and will continue to be slow until the weather and water cools off in November. Judy and Jim Medina caught a nice 3.8-pound rainbow while trolling a homemade chartreuse and hot pink lure behind a silver/gold Sep's Sidekick dodger 50 feet deep in the south side of the lake. Night fishing under a submersible light is an excellent way to catch fish in the summer. The best places to anchor to night fish are near the spillway, the exposed islands between the spillway and Glory Hole Point, the dam, 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 slow. Kokanee seem to have finally moved deeper. Kokanee are hanging close to the bottom, around 80-100 feet deep. Bottom-bouncing is usually very effective in late summer. Bottom-bouncing means dropping your downrigger ball until it hits the bottom, and letting it bounce along as you troll - this creates a lot of movement and commotion, which attracts the fish. Unfortunately, it also creates a lot of lost tackle! At any rate, you should fish close to the bottom, around 80-100 feet deep. The main lake by the dam/spillway is a good place to try. Other good areas to target are the mouths of major creek arms, such as Angels Creek, Coyote Creek and Mormon Creek, since the kokanee are starting to move into the creek arms to spawn. Pink or red Apex, pink Hootchies, or Uncle Larry's pink, copper pop, or firetiger spinners have caught almost every fish we've seen in the last few weeks. Tip any lure with shoepeg corn. Use a silver or silver/green dodger. It is very important to troll slowly (1.2 mph) to catch kokanee.

Bass fishing has been slow, except for smaller fish. During the day, most bass are in 5-25 feet of water on main lake points, near structure, such as trees or brush, as well as near steep rock walls near the dam and upriver. If there is a mud line or shade, there will be bass hiding in it. Dart-headed salt/pepper grubs or drop-shotted 4" shad-colored or crawdad-colored worms or Tiny Brush Hogs are best for catching numbers of fish. A brown jig with a brown or purple trailer will catch bass, too.

The catfish bite is great! We are seeing lots of big cats. If you are in a boat, fish the coves at the south side of the lake. For bank anglers, 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. The Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest winner is Tom Dutil, who caught a 6.9-pound catfish while fishing under the Stevenot 49 Bridge. He says he was using a piece of Farmer John Roasted Chicken (maybe part of his dinner?) Seems like expensive bait! Congratulations, Tom, come in for your free deli lunch (it's for you, not the fish, Tom!). William Lease caught a 6.8-pound cat on crawlers while fishing in Glory Hole Cove. 8-year-old Nicole Florea of San Jose was very proud of her big 4.9-pound cat that she caught on anchovies in Angels Cove.

Bluegill and pumpkinseeds are very active right now, so 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.

Most anglers are fishing for catfish and bass in the shallows with night crawlers, chicken liver and spinner bait. Tan and black jigs are working for bass. One angler caught a 4-pounder with a jig. Trollers are fishing 30-40 feet deep for trout. Needlefish are the main trout lure. No salmon reports.

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 there was no trout activity, but the bass bite has been very steady lately. Anglers are having the most luck early and late. Most are catching in Black Creek. Favorites seem to be watermelon-colored Senkos and Baby Brush Hogs or plastics in bluegill patterns. Crappie bite is so-so. A lot of bluegill are being caught, along with redears.

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 fishing has been fantastic. John Caughey of Merced was catching trout consistently at Hornitos Bridge near Sullivan using a J 49 Rebel. The biggest was 2.58 pounds. Catfish are hitting on crawdads. Chuck Rowell of Denair caught a 3.75-pound spotted bass on a Carolina-rigged night crawler.

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 the park was sold out for the Labor Day weekend. There were plants last Monday from the state and Wednesday from Calaveras. Bank anglers should stick to the brushpile or the handicap dock. If you can get across the lake to Gilligan's Island, bite might be good in the cove there. Trollers should find plenty of action in the slot area. Smitty and Susan Smith of Merced caught limits of trout in two hours with night crawlers.