By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,327,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 55 percent capacity. Lake elevation dropped three feet this week, to 984 feet above sea level, and 104 feet from full capacity. At this time last year, lake levels were at 1,000 feet above sea level. Water temperature is approximately 74-77 degrees, and clear.

Rainbow trout is showing up in mixed limits with kokanee. Trollers should target the main lake near the spillway/dam and Rose Island. Fish are gradually moving deeper, and are about 30-60 feet deep. Trout are feeding on small shad, so tie on a small shad-imitation lure such as a Cop Car Needlefish or a shad-patterned Apex or Rapala Countdown behind flashers. Bite has been best in the early morning, so plan to hit the lake early. Ron Flores caught a limit of rainbows while trolling a nightcrawler 28 feet deep near the spillway. Mike Dirks of San Andreas caught a 2.6-pounder while night fishing near the dam. Night fishing under a submersible light is a fun way to catch fish in the summer. The best place to anchor to night fish is near the spillway, the exposed islands between the spillway and Glory Hole Point, or the dam. Drop your submersible light in the water (we have lights available with a 20 foot cord) and fish 10-15 feet below the light, depending on water clarity. 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. The light attracts plankton, which attracts shad, which attracts trout. It takes some time for all that attracting to take place, so plan on slow action for the first couple of hours. If you have been there for two hours and you don't see shad in the water, you may want to relocate. Bank anglers should target the creeks, such as Angels Creek.

Kokanee action is better, with more limits being caught. Try the main lake along the steep banks near the spillway, dam and Rose Island. Kokanee are holding 45-60 feet deep. We have seen quite a few kokanee over 2 pounds, although we are seeing more small (10") kokanee being caught, too. Red, pink and firetiger Uncle Larry's Spinners, Apex, Father Murphys Bugs and Killer B's are catching the most fish. Use a Sling-Blade dodger or a Sidekick to add action to your lure. Tip your lure with shoepeg corn soaked in ProCure oil - garlic is working well. It is very important to troll slowly (1.2 mph) to catch kokanee. Vance Staplin of Vance's Tackle brought in a nice limit that he caught on his new "Rumblefish" spinner (not yet available in stores). John Darroch used pink Uncle Larry's Spinners to catch a limit of fish weighing up to 2.2 pounds.

Bass fishing has been fair, with plenty of 2-pounders being caught, as well as some lunkers, like the huge 9.6-pounder that Richard Knigge caught and released while fishing upriver beyond Parrotts Ferry Bridge with a 4" Kepper 1059R worm. Night fishing is a good way to see some big-bass action. Bass are more shallow at night, and are in 1-20 feet of water. 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, there will be bass hiding in it. Dart-headed salt/pepper grubs or drop-shotted 4" shad-colored worms are best for catching numbers of fish. Throw a top-water bait such as a spook or Pop-R in the early morning before the sun hits the water. White Speed Traps and white or white/chartreuse spinnerbaits are other good lures to throw. Be sure to sign up for Glory Hole Sports' third annual "Just For Fun" evening bass tournament on August 7, 2004. We are expecting a good turnout this year. Call or e-mail the store for details. Payback is great, and the tournament raises money for the Florida-strain bass plant on Melones.

Catfish are good. 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. Thomas Flynn of Railroad Flat wins Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest and a free deli lunch with his 7.2-pound, 26-inch cat that he caught on chicken livers while night fishing in Angels Cove.

Perch are really starting to be active, so it's time to take your kids fishing! Crappie are showing up occasionally as well. Fish brushy coves and creek arms - anywhere there are trees in the water. The south side of the lake has been good, and near Tuttletown is another good choice. Crappie are liking minnows or red/white crappie jigs, and perch are hitting a small piece of crawler under a bobber. Some anglers report finding crappie deep - around 40 feet, on isolated structure.

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333.

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

Catfish are in the shallows hitting chicken liver and minnows. Bass are eating spinner bait and night crawlers or rubber worms, mostly in lighter colors such as green and yellow. One angler reported a salmon on a dodger lure.

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 crappie buzz has stopped, but minnows and crickets are the bait to use for an improved smallmouth bass bite. Some anglers are finding luck with watermelon red Senkos. Trout bite is slow. Fish have gone down to 40-50 feet, and some are deeper.

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 bass fishing was good, and crappie fishing is picking up steadily. Crappie are coming out of Horseshoe Bend. Trout have gone deeper, try 35-40 feet with a flasher/crawler combo or Needlefish and Kastmasters. Bass are loading up on crawdads by Cottonwood Creek. Hud Harkreader of Merced caught a 20-inch, 5-pound bass with a Booyah Blade spinner 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 of McSwain Marina said Gilligan's Island has been the hottest spot from the bank. If you can get across the lake, that is. The handicap dock was a solid second, while the brushpile was dead. Trollers are using a flasher/crawler combo in the slot area. Some are getting lucky with firetiger Rapalas. There have been quite a few limits. Some have even come off the shore.