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New Melones Reservoir - It's time for our Seventh Annual Glory Hole Sports Free Fishing Seminar and Customer Appreciation Days on April 9 and 10! On Saturday, April 9, there will be a free seminar at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Well-known fishing guides will share their knowledge about fishing New Melones and other Mother Lode Lakes. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and lots of prizes will be given away. In addition, many fishing guides and tackle manufacturers will be on hand to answer all your questions, and there will be great deals on fishing equipment and accessories. On Sunday, April 10, on-the-water lessons will be offered. For $20, you will spend two hours on New Melones Lake with a fishing guide or tournament bass angler, in their boat, for some hands-on learning. If you are a boat owner who wants to target kokanee or trout, sign up for the downrigger lesson, where you will learn how to rig up and operate downriggers to target these fish. Boat owners and bank anglers alike will benefit from the bass fishing lessons, where you will learn where to find black bass, and what lures work best. You can use this information while fishing from the bank as easily as you can from a boat.

New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,553,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 64 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose six feet this week, and is now at 1,009 feet above sea level and 79 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature is approximately 55-57 degrees, and water is stained. Caution - due to rising water levels, there is a lot of floating debris such as partially submerged logs in the water, as well as island tops and trees that are just under the water surface. Please be careful out there!

Angels Cove Ramp will remain closed for the winter, as it does every year, until March 30.

There is another trout plant scheduled for the week of April 10. Trout are moving out to deeper water, but are still relatively shallow. Trollers continue to pick up limits of 14-16" trout/kokanee, when the weather cooperates, in the main lake. Most fish were caught 15-25 feet deep - shallower during overcast/rainy weather, and deeper on the rare occasion that the sun came out. Uncle Larry's Spinners or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler, trolled behind a dodger or small flashers, have been the number one producer. Richard Kowski had a nice limit of trout/kokanee that he caught on a spinner/crawler combo 14' deep near the dam. Many anglers are reporting luck trolling with small or medium minnows, either behind a lure such as a Needlefish, Vance's Sockeye Slammer, or Excel, or alone. Bank anglers should target Glory Hole Point, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge, using rainbow or chartreuse Select Power Bait, or a nightcrawler/marshmallow combination. Minnows under a bobber are another good way to target trout from the bank this time of year. Brown trout continue to make a few lucky anglers happy. Troll frozen shad, or shad or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels, 40 feet deep to target brown trout. Browns tend to stay closer to structure that has deeper water accessible nearby, so anywhere there is a steep drop-off with trees is a good place to troll for them.

We are seeing kokanee show up more. Most are in the 13-14" range. Small Sockeye Slammers, Uncle Larry Spinners or Murphy's Bugs are all a good choice. Use a Sep's Sidekick or a new Pro-Chip 4 E-Flasher dodger to add extra action and attraction to your lure. Tipping your lure with a small piece of nightcrawler instead of corn seems to work better in early spring.

Big bass continue to show up in the main lake, as well as major coves such as Glory Hole and Angels Coves. Fluctuating water temperatures and weather conditions have bass on the move. The warm weather we were having had them moving into the shallows, thinking about spawning, especially the Floridas and Spots. Cooling weather and water temps have caused them to move out into slightly deeper water, although many anglers still report catching big bass in 5 feet of water. Steve Collins used a brown jig to land an 8.9-pound largemouth in Bear Creek. He safely returned her to the water. The spinnerbait bite has been hot - throw into very shallow water and bounce your bait into deeper water. Tom Dutil caught four nice bass while throwing a white/chartreuse spinnerbait from the bank under the Stevenot Bridge. Yamamoto Senkos are also big producers. There are still plenty of swimbait fish being caught. Throwing rip baits such as a ghost minnow Lucky Craft Pointer or silver/black or silver/blue Rapala Husky Jerk in early morning and at dusk is also a good bet.

For catfish, try Tuttletown, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge. Use chicken livers or crawlers, a sliding sinker, leave your bait open, and make sure your hooks are sharp.

Crappie should be thinking about spawning right now, and moving into shallow areas with gravelly bottoms. Areas with heavy structure at 10-20 feet deep near gravel would be a good choice. Try fishing live minnows or trying to entice them with jigs in red/white or purple/white.

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333

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

After the recent cold front passed through the Mother Lode, the bite on kings, kokes and rainbows has somewhat returned on Don Pedro. The surface temp had gone from the 63-degree range before the front to temps in the mid-50s. This drop in temp made the surface bite a little lethargic from what it was last week. Clients on Friday, March 25 caught a mixed bag of bows and kings, keeping several (including a king salmon that weighed in at 4.4 pounds and 22 inches long), and releasing many. Clients on Saturday, March 26 boated 18 rainbows, all in the 12-16" range, keeping seven and turning the others loose. Areas that are producing for King Salmon are the dam, the buoy line, and Big Oak Island. The fish are down 40-50 feet. Lures to try include blue/gold Ex-Cel, green shad Ex-Cel and slow-rolled frozen shad. For rainbows, try Mexican Gulch, Jenkins Hill and the mouth of Hatch Creek. Lures that are producing include Power Bait Black Marble grubs, Uncle Larry's gold perch, and an Ex-Cel Pearl with red dots trolled behind a silver 4/0 dodger either off a side-planer or long-lined.

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

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

There is a solid bass bite going. Fish are in the middle of the spawn and are very aggressive off the points. Most anglers are using plastics and some regulars are sticking with crickets, but throw anything down to agitate the fish and they're likely to bite. For trout, shore anglers are using marshmallows and Power Bait. Trollers are using silver Needlefish eight feet deep with flashers.

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 said the bass bite is still good to excellent. Start off in the morning in five feet of water and move out as the sun rises. Red- and black-flaked Roboworms and Bass Addict rubber worms work well. There is a decent early topwater bite on double-jointed minnows in shad or baby bass patterns. Bass are hitting all over the lake - back in the coves, in creek channels and around the houseboats. Trout bite is good, and the best bet is with flasher/crawler combos. Small broken-back Rebels and wedding rings work well also. Try between Barret Cove and the Highway 49 bridge. The crappie bite is excellent with small minnows or any color of crappie jig.

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 at McSwain Marina said fishing was improving until the storm muddied the lake. Rainbow, lemon twist and lime twist Power Bait were working well from the shore. Trollers are using flashers and crawlers from the brushpile to the first fenceline. Wedding rings have also been hot. There was a scheduled plant from Calaveras last week.