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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 1,486,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 61 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose three feet this week, and is now at 1,002 feet above sea level and 86 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature is warming considerably, and is approximately 55-59 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.

Trout trollers continue to pick up limits of planters. Holdovers seem to be hiding - we have not seen any big rainbows at all this year. 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. Tom Dutil picked up a limit of rainbows while fishing 15 feet deep under a bobber with a crawler/Power Bait combo. Trollers have had the best luck in the main lake and upriver. Most fish are being caught 30-40 feet deep, with an Uncle Larry's Power Spin Spinner with Power Bait, or a Wedding Ring/crawler combination. Sammy Vassey Jr. of Murphys wins the Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week contest with a 5.7-pound brown trout that he caught while trolling a hand-made kokanee spinner 17 feet deep in the main lake. He also gets the Good Guy Award - he picked up bags and bags of trash from the dam area of the lake. Dave Orlando was trolling frozen shad 25-feet deep near the spillway, when he hooked and battled a big brown, only to have it spit out the hook just out of net range. If you want to try your luck for browns, try trolling frozen shad, or shad or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels. 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.

While this is not the time of year for kokanee to be showing up, we do get an occasional report of trollers catching small kokes while trolling for rainbows. The average size of kokanee being caught right now is 14". Good Kokanee action will start back around May.

Big bass continue to show up. Warming water temperatures have bass moving into the shallows, thinking about spawning, especially the Floridas and Spots. Expect big bass activity during the next full moon around the 24th. For the most part, bass are in 5-25 feet of water on the main lake. 6" crawdad-colored worms, Yamamoto Senkos and spinnerbaits are producing the most action. 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, 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.

Ron Duran of Lathrop fished with guide Monte Smith of Gold County Sportfishing on Saturday, March 12 at Don Pedro. Fishing was not as good as I thought it should be, but Ron boated two very nice King Salmon that weighed 3 pounds each. One measured 22 inches and the other 21 inches long. He also caught one other king that weighed in at one pound, and lost two others. The fish were caught while trolling frozen shad at a depth of 45 to 54 feet deep just east of the Fleming Meadows Marina.

The kokanee are also starting to show in a few different spots on the lake at a depth of about 23 to 30 feet. A good choice now for the kokanee is a watermelon dodger and a pink and green kokanee bug, or small Sockeye Slammers trolled at about 1 mile an hour. Make sure to tip your lure with white shoe peg corn soaked in your favorite Pro-Cure Bait Oil, such as Kokanee Special, Fresh Water Shrimp, or Garlic.

The water level at Don Pedro is holding steady. The inflow is about 4,000 cubic feet per second and about the same is going out. The capacity level is at about 75 to 80 percent of being to full pool, the clarity of the water is very good - you are able to see down 12 to 16 feet. Good luck fishing! - Monte

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 there is an excellent bass bite. David Waltman of Los Banos caught a 12-pound, 2-ounce bass with a salt-and-pepper 6-inch worm. Some fish are on the beds, some are in pre-spawn, and all are hitting just about everything. Crawdads are the best live bait, and minnows are second. There is also a strong crappie bite going under the lights at night in the Horseshoe Bend area with fish coming out up to 2 pounds. Small minnows or white jigs are working best. There is a decent trout bite in the river narrows from Barret Cove Marina to the Highway 49 bridge. Flasher/crawler combos and flashers with small minnow imitations are working well. Spring green and rainbow Power Bait is working best from the bank.

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 there was a double plant of trout two weeks ago, and from now until the end of the year, the lake is on a weekly planting schedule. The next four plants will come from Calaveras. The brush pile was the happening place to catch rainbows over the weekend, with Power Bait and silver/blue Kastmasters working best from shore. Trollers were having luck from Gilligan's Island to the fist fenceline. There were a lot of limits caught in that area.