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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 1,432,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 60 percent capacity. The lake elevation two feet this week, and is now at 999 feet above sea level and 89 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature is approximately 53-54 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 planters continue to be plentiful, with trollers having the best success. 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. Trollers have been catching easy limits of smaller fish, both in the main lake and upriver. Most fish are being caught 20-40 feet deep, with an Uncle Larry's Power Spin Spinner with Power Bait, or a Wedding Ring/crawler combination. 10-year-old Cody Meyer of Sonora caught a nice rainbow while trolling frozen shad in the Angels Creek arm. Lucky Glen Brown caught a beautiful 7.8-pound brown trout while trolling frozen shad 35-feet deep near the dam. Trolling frozen shad or shad or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels work best for big browns. 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. Spotted bass are fat, full of eggs, and ready to spawn, despite the cold water temperature. Anglers Choice held a tournament on Melones last weekend. Competing anglers reported finding the fish in the main lake, as well as major creek arms, from 25 feet deep to right on the bank. Bass were biting 6" crawdad-colored worms, Yamamoto Senkos and spinnerbaits. Ricky Fox and Brian Dickson won first place with a 12.12-pound, five fish limit. Their biggest fish was 3.07 pounds. They reported the bite as being very good and they were able to catch many fish. Alex Niapas and Jerry Harvey came in second place with a 10.75-pound limit that included the big fish of the tournament - a 3.83-pound spotted bass. B

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. Teresa Fields of Arnold, who landed an 11-pound catfish, won Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week contest. She used a crawler to catch her big fish.

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.

Larry Hutton and his wife Katie of Stockton fished on Don Pedro with Monte Smith of Gold County Sportfishing on Sunday, March 6. They fished for rainbow trout and king salmon. They ended up catching and releasing four rainbow trout, up to 1 1/2 pounds. The fish were caught with an Uncle Larry's Spinner with a Power Grub at five feet deep. They also caught four king salmon to 1 1/2 pounds while trolling frozen shad down to 45 feet deep. They wanted info about how to catch kokanee, so I put out a watermelon dodger and a kokanee bug tipped with corn and instantly had a hook up at 22 feet. Thinking this was just by chance, I left the setup out and we ended up catching a total of three kokanee and losing one. They fished in the Jenkins Hill area. Good luck fishing! - Monte

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

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

Most boats are now able to launch. The trout bite is good for trollers in the top water with Needlefish and flashers. There was a 3-pounder caught from the bank. Marshmallows and Power Bait are working well. Bass are spawning, and there was a 5-pound black bass and 3 1/2-pound smallmouth bass caught near the point, and bass anglers are using a lot of plastics.

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 a great bass bite, a good crappie bit and some nice trout coming out. Trout are 14-21 inches on flashers and crawlers or German brown trout Kastmasters. Anglers are fishing for them from the narrows at Barrett Cove up to the Highway 49 bridge. Bass are in prespawn and spawning stages and are hitting anywhere in between 15-20 feet. In the early morning, there is a top-water bite with shad or perch-colored crank baits or Zara torpedoes and spooks. After the morning bite, switch to 4-inch motor oil or crawdad-colored rubber worms.

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 for trout has started to pick up, but fish are not jumping in the boat. Fish have been hitting around the brush pile and disabled access dock. Trollers are having luck in the slot area with firetiger Rapalas and flasher/crawler combos. Anglers are averaging 2 and 3 trout per pole. At the end of March, the lake will go back to a weekly planting schedule.