By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
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 59 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose a whopping five feet this week, and is now at 996 feet above sea level and 92 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature is approximately 52-53 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.

Fish and Game planted Melones with trout again last week, so planters continue to be plentiful. Holdovers seem to be hiding - we have not seen any big rainbows at all this year. Bank anglers are having the best luck at Glory Hole Point, Tuttletown, and under the 49 Stevenot Bridge, using rainbow or chartreuse Select Power Bait, or a nightcrawler/marshmallow combination. Try fishing off the bottom with a 24" leader (make sure your bait floats), and fishing 4-6 feet deep under a bobber. 11-year-old Shawn and 5-year-old Michael Dunn of Tuolumne caught two beautiful trout on orange Power Bait. Trollers have been catching easy limits of smaller fish, both in the main lake and upriver. Most fish are being caught 10-20 feet deep, with a Wedding Ring/crawler combination. 10-year-olds Will Lyndon, Robert Olagaray and Ross Parker caught trout while trolling frozen shad 10-feet deep near the dam. We haven't seen any brown trout this week, but two separate catch-and-release anglers reported catching smaller browns (2-5 pounds) while trolling 20 feet deep upriver near the Parrotts Ferry Bridge. 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. Bass are being found in shallow water to as deep as 20-30 feet. Spotted bass are fat, full of eggs, and ready to spawn, despite the cold water temperature. B.A.S.S. Federation held a tournament on Melones recently. Due to the new "no-cull" rule, the Federation has adopted a four-fish limit. Steve Zerr brought in a four-fish limit that weighed 21.28-pounds! He had a 9.96-pounder and a 7-pounder in his bag. He caught his big fish on swim baits. Randy Pierson took second place, and John Silberbauer came in third. Anglers reported swim baits, rip baits, jigs and worms as catching their winning fish, with 6' crawdad or shad colored worms producing the greatest numbers of fish. Shawn Merry of Dorrington caught and released a nice 4-pound bass drop shotting a 4" Roboworm in Bold Bluegill.

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.

For crappie and bluegill, Mark Kaylor of Sonora wins Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest - he caught a huge 2.3-pound crappie on a large minnow while still fishing from a boat in Glory Hole Cove. 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.

There is a good bite for rainbow trout going on now at Don Pedro. The action still remains on the surface down to about 10 feet by the dam area and on out past the houseboats. The best lures to use would be an Apex line or Excel lures. Danny Layne of Fish 'n' Dan's Guide Service had a client on Saturday. They had good action by using Uncle Larry's Hitchhiker spinners. This type of spinner enables you to troll with Power Bait. A small spring is attached to the shank of the hook that will hold Power Bait. He also caught a three-pound King Salmon while trolling frozen shad down 35 to 45 feet deep.

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

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

Bass are biting in Black Creek around 8 to 10 feet deep with crank bait. The boat launch is back open and the lake's water level is on its way back up. Trout are also biting on Needlefish and flashers. From the shore, Power Bait and marshmallows are the best bets.

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 bass are hitting everything from minnows, crawdads and night crawlers to top-water plugs and crank baits. The bass bite is excellent. Fish are staging, not quite on the beds, but a lot of fish are moving. Anglers have been reporting 25-30 fish per day with catch and release. The trout bite is solid up Bagby with flasher/crawler combos and wedding rings. The crappie bite also has turned on. There were some 2-pound crappie caught on medium minnows around trees and rocky points. Try Cotton Creek.

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 has been slow. The water is still pretty muddy from the past few rains. There were two plants in February, so there are a lot of fish on the lake, but not many are biting. There were a few fish caught at the brush pile, and more came from the bank than from the boat, which is unusual. At the end of March, the lake will go back to a weekly planting schedule.