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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,386,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 57 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose two feet again this week, and is now at 991 feet above sea level and 97 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature is approximately 52-54 degrees. 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!

We are now using the middle Tuttletown Ramp, as opposed to the lower muddy ramp. We are using the second highest ramp at Glory Hole. Angels Cove Ramp will remain closed for the winter, as it does every year, until March 30.

Despite the rain, there were still trout anglers out there wetting a line... along with everything else! We are seeing plenty of planters, but no holdovers to speak of. 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. Anglers have reported having luck both fishing off the bottom with a 24" leader (make sure your bait floats), and fishing 4-6 feet deep under a bobber. 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. 12-year-old Anthony Borges of Lodi caught a nice limit of rainbows while trolling upriver with a pink Wedding Ring/Crawler. Glen Schatz and Mark Smith of Lodi caught limits on a red Wedding ring/crawler trolled upriver. We haven't seen any brown trout at all recently, but that may be due to unstable weather conditions. Anglers wishing to target big browns should troll 30 feet deep in the main lake as well as upriver. 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.

Bass are moving into shallower water, and becoming more active. We are seeing some big fish come out of Melones lately! Many anglers have reported fish right up in the shallows, to as deep as 20-30 feet. Try swim baits, drop-shotting crawdad colored worms, crankbaits, rip baits or spinnerbaits.

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, areas with heavy structure at 30-40 feet deep 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.

Chris Juanes and Paul Blauvelt from Mountain View and San Carlos fished Don Pedro for trout on Saturday, Feb. 19 with guide Monte Smith of Gold County Sportfishing. They fished the area around the dam and into Mexican Gulch with steady action all morning, while using black perch Uncle Larry's Pro Spinners tipped with a night crawler. They used side planers to keep their bait out away from the boat. They ended up keeping seven rainbows in the 12-to-14 inch range and then just had fun catching and releasing lots of fish. They had several double hook-ups. They also caught and released four small king salmon whole trolling frozen shad injected with Pro-cure Bait Oils, trolled 40 to 50 feet deep. The weather was windy, with short periods of rain, and by 11:30 the wind was too strong to fish anymore. Very few anglers were out. The water at Don Pedro is rising very fast now but the water clarity is still in good shape.

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 the bass bite continued to be great with anything blue or minnows - or spinner bait or shad wraps or just about everything. Trout have also been hitting on minnows, but the bass bite has been steadily improving despite the poor weather. A group of three anglers reported catching and releasing around 70 fish with minnows. Two more reported catching and releasing 35 bass, including a 2.5-pounder. Crawdads have also been working - as they have been all year.

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 only been fair in the rain. "It's going to take near a month for this place straighten out," Kemper said. There was a Calaveras plant recently, and in late March, the regular weekly trout plants are scheduled to resume. It might take until then for the water to clear up after the storms. The best bank fishing is in E loop. Trollers are using flashers and crawlers, and flashers and Power Bait. Rainbow and firetiger Rapalas have been working, too.