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New Melones Reservoir - Winter store hours are Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Glory Hole Sports' sixth annual Free Fishing Seminar Weekend is coming up! Seminars will be held on April 3. On-the-water fishing demonstrations will take place on April 4. Five dollars will buy you one-and-a-half hours on the water with a fishing guide, who will teach you about rigging and using your downriggers effectively. We will begin taking sign-ups on March 1. Space is limited for the on-the-water lessons, so be sure to call and reserve your space early. On Sunday, April 3, Dick Pool will be testing your boats to see if you need a Black Box, so if you want your boat tested, be sure to sign up for that, too.

New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,390,000 acre-feet of water. It is at 57 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose one foot this week, and is currently at 991 feet above sea level, and 96 feet from full capacity. Water temperature is 51-52 degrees, and clear.

The trout bite really picked up this week, partially because there were more anglers out due to the nice weather. Bankies should try Angels or Glory Hole Coves, or Glory Hole Point. Throwing a spinner such as a Panther Martin, or a Kastmaster will catch fewer, bigger fish. Bait is working well, too, especially for planters. Try a crawler/marshmallow combo or pink, rainbow, or sherbet Select Power Bait on an 18- to 24-inch leader. Make sure your bait can float the hook and leader before you toss it into deep water. Jerry Long caught nine fish (he released four) weighing up to 1 3/4 pounds in Angels Cove on a crawler/regular mini marshmallow combo (he said he ate a few marshmallows himself, too!). Four-year-old Gabe Johnson used white marshmallows and rainbow Power Bait to land a nice 2.2-pound rainbow while bank fishing under the 49 Bridge. Jerry Long still fished from his boat in Black Bart Cove with pink Power Bait and landed eight trout weighing up to 3.5-pounds. Trollers have had luck with crawler/spinner combos, or fluorescent red or firetiger lures such as a Rapala Countdown, Needlefish, Kastmaster, Wee-Tad or Apex. Some anglers report good luck using flashers, but most are running their lures alone. Remember to have plenty of line out behind your boat when trolling, or use a side planer this time of year - the fish are so shallow that your boat will spook them away - you need to have your lure far away from your boat. Jim Phelan of Sonora wins Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest with his big 5.7-pound brown trout that he landed while trolling a Rapala under the 49 Bridge. Richard Kowski trolled a crawler/spinner combo near the dam to land a limit that included a big 5-pound rainbow. Mike McLaughlin trolled shad to land a 2.4-pound rainbow.

Kokanee fishing is done for the season, although trollers are catching the occasional kokanee. We have been seeing kokanee in the 13-inch (at the tail fork) range. Many anglers report catching 1-3 big kokanee while trolling for trout, especially in the vicinity of the 49 Bridge.

100 Percent Bass had two tournaments here this weekend - the regular team event and the new Series 90 event. Randy Helin and Lee Maddox took first place in Saturday's event with 16.8-pounds. Dennis Lee and Don Parr took second with 14.41 pounds, which included the big fish of the tournament, a 5.22-pound spot. Sunday's event was won by Russ Owens and Herb Alverado, with 16.96-pounds, including the big fish of the day, a 4.13-pounder. Larry Heeling and Lee Maddox came in second with 14.95-pounds. Most anglers reported best luck with brown/brown or brown/green jigs/trailers, drop-shotting and spinnerbaits. Oxblood Roboworm Shakin' Worms, Keeper 2001B 6-inch worms, green pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hogs and Yamamoto Senkos were all mentioned by winners. Most fish were caught 25 to 60 feet deep in the main lake. Eight-year-olds Chris Coggshall and Devin Rodrigues threw a black Panther Martin from shore near the marina to land a fat 3.4-pounder. Bass anglers should target rocky main lake points and island tops. Try brown/green combos such as a Glory Hole Hand-Tied Jig, with a green pumpkin grub trailer, or a black/blue jig/trailer combo. Drop-shotted shad or crawdad-colored 4" worms or grubs will catch more, although usually smaller fish. Remember, with winter weather, a slow presentation is the key.

The catfish bite is slow. Glory Hole Point or Angels Cove, near Tuttletown or under the 49 Bridge are all good places for bank anglers to fish for cats. Use mackerel, anchovies or sardines, crawlers, chicken liver, or live large minnows.

Crappie and perch fishing is slow. Fish 30-50 feet deep near structure such as trees, with small minnows or crappie jigs. Bear Creek and Carson Creek are two good places to try. Anyone with current crappie stories, we'd love to hear them!

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333.

Lake Don Pedro - Fish around partially submerged trees, near the marina and rocky points.

Trout and salmon have been hitting lately. In Rogers Creek, trout are biting on Power Bait, minnows or night crawlers 70 feet behind the boat just below the surface.

Salmon are in Railroad Canyon upriver. Anglers are using Apexes and Needlefish. The bass bite is slow, and the best bet is using topwater bait. Schoolhouse Point is a good place to start, and plastic worms are working in dark red or green. There have been no crappie or bluegill reports, but a few catfish have been caught with anchovies.

Lake Don Pedro, 852-2369 or 989-2206.

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

Don Jason of Oakdale Bait and Tackle said limits of rainbows have been caught in shallow water with wedding rings or Kastmasters in chrome/blue. No bass reports for a while.

881-0107, 847-3447.

McClure Reservoir - Best places to try your luck are Barrett Cove, Horseshoe Bend, Cotton Creek and Temperance Creek.

Jim McDaniel of A-1 Bait and Tackle said he hasn't heard anything about the crappie bite, but bass and trout are still hitting. The bite has been good by the dam but better at Horseshoe Bend and Barrett Cove. Use a flasher/crawler at 15 feet for trout.

The bass bite is pretty good along the bank in 15 feet by Horseshoe Bend and in Cotton and Temperance creeks. Anglers are using a lot of shad-colored plastic worms.

563-6505, 378-2441

McSwain Reservoir - For the best chance at catching some fish, try the brushpile, in front of the campgrounds and marina, Gilligan's Island and the handicap dock.

John Kemper from McSwain Marina said fishing has been fair. Trollers report dragging flashers and crawlers and at least one angler caught a limit recently. Soak rainbow Power Bait in the brush pile.

Trollers should float between Gilligan's Island and the first fenceline.


Trout plants - McSwain Reservoir.