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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,293,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 53 percent capacity. The lake elevation rose another seven feet this week, and is now at 980 feet above sea level and 108 feet from full capacity. It has risen 12 feet since Christmas, and 23 feet since Halloween. Surface water temperature is approximately 49-52 degrees.

We are now back to 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.

Melones was scheduled for a trout plant last week, weather permitting. Trout are running from 1-3 pounds, with smaller "planter" fish being the most plentiful. Brown trout are very active right now, both in the main lake as well as upriver. Glory Hole Sports' Big Fish of the Week Contest was won by John Harmon of Sacramento, who caught a five-pound brown trout while trolling shad 20-25 deep over the islands off Glory Hole Point. Come in for your free deli lunch, John! Chris Francisco caught a 3.5-pound brown while trolling shad 18 feet deep under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge. Trolling frozen shad or shad- or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels work best to attract them. When trolling shad, you want a slow, easy roll to simulate a wounded shad. Gil Hooleys allow you to put a bend in a shad to get the rolling effect. Pro-troll Roto-Trolls give the rolling effect with an added bonus - they come implanted with a small electronic chip that emits a positive charge into the water to attract the fish. Robo-Trolls have been the hot rig for striper fishing, and they are becoming very popular for the browns, too. When fishing for browns, don't use dodgers or flashers. Browns tend to stay close 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 browns. More browns are caught at dusk than any other time. Bank anglers continue doing well for small rainbows in Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, and under the 49 Bridge, so take the kids fishing! Ed Perry used pink/orange Power Bait while bank fishing under the 49 Bridge to pick up a nice limit of rainbows. Mary Rossi took 3 1/2-year old Cristina Rossi bank fishing. They caught a limit of rainbows in Angels Cove on crawlers/yellow Power Bait. Power Bait or Pautski's Salmon Eggs are the best choice for bank anglers. Use a marshmallow/crawler combo to float your bait off the bottom near the shoreline, or you can try Power Bait under a bobber. You may also want to throw a small silver/blue Kastmaster, a small Rattletrap, or a shad-colored spinner such as a Mepp's or Panther Martin. Trollers are still reporting easy limits in the top 10-20 feet of water in the main lake, and at the mouths of major creeks. Remember - when fish are on the surface, it's important to have plenty of line out behind your boat (as much as 100-150 feet). Using side planers is a great way to get your lure away from the boat chop and commotion that your boat causes, which scares the fish away from the area behind your boat. Try using spinner/crawler combos, such as a Wedding Ring, trolled either alone or behind a dodger. Small shad-patterned Kastmasters, Needlefish or Apex lures are also catching fish. The Cop-Car Needlefish has been a good choice.

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. Good Kokanee action will start back around May.

For bass fishing, try fishing near main lake points or by steep drop-offs. Many bass are in the main lake chasing schools of shad, so they're hard to find. Bass that are holding to structure are suspended near rocky points and island tops. A good spot to fish right now would be the islands off Glory Hole Point - they are full of structure, and schools of shad are stacked up in that area. Using a blue/silver spoon over submerged structure and island tops will catch bass as the water temperature falls. The fluttering fall of the spoon imitates the shad that die in the cold water. Drop-shotting shad patterns are working for some anglers. Brown/brown or brown/purple jigs/trailers are picking up some bigger, deeper fish.

No new catfish reports have come to us this week. This time of year the catfish bite slows, as they tend to hunker down for winter, feeding less and becoming less active overall.

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.

The only fish that has been hitting this week has been trout. Anglers are trolling 20 feet deep with night crawlers. Catches have been consistently in the 21- to 22-inch range. With all of the fog on the lake, there hasn't been much fishing activity.

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

Tulloch Reservoir - The lake is being refilled after reaching its lowest point. The trout bite has picked up, even though the lake is moving. Wedding rings are working for trout from the surface to 20 feet. There hasn't been much of a bass report at all, but there are launch capabilities. The gap between the launches is covered, but if you want to shore fish, take some boots because it's very muddy with the drain. Bank anglers and trollers are both having luck with medium and small minnows. Night crawlers and Power Bait also work.

881-0107, 847-3447.

McClure Reservoir - Fish in Barrett Cove, Horseshoe Bend, Cotton Creek and Temperance Creek for the best luck.

Pete Hennecke of Clovis caught an 11-pound largemouth bass in the 100 percent Bass Tournament last weekend. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait said one angler caught a 17-inch bass with crawdads close to the bank. Another angler had luck at 12 feet with jigs. The bite is starting to pick up now that the rain has subsided. There is a good crappie bite on small minnows near the house boats.

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.

There was not a lot of fishing going on thanks to the stormy weather - the water was stained with mud during the storm, and the wind has been rough for boats. But it should be clearing up soon. Anglers should try the slot area for trolling or the brushpile and handicap dock if fishing from the bank.