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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,232,000 acre-feet of water, and is at 51 percent capacity. With the huge storms recently, the lake elevation rose a whopping four feet this week, and is now at 973 feet above sea level and 115 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperature was reported at 49.5 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 is scheduled for a trout plant during the week of Jan. 16-22, weather permitting. We have seen very few anglers willing to brave the raging weather conditions, but those who have report easy limits, both from the bank as well as while trolling. Trout are running from 1-3 pounds, with smaller fish being the most common catch. Reports continue of larger rainbows showing up in the major creek arms such as Mormon Creek, Coyote Creek, and Rose Creek upriver (these are accessible by boat only). Brown trout are very active right now, both in the main lake as well as upriver. Trolling frozen shad or shad- or trout-patterned Rapalas or Rebels work best to attract them. Use the Spro Sliding Hook Rig for frozen shad, or the Gil Hooley easy baiter to put a curve in it for a wounded shad effect. 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! 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. Bass are holding to structure suspended near rocky points. 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. Upcoming tournaments will be providing us with more information.

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.

There is solid trout fishing and not a lot of competition for fish. Trollers are finding trout in the dam area and the backs of coves. Some are launching at Moccasin Creek and fishing the river arm. Try trolling from the surface to 20 feet with Uncle Larry's Spinners behind a Sep's Sidekick.

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, 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.

Diana Mello of A-1 Bait said pressure was low with the recent rain, but there have been some bass in the slot limit or below caught with caramel-covered or crawdad-colored 6-inch Rebel worms with gold flakes. There are some crappie showing, but there are not a lot of reports. Trout fishing has been fair. Now that the rain has muddied the water, Kastmasters in silver and blue and cop car Needlefish are working. Fish from the surface to 25 feet. The water has been coming up a couple of feet a day.

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 of Lake McSwain Marina said not much fishing was going on with the recent stormy weather. "There's just nobody going out," Kemper said. "It's just been a ghost town." The water is getting stained with mud, and the wind has been rough for boats.