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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,153,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 48 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose one foot again this week, to 963 feet above sea level, and 125 feet from full capacity. Water temperature has cooled to approximately 59-61 degrees. It needs to drop a few more degrees before the lake will "turn over."

New Melones Lake Visitors Center has some great free Thursday evening lectures at 7 p.m. For information on the informative lectures, call 536-9094 ext. 22, or visit Glory Hole Sports to see the schedule of lectures.

The Angels Cove Boat Ramp is closed. All other boat ramps are in operation.

The Department of Fish and Game has been heavily planting Melones with trout, so the action for small rainbows is hot. With the water temperature falling, we expect the lake to "turn over" soon - the water temperature needs to reach about 56 degrees. This means that the water temperature on the surface becomes the same as deeper water, so that there is no thermocline. When this happens, trout move up to the surface and into the shallows to feed heavily. This is when fishing is at its best - generally from mid-November through February. Power Bait or Pautski's Salmon Eggs are the best choice for bank anglers. Use a marshmallow to float your bait. Trollers should try Uncle Larry's Power Spin, which allows you to troll with Power Bait, or live crawlers behind Wedding Ring spinners. Golden Eye and Speedy Shiner lures are also catching fish, and both can be trolled fast - 4 to 5 m.p.h. This is the time when the big browns start lining up in the shallows, so we should start seeing some nice ones caught by trollers and bank anglers alike in the next few weeks. Shad-pattern Rapalas and frozen shad are your best lures for the big browns. Scott Wheelock of Coalinga trolled a silver/black Rapala Countdown with no flashers or dodgers 12 feet deep near the dam. He caught 13 rainbows, 5 largemouth bass, and one beautiful 5-pound brown trout that wins our Glory Hole Sports Big Fish of the Week Contest! Congratulations, Scott - be sure to come in for your free deli lunch.

Kokanee are done for the season. Don Myshrall did catch a confused silver kokanee this week. It was about 11-12" long, and was probably one of next year's catch. We are also seeing the occasional spawn-out red kokanee.

For bass, small fish are numerous and easy to catch. Big fish are few and far between. Try fishing near main lake points or by steep drop offs. Smaller fish are shallow - 0-25 feet deep, and are attacking drop-shotted 4" crawdad-colored worms, such as Roboworm Bold Bluegill or Keeper 411 or 1038 (oxblood). Larger fish are deeper and seem to prefer jigs, and some bigger fish have been caught on swimbaits. 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. Anglers Choice held a team tournament on Melones recently. While most anglers were reporting good fishing during prefishing, tournament day was a different story, with changes in the weather giving the fish lockjaw. 32 teams competed, with 18 limits weighed in. Randy and Glenn Pierson won 1st place with a five-fish limit of 10.03. 2nd place went to John Chiarpotti and Joe Bruce, and 3rd place winners were Shawn Conde and Mel Williams. Jim Howell and Paul Baker caught the big fish of the day - it weighed 3.79 pounds. Most winning anglers were fishing deep - 40-60 feet deep on main lake points. Spooning was the #1 lure for big fish, but some winning anglers reported a good Spook bite in the early a.m. Drop shotting and throwing jigs were also mentioned. Tom Dutil has been catching bass from the bank under the 49 Stevenot Bridge and the Parrotts Ferry Bridge on chartreuse Beetlespins (spinner/grub combos).

The catfish bite has been slow. Try Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, under the 49 Bridge, or near Tuttletown. Use mackerel, anchovies or sardines, crawlers, chicken liver, or live large minnows. The action is always best at night for catfish, when they move into the shallows to feed.

Crappie and bluegill are showing up occasionally. The south side of the lake has been good, and near Tuttletown is another good choice. Best crappie bite has been at night under a submersible light, with minnows or red/white crappie jigs.

Glory Hole Sports, 736-4333.

Lake Don Pedro - Best spots to try are around partially submerged trees, near the marina and rocky points.

Guide Monte Smith reported solid trout fishing in the top 20 feet. Sep's Side Planters and Uncle Larry's Spinners have been the best bets. The best action has been the area from the dam to Fleming Bay. Salmon are between 40 and 60 feet and are hitting on anchovies and shad.

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

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

The lake gradually is being drained more than usual for dam maintenance. It's scheduled to drop to 30 feet on Dec. 23. There is a solid trout bite going, but the water is too low to launch unless you have four-wheel drive and a light boat because there is an exposed gap in the launch ramp. There is a good bite from the bank, too, but it's muddy. Fishing is good, but getting the fish is tough. Call ahead for launch conditions.

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 and Tackle said bass have gone a little deeper, but trout anglers fishing from the bank are having a lot of luck on trout up to 16 inches. Pat Harden of Mariposa caught trout and bass up to 16 inches at the spillway. The bass came on crawdads and the trout on rainbow Power Bait.

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 from McSwain Marina said the lake was filled to the top Monday, so fishing should be decent this weekend. Bank anglers should start at the brushpile with rainbow Power Bait. The trollers still are having luck working the slot area. The water was down for so long, it may take a while for the fish to adjust, but they usually move into the shallows to feed. Russ and Jayme Jacobs of Fresno caught four rainbows up to 16 inches trolling night crawlers.