By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,149,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 47 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose one foot again this week, to 962 feet above sea level, and 126 feet from full capacity. Water temperature has cooled to approximately 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. 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. Trollers who caught limits of rainbows this week include 8-year-old Tyler Pinckney, Ron Pinckney, Josh Pinckney, Larry Gross, Coogie Sierra, Brett Maver and Patrick Lydon. 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.

Kokanee are done for the season.

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.

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 of Gold County Sportfishing fished Lake Don Pedro on Nov. 13 with a friend. They found two easy limits of Rainbow trout, and lost seven others. All the trout were 12 to 14 inches. They found the fish from the surface down to 13 feet, while using Sep's Side Planners and Sep's Watermelon Sidekicks with Uncle Larry's Spinners in tow. They also caught three salmon - two were 8-inchers that were released, and one salmon that went about 2 1/2 pounds that was lost right at the boat, while trolling anchovies 50 feet deep. The best action was from the dam out to Fleming Bay.

852-2369, 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 the lake is being drained more than usual for dam maintenance. It's scheduled to drop to 30 feet on Dec. 23, and it's already down 16 feet. 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. 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 are hitting crawdads and Senkos, and anglers are split-shotting around the dam. Trout are hitting minnows in the top 20 feet of water. The lake is starting to turn over, and trollers are starting to topline with flashers and Needlefish. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait are working from the bank.

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 is low and the bank anglers are struggling, even after recent plants. Even so, Lulu Brown caught a 4-pound rainbow from the bank with rainbow PowerBait. Trollers, however, are doing great in the slot area with flashers or dodgers and crawlers. Firetiger Rapalas are also picking up fish. Bank fishing should pick up if the water level rises, and it's expected to by Thanksgiving. Johnny Bernard caught a limit of trout at Merced Falls, where Brian Hurley of Sonora caught a 4-pounder. Josh and Nick Boles, 7 and 9, each limited with chartreuse PowerBait.