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New Melones Reservoir - New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,113,000 acre-feet of water. Lake is at 46 percent capacity. Lake elevation rose slightly this week, at 958 feet above sea level, and 130 feet from full capacity. Water temperature has cooled to approximately 70-72 degrees, and stained.

People have been expressing their concern about the low water levels. While the lake is lower than it has been in recent years, there is still plenty of water, and we will not have any problems with boat launching facilities this year. The agricultural draw is done for the season, so water levels, for the most part, are done falling. The Angels Cove Boat Ramp is out of the water (we lost it when lake elevation reached 975'). The third ramp at Glory Hole Boat Ramp is being used right now, and will continue to be unless water levels reach 899'. Then the lower ramp will be used - it will be usable until the water level reaches 860 feet. There is another ramp below it that volunteers built during the drought, but I have not been able to find any information about how long it is. At Tuttletown Boat Ramp, we are using the lowest ramp. It will be usable until the water level reaches 900'. The unimproved launching area at old Highway 49 at the Visitors' Center will be usable until the water level reaches 760'. So the water levels have to drop another 197 feet for the last ramp to be inaccessible!

The trout bite has been slow, and will continue to be slow until the weather and water cools off in November. However, the Department of Fish and Game planted approximately 24,000 rainbows in Melones last week, so bank fishing as well as trolling should be fair for smaller fish around Glory Hole, Tuttletown, and the Visitors' Center ramps, where the fish were released. Power Bait is the best choice for bank anglers, and trollers should try Uncle Larry's Power Spin, which allows you to troll with Power Bait. Live crawlers behind Wedding Ring spinners are another good choice. Night fishing under a submersible light is another way to catch trout right now. The best places to anchor to night fish are near the three exposed islands between the spillway and Glory Hole Point, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge. Drop your submersible light in the water and fish 10-15 feet below the light. For bait, use a worm-threader to thread a nightcrawler onto your line, and put a piece of Power Bait onto your hook, below a small split-shot.

Kokanee action has been very slow. For the most part, kokanee are done for the season, although anglers will still pick them up as they prepare to spawn. They are red and hooked jawed at this time.

Bass fishing has been fair. Bass are in the top 20 feet of water, and feeding heavily as they prepare for winter. Top water baits are said to be working well. Try fishing by main lake points or by steep drop-offs. The new Yamamoto Creatures have been catching fish, when rigged with a rattling weight or brass 'n' glass - noise is very important right now. Another good plastic to use would be Roboworms bold bluegill in 4 or 6-inch worms. At night, a black w/blue or red flake is your best bet, fished in the same areas, but much shallower. Many anglers are having luck catching good numbers of small fish, mostly spotted bass, by wacky-worming a salt/pepper Senko or other shad-patterned grub under the 49 Stevenot Bridge or near the steep rock walls by the dam.

We are still seeing big catfish. 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, but many anglers are having great luck during the heat of the day, too. Howard Cloud of Angels Camp wins Big Fish of the Week Contest at Glory Hole Sports with his 10-pound catfish that he caught on mackerel under the 49 Stevenot Bridge.

For Bluegill and pumpkinseeds, tie on a large bobber and a small piece of crawler and go have some fun! Fish tight to structure in the back of brushy coves and cuts. Crappie are showing up occasionally as well. 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.

The two trout plants were all anyone was talking about. Anglers are having a lot of luck catching fish from the shoreline with a lot of Needlefish - firetiger and chartreuse are a couple of the popular ones. Most fish are about 12-14 inches, and everybody is catching limits. Other than trout, there have been no reports.

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 bank anglers are getting trout with white and chartreuse Power Bait. The smallmouth bass bite on crickets has slowed. Minnows are working best for both bass and crappie, but bite is inconsistent. Most any kind of worm will work for bluegill.

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 Jamie Porter of Merced caught a 15 1/4-pound striped bass at the Merced River close to the Hornitos Bridge with a Rebel. Jeremy Tally of Delhi caught a 2 1/2-pound rainbow with yellow Power Bait. There is a good catfish bite on stinkbait. The bass bite has improved, with all live baits working. Worming is a good strategy early in the morning and evening. There haven't been many trout reports, but the fish are at 45-50 feet and hitting Needlefish and Kastmasters. There is a decent crappie bite around the dam with small minnows and red and white crappie jigs.

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 bite was good for trollers with flashers or dodgers with crawlers. Plenty of limits have come in the slot area. Modesto's Brian Brown caught a 5-pound rainbow trout at the brush pile with white power eggs.