NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / LAKE TULLOCH — Trout fishing from the banks continues to be the top option for holdover and planted rainbows to 3 pounds at Glory Hole Cove, Tuttletown and Angels Cove at 5-25 feet with rainbow or chartreuse glitter Power Bait, Power Eggs or a crawler/marshmallow combination. Boaters have been drifting live minnows in the coves for decent action. The best fishing is along the shorelines with the warmer water on the north slopes in the afternoon. This week's rains will provide run-off and nutrients, and the fish will be hanging along the banks waiting for easy meals. Shad-patterned Kastmasters or Rapala Countdowns tossed from the shoreline are also effective. Bass fishermen continue to target the schools of small shad in the main lake around lake points or humps holding wood with Carolina-rigged creature baits in green pumpkin or similar crawdad imitation colors. Baby Brush Hogs or Reaction Innovation Sweet Beavers are also working at depths from 30-40 feet with a heavier weight of ½-ounce. Numbers of smaller fish can be taken on 4-inch plastics on the drop shot. The lake came up nearly a vertical foot to 958.76 in elevation. Lake Tulloch got 1,000 pounds of brown trout due to low flows at Hetch Hetchy affecting the Moccasin Creek Hatchery. Another plant of 1,000 pounds is coming soon. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said bass fishermen are seeing the huge trout rolling around in the shallows in the cold, clear water. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said a few stripers have been taken on jumbo or extra-large minnows near the trash racks or Portuguese Cove. The overwhelming majority are from 18-22 inches. There are still bass fishermen working the back of Portuguese Cove near the inlet with topwater lures or 7-inch Senkos. In the Forebay, anglers have been plugging live mudsuckers or pearl swimbaits for schoolie stripers. Overall, fishing has been pretty slow. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644, Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Trout fishing continues to be steady with Sunrise Power Bait, orange/yellow Power Eggs, or marshmallow/night crawler combinations from the banks at the Handicapped Docks or the brush pile. The lake got a dusting of snow Monday. Trollers continue to score with red Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger at depths from 10-12 feet in the normal pattern from Gilligan's Island to the floating restrooms. Call: 378-2534.
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McCLURE RESERVOIR — Randy Pringle said there were 81 boats in the weekend's Western Rookie League tournament, and all but two weighed in fish. Plastics or jigs produced the majority with the larger fish taken in deep water on spoons. Jay Graham of the Fresno Bass Club said jigs or plastics in various colors dragged along the bottom at depths from 3-35 feet on a Texas or Carolina rig worked best in their weekend tournament. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said the bass bite was very tough with the majority of quality fish found in 60 to 70 feet. Recent plants sparked trout fishing near the dam from the banks with lures or from drifting boats in Cottonwood Creek with Kastmasters in chrome or chrome/blue. Catfish have moved into deeper water to seek out warmer temperatures for the winter. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — The lake was hit with 2.5 inches of snow and counting Monday, but prior to the storm, Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported good rainbow trout action with four-fifths of a recent limit being quality trout from 2-2½ pounds on Trucker T spoons trolled fast from 2½-3 mph at depths from 4-10 feet. He found the fish up the Tuolumne River arm in the clear water with temperatures ranging from 56-58 degrees. He also landed a couple of planter rainbows and a small king on the surface. The Trucker T is similar to a Speedy Shiner in that it is trolled at a fast speed. Smith anticipated this week's rainstorms will help wash nutrients into the lakes and give the water some color. He said, "It is a waste of time to troll in open water" with the fish holding very close to the shorelines. He advised searching along the warmer water on the north sides of back coves with the bait moving into the warmer water. Smith is also starting to use lead-core line for presentation of the lures under the surface during the winter months. He trolled Rapalas on the surface without success. Basi said the bass bite continues to be very tough with finesse fishing techniques working at depths from 50-70 feet with dark-colored plastic worms. The better cut of fish is in the deeper water with numerous dinks in shallow water. The Reaction Innovations Bad Shad Green or Pro Gold small redflake are the top plastics. The Sebile swimbait in trout pattern has been producing some bumps, but no takers as the overall swimbait bite has been slow. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
Majority of large stripers are still holding around lower Suisun Bay, but there are signs that the bigger fish are moving into the back sloughs, particularly with colder water on the main river. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker found quality stripers to 20 pounds Saturday near the Mothball Fleet with live bullheads. His nine anglers landed a fish per rod with all but two over 10 pounds. They even picked up bonus 51-inch sturgeon on a live bullhead. James Smith of the California Dawn reported good sturgeon catches Saturday in upper Suisun Bay near Pittsburg with 56- and 66-inch fish and a 70-inch catch on grass shrimp, eel or roe. Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca reported a 56-inch striper caught and released by a bass fisherman on a crankbait last Friday in the extreme south Delta. The angler was geared up with 50-pound Power Pro, and needed the line strength to horse in this fish. Boyle added the hot bite in the back sloughs slowed over the weekend. , perhaps due to the larger tides. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260, Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing (209) 367-4665
- Mariposa County: Lake McClure, McSwain Reservoir
- Merced County: Yosemite Lake
- Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir, Turlock Lake
- Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir, New Melones Reservoir, Lake Tulloch