Len Ackerman

The Big Catfish contest is underway at New Melones Reservoir and the top fish so far is over eight pounds. Jim Mellinger turned in an 8.37-pounder caught using chicken liver.

There are still some openings and there will likely be some real lunkers coming in.

There are still some big rainbows coming out of deep water and Scott Heliotes and Frank Curcuro teamed up to win the Big Fish contest at Glory Hole Sports with a 4.6-pound rainbow. The foothill lakes in the valley area are beginning to wake up with trout plants arriving at Lake Amador and limits have been the rule the past week.

For more information, call (209) 274-4139.

Planting trout will resume this week at Camanche Reservoir with the fish coming in from Mt. Lassen Hatchery. Forty-five hundred pounds will be divided between the south shore and north shore launch areas as well as the south shore pond.

For more information, call (209) 763-5166.

At Pardee Reservoir, the facility is closed for the winter until Feb. 17.

Lunker Report: At Lake Chabot, a new lake record largemouth bass was caught by Ryan Reynolds, of San Mateo, weighing 19 pounds. It is the largest bass taken in the Bay Area lakes and beat the previous record by over a pound. The record, caught in 1991 at Castaic Lake, is 21 pounds, 12 ounces.

For duck hunters, the state wildlife areas in both the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, the averages were very low as the ‘November Slump’ sets in. ‘Bluebird’ weather has contributed to keeping the birds sitting through most of the day.

Some private clubs are still doing OK, but storms are needed to get new northern birds on the move.

Pheasant season opens tomorrow and the wild pheasant population has been in decline for several years. Most hunting now is done on wildlife refuges where pen-raised pheasants are released.

For information on the Los Banos area, call the Los Banos Complex at (209) 826-0463.

My son Eddie, of Watsonville, and I on Wednesday fished at Tulloch Reservoir and boated five rainbows up to 14 inches using flasher/worm combos. These fish were very clean with no signs of the copepod parasites.

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