Folsom Lake has something for everyone

Folsom Lake is an awesome fishery. I personally think it is one of the best fisheries in California. There are not many places you can go to in the state, much less the country, where you have a chance to catch blacks, spots, and smallies weighing more than five pounds!

Folsom is located about 25 miles east of Sacramento. It is approximately 11,000 acres at full pool and has 75 miles of shoreline. The lake was created in 1955 by the Folsom Dam. It is made by the American River and consists of a north and south fork arm which both meet the main lake.

Much like other lakes, Folsom Lake is at its best during the spring. In the spring you can use traditional pre-spawn, spawning, and post spawn patterns to find fish. Secondary staging points are awesome and can be a solid pattern since you can find them all over the lake. Also, by this time of the year the lake level is back up and you can find tons of fish in the flooded willow trees that are near potential spawning grounds (i.e. bays and coves). When fishing these areas you can use almost any type of reaction baits, jigs, and darter head worms. Other top producers are Senko’s and Flukes and if you want to fish for strictly big fish then swimbaits are the way to go.

The summer is typically the toughest time of year on Folsom. Dropshotting and topwater will be the top producers for sure. This is when you should start using your graph to find balls of bait and the sharp breaks on the underwater islands. These sharp breaks are where the bass will school up and ambush the bait. Dropshotting small three inch baits tend to work best since the fish can be finicky. When fishing topwater look for the steep bluffs up the north and south forks and the shallow rockpiles on the main lake. Spooks, buzzbaits, and poppers all work, but let the conditions dictate which one to use on that specific day.

During the fall the lake level starts fluctuating, which will toughen the bite up real quick. This time of year you can find fish on all the main points. In the mornings they move up and feed on these points, then they move off, but they seem to always pull up and feed one more time during the afternoon. My favorite baits for these points are jigs and rip-baits. You can also find fish on the same islands that the fish were on from the summer and as the water drops they will move to the next closest island that is deeper. Dropshotting still works well on these islands as well as dragging jigs.

The winter can be very good at times on Folsom. Jigs and worms are the only two things you need this time of year. A _ jig and a 3/16 darter head worm catch more fish for me than any other baits. This time of year the best fish are located on isolated spots such as rock piles and steep breaks off points. These areas are easiest found by fishing strictly main lake. Don’t be afraid to try and fish right on the bank either. Sometimes with a warm afternoon sun those fish move up in less than 10 feet of water and they start eating real well.

Throughout this article I have mentioned reaction baits, jigs, and worms. The ones that I recommend are Lucky Craft ripbaits and crankbaits, War Eagle spinnerbaits, Bass Patrol jigs, and Robo worms.

If you are going to come up and fish Folsom for a couple days you can find plenty of hotels in the area. The best area to find a hotel would be Roseville. It is closest to Granite Bay launch ramp and is right off of I-80. Fisherman’s Warehouse has a store a couple miles farther up I-80. It’s in Rocklin and the address is 4430 Granite Drive. Thanks for reading my first article with National Bass West