Folsom lake fishing adventure in California

About a half hour east of Sacramento, California anglers can enjoy Folsom Lake fishing. This reservoir was constructed in 1955, creating over 11,000 acres of freshwater fishing and boating opportunities. Folsom fishing is very popular  due to its 75 miles of shoreline for freshwater fishing and other outdoor activities.

Many Folsom Lake fishing reports show that bass are the main targeted species.  Folsom Lake fishing includes not only largemouth bass, but smallmouth and spotted bass. Reports of largemouth bass in the 6-7-pound range are not uncommon, occasionally topping the 10-pound mark. The Folsom lake  fishing record is an astonishing 16 pounds bass. 

Part of the reason for the rapid growth of these bass is due to the introduction of the Florida strain of largemouth bass genetics. Another factor is the ample variety of forage such as crayfish, bluegill, and crappie. Folsom lake fishing is also great since is stocked with rainbow trout which attracts not only trout anglers but giant, hungry bass.  While investigating Folsom Lake fishing, I also learned it contains great bass fishing habitat with boulders, rock piles, and brush piles.

An interesting study  shared by Todd Crocket shows that in  the early ‘90’s, the composition of Folsom fishing for bass was about “60% smallmouth, 30% spotted bass and 10% largemouth.”  Since then, it is believed that the spotted bass population has increased. Spotted bass seem to move around more in the lake and are a little more difficult to identify, even infrequently hybridizing with smallmouth bass.  Generally, it is the smaller of the species, but the fight and spunk is admirable.

A variety of bass fishing techniques work here year-round, such as swim baits, tube jigs, and spinnerbaits.  If fish are spooky, Folsom lake fishing for bass create opportunities for anglers to score by reaching deeper areas with drop shot rigs and spoons.  

Folsom fishing includes other opportunities too. There are kokanee salmon cruising the vast, deep open water for boat anglers.  If bait resting on the bottom is more your style, there are catfish and carp. 

If you want to go fishing in California for bass, Folsom Lake fishing looks like a great place to start.  Oh sure, there are other reasons to visit the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area such as hiking and camping.  But if I’m in the Sacramento area, I’d make sure my fishing license was good to go and then I would try my luck for a double-digit bass or a new personal best spotted bass.  


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.