Folsom Lake offers fishing, biking, running, camping, kayaking, picnicking, horseback riding, water skiing, and boating. Folsom Lake is surrounded by restaurants, motels, and everything else that comes along with a medium sized city. Folsom Lake is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 25 miles east of Sacramento. The lake can be reached from either Highway 50 or I-80. Folsom Lake has many access points and entrances. The administrative offices are located near Folsom Dam at the corner of Folsom Auburn Road and the Dam Road in Folsom, California.
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Trophy Trout Spoons For Folsom Lake Fishing
Spoons are one of my top lures for catching trout, bass, and kings at folsom lake. This lake has a very unique lake bottom, with various rock piles, anchored groupings of Christmas trees, and barely submerged islands, so be careful not to dive into the lake head first. The park has multiple entrances most of which are fairly easily accessed by either Interstate 80 to Douglas Blvd.(east), or Highway 50 to Hazel Ave., or Folsom Blvd., (north), as well as Highway 50 to El Dorado Hills Blvd to Green Valley Road.
Bass Lures for Fishing at Folsom Lake
Stickbaits, and other hard bait lures work great for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass at Folsom Lake. Click below for a large selection of fishing lures to use on your next fishing trip to Folsom Lake.
Folsom has been kicking out some very nice rainbow trout with a few king salmon in the mix for some lucky anglers. The trout are very impressive on Folsom Lake, with reports coming in of numerous fish being caught in the 3-4 pound range. Boat based anglers have been doing very well with spoons, F5 and F8 rapala's, flies, streamers, and apex's. Trolling in the top 15 feet of water for the trout and up to 35 feet deep for the king salmon works well for most of the cold and cooler months. For the warmer months, the trout can be found in the 25 feet depths, and the kings tend to head down to 75 feet and deeper. The kings have been hit and miss but the ones that we have seen came on spoons and rolled shad. Shore based anglers have scored good numbers with some reporting limits. Crawlers, chartreuse with glitter power bait and live minnows seem to be the bait of choice.
Lake Turn Over Makes For Great Fishing at Folsom Lake
During the fall and spring months you will hear fishermen say, or see them post on their social media groups that “The Lake has turned over”. This is the perfect time to get out there on the water and go fishing. Lake turnover is when the lake’s water will turn over from top to bottom. During the summer the surface water is warmer than the bottom of the lake, and warmer water is lighter than colder water. During the fall, as the weather turns cooler, the surface temparature of the water will also start to cool. As the surface water cools it becomes heavier, and the heavy water starts to sink, which pushes the water on the bottom towards the top, bringing with it the nutrients from the bottom which the plankton will feed on, and the baitfish will follow to feed on the plankton, which brings the trout to the surface to feed on the baitfish. This turns the trout bite on, and is the best chance to catch some quality trout.
Rainbow Trout Fishing at Folsom Lake
Rainbow trout are regularly planted in folsom lake. They can be caught both from shore or from a boat. From the shore trout can be caught on power bait, mini crawlers, spoons, needlefish, kastmasters. From a boat the best bet is trolling with spoons, F5 and F8 Rapala’s, flies, streamers, and Apex. Trolling should be done in the top 15 feet of water in the cooler months, and down around 25 feet in warmer months.
Family Fishing Trip To Browns Ravine on Folsom Lake
Browns Ravine is a nice area to take the family for a picnic and fishing trip on the shores of Folsom Lake. You may have to do a short hike, depending on the lake water levels, but it’s a nice spot. You can find a nice, quiet, and secluded spot to fish for some rainbow trout, some bass, or some catfish. If you follow the fish and game fish planting schedule, you can also get into some nice planter trout, to get some nice fishing action for the kids.
Landlocked King Salmon Fishing at Folsom Lake
Landlocked King Salmon can be caught by the same techniques and in the same spots as most expert bass fishermen use on the lake. Fishing with worms or minnows with a drop shot rig about 25 feet of the steep high edges in 25 feet of water will do the trick. You can also do well trolling in 35 feet of water in the cooler months and 75 feet of water in the warmer months. The best bets for trolling for Kings would be to use an apex kokanee lure (two red hooks) tipped with salted anchovy’s. Spoons also work well, and stickbaits. One common myth out there is that they don't plant landlocked Kings in Folsom Lake and haven't done so in ten or more years. That's not accurate. They do plant Landlocked King Salmon in Folsom Lake most years, as fingerlings, that grow into a nice catchable sized fishery. We caught a nine pounder a few years back. They do not show up on the plant schedule, but they do show up in the general planting plan. This year there are reports of catching these Landlocked Kings over 13 pounds, so there are definitely some nice sized trophy kings held up in the lake for sure.
Do they plant landlocked king salmon in Folsom Lake?
Yes, they do plant Landlocked Kings in Folsom Lake. It is a great fishery for Landlocked King Salmon. Here's the link to the facts from the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. They don't advertise Landlocked Kings, or Kokanee, on the planting schedule. Inland salmon (Kokanee and Chinook) are released as “fingerling” size fish into lakes and reservoirs as they continue to build and strengthen these recreational fisheries. They don’t included these stock and grow fingerling sized fish as they don’t want to mislead anglers to believe that a fishery is ready for recreational fishing. After the years of plants, they are now strong recreational fisheries, you just have to learn how to target them to catch them. These fingerling plants occur when they counts are good and they are readily available for planting.
Landlocked King Salmon Plants for Folsom Lake Fishing
2019 Landlocked Salmon in California Lakes: Source - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently completed its 2019 stocking of fingerling Kokanee and landlocked Chinook Salmon, planting more than 1.45 million of the popular sport fish into inland waters where they will provide recreational angling opportunities in two to three years after growing to catchable size. 2019’s fish plant stocking consisted of releasing 792,942 fingerling Kokanee Salmon into 16 waters and 672,734 sterile, fingerling Chinook salmon into eight waters. Additional allotments of the sterile – or “triploid” – Chinook Salmon are scheduled to be released later this fall into northern California’s Lake Oroville, Lake Shasta and Trinity Lake. The 2- to 4-inch fish are stocked into landlocked, inland waters to provide a diverse fishing experience where natural reproduction is insufficient to provide a high-quality angling experience. Anglers can expect excellent opportunities in these waters in two to three years when these fingerlings reach catchable size. Stocking fingerling-sized fish is a very cost effective way to maintain these popular, inland recreational fisheries. After a record Kokanee egg take in 2018, CDFW had an additional number of Kokanee fingerlings available for release this year. These fish were surplus to stocking goals. To provide and enhance recreational opportunities, CDFW released these additional Kokanee into Lake Shasta in Shasta County, where anglers can expect a new fishing opportunity in the next few years. Kokanee Salmon are the landlocked version of the Sockeye Salmon native to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Instead of migrating to the ocean, the landlocked Kokanee often are able to reproduce naturally in feeder streams, inlets and along gravel shoreline in the lakes where they are stocked. Like all Pacific salmon, Kokanee die after spawning. Monitoring and evaluations of these fisheries are vital to providing a balance between numbers of fish and their average size. Stocking too many fish may provide an abundance of fish, but not produce fish of a desirable size. To evaluate stocking efforts, CDFW has begun marking stocked Kokanee Salmon prior to their release. In 2018, CDFW marked Kokanee that were released into Stampede Reservoir in Sierra County. In 2019, marked Kokanee were released into New Melones Reservoir in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. All fish were marked with an adipose fin clip for easy identification and to distinguish from naturally spawned fish.
Catfish Fishing at Folsom Lake
Catfish can be found in the coves and the rocks. Chicken livers, sardines, clams, catfish dough bait, and mini crawlers will do the trick. One of the most productive ways to catch large catfish and in big numbers in folsom lake is to find submerged bushes and cast a chicken liver with no weight up against them. One of my favorite fishing spots on Folsom Lake when I fish from the shore, is Old Salmon Falls Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. I’ve been fishing here since I was a young guy, over by what used to be called Jack’s Shack. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that there are less people. It’s a little more secluded than other fishing spots on the lake. It’s full of the brush and trees that bass, catfish, and panfish like to hide out in. It’s also a good place that my kids love to swim in during the summer months. If you are looking for where to fish at Folsom Lake for Catfish, this is one of the best spots.
Panfish Fishing at Folsom Lake
Bluegill, Crappie, and Perch can be caught around submerged vegetation and under water structures using worms, crickets, live minnows, jigs, fly’s, small soft plastics, and small spinners and spinnerbaits will work best.
Landlocked Kokanee Salmon Fishing at Folsom Lake
Landlocked Kokanee Salmon are hard to find in Folsom Lake. Trolling with a light dodger and shrimp fly in bright colors with a snubber to prevent long distance releases. Some like to tip the hook with a powerbait corn niblet. Don’t set the hook and don’t stop reeling until they are in the boat!
Folsom Lake Marina
Visit the Folsom Lake Marina Website for more information.Folsom Lake is regularly planted with Rainbow Trout and on good years, they plant King Salmon fingerlings to keep the King fishery growing. The latest fish plant information can be found at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Soft Bait Lures for Fishing at Folsom Lake
Soft bait lures work great for fishing at folsom lake for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, kings, and the smaller sizes also work great for trout.
Camping at Folsom Lake
There are 191 sites for tent and RV at various locations around Folsom lake. For more information, and to make reservations, visit the Reserve California website. Directions to the Peninsula campground 80 east Reno - From Hwy 80 take the Elm St. exit out of the city of Auburn, at the 1st light make a left, at your very next light you will make another left that is High St. High St turns into Hwy 49 you will travel on Hwy 49 for 10 miles towards the city of Cool. You will enter a small town called Pilot Hill from that small town you will turn right on Rattlesnake Bar Rd. that road will dead end into the campground in 9 miles. Hwy 50 South Lake Tahoe - From Hwy 50 you will take the El Dorado Hills Blvd. exit go north on El Dorado hills for about 10 miles (at some point the road changes names to Salmon Falls Rd.) you will enter the small town of Pilot Hill you will make a left on Rattlesnake Bar Rd. which dead ends onto the campground in 9 miles. Directions to the Beal’s Point campground 80 east Reno - From Hwy 80 you will take the Douglas Blvd. exit out of the city of Roseville. Go east on Douglas for about 6 miles make a right on Auburn-Folsom Rd. go about 2 ½ miles until you come to a stop light the sign will say Beals Point and you make a left. Hwy 50 South Lake Tahoe - Take the Folsom Blvd. exit go north on Folsom for about 7 miles (the road will change names to Folsom-Auburn) you will come to a stop light, the sign will say Baals Point and you make a right.
Rent an RV For Camping On Your Folsom Lake Fishing Trip
Folsom Lake has some nice family camping areas. If you don’t want to tent
camp, and you don’t own an RV, you can rent an RV from RVshare. They have
really great prices, and it also gives you a chance to try a certain model of RV
before you go out and buy your own. Rent one first, so you know it’s what
you are looking for. Great opportunity to have a great fishing trip on Folsom
Lake, while camping in the great outdoors for a few days.
Boating at Folsom Lake
All boating allowed, with a full service marina and five boat ramps. During times of drought and low water levels, there is sometimes a slow 5mph speed limit imposed on the lake for safety due to the large number of rocks and islands that start to pop out of the water during times of low water level. Folsom Lake is a very popular lake for boats for fishing, as well as for water sports. If you are fishing, the best time of day for fishing boats is very early morning, up until about noon, as the lake starts to get fairly packed with a lot of boats cruising around the lake. If you are just out enjoying the water, the lake starts to get a lot of other boaters to join in on the fun around noon. Folsom Lake is a great lake for both types of boating.
Cottages and Vacation Home Rentals At Folsom Lake
Looking for a vacation rental on Folsom Lake, or any destination you wish to go? Vrbo has vacation homes, cabins, and cottages for many locations that would be great for your next family vacation to Folsom Lake.
Folsom Lake Fishing Guides and Fishing Charter Boats
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips on Folsom Lake. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip on Folsom Lake, or any other area you are interested in going on a guided fishing trip, fishing charter boat, or fishing party boat. Shop for fishing tackle in our Fishing Gear and Tackle store.
About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Folsom Lake Fishing Experience Awaits!