Its the time of year when the water has warmed enough to shut off the striper spawn leaving primarily undersize shakers with a few small keepers mixed in. Most the Sturgeon have pushed back into the Bay and Northern California Anglers are awaiting the upcoming river salmon season.
This time of year the Lake fishing can be phenomenal as the bait in the area lakes tend to be holding in the top 40 ft of water and the early season planted fish have adapted to the new living environment and are gorging themselves on the plentiful bait schools through out the lake.
Recently Xtreme-Angling hit the waters of Folsom lake which was has returned from its low water capacity the past few years. This year the lake is near full which is a great sight for the upcoming boating season. Unfortunately, when lakes are at this high level, the fish tend to be more spread out. Reading the water in an attempt to locate and pattern fish is a little more difficult because you can not see a lot the shoreline which can provide a detailed idea or image of what the bottom contour is like.
On this particular trip to Folsom I only had a short window to fish due to a prior obligation. The day started slow, but our fist hook-up resulted in a double. Then another swing through put a 3rd fish into the boat. I continued on the trolling track only to reach the land of the barren sea. I target the South side ” Browns ravine through Mormon Island with no luck. This area has been my big producer in the past and I was surprised at the lack of action. I eventually came into another area near the damn which resulted in two hook- ups on the first pass. I graphed good bait and continued to work through this area and averaged a hook-up per pass.
The fish were shallower then expected, 15-25ft and I was trolling between 2.7-3.2 mph on the GPS. After four hours we had landed 7 fish and lost 3.
The key to success was locating bait schools. Several of the trout that were caught spit up Shad and Pond Smelt. The trout looked very clean and appeared to have been in the lake for a little while showing no signs of pen or transport damage. Some of the fish had large guts from gorging themselves on the baitfish.
On this trip I was trolling 1/16 and 1/4 ounce Speedy Shiners on ultra light rods spooled with 8-10lb line. The downriggers were set varying from 15ft to 25 ft deep. I attempted both deeper and shallower but all the fish caught came from the mentioned depth range. I did see trout feeding on the surface on several occasions but with the clear water, I kept the baits down 15 -25ft to focus on the section of the water column where I was graphing the majority of the fish.
The tip I can suggest is to keep coving water until you locate some fish. Once you hook up make several more passes through that area and most likely you will pick up a few more.
If your interested in a fun day on the water