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Fishing Report Folsom Lake – April 2015


folsom lake dynamic

Conditions: Air temp 55- 78 degrees, wind 2-5mph, water clarity 4-6ft and water temps 60-66 degrees

The second stop on the Future Pro Tour Northern Division at Folsom Lake brought 110 anglers looking to fill their live wells with some big spawn and pre-spawn bass.  Although the 110 teams were ready to catch some lunker bass, Folsom Lake had other ideas as it was the stingiest I have ever experienced with the majority of the field struggling to catch a limit.  During the two weeks leading up to the tournament I had gone out four times trying to put together a viable pattern in which Aidan and I could have a chance to win.  I tried deep, shallow, slow, fast, big baits, small baits, and everything in between; during the four outings I never caught one keeper!  I did see some bass cruising the shallows and staging up on submerged trees.  The weather leading up to the tournament called for a warming trend, so Friday night I made the decision to look shallow and hunt for bed fish since the deep water bite was nonexistent during my practice.  This ended up being a good decision as we managed to catch nine fish weighing in at 11.65 which was good enough for a 7th place finish.  The first key to our success was locating as many spawning areas with flat clear water as we could.  This meant driving south, main lake, and to the north in our fevered search; this is a chore at Folsom Lake when the weather is good as the pleasure boaters come out in droves causing cross wakes all over the lake making both finding bed fish and driving anywhere on the lake a frustrating experience.  (We did have one shallow area on the main lake in which we threw Senkos at isolated submerged brush targets that yielded 5 keepers but none of them got weighed in.)  The second key to our success was using our Power Pole Blades to keep us anchored down while fishing the beds.  Before I had the Power Poles, fishing beds was a frustrating balancing act of keeping the boat in position, trying not to spook the fish with my trolling motor, and trying to catch the bedding fish…ugh!

Here are the baits and set-ups we used…

The Senko set up:
Bait: 5” Senko (green pumkin/watermelon) wacky with o-ring – Damiki Viper wacky hooksenko bait
Rod: Dobyns Champion Series 704Sf
Reel/line: Shimano Symetre 2500FI – Power Pro Super Slick 8 20lb. braid with a 12lb. Pline fluorocarbon leader.

The bed fish set ups:
#1- Bait: Damiki Hydra 3″ (pearl white) on a ½oz Blade Runner stand up jig head (white)damiki baits
Rod: Dobyns Champion Series  734C
Reel/line: Abu Garcia Revo STX – Power Pro Super Slick 8 20lb. braid (no leader).

#2- Bait: Damiki Stinger 4” (watermelon red-black) – Damiki Viper drop shot hook– River2sea 1/4oz tungsten drop shot weight
Rod: Dobyns Champion Series 704SF
Reel/line: Shimano Symetre 2500FI – Power Pro Super Slick 8 20lb. braid with a 12lb. Pline fluorocarbon leader.

At the award ceremony the top 5 didn’t give up any info on what baits or techniques they used to catch their limits but I heard that the majority of them were bed fishing just like Aidan and I. I expect the bite to get better as the weather warms and more fish begin to head to the shallows to spawn.  To find some fish, drive around the lake and search every shallow cover that has access to deep water to locate the beds.  Put the tolling motor down and start searching.  You may have to go through 4-6 areas before you even find one.  Be patient and keep looking as you never know when you will find a giant.
Until next time, stay focused, fish hard and I’ll see you on the water.

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