Wanna Soak a Line?

It’s going to be a great fishing season in Northern California

By kncitom on May 2, 2023
Fishing this spring and summer around here should be great!

With our reservoirs fuller than Pacey at a Reno buffet, a lot of folks are thinking about fishing. But where do you go if you don’t have a boat, or don’t know what to do? No problem! Over the next few weeks I’ll share some places you can try that are easily accessible and kid friendly. I’ll also try to help with what to use, and how to use it. First up: Granite Bay State Park, on Folsom lake.

I’ve been fishing our regions lakes and rivers now for over 25 years and this might be the best potential year I’ve ever seen for sustained water levels at Folsom. That means you won’t have to hike long distances down steep dry shorelines to get to the water. It also means fresher, more well-oxygenated water, which keeps the lake’s gamefish (rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, bass and catfish) lively and moving. 

If you have some fishing knowledge but don’t know the area well, Granite Bay Park is a good place to start. It’s at the very end of Douglas Blvd in Roseville, with a few miles of good, accessible shoreline. The best spot (to me, anyway) is at the very far end of the park, an area called Doton’s Point. In just a few steps you’ll be at the water’s edge, with plenty of walkable shoreline. The bottom mostly drops off quickly, so you don’t have to cast out far (please make sure any young ones have life jackets on!!). There are numerous big rocks, trees and other structure currently just underwater that the lake’s game fish tend to hang around because that’s where their prey hides. Take a spinning rod, a good weighted spoon like a Kastmaster, and start flinging away. Or, easier, just get some Power Bait, a sliding sinker rig and cast it out. Once the weight hits the bottom, the Power Bait will float above it at a distance you determine with your leader length (3 or 4 feet is usually about right). 

The shoreline between Granite Bay and Beals Point State Park is another good stretch. In fact there is a trail that connects the two parks, and from it are several smaller trails that allow for scrambling down to the water’s edge. It’s been my experience that game fish will chase the lake’s bait fish up against the shoreline here and feed. Again, a good casting spoon or lures like soft plastic baits with weighted jig head can be effective. So can Power Bait or soaking a nightcrawler under a bobber (if it isn’t too windy).

If you have questions, never be afraid to ask at an outdoor store. Three of the best with local knowledge are Sacramento Pro Sports, on Northgate Blvd, Fisherman’s Warehouse on Folsom Blvd in Rancho Cordova, and Turner’s Outdoorsman on Fairway in Rocklin. Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops also have helpful personnel. They can help you pick out gear, a good basic rod/reel set up, and point you in the right direction too. 

Be sure you have a valid California fishing license (kids under 16 don’t need one) and, again, if you have young ones please make sure they’re wearing life jackets, even if they’re just on shore. Some areas get deep very quickly and things can go bad in a hurry, and nobody wants that. Also, be sure to grab a copy of the regulations and know them ahead of time before heading out.

Next blog, I’ll share a couple foothills-area lakes that are super-easy to fish from shore and at one of them, you can celebrate a good day’s fishing with GIANT ICE CREAM CONES.

Tight lines!



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