Turkey Shoot at Folsom Lake on New Year’s Day…..What could possibly be a better way to kick off the New Year?! RB Bass angler, Jim Vretzos, and I agreed that there was simply no better way to ring in the New Year so we joined about 20 other boats for some health competition and launched out of the Granite Bay ramp at 8am.
In our more recent trips to Folsom the bigger bites were coming out of the North so we decided to start where we knew we could get some keepers in the box. Our first stop was a long tapering rocky point that normally holds some good quality fish all year round. We were able to catch two keepers within the first five minutes of fishing. Jim caught his off an A-Rig and I caught mine by video game fishing by way of the drop shot. After another few minutes or so with no bites and not marking any activity on the graphs we decided to idle down to an area past Rattlesnake Bar which generally holds large quantities of fish. Within minutes of being on the second spot of the day we had three more keepers all of which came by throwing reaction style baits. The box was now full with five so now it was time to upgrade.
As you know tournament anglers live and die by the decisions they make on the water during tournament time. Before the tournament started Jim and I had strategized and agreed that we would start in the North and if we had our limit by noon we would then make a run down South where we had had landed some really healthy fish a few days prior. We ran South around 12:30 and got to our first spot where Jim was able to land a nice spot which culled. We remained in the South for a couple more hours and decided we needed to switch things up so we headed out to the main body where it was much of the same. We were still just one or two good bites away from being in contention but unfortunately the big bite just never came and we ended the day with 8.2 lbs.
While we didn’t win the Turkey Shoot we had a productive day on the water. The water temp up North was considerably warmer in the 51-53 degrees range whereas the water temp in the Southern arm was anywhere between 49-51 degrees. The Northern portion of the lake appears to still be holding the better numbers and better quality of fish which can be caught on an array of baits. The reaction bite was good up until around 11am by throwing A-Rigs, smaller swimbaits and rip baits. Once the sun is above around noon the fish seemed to begin hugging the bottom between 20-25 feet which is when the bottom baits like shaky heads, tubes, jigs, the drop shot all began producing much better than earlier in the day.
If you have a chance to get out on Folsom I wouldn’t think twice about it. The fish are active and healthy and while you may not catch a 20 pound bag you can easily catch a respectable bag by fishing reaction baits early in the morning and switching to bottom baits later in the day. There’s also a good chance that you will run into one of the RB Bass guys while on the water as this lake has been producing some good size fish in the 6-7 lb. range over the past couple of weeks. If you do see us on the water, make sure to say hi. Happy New Year from RB Bass!