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snazzyshun
01-22-2019, 08:53 PM
My goal has been to catch (and release) one of these pig trouts from Lake Natoma. I'm at my 4th attempt now. I'm on a kayak and have read old threads, dating way back, and common consensus is: east of rainbow bridge, floating nightcrawlers and or trolling small rapalas.

I've been very persistent and am not giving up just yet. I know this lake is difficult but the other day I saw a boat land and release a nice one.

I don't expect anyone to share any secrets. Everyone I've met there so far seems to be pretty quiet. This lake is tough, that's for sure.

Just looking for ideas. Any takers?

Would be gratefully appreciated!

bigfin
01-22-2019, 09:17 PM
My goal has been to catch (and release) one of these pig trouts from Lake Natoma. I'm at my 4th attempt now. I'm on a kayak and have read old threads, dating way back, and common consensus is: east of rainbow bridge, floating nightcrawlers and or trolling small rapalas.

I've been very persistent and am not giving up just yet. I know this lake is difficult but the other day I saw a boat land and release a nice one.

I don't expect anyone to share any secrets. Everyone I've met there so far seems to be pretty quiet. This lake is tough, that's for sure.

Just looking for ideas. Any takers?

Would be gratefully appreciated!


Yep the Pigs are east of the bridge although I would not know it . Never had much luck there . I had a friend who passed not to long ago held the State Record for awhile swore on using jigs in black and white never could get him to give up much more info than that although he said he made his own and liked to fish at night of all things said the big ones were less wary at night also used to take
Rapalas and paint em with glow in the dark paint then flash em with a portable camera flash . You know theres a lot of food washed down from the dam I just wish you could fish a little farther up and who knows what he was doing . Night Fishing might just of been his cover from the prison . Hope this helps even if just a little . Tightlines BF

fishwrong2
01-22-2019, 09:48 PM
I always wanted to drift very small anchovy chunks in there, trying imitate ground up shad that went through the dam. Never tried it there, but it used to work on the diversion pool below Oroville and Butt Lake below Almanor. Again, never tried it on Natoma, but food for thought.

Keep at it, and let us know how it goes.

snazzyshun
01-23-2019, 08:56 AM
I always wanted to drift very small anchovy chunks in there, trying imitate ground up shad that went through the dam. Never tried it there, but it used to work on the diversion pool below Oroville and Butt Lake below Almanor. Again, never tried it on Natoma, but food for thought.

Keep at it, and let us know how it goes.

Will do and great point!

It's funny you mention that, this past weekend I was there and flows were a bit higher than normal. I saw a few grounded up baitfish on the surface. I could imagine these being easy pickings.




Yep the Pigs are east of the bridge although I would not know it . Never had much luck there . I had a friend who passed not to long ago held the State Record for awhile swore on using jigs in black and white never could get him to give up much more info than that although he said he made his own and liked to fish at night of all things said the big ones were less wary at night also used to take
Rapalas and paint em with glow in the dark paint then flash em with a portable camera flash . You know theres a lot of food washed down from the dam I just wish you could fish a little farther up and who knows what he was doing . Night Fishing might just of been his cover from the prison . Hope this helps even if just a little . Tightlines BF

bigfin,

Thank you. Some ideas for me to try, as I'm running out. If you're referring to your buddy with the 27 lber, amazing, he studied this lake well.

Another thing that was mentioned a lot was that prime time for a shot at these pigs was December and January. Anyone can explain why? Does it have to do with the folsom lake turning over and then dam flows pushing out all the nutrients and food?

bigfin
01-23-2019, 02:50 PM
Will do and great point!

It's funny you mention that, this past weekend I was there and flows were a bit higher than normal. I saw a few grounded up baitfish on the surface. I could imagine these being easy pickings.





bigfin,

Thank you. Some ideas for me to try, as I'm running out. If you're referring to your buddy with the 27 lber, amazing, he studied this lake well.

Another thing that was mentioned a lot was that prime time for a shot at these pigs was December and January. Anyone can explain why? Does it have to do with the folsom lake turning over and then dam flows pushing out all the nutrients and food?

Yes guys name was Frank Palmer I used to work with him one day he brought his catch to work and put them in the fridge in bags I'll never forget that they were at least 24' or more he tried to tell me they were steelhead but i was like right , lake natoma is dammed theres no way those are steelhead not unless they were there when they dammed it . They were bright fish for a rainbow though made me think about it. Kinda sad what happened to Frank he passed away from a heart attack while reading a book at home he was a pretty high strung guy I cant see him reading but maybe it was a fishing book !!!! :) Tightlines BF

CAL.NDN
01-23-2019, 04:39 PM
Wow big i didnt know frank passed away but then now i think of it i havent seen him a couple years he was awsome with jigs and could slay trout everywhere i seen him.

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bigfin
01-23-2019, 05:57 PM
Wow big i didnt know frank passed away but then now i think of it i havent seen him a couple years he was awsome with jigs and could slay trout everywhere i seen him.

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Wow Chris small world filled with lots of great Fisher people !!!! Yeah its been like 5 years I believe, his girl came into my work and wanted to see the Pic I put up of him cause she heard I did she found me and told me thank you then told me a lot about Frank that I did not know I guess he had an enlarged heart and that was part of it . Did ya know him from the river ?

CAL.NDN
01-23-2019, 05:59 PM
Yea from the AR.

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bigfin
01-23-2019, 06:04 PM
Yea from the AR.

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Very Kool I always remember him as he was , it was always Go Go Go Cuss Cuss Cuss but when he talked fishing man it was contagious . All my best , BF

Owlman2
01-24-2019, 04:30 PM
Just something to think about....

I have talked to a few of the guys who really, really have Natoma down (including Frank before he passed). I have to tell you, they are not only closed mouthed, but a lot of what they say is deliberate misinformation.

In fact....the guys who really slay the trout there....and there are only a handful who know all the secrets....were friends of Frank's and most of the information has been passed down from him over the years. Frank was an amazing fisherman, he spent years figuring Natoma out, and he wasn't going to let the secrets out to just anyone.

If you really want to learn to fish Natoma, you are going to have to put in the time and figure it out for yourself through trial and error. The people who know aren't talking.

I know I am making it sound all cryptic....I mean they are still just dumb fish....but Natoma is different for some reason and standard trout tactics don't work well there.

BTW, tempting though it sounds, I would not consider fishing upstream from the cable marking the prison boundary. It is strictly off-limits and they take that stuff seriously. In particular, the area directly below Folsom dam, I know for a fact has not been fished in decades....the area is very high security and even employees are not allowed to fish there. Which of course makes us all want to get in there more....

Legalbeagle
01-25-2019, 11:23 AM
Natoma is a snipe hunt. I've taken a raft up past the bridge before. The problem with trolling it is the bottom's very rocky and uneven. So, you probably need to hike to a good hole and drift something. But, what the hey, there's a sucker in all of us. :hitoverhead:

I've always wanted to kayak near the dam in late Spring or late fall and see if I can D/R for something. No doubt those fish are concentrated when the water finally starts to warm up.

bigfin
01-25-2019, 06:18 PM
Natoma is a snipe hunt. I've taken a raft up past the bridge before. The problem with trolling it is the bottom's very rocky and uneven. So, you probably need to hike to a good hole and drift something. But, what the hey, there's a sucker in all of us. :hitoverhead:

I've always wanted to kayak near the dam in late Spring or late fall and see if I can D/R for something. No doubt those fish are concentrated when the water finally starts to warm up.


When you say past the bridge are you saying past the warning sign too ? Anybody try drifting a wounded minnow thru there ?

MtnFisher
01-26-2019, 09:16 AM
My advice to the OP is to keep researching and trying for those huge trout.

I would not expect anyone to give up their big trout tactics and secrets on a public forum. Loose lips ruin fishing spots.

Big trout get big for a reason but they can be fooled.

As for December and January it might have to do with less and dimmer daylight. Trout are less wary on overcast days, less shadows etc to spook them.

Keep trying, you have a yak and thats a good thing.

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dsa2780
01-26-2019, 09:54 AM
Pond smelt, pond smelt, pond smelt.....

Talon
01-26-2019, 12:13 PM
I'll never forget that they were at least 24' or more he tried to tell me they were steelhead but i was like right :) Tightlines BF I would also question the type of fish they were, I also wonder what kind of freezer he had that could handle a fish 24 feet long.:happy:

bigfin
01-26-2019, 01:57 PM
I would also question the type of fish they were, I also wonder what kind of freezer he had that could handle a fish 24 feet long.:happy:


Sturgeon Freezer :) Sorry But its a fish story !!!! Shoulda been 24 " Inches

snazzyshun
01-26-2019, 05:34 PM
If you really want to learn to fish Natoma, you are going to have to put in the time and figure it out for yourself through trial and error. The people who know aren't talking.

I know I am making it sound all cryptic....I mean they are still just dumb fish....but Natoma is different for some reason and standard trout tactics don't work.
Everything you say is true. I've spoken to a few of the fishermen there, and it's exactly that. It seems everyone likes to keep to themselves. This lake is tough, it's understandably so.

It won't stop me from trying. I take what advice I can and see for myself if it makes sense and try it out. Not expecting any handouts, just ideas.

I'm at my 7th attempt now. I saw a banker pull up a nice 4lber today floating crawlers right by the bridge. :)

At the least, seeing others catch here is keeping my hopes up.

UPDATE for anyone curious: water flows good this morning. I was trolling a small rapala for no hits this morning again. Water was blown out last weekend from the rain but looks much better now. Fish were VERY active and feeding on the surface. They are still there!



Pond smelt, pond smelt, pond smelt.....

Any idea how I can catch these? Lol.



I've always wanted to kayak near the dam in late Spring or late fall and see if I can D/R for something. No doubt those fish are concentrated when the water finally starts to warm up.

I questioned today if I would really get shot for crossing that line... ;)



My advice to the OP is to keep researching and trying for those huge trout.
All the fun in finding out what works. Thank you. Good points taken.

bigfin
01-26-2019, 06:04 PM
Everything you say is true. I've spoken to a few of the fishermen there, and it's exactly that. It seems everyone likes to keep to themselves. This lake is tough, it's understandably so.

It won't stop me from trying. I take what advice I can and see for myself if it makes sense and try it out. Not expecting any handouts, just ideas.

I'm at my 7th attempt now. I saw a banker pull up a nice 4lber today floating crawlers right by the bridge. :)

At the least, seeing others catch here is keeping my hopes up.

UPDATE for anyone curious: water flows good this morning. I was trolling a small rapala for no hits this morning again. Water was blown out last weekend from the rain but looks much better now. Fish were VERY active and feeding on the surface. They are still there!


Any idea how I can catch these? Lol.


I questioned today if I would really get shot for crossing that line... ;)


All the fun in finding out what works. Thank you. Good points taken.

Well you know they are there thats a plus . IDK what kinda bait fish is in there if its shad or smelt but there have been days I have drove by and the birds are going crazy in there hundreds of them feeding on something when they are letting out mass water . Keep at it , now I might just have to give it a shot which side of the river was the guy floating crawlers on ? If you want a spot to catch small ones send me a PM

Owlman2
01-27-2019, 07:31 AM
The bottom line is that these fish are VERY well fed. A lot of the time when Folsom is letting out water, you can see thousands upon thousands of dead or stunned pond smelt floating down through Natoma. When this is happening the trout can eat their fill in a couple of minutes, and you might as well turn around and go home.

So how do you catch fish that spend perhaps 10 minutes feeding every 24 hours, and the rest of the time are completely uninterested? Therein lies the challenge....

Legalbeagle
01-28-2019, 09:33 AM
When you say past the bridge are you saying past the warning sign too ? Anybody try drifting a wounded minnow thru there ?

Nope. I'm not crazy.

Legalbeagle
01-28-2019, 09:36 AM
Everything you say is true. I've spoken to a few of the fishermen there, and it's exactly that. It seems everyone likes to keep to themselves. This lake is tough, it's understandably so.

It won't stop me from trying. I take what advice I can and see for myself if it makes sense and try it out. Not expecting any handouts, just ideas.

I'm at my 7th attempt now. I saw a banker pull up a nice 4lber today floating crawlers right by the bridge. :)

At the least, seeing others catch here is keeping my hopes up.

UPDATE for anyone curious: water flows good this morning. I was trolling a small rapala for no hits this morning again. Water was blown out last weekend from the rain but looks much better now. Fish were VERY active and feeding on the surface. They are still there!


Any idea how I can catch these? Lol.


I questioned today if I would really get shot for crossing that line... ;)


All the fun in finding out what works. Thank you. Good points taken.

LOL! I should've clarified my statement. I meant Nimbus Dam.

BigBass77
01-29-2019, 07:39 AM
Interesting thread, all very good and valid points. You have a kayak, troll with a 2/0 nickle/chartreuse dodger tipped with a nightcrawler and chartreuse garlic powerbait. Play with the leader length from the dodger, shorter leader gives more action. Probably better at low flows cause a slow troll is best. This has worked for me as well as I am sure many other anglers in numerous lakes from the sierras, to the foothills, to the valley. Good
Luck!

fishwrong2
01-29-2019, 08:42 AM
A 2.5" gulp or power minnow is a dead-on imitation of a pond smelt. Haven't found many fish that won't eat one. Food for thought.

dsa2780
01-29-2019, 10:41 AM
A 2.5" gulp or power minnow is a dead-on imitation of a pond smelt. Haven't found many fish that won't eat one. Food for thought.


know a guy who would fish landlock smelt eating salmonids with believe it or not, an IMA skimmer topwater in wakasagi color. He had many double digit landlockeds to show for it. And of course the mini fluke style pondmselt looking baits.

Dek
01-30-2019, 07:24 AM
Reading about drifting a night crawler to gut hook those fish makes me cringe. Very few in there and not something I would eat. Believe I once read they have quite a bit of mercury in them from all the mining that went on in the area.

Owlman2
01-30-2019, 09:00 AM
A 2.5" gulp or power minnow is a dead-on imitation of a pond smelt. Haven't found many fish that won't eat one. Food for thought.

Good thought, but how do you get them to strike your offering when there are thousands of actual pond smelt floating by....seems like the odds would be against you.

More than most locations, I think the secret to Natoma lies not so much in how you fish, as when you are there.

snazzyshun
01-30-2019, 09:06 AM
Accidently deleted my reply, again.


Reading about drifting a night crawler to gut hook those fish makes me cringe. Very few in there and not something I would eat. Believe I once read they have quite a bit of mercury in them from all the mining that went on in the area.
I don't think anyone is intending to gut-hook anything.

Perfectly legal and very common method here.

I agree, there is very little fish left and the big ones should remain.





:) Of anything mentioned, I really believe this to be crucial.

Thanks for imparting your wisdom.




Thank you for the tip!

fishwrong2
01-30-2019, 09:10 AM
Good thought, but how do you get them to strike your offering when there are thousands of actual pond smelt floating by....seems like the odds would be against you.

More than most locations, I think the secret to Natoma lies not so much in how you fish, as when you are there.

"Match the hatch" is a term for a reason. There's certainly times and places for standing out in the crowd and attractor patterns, but they make lures and baits to imitate natural forage on purpose. I've never fished Natoma, so I can only speak from experience elsewhere, but providing as natural a presentation as possible sure seems to work for finicky fish most places.

LD
01-30-2019, 09:19 AM
Been awhile since I have been here on the Sniffer, but a small Yozuri pins minnow could work...

MtnFisher
01-31-2019, 01:01 PM
One of the best live baits for big trout are air-inflated night crawlers. Set the weight about 2 to 2.5ft from the hook so the worm will float off the bottom. Trout will see and bite much faster than non-inflated crawlers. Use just enough weight to tick the bottom and let her drift.

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Troutbead
02-01-2019, 09:53 AM
Try rolling a small anchovy. I’ve found that to be very deadly for large trout.

CDK
02-01-2019, 11:03 AM
I am not trying to Hi Jack but the thread has wandered all over.
I wonder if one of you Lake Natoma guys would P M me a way / place to get to the water for panfish. I have driven past almost 60 yrs and never fished it. Except the bridge rocks for catfish .I am too crippled up for much walking and rock hoppin.
Just looking for water I can get to . I have a partner who has me by 20 years and is legally blind and both of us are very silent.

You may go back to the interrupted programing.
C

Legalbeagle
02-01-2019, 12:46 PM
I am not trying to Hi Jack but the thread has wandered all over.
I wonder if one of you Lake Natoma guys would P M me a way / place to get to the water for panfish. I have driven past almost 60 yrs and never fished it. Except the bridge rocks for catfish .I am too crippled up for much walking and rock hoppin.
Just looking for water I can get to . I have a partner who has me by 20 years and is legally blind and both of us are very silent.

You may go back to the interrupted programing.
C

There's an access near the CSUS Aquatic Center--entrance off Hazel. There's another one on the South side of the lake of Folsom Blvd. Both are pretty accessible and blue gill can be found all over the lake. If you have a bike, head up the bike trail on the North side of the lake until you see a bike bridge. There's a canal and some ponds in the area that are full of blue gill.

If that's considered spot-burning, color me bad b!7ches. You can find all that on a Google map.

FYI, the lake doesn't warm up until late Spring. You'll have a tough time catching them until then.

CDK
02-02-2019, 08:11 AM
There's an access near the CSUS Aquatic Center--entrance off Hazel. There's another one on the South side of the lake of Folsom Blvd. Both are pretty accessible and blue gill can be found all over the lake. If you have a bike, head up the bike trail on the North side of the lake until you see a bike bridge. There's a canal and some ponds in the area that are full of blue gill.

If that's considered spot-burning, color me bad b!7ches. You can find all that on a Google map.

FYI, the lake doesn't warm up until late Spring. You'll have a tough time catching them until then.
Thank you
C

Talon
02-02-2019, 02:46 PM
Natoma is a snipe hunt. I've taken a raft up past the bridge before. The problem with trolling it is the bottom's very rocky and uneven. So, you probably need to hike to a good hole and drift something. But, what the hey, there's a sucker in all of us. :hitoverhead:

I've always wanted to kayak near the dam in late Spring or late fall and see if I can D/R for something. No doubt those fish are concentrated when the water finally starts to warm up. if you can find the USGS Quad sheets from the late 1950's, they will show you the geography of what is now underwater. You can then figure out where the bad spots are.

Stickman
02-02-2019, 08:01 PM
Hi CDK,
I agree with Legalbeagle in that catching pan-fish from shore will tough until we get some warmer weather. But when that happens you might want to try Willow Hill Reservoir (just south of Folsom High School.) The community park there provides well maintained pathways that are easy to walk and wheelchair accessible. More importantly, the park has a fishing dock that is accessible to all fisherfolk. This little lake has resident pan-fish and bass and the DFW stocks it with trout as part of their "fishing in the city" program during the cold weather months.

TexWalker
02-04-2019, 08:24 AM
stickman, can you confirm the trout planting there? I have heard multiple times that it is, but I can't find any information from the "fishing in the city" group about it.

MtnFisher
02-04-2019, 04:33 PM
Good thought, but how do you get them to strike your offering when there are thousands of actual pond smelt floating by....seems like the odds would be against you.

More than most locations, I think the secret to Natoma lies not so much in how you fish, as when you are there.Predatory fish like trout strike lures or bait for many reasons. If the offering triggers their predatory instinct they will strike and its game over if one does his part. I've seen big trout pass up many offerings and then commit all of a sudden.

Those big trout are catchable, one just needs to figure them out.

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Jfitalia
02-04-2019, 06:28 PM
stickman, can you confirm the trout planting there? I have heard multiple times that it is, but I can't find any information from the "fishing in the city" group about it.


It only gets stocked for their event

Stickman
02-04-2019, 11:15 PM
stickman, can you confirm the trout planting there? I have heard multiple times that it is, but I can't find any information from the "fishing in the city" group about it.

I actually found this lake a few years ago BECAUSE it was listed on the DFW plant schedule

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/

I had to look up where it was. I fished it for trout a couple of winters in the month after the plants to great success. I haven't fished there in the last couple of years. I assumed that it was part of the "Fishing in the city" program because of the location and the fact that the lake is not deep enough for trout to survive through the summer heat. I do not know if Willow Hill Reservoir is still in the rotation for a DFW trout plant.

Stickman
02-04-2019, 11:23 PM
stickman, can you confirm the trout planting there? I have heard multiple times that it is, but I can't find any information from the "fishing in the city" group about it.

A quick check on the DFW planting schedule shows that Willow Hills Reservoir was planted with trout the week of December 2nd 2018.

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/Default.aspx?water=Willow+Hills+Reservoir&time=All

There is no information on future plants at this time

bigfin
02-10-2019, 07:01 PM
Bump !!!!!!

TexWalker
02-11-2019, 06:21 AM
A quick check on the DFW planting schedule shows that Willow Hills Reservoir was planted with trout the week of December 2nd 2018.

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/Default.aspx?water=Willow+Hills+Reservoir&time=All

There is no information on future plants at this time


I swear I have checked that list 100 times and never saw it. I must be going crazy. Thanks

Stickman
02-11-2019, 11:58 AM
I swear I have checked that list 100 times and never saw it. I must be going crazy. Thanks

Its all good, my friend. Lets just keep talking to each other. I have gleaned so much great information over the years by reading these Sniffer Forum posts. I really love being a part of this online community.

bigfin
02-11-2019, 06:42 PM
Well the trout must be eating good now . Today I actually saw them letting water out of the spillway!!!! First Time ever , water in the channel was flowing but not Brown or blown out at all . I think if any Fish makes it out of there it would have a real hard time negotiating those stairs that step down . Bring on the landlocked Salmon . Any one know what the biggest salmon out of Folsom is ?

Maxumfishin
02-14-2019, 06:40 PM
Well, don't get used to it. We had a break in the buoy line in front of the dam and the, usually unseen releases from the main dam, were moved over to the new spillway for divers safety in front of the dam. These fish sucked out from the new spill way don't go through turbines and hopefully may survive a trip to Natoma.

bigfin
04-06-2019, 06:54 PM
Not too elusive today the big fish is a #12 Natoma Chrome “Cute Fish” to paraphrase
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190407/fa5b8fdb8953277ec59f3a6b8508c9d8.jpg

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BigUnInDaBoat
04-06-2019, 08:33 PM
damn! What a hammer of a bow! The others are hella nice too!

bigfin
04-06-2019, 08:41 PM
damn! What a hammer of a bow! The others are hella nice too!


Thanks we had a great day , ended with 2 each . Perfect ! Tightlines BF

HONEYBEE
04-07-2019, 09:38 PM
Nice fish in any Angler's book!

bigfin
04-27-2019, 07:19 PM
Bump chris !!!!!!!

CAL.NDN
04-27-2019, 07:34 PM
Lol

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