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916towerguy
11-02-2008, 05:12 PM
Drive right by it every day and was wondering what the deal is with lake natoma. Hows the bite? lots of under water hazards? Can you use a gas powered motor? I have heard you shouldnt eat the fish.

fat_fish
11-02-2008, 05:23 PM
the only spot to hit up would be as close to the prison as you can legally get. don't cross the fence!!! when they release water is the only time you'll possibly get a bite. i heard you can only use electric motors but not positive on this. try raps and km's. good luck.

ff

Denny1969
11-02-2008, 05:46 PM
I drifted my 10 foot inflatable pontoon boat from Negro Bar to Willow Creek a few years back. I caught a bunch of cookie cutter trout. I didn't get anything worth of size. I was fly fishing. The Wooley Bugger was my go to fly.

Denny

LD
11-02-2008, 08:48 PM
A gas motor is legal, but there is a 5 mph speed limit.
It is a pretty shallow lake, watch out for rocks up near the bridge.
Pay attention to your fish finder.
I got my kayak stuck on a rock a couple months ago...
That rock came out of nowhere... ;D
There are big fish in there, but for me, it is a tough lake to fish.
You can do good with drifted worms, or even tossing a kastmaster for smaller fish.
I have been going big, but mostly going home empty handed... ;)

fishpeddler1
11-02-2008, 09:23 PM
from what I recall, motors are only allowed from upstream of the cable that crosses the lake at about mid-point. There are some VERY large trout in there but they are not hooked that often .

dave_in_el_dorado
11-02-2008, 09:50 PM
trailin it, check out this thread for some good info and fun stories:

http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?num=1196792668/0

motors are allowed w/ rules of 5 mph and only from willow creek upstream. *there is an unimporved ramp at willow creek, and new concrete ramp at negro bar. *

i dont know where you heard you shouldnt eat the fish. *the water in natoma is derived from the base of folsom lake and is basically pure sierra snowmelt. *there were no hardrock mines in the natoma basin, only dredging, which left no chemical hazards behind.

89_invader
11-03-2008, 05:39 AM
gas motors are allowed from willowceek up the river to the fence at the prison. 5mph though. you can try from the bank by the entrance wih power bait, or inflated nc.,

The_Big_Sinus
11-03-2008, 10:23 AM
There are some big fish in there- try minnows if you can find them.

LordRooster
11-05-2008, 08:20 PM
They quite planting the lake several years ago. The main body doesn't have anything to speak of but if you can get up the area passed rainbow bridge what fish are in that lake hang out of there and feed on what comes out from under the dam. Because of it they get huge and freaky looking, like footballs. Try minnows and crawdad inmations and you should hook into something

fat_fish
11-05-2008, 08:41 PM
They quite planting the lake several years ago. *The main body doesn't have anything to speak of but if you can get up the area passed rainbow bridge what fish are in that lake hang out of there and feed on what comes out from under the dam. *Because of it they get huge and freaky looking, like footballs. *Try minnows and crawdad inmations and you should hook into something

they plant it every year for the salmon festival. they gate off a section by the aquatic center and take it down a few days after the fest and the fish swim free. i caught like 20-25 planters at this year's fest.

ff

BIGSAC7
11-05-2008, 11:29 PM
This lake is very tough to fish and takes some time to learn how to catch the fish. Like everyone has mentioned, don't bother below the rainbow bridge unless you want to find bass. The Creek area and some of the small ponds on the north side of the lake hold some large carp as well.

Above the bridge, the current and rock formations can get be your toughest battle, but once above the bridge, there is only one main rock that sticks out a ways just before you head up the narrows. I have had luck trolling up these areas using lead core line with a broken-back rapala. I have caught numerous bass and one trout that weighed in at a little over nine pounds. If you catch trout they will be big up on this end. The last two CA state records have both come from this lake in the last few years.

The fish are able to get a consistent food source as other fish and food are chewed up in the dam turbines and sent into Lake Natoma as the water exits Folsom Lake. Also, with the large drop from Folsom lake the water is well oxygenated which is also rumored to help these fish grow large.

These fish are shaped like footballs though. My big trout was only 24 1/4 inches long, but 17 1'2" inches in girth.

Good luck! Worth trying since the drive is short!

Have fun!

LordRooster
11-06-2008, 07:37 PM
They quite planting the lake several years ago. *The main body doesn't have anything to speak of but if you can get up the area passed rainbow bridge what fish are in that lake hang out of there and feed on what comes out from under the dam. *Because of it they get huge and freaky looking, like footballs. *Try minnows and crawdad inmations and you should hook into something

they plant it every year for the salmon festival. they gate off a section by the aquatic center and take it down a few days after the fest and the fish swim free. i caught like 20-25 planters at this year's fest.

ff

That annual plant doesn't count :P. What's left after the festival to spread it's self out amonst the whole lake is really not much of anything.

If you're into carp fishing there's some big carp in there. Fish by the marina and you'll find them.

Other than that I would spend your time else where for a productive day.

J_W
11-06-2008, 08:09 PM
OK, I grew up in Orangevale very near the lake and reading all this I had to chime in. As someone mentioned earlier some recent state records have come from this lake, hint hint.

I used to catch 1-2lbers hiking in from the ponds on the Southwest end of the lake on chartruese powerbait about 12 years ago. Someone mentioned they don't plant anymore, I don't know, if so that could have put an end to this type of fishing. When I worked at Wild Sports in Orangevale about 10 years ago, about once a month people would bring in fish close to 10lbs caught near rainbow bridge. I never had luck there, but never put in much time. I heard a friend of a friend caught one close to 10lbs about 6 months ago.

As was mentioned, it's tough to fish. However, putting in your time above/aound rainbow bridge could produce some big fish.

Jw

FishFiend916
11-06-2008, 09:34 PM
I also grew up in the Citrus Heights/ Orangevale area and have fished this lake well over 100 times. I've caught fish in the first cove, right across from the aquatic center, byt the concrete portion of the wall that sticks out using nightcrawlers under a bobber. Although this was 5 to 10 years ago I have seen fish caught in the 5 lbs range, and have heard of much bigger fish being caught, but mainly above rainbow bridge, I heard they key is to fast troll as close to the shoreline as u can get without hitting rocks using babybow trophysticks or rainbow trout Rapalas very very very early in the morning.

I also thought I should add....I work with a girl who also is a professional diver and teaches diving classes out at negro bar, and she says that in about 50 or so dives, shes never seen ONE fish or minnow or anything besides crawdads!

BIGSAC7
11-07-2008, 05:43 AM
I will have to agree with getting as close as possible to the walls in the narrows above the rainbow bridge. I also saw some people have success floating inflated worms down current from just south of the prison line.

I rarely saw a fish on the fish finder in any other part of the main body. although I have seen stringers from people fishing on the west side of the boat ramp at negro bar.

Get out there and put in your time. You will catch fish if you are patient. But I guarantee that when you catch one of these footballs it will be worth all of the time you put in learning the lake!

bclay52
12-15-2008, 02:09 PM
Could someone tell me what the 'prison line' is? I'm curious how far you can walk up from the Rainbow Bridge towards the dam - is the 'prison line' as far as you can go? And is it just the side of the river that the prison is on?

Thank ya :)

hunkfisher
12-15-2008, 03:33 PM
While at wild sports working guys would come in one or teo every month have a pig of a fish caught from around the rainbow bridge area. But i've also seen fish taken out of the willow creek (??) area heard they stack up there when the water runs the creek flushes food out and by the powerhouse as well.

Brad "Hunkfisher"

[smiley=swimmingfish.gif]

trbergen
12-15-2008, 04:31 PM
Bclay, You can go upstream 3-400 yards above the bridge until you reach the prison boundary. It is a cable that crosses the water, and is the furthest point you can fish on either side of the lake (more like a river at that point). Funny thing is you can see a guard tower from there, and you get the funny feeling someone is watching you through a scope! I have never caught a fish there, but have tried several times. The water comes from the bottom of Folsom lake, and is cold and full of nutrients. The channel runs past the prison for probably about a mile...all untouchable because of the prison, so the fish sit there and get tremendously fat. In the past 5-6 yrs at 27+ lb and 28 lb trout were caught, both Ca state records at the time. They dont plant the lake anymore so there are few fish in the main body, they mostly stay up above the bridge. Good Luck if you go!

fishgetter
12-15-2008, 06:53 PM
Bclay, You can go upstream 3-400 yards above the bridge until you reach the prison boundary. It is a cable that crosses the water, and is the furthest point you can fish on either side of the lake (more like a river at that point). Funny thing is you can see a guard tower from there, and you get the funny feeling someone is watching you through a scope! I have never caught a fish there, but have tried several times. The water comes from the bottom of Folsom lake, and is cold and full of nutrients. The channel runs past the prison for probably about a mile...all untouchable because of the prison, so the fish sit there and get tremendously fat. In the past 5-6 yrs at 27+ lb and 28 lb trout were caught, both Ca state records at the time. They dont plant the lake anymore so there are few fish in the main body, they mostly stay up above the bridge. Good Luck if you go!

I'm gonna go there this Wednesday and I'll report when I come back :)

alfredo
12-15-2008, 08:06 PM
Could someone tell me what the 'prison line' is?
Thank ya :)

This Prison Line?
As viewed from my kayak.

Al

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m277/aljl58/IMGP0897.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m277/aljl58/IMGP0898.jpg