Welcome aboard carson. I live just down the road from you.
My advice is about the same as Kernix', read, ask, read more. Buy a boat, there's usually a few on Craigslist in that area, and head over to Folsom. You can get alot of fun and experience out of a $1K vessel. I bought a Sunfish 5-6 years ago for 150 bucks and had a ball learning on it. It took all of about 5 minutes to make her go where I wanted her to, very easy boat to learn on. Now I have a Venture 23 and ask LOTS of dumb questions, but these guys are always happy to help.
Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?