The last few days I have been on an incredible Striper bite on Lake Travis. I'm talking limits and a fish every drop! Not only have they been plentiful, but they have been big! These two in the first picture went a little over 13lbs each! These were caught by my clients, we had a double hookup with these two giants on at the same time.
The bite is pretty predictable on Lake Travis right now. I will turn on my Lowrance to 2D sonar and graph the area I have been catching them in. As soon as you go over a school of Striper the graph will light up, take a look at the photo below of the size schools I've been finding.
You will go for a little while without a bite, but once you see a large school like the one in the middle of the screen its game on! This is what the graph looked like after those two big ones bit at the same time!
Now I bet you want to know how I caught them! Live Bluegill! and BIG ones. Literally the largest bluegill you can catch work the best, even the ones you think would be better suited to fry up. I typically cast net bluegill around the launch ramp in the evenings before trips, but the larger bluegill I catch with rod and reel using meal worms or crappie nibbles. Marinas are a good place to look for them. And don't forget, the bigger the better!
The Striper will hit dead bluegill, but obviously live bait is far superior. Don't be afraid to experiment with cut bait or even sardines. Minnows from a bait shop will work, but honestly not that well. The bluegill out fish shad/ shiners 5:1. Rig them up on a carolina rig with a 1/2 oz sliding sinker and a 12-15# fluorocarbon leader. I like to nose hook them using a 2/0 Octopus hook if we are fishing for food, or a 2/0 circle hook if we are fishing catch and release.
Depth is extremely important, watch your graph and pay attention to the depth the schools are at. What I do is pull out 10 feet of line at a time and count down to the proper depth. I.E. if the fish are at 60 feet, I will raise the rod up 6 times in 10 foot increments and let the bait sink down. Once you get a bite give the fish a few seconds to eat the bait before setting the hook. I highly recommend circle hooks as they have a tendency to swallow the bait.
Lastly, PLEASE bring a fizzing needle if you plan to catch and release. Every single fish you catch will be bloated when it comes up. Take the time to learn how to fizz a bass and the mortality rate goes way down. My clients this trip wanted to fill their cooler and have a fish fry with their family, so we kept these. We had a few break off and ultimately ran out of bait otherwise we would have had a 2 man limit!
If you would like to get on this bite book NOW. I mean it, this bite may not last long. I have this Thursday open to target Striper, trips will go from 8pm-12am.
If you are looking for a fishing guide in Austin, Texas to fish Lake Travis or Lake LBJ the largemouth bite has been good too. Give me a call or book through the website!