Today I had the pleasure of fishing with James Wood, a great angler who wanted to learn a few more things to better his chances at success the next time he takes out his boat. James owns Top Notch Irrigation up in Georgetown... so if you need your sprinkler system repaired or outdoor lighting installed give him a shout! He had an opening in his week today so we hit Lake Travis for a one on one instructional fishing trip.
Since James booked a full day trip we made up run up towards the Pace Bend area to start the day. (hint hint if you book a full day trip, we can cover WAY MORE water and I can show you tons more good spots) Today was all about instructions. A lot of what we covered was what I look for when I'm looking over my maps and establishing a pattern and fishing a pattern... not fishing spots. Too often anglers get wrapped up in old memories of that one time they caught a bunch of fish on this one shoreline or caught a big bass off a certain dock. If you fish at all you know the fishing could be completely different the next day you get out there. Something I teach is how to pattern bass and re create that pattern on other parts of the lake... we proved this point today when we lost a 5-6 pounder at the net, but later caught a 4 pounder fishing the same exact pattern but on a totally different part of the lake.
We also spent a lot of time covering how I fish certain baits and techniques. Even something as simple as a Texas rig has nuances to fishing it that will help you get more bites. We also covered different techniques such as fishing a Neko rig, a dropshot, and a swim jig... baits James didn't typically throw.
We fished deep and we fished shallow... with the blue bird skies we didn't catch tons of fish off each spot, but it was a steady pick throughout the day. Ultimately the best pattern turned out to be a swim jig fished through the thickest cover you could find... accurate casts and bringing the bait close to the brush was important to get bit.
I am a big fan of 6th Sense Lures swim jigs, they use a strong hook with a good trailer keeper. However, I am also a big fan of my own jigs! Yep, I pour, paint, and tie my own jigs. Just a standard white jig with a Keitech trailer has been working well.
Like I mentioned earlier, I hooked one on the swim jig that was every bit of 5 pounds, maybe bigger... I had her right up the net when she shook her head and spit the hook back at me. Fish like that don't come every trip on Lake Travis, so that was a bummer to lose! We made up for it though with another big fish later in the day though.
I had a great time fishing with James and kind of lost track of time. We ended up staying later out on the lake fishing some rocky points and ledges and picking away at a few more fish.
Do you love fishing but find that when you get out on the lake you don't always catch a ton? Are you fishing trips kind of hit or miss? Maybe you should consider hiring a fishing guide... Look at it this way. You spend how much money on gas, your boat, you truck fuel to tow it, plus your precious time! I am very fortunate to spend almost every day on the lake... but if you are a working stiff with a real job you have to be a bit more selective with the days you fish. Why not spend the $300-400 to hire me and improve your chances at success. I guarantee you I can teach you something you don't know, and give you advice that is sure to put you on more fish.
I fish 250+ days a year... I'm out on Lake Travis enough that I know what lures they are biting, where the fish are holding, and what patterns work during different times of year. Hell, if nothing else hire more for my spots! I have over 1,000 waypoints on Lake Travis alone. Even if you forget all the techniques I show you, at least you'll have some proven fishing spots to start at! (But remember, don't fish spots... fish patterns!!!)
Lake LBJ is still recovering so unless you are a die hard angler I would probably not book a guided fishing trip out there for a little while longer. Lake Travis and Lake Decker are my top picks of lakes at the moment with Travis being #1.
Tight lines everybody and good luck to all the anglers fishing the TFL tournament this weekend. If I wasn't busy I would be out there!