Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of fishing with Eric, an angler who has his own bass boat, but has been having mixed success when he hits the water on his own. From fishing with him I can tell he's got a ton of potential to get really good at bass fishing. Casting skills, understanding bass behavior and patterns, and especially the desire to learn are important.
Since Eric also booked a trip later next month with me on Lake Travis, we opted to hit Lake Decker yesterday for a one on one instructional fishing trip. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate like I wish it would have. It wasn't super cold, but it was extremely windy. The weatherman said the wind in Austin was supposed to let up a bit, but really the wind only died down once it was getting dark.
We started off doing what always works on Lake Decker... fishing grass lines. If you are familiar with this lake you know it has a healthy amount of vegetation. Something we spent a lot of time covering was how to use your electronics to understand where the grass is, where you need to position your boat, and how to fish it effectively. That Humminbird Helix I run makes things super easy with that Mega Imaging. I start by driving along the bank or point and seeing how far out the grass extends. Turn on your range lines on your graph to give yourself a mental idea of how far away from the boat that grass line extends out. You can then use this to gauge how far you need to be casting towards the bank. A lot of times I will have the boat positioned way offshore making long casts towards the grass. I find this to be way more effective than beating the bank.
If you read my reports or have fished with me, you know I don't like to beat the bank. I like fishing offshore and using electronics to find fish. This proved to be the best pattern yesterday. We positioned ourselves between two close primary points with a creek channel running between them. What made this spot special was there was deep sparse grass growing in the creek channel. When fishing grass lakes offshore I look for patchy grass with empty areas in between try grass that offers cover to big bass. Sometimes the grass can be too thick for the bass to easily move though.
We threw a couple of baits, a Texas rigged Senko, a dropshot, and a rattle trap were out starter baits. The drop shot ultimately produced the big fish of the day. As y'all know I throw a drop shot a ton... I do not consider it to be a small fish bait.... sure if you throw little Roboworms you'll have to weed through some small fish. I find the drop shot to be extremely versatile and still catch big fish with it. I can feel the bottom easily, I can toss any soft plastic I want, and I can fish it vertically better than any other bait. (Any soft plastic that is... vertically jigging a spoon is tough to beat when they are chewing metal)
There was one spot that frustrated me yesterday though... we graphed a ledge in about 20 feet of water with a brush pile on it... it was loaded with bait and fish! It was exciting to graph since it really let me show Eric what I am looking at and how to identify fish. I wish I would have taken a screen shot for y'all. What was unique was that you could clearly see a school of shad being fed on by both Hybrid bass and largemouth. Folks often as how I can tell what type of fish they are on the screen. Obviously you can't be 100% certain, but based on the behavior of different fish and the returns they give off on the graph are good indicators. In this case the bass showed up as six or seven well defined elongated dots on the downscan. The shad showed up as a cloud on the downscale and sonar, another helpful hint is the color they show up as on the sonar... shad will be red and purple with a little orange mixed in. Due to their small size they usually won't show up all yellow unless they are very tightly packed together. Decker is known to have large Hybrids, which is why I thought the other fish were them. They were suspended in a large school at about 12 feet down. They were very large returns on the downscan, indicating they were large fish... from experience they just did not look like largemouth bass.
We tossed spoons and Alabama rigs at them, but could never get them fired up. It was frustrating, but I'll be back!
Austin has quite a few good lakes within thirty minutes of downtown. If you are looking for an Austin fishing guide give me a shout. My boat is in the shop for maintenance until next Monday, and I am booked Tuesday. But after that I have several openings! Let's get out there while the weather is still nice. This fall bite has been surprisingly good. The swim jig bite on Travis is hot, so is the flipping jig bite!
Let me be your choice for fishing guides in Austin and for Lake Travis! Give me a call today or book through the site!