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Lake LBJ Fatties! Jan 17, 2019 Fishing Report (Great Tips on Finding and Fishing Rock Piles)

Yesterday I headed out to LBJ to scout a little and just to capitalize on how good the fishing has been. I guide a lot and spend a lot of time on the water, but I never get enough. I would fish every single day if I could!

Yesterday it seemed like every fish I caught was a nice sized healthy fish. I also finally ran into a few LBJ donkeys that I've been looking for!

So the nitty gritty fishing details you are here for... Water temp was 54-56 degrees, yesterday was a lot sunnier out than it has been. All that sun light also helped push some of those fish up into the shady side of the docks. (What few docks are still in the water that is) Sorry to tell you but the fish aren't on just one pattern right now. I found fish both deep and shallow. I've been catching fish out of one foot of water and fish out of twenty feet of water.

Something I have noticed though is that they are not super deep... I enjoy fishing deep offshore spots and I have yet to catch a fish in any water deeper than 20 feet. Lake LBJ is nowhere near as deep as Lake Travis is, so that can help you eliminate some water, but still leaves a lot of areas to cover. I recommend spending a lot of time graphing right now, especially with the lake so low. Those shallow rock piles have been producing well for me when the shoreline bite with moving baits is slow.

I'm going to let y'all in on one of my little guide session tips... On Lake LBJ fish love rock piles. Everyone knows that...but how do you find them? Just randomly graphing for hours and hours? You might find a little honey hole that way but its kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. Here is what I do on LBJ... study the shoreline! Especially right now with the lake low. If you are in a cove with visible granite boulders, small rocky points (not main lake primary points, just a little outcropping from the shore) along the shoreline, or little rock gardens near the waters edge, there is a good chance that the topography under the waterline is similar. Use what you see on the shore to point you towards places to look for rock piles. Get on your map and look for the depth you have been catching fish in. (With a Lakemaster map in a Hummingbird there is a setting to highlight your target depth) Now use this to find coves that have the water depth you want but also rock along the shoreline. Now start to graph those areas you see those exposed boulders and the majority of the time you will find more rock! I also recommend combining this with locating high percentage areas on your map such as ledges, drains, or points. The more features an area has that bass tend to be attracted too, the higher percentage that area will produce fish.

Ideally I like to find rock piles that are at least a few feet off the bottom and aren't just scattered chunk rock. Look at the length of the shadow on your side imaging to get an idea of the height of the rocks you are looking at. A lower frequency when graphing for rock piles works well as its a broader band and will cover a lot of water. Rocks are hard (crazy I know!) and will show up very well defined no matter the frequency you are using.

Let me give you one more tip... Once I have identified a rock pile that looks promising start adding waypoints. Here's the tip... don't just drop one way point! Your graph can hold thousands of waypoints, don't be lazy... use the side imaging picture and put way points on four corners of the rock pile, or if its a long ledge of rocks put several way points going up and down it. This aids in knowing the best angle to cast at the spot from. Label your waypoints or type notes into the note section if there is something unique about what you have found. This way in the future when its not fresh in your mind you will have an idea the shape and layout of the rock pile. Ideally you want to make a few casts and run your bait along side the edge of those rocks... this will drastically improve the odds of your cast being in that perfect spot. Even with a GPS zoomed all the way in its impossible to be so pin point accurate that you know exactly where to cast, but I am all about doing everything I can to improve my odds of getting a bite.

Right now I would recommend a smaller profile jig with a chunk style trailer. I've been throwing a home made PB&J jig with a Net Bait mini paca craw. I also have been catching them on my trusty drop shot. As I've said before, slow down once you start feeling the rocks.

The shallow bite has been hot so lets not leave that out. Cover water, cover water, cover water... the fish tend to stack up so once you find a shoreline that you've caught multiple off of, I recommend going back later in the day and fishing it again. 10% of the shoreline holds 90% of the fish it seems like. Craw color square bills, small lipless crank baits (go light or you will catch all that snot grass off the bottom), and chatter baits have been producing.

Don't forget to pay attention to your text book spots like main lake points, creek channels, stuff like that. LBJ is fishing well and you could catch a big one just messing around.

I will be guiding on Lake Travis this Monday but if you would like to get out on LBJ while the fishing is good during the drawdown give me a call, I have several openings next week! I will make it a point during these trips to cover more about eliminating water and what to look for when searching for new structure. The weather should be good so let's get out there!

And if someone you know is looking for a fishing guide in Austin or Central Texas, please send them my way! Referrals are immensely appreciated!

If you enjoyed this write up or have any questions please leave a comment below, I enjoy reading them!

Tight lines!