Wednesday and Thursday this week I had the pleasure of fishing with Tommy, a great angler from Huntsville, TX. Originally our plan had been to fish Lake Travis one day and Lake LBJ the next. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me the dates coincided with my off limits period for Bass Champs later this month. Things worked out though and we were able to fish Lake Travis on Wednesday and Lake Decker on Thursday.
Right now Lake Travis is fishing very good for the most part. The shad spawn is starting so my advice to you would be to get out there early. Like crack of dawn early and find those areas that you see the shad flickering up shallow.
This past week weather was an issue. High winds and rain made for less than favorable conditions. Despite this I fished everyday last week and made it work…. Without that Ultrex it would have been impossible! If you are out there and the winds pick up pay attention to the direction the wind is coming from. Right now it is a south wind, so find those north facing banks that are getting pounded by the wind and chop. That is where those shad will be and where there is bait there are usually bass.
A fluke and a swimbait are my go to baits right now. Natural shad colors tend to work best, but if you are fishing when its very cloudy and overcast out don’t be afraid to change to something with a little more flash or color in it.
The other pattern that has been working is throwing Alabama rigs. I prefer a Picasso Schoolie rig with the silver blades. I have been experimenting with this and I found earlier in the year when the water was stained from the floods that the chartreuse and copper blades were working better. Now that the water has gone back to gin clear stick with the silver blades on your A rig. The best places have been ledges, both offshore and close to the bank. Look for transition areas where there is a sloped bank adjacent to a steep ledge. Depth doesn’t seem to be super important, but anything in 40’ or less has been good. Like I mentioned in my last report, use you side scan sonar to graph along side the ledge and figure out where the fish are positioned. Typically they will be schooled up in one or two areas on the ledge and not all along it.
During my trip with Tommy we got lucky with several nice Striper including his PB @ 8.2 LBS. We caught two big striper and a really nice Hybrid bass. All were caught on swimbaits and Alabama rigs. The big Striper we caught was awesome to see. We were in the back of a creek and all of the sudden I saw an enormous ball of shad erupt out of the otherwise calm waters. Then I saw the back of a big Striper come out of the water chasing those bait fish. Sure enough, we put in several casts in the area of that bait ball and bam fish on! It gave us a good fight and after a quick weight and photo we released it healthy.
Thursday we met up at Lake Decker on the east side of Austin. This day we only fished a AM half day trip since Tommy had to get back home. We lucked out with the weather. Early in the morning it was pouring rain, but by the time we got to the lake the rain had passed and the wind wasn’t bad. Eventually the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.
The most productive pattern for the day was fishing a dropshot. We did catch a few on flukes and senkos, but the ol’ dropshot was the biggest fish getter. The shad are also spawning on Lake Decker. I was texting Jason Weisberg with REEL Fishing Guide Service since he was out there with some clients for Hybrids and Crappie. If you get there first thing in the morning super early the shad are up shallow. Due to the rain we didn’t get out there until a little after 7:30AM so we missed that window where the shad were spawning. If you get out there early enough for it I would recommend throwing that weedless fluke or a white and chartreuse spinnerbait. Fish something that can make its way through the grass and imitates those small threadfin shad.
As for the dropshot, dark colors like pumpkin worked well. I dipped the tail in Spike It for a little flash in that dirty water and it seemed to help get more bites. Fish those weedlines, but start your cast up in the grass. You’d be surprised how many bites you’ll get in the grass.
I will be out of town until Monday since my brother is graduating college and I’m headed back to San Diego for his graduation ceremony! I will be back and ready to hit the water Tuesday, so if you are looking for a great fishing guide in Austin please give me a call! The weather is supposed to be nicer and the weekdays are perfect for getting away from the boat traffic and enjoying the lake to yourself.
I should also mention, I’ve fished several evening trips on Lake Travis and the PM bite has been great. I might even go so far as to say better than the AM. If you can duck out of work an hour early we can get out on the lake and put a hurting on some bass! Give me a shout!