So I have been slacking big time... In the last month I have only NOT been on the water 4 days. The lack of reports isn't due to a lack of fishing... its due to a lack of time!
Lately I have been fishing Lake Travis and Lake Decker the most. I have hit a few other lakes, but I've got more info for y'all about Travis.
Lake Travis Fishing Report
Lake Travis is pretty warm right now, I've seen surface temps during the day as high as 88 degrees... those warm water temps will push fish offshore and make them hangout in deep water spots as well as suspend in some areas. Here are my tips for you...
Ledges: ledges are almost always good on Lake Travis, however in the summertime they can be especially good. This time of year I want to see fish on the graph before I make a cast when ledge fishing. Use your side scan and downscan and cruise down the ledge with your boat positioned right at the edge. Most of the time those fish will either be right on the top of the the ledge at the edge of it, or suspended right along side it. Pay attention to the depth of it, often times if you find fish at a certain depth, they will favor that depth in other parts of the lake. This all goes into my philosophy of finding a pattern and not fishing "spots". This can also help you decide on where to fish next after fishing that first spot... find other ledges that are similar in depth. I LOVE fishing with electronics, if you have a graph and want to learn how to use it better, book a trip!
Another thing this time of year to pay attention to is wind and bait fish. Wind till play a big part in finding where fish are concentrated. Remember, 10% of the lake holds 90% of the fish. Locating those high percentage areas will increase your catch rates. During the summer you will find warm winds coming out of the south. But look at last week, we had that brief cold front come through and the wind direction changed. I pay attention to this and look for bluff walls and points with wind hitting them.
With that said, main lake points near really deep water have also been productive. There are two main techniques here. First, position your boat near the bluff wall, but far enough away that your boat is sitting in 50-60 feet of water. Make long casts in front of your boat at about a 45 degree angle. You are trying to maximize the time your bait it fished along the terraces of those bluff walls. A drop shot is a great bait to cover water here. Be patient and let that bait sink... You will catch fish in 40 feet of water all the time. Travis is a deep lake, get used to it. There are plenty of other baits like a jig or a swimbait that will work, but in terms of numbers a drop shot will produce.
The next way to fish these bluff walls is to keep your 2D sonar on as you work your way along side them with the drop shot. Periodically I will come across small schools of bass suspended off the deep edges. Typically it seems like they are between 3-10 fish, nothing huge. Keep a jigging spoon tied on. I like a very very small Cotton Cordell spoon in silver. Replace the hook with a slightly larger one in order to help catch those fish swiping at it, and add a swivel. These things will twist up your line bad. I actually prefer fishing it on a spinning rod when over open water that way I can get it down to depth quicker than having to hand line off a baitcaster.
Topwater: If you get out on the lake right at first light you can still get on a topwater bite. The topwater bite has been poor this year in my opinion, but it's still there. I see guys posting on Instagam about this great topwater bite... I'm sorry but 2-4 fish in a morning is not a great bite. I want a dozen fish or more! I won't like, nothing beats that surface explosion though. Find those points within coves and throw a bone colored spook. Cover water... I will throw half a dozen casts across the point, then pick up a different bait. Those bigger fish will be the first to hit often times, so be ready! After hitting those points, I will pick apart isolate cover with a Berkley Bullet Pop... it has a good popping and walk the dog action unlike a Pop-R. Cast next to isolated cover and work that bait as close to the cover as you can. Rocks, underwater brush, the corners of docks, stair cases, anything like that is worth a cast and is more likely to hold a bass than just an open stretch of shoreline.
Video Gaming: Right now the best bite has been video gaming fish. Bass suspend during the summer and will live around the thermocline. If you adjust your sensitivity up, turn up your colorline, and put your ping speed to max you can usually make out the depth the thermocline as at. I'll save you some time... 30-35' has been the hot spot on Travis. You will find fish above and below it, but this has been the best. Turn your bow graph on and select the bow transducer built into your trolling motor. Adjust your settings to see those fish below you. Marinas, points, break walls... places like that are likely to hold schools of suspended fish. A jigging spoon, a Damiki armour shad, and a drop shot with a fluke are perfect for this. Drop your bait down in 10 foot increments to try and count down how deep your bait is. There is a little more to this technique that looking at the graph and seeing arches... I have spent a lot of time staring at a screen figuring out what is fish and what is interference, cables, bait, etc. Hire me and I'll cut your learning curve in half.
There is a ton of shad in the lake, but a lot of it is TINY! You will see a ton of bait on your fish finder while graphing. I found some schools of shad on the surface the other day, I tried cast netting some to freeze for chum. The bait was so small it kept getting through my net. So if you are around bait and are not getting bit, downsize your bait. I know it sucks, but if you just aren't getting bit pull out those small finesse baits. Dropshots with finesse trick worms (electric shad, red bug, and watermelon black flake have been good), tiny jigging spoons, super fluke Jr's, and 4" Yum Dingers are all good baits to have ties on.
Striper Fishing On Lake Travis
The Striper bite is BACK!!! So to be honest, unless you follow my reports you probably haven't heard any mention of it. My friend Jason Weisberg and I have been in kahoots and have been avoiding posting photos on social media. Last year there were quite a few "internet fishermen" that were crowding us, following us to fishing spots, and putting pressure on the fish. I certainly don't own the lake! So please, get out there and enjoy it! But we were doing our best to keep it under wraps... and it's been working! I have only seen a few boats out there fishing for them, and of those boats I know most of the guys on them. haha My schedule has been super busy so I haven't needed to advertise... with kids going back to school and less tourists coming to the lake I have a few more evenings open for Striper trips.
I'll leave out the details on where they are, but let me tell you Lake Travis is putting out some hawgs! We have has several fish over 15 pounds as well as 3 this year over 18 pounds! Maybe you could be the one to break that 20# mark!
Oh PS... its not uncommon to hook a catfish when night fishing for Striper. I don't guide for cats, but they are fun to catch and great to eat when they bite.
If you are interested in a trip please give me a call. There are a couple trips I recommend right now...
Decker: Let's get out there earlier than my normal 7AM start and throw a frog. Once the topwater bite slows we will look for schooling bass and throw flukes in the grass.
Lake Travis: We will start out throwing some topwater or swimbaits. Once the sun comes out we will bounce around to marinas video gaming fish. I will teach you how to adjust your electronics to see the fish, what to look for and how to interpret what is a fish versus what is a cable. If we have time we will also do some offshore fishing on secondary points and ledges and learn how to use your GPS/ sonar in combination with lining up the perfect cast.
Lake Travis Striper Fishing: we will get out there at 7PM. I will have bait all ready to go for you when you get there. We will be deep dropping live bait with line counter reels. If you want to take kids or family, this is the trip! No casting or having to work a bait...ideal for rookies. But also perfect for veteran anglers who just want a fight. The average fish is 6 pounds or bigger. A double digit Striper is NOT uncommon.
If you are looking for a fishing guide on Lake Travis book online or give me a call!