I can always tell there is a high school tournament coming up without even knowing their schedule, since my Instagram DM's and Facebook messages start blowing up. haha I encourage every angler to get out on the water and put in some time practicing and coming up with a game plan. There is no substitution for time on the water to ensure your success. Your confidence level and ability to succeed will go up drastically when you find fish yourself and come up with a pattern to rely on. With that said, everyone needs some pointers to get them started from time to time... This report is for the high school anglers fishing the upcoming Faith Angler Network tournament on Lake Travis next weekend.
I have been on Lake Travis almost everyday last week and the lake is still fishing good. Water is still in the mid to high 80's so expect fish to be out deep. You can get bit up shallow early, but once the sun comes out I would expect more bites to be had out deep.
I expect it will take 11 pounds to "cut a check" (or win a prize haha) and will take 15-16 pounds to win. Travis is the kind of lake you need to have a kicker fish on because several of the fish in your limit will be 14-16 inchers. My advice is find a limit first then pick up a bait you have confidence will catch a better grade of fish. For me this is a larger football jig, a big worm, or a large crankbait. Whatever that bait is for you, have that tied on and stick with it once you have your limit.
There are a couple of patterns that have been working. Fish are still out deep, marinas are holding a lot of fish and would be my go to place to get my limit. You can catch some bigger ones this way, but it can be hard to get them out of the marinas without the Zebra mussels breaking you off. Keep that in mind when fighting them.
I write a detailed report with videos and EXACT SPOTS for lakeproguides.com that gets published each Thursday. This report includes a video for each spot with an explanation of how to fish it, what baits to throw, where to position your boat, etc. Its only $10... so less than two packs of plastic! Not only will I give you exact spots to try, but you can use this as a tool to help you establish a pattern.
In addition to the marinas, creek channels have been good. 15-30 feet of water has been the best depth. Places where creek channels make a swing and have a very well defined creek channel along the edge are best. Fish from shallow to deep and run your baits across the creek channel drop off. Find areas of the lake where the coves aren't as deep. A lot of coves on Travis can be over 80 feet deep... these aren't the ones to fish. Find the ones that are shallower and have a defined creek channel... Navionics is your friend here!
Another pattern that has been good, but can be a little hit or miss is bluff walls. Not all bluff walls are holding fish right now, certain ones are better than others and you will notice you catch a bunch of fish off one stretch of bank, then hardly anything. If you find some fish, fish it thoroughly, then leave it alone and come back later in the day and hit it again.
The last pattern I would recommend is fishing secondary points. These will be the points further out in the lake underwater that are connected to a main lake point. These are natural places fish will hang out during the warmer summer months. I have been finding small schools of fish off secondary points in 25-40 feet of water. A dropshot or a Texas rig is a good bait to get them fired up with when they are at this depth. Use your sonar and make a few passes over the spot and locate the schools... if you don't see any fish just move on.
Good luck to everyone fishing this weekend! If the bite gets tough keep your head up. If you are not getting bit throw away your game plan and fish with your instincts, change up baits, try new colors, and pay attention to what gets bit to figure out a pattern.