Fishing on Lake Travis here in beautiful Austin, TX has been great! Despite all the craziness the fish are still biting. As you are all aware our world is facing unpredictable and unnerving times with the spread of this Covid-19 virus. Obviously as a fishing guide who makes money off taking folks fishing I am a little biased... but getting out on the lake away from crowds is the best way to avoid going stir crazy, but also to practice social distancing. Its just you, me, and your family/ friend out in the middle of a lake.
I would also like to take this time to address what I am doing to ensure my client's safety. My girlfriend is a huge supporter of my business and managed to fight through the crowds to get me several cans of Lysol and jugs of Clorox wipes. Shout out to her!
After each fishing trip I wipe down/ spray all surfaces in the boat, wipe down the seats, clean the rod handles/ reels, etc. Basically anything that could carry germs I am making sure gets nuked with disinfectant spray. Both your health and mine is of the utmost importance.
Now back to bass fishing... if you are planning to get out on the lake there are a couple patterns that you can expect to catch fish on.
Right now water temps are in the mid 60's which is the ideal temp to find bass up shallow guarding beds. Polarized sunglasses are a must! Get up in the backs of protected coves and put your trolling motor on low. Going slowly and being quiet are crucial to not spooking fish you find guarding their beds. Typically the further back in the cove you go the more beds you will find. Keep in mind that with this rain the backs of large coves will be more muddy due to run off.
There are a myriad of baits you could throw. Lately my go to has been a drop shot with a bubblegum colored Zoom Trick Worm. I throw this on a bait caster though... with a casting reel you can pitch the bait onto the bed a lot quieter. I also like to throw it on 15 pound test since you will come across some large fishing working this pattern. Bass also like to make their beds near cover... bushes, docks, staircases, rocks, etc are all things that offer more protection. Using that heavier line will help you get those big fish away from that cover.
Pre Spawn Fish
There are also plenty of fish in that pre spawn mode right now. Bass spawn in waves, so not all the fish in the lake will rush to the backs of the coves at the same time. You can expect to find fish up in that mid depth range of 10-20 feet right now. Points and bluff walls right next to spawning coves are good places to look for these fish.
Jigs, dropshots, and Texas rigs are all good baits to rig up for this pattern. 3/8th ounce football jigs are great baits to fish slow and work along steep drop offs where these fish hold. For the Texas rig I have been throwing a speed craw with a 1/4 ounce bullet weight. You can get away with fishing these fairly quick, jut make certain that you are getting it down to the bottom and not keeping it up above the rocks without knowing it.
That's right! Fish are starting to hit topwater again. In my opinion this is one of the most fun ways to catch largemouth bass and one of the patterns Travis excels at. With the super clear water on Lake Travis right now, you can get bit throwing topwater plugs.
Chug bugs, pop-r's, and whopper ploppers are all great bait choices. I like baits that throw off more water and make a lot of noise early in the season. I find it has more drawing power and will bring these fish up from deeper water or from further away. You can catch some big ones fishing this way too!
We have been doing very well lately, especially with bed fishing. If you want to get on this bite and learn more about how to catch spawning fish, now is the time to book a trip. I promise you there is so much more to catching spawning fish than tossing a creature bait on a bed and hoping they bite it.
Sadly about 50% of the trips I have had booked have canceled on me. If you are looking to get out on the water I probably have some dates that will fit your schedule!
If you are looking for a fishing guide in Austin, give me a shout! I guide on Lake Travis, Lake LBJ, and Lake Decker.