The fishing on Lake Travis has actually been very good, even with the heat! Water temps are around 83-84 with water clarity around 10-15 feet depending on the area of the lake you are fishing. This time of year it is typical to find bass out deep. As they make a migration to deeper water that is cooler, bass will school up in large numbers and hang out on very predictable parts of the lake.
One place Largemouth Bass tend to go during the summer months is to the deep parts of bluff walls. Lake Travis is unique in that these fish will live here almost year around. The will move up and down in the water column depending on water temperature and their food source. During the warm summer month I tend to find fish anywhere between 15-40 feet deep. Catching fish in 40+ feet of water is nothing on Lake Travis, but learning how to affectively fish that deep does take some practice.
I realize that a lot of you who read this blog are not the kind of person who thinks they need a fishing guide... you have a boat, you already fish the lake, you have your spots etc. If I could persuade you into booking a trip during this time of year it would be to teach you how to target offshore fish as well as how to effectively fish deeper. I believe I have a lot of knowledge that I could teach you that would help make you a better angler. Graphing with your electronics, setting up on fish, effectively casting at them, and teaching you ways to present a bait down that deep and being able to be confident your bait is actually down there where the fish are, are all things I can show you. Lake Travis bass love deep water, so you better get used to fishing it!
The above image is a prime example of what I am referring to. This was a school of bass I found last week sitting off a ledge in around 30 feet of water. You can see a large school suspended off the side of the ledge, as well as a few fish sitting close to the bottom on top of the ledge. I will show you places on the lake to find these kinds of fish, and then show you how I go about catching them!
In addition to bluff walls, ledges are another prime hangout spot for summertime largemouths. Ledges create prime ambush spots for bass to hangout on without expending a lot of energy, yet still being able to place themselves in a spot where food will come to them. Any forage that wants to past the ledge has to go up and over it, making them vulnerable to attack from a bass. In addition to this, when bass are chasing deep schools of shad, they can push them against the ledge to make it easier to catch them.
If you know me you know I love the dropshot! I keep several of them tied on at all times and I throw them year around. It gets a reputation as a small fish bait... I'm sorry but BS! I have caught just as many big fish on a drop shot as anything else. When fishing for these deep fish consider trying this rig. You can easily switch out the weight for something heavier depending on how deep you are fishing, or how windy it is. I prefer to throw 10-12 pound fluorocarbon for the leader. Most "how-to's" will tell you to throw it on 6-8 pound test, but with the abundance of Zebra mussels in our lake, that is simply not feasible.
As far as colors go, there are a couple colors in particular I have been using! Unfortunately my contract with Lake Pro Guides prohibits me from giving away too much detail! If you are new here, I work with a company called Lake Pro Guides who offers you a "honey hole" fishing report that you can purchase online for $11.99. For twelve bucks you get at least 5 exact locations on Google maps with spots I have been catching fish. You get an accompanying video explaining each spot with how to fish it, what bait to throw, what color to chose, how I position my boat when fishing it, etc etc. Their website is very easy to use and allows you to zoom in and out on Google Earth to see where the spot is. I promise you it will be $11.99 well spent... I fish Lake Travis 5-6 days a week!
My report is updated every Thursday at 4:00PM. You can purchase it at www.lakeproguides.com
One more place I would recommend you look during your next fishing trip is around deep water marinas. During the summer I find that quite a few of the deep water marinas hold large populations of threadfin shad and an abundance of bass. Your best bet at catching these fish is during the first hour of daylight or right before sunset. Bass prefer low light conditions to feed, so those prime hours of the day are when they are most active and will bust on shad on the surface. Try throwing a small swimbait, a popping bait such as a Lucky Craft Gunfish, or an Alabama rig to catch these schooling fish. Keep your head on a swivel and when you find fish hitting the surface get a cast in on them as quickly as you can. When they are jumping out of the water they get stupid easy to catch and will eat just about anything. With that said, you need to make a cast directly into where they are jumping, while they are jumping. If you are too slow or miss them by a few feet you may not get bit.
Between the heat, increased amount of boat traffic on the lake, and the fish being deeper and more lethargic, the summertime can be a difficult time of year to fish. If you do it right though, you can catch some really nice fish. Utilize your lake maps and electronics to find offshore structure, slow down and fish deeper, and pay attention to any patterns you start figuring out while fishing. If you do this you can have an excellent day on the water.
If you are considering hiring a fishing guide I would love to take you fishing! I am temporarily suspending trips to Lake LBJ due to the quality of the fishing. (or lack there of) However Lake Travis has been fishing very well, as has Lake Decker. My trips are all inclusive and I love taking kids fishing! If you have some children who you want to introduce to fishing let's go! Please check out my reviews on Google and Yelp, previous clients can attest I love teaching kids how to fish.