During the peak of summer when the water is hot, fishing can get rather tough. Fish pull off from the bank, ledges can be more hit or miss, and chasing schooling fish only works early in the day. When this happens a lot of angler get frustrated and call it a day by late morning. Don't let this happen to you! In this blog post I will go more in depth about another way to catch fish on Lake Travis that you may not have thought about.
Obviously during the summertime the surface temperature in the lake gets very warm. Something anglers often forget though is that the surface temp of the lake is prone to fluctuating a fair amount. On nights when it cools down or days when we get a summer rain, the surface of the lake can fluctuate several degrees. Largemouth Bass are masters at adaptation, so don't get the impression that they can not handle these temp swings. With that said, they don't like such fast changes in water temp.
It is for this reason that summertime bass move out deep to where the water is not only cooler, but also more stable. Cooler water holds more dissolved oxygen, thus requiring less movement and less energy expended from bass to live. Thermoclines factor in here, but that is a topic for another discussion. I attribute this behavior to why bass become even more opportunistic in the summer months and tend to not exert as much energy or want to swim as far to catch prey. They would rather an easy to catch meal be put right in front of their face if possible.
One place that bass go during these tougher months is marinas. If you read my last post, I mentioned catching them around marinas when they school. This pattern is still working and will continue to work, however it has its limitations. This is an early morning or late evening pattern due to the activity levels of the Threadfin shad. When fish are hitting the surface schooling you can catch them on small swimbaits, spybaits, flukes, and a myriad of other baits.
The pattern I am going to teach you about is a little lesser known, and something I can teach you much more in depth about during a guided trip. There is so much more to fishing this pattern that doesn't translate well into text. I will do my best to teach you as much as I can in this article. If learning more about how to fish this pattern interests you, give me a call and let's get on the water! For the cost of a half day trip I can teach you a new technique that you can add to your arsenal to make you a better angler on Lake Travis.
How to Fish a Spoon on Lake Travis
Spoons! I love it when Travis fish will eat metal. First off I should note that there are two kinds of spoons I throw. Knowing when to decided between the two can make a big difference in how many bites you get in a day!
First off is the flutter spoon, this is a much larger bait, typically anywhere from 4-6 inches long with the exception of a "magnum flutter spoon", which can be a foot long. For fishing Lake Travis I rarely throw the magnum flutter spoon as the fish out here aren't normally as large and hooking them can be tricky, this is a great bait on other lakes though. My preferred spoon is a chrome Nichols Lake Fork Flutter spoon in 3/4 ounce. While heavy, this type of spoon has a fairly slow fall. The key to fishing it is to let it sink on a slack line. When allowed to fall to the bottom without your line affecting it, it flutters as it descends... hence the name. This fluttering action mimics a dying shad and can be irresistible to a hungry bass.
I consider a flutter spoon to be a big fish bait! Often times when you get a bite on it, it tends to be a larger fish. This bait works well fished vertically over suspended or schooling fish. My favorite way to fish this bait is to pitch this bait into empty boat stalls or in docks between the dock and the boat. I will then let the bait fall approximately 10 feet then rip the rod tip in once quick jerking motion. Rip it back up 3-4 feet, then let it fall again on a slack line. I will do this a few times, then put the reel in free spool and let it fall another 10 feet. I will let the bait get down to my desired depth, then do the same thing in reverse and work it back up.
If I notice I am catching most of my fish at a certain depth, I will only focus on that depth. In that case let it fall deeper to the desired depth before ripping it back up. Figure out how long it takes to get down to that depth by counting it down on a test cast next to the boat, then remember that time for the next casts.
Another tip is to sometimes change out the treble hook with a single Octopus style hook. Some marinas have a lot of cables running under them anchoring them in place. I find a single hook is easier to jiggle free and get un snagged. At $10 each those spoons get expensive to lose! The downside is your hook