Best Free Places to Fish from Shore on Lake Travis
By: Tyler Torwick: Austin, TX Fishing Guide
Lake Travis is the second largest reservoir in the Highland Chain of lakes made up by the Colorado River. Impounded in 1942 by the construction of Mansfield Dam, Lake Travis provides flood control, hydro electric power generation, and most of the drinking water for the greater Austin area. In addition to the important economic role it plays for Austin and its surrounding Hill Country towns, it boasts some of the best bass fishing in the area.
Lake Travis is home to healthy populations of Largemouth, Guadalupe, and Striped bass among other non-game species. While the majority of Lake Travis’ shoreline is private property, there are several places on the lake you can access for free or for a small fee that are great to fish from.
Mansfield Dam Park
4370 Mansfield Dam Park Rd. Austin TX, 78732
Mansfield Dam Park is located on the south end of Lake Travis directly next to the dam. With ample parking and plenty of open shoreline there are plenty of places to fish. I recommend starting off the point that extends furthest into the lake. The steep drop off around this point attracts fish and often holds good sized schools of bass. There is also a protected cove at this park that is roped off with buoys to keep boats out. This cove gets very little fishing pressure and during the spring holds good numbers of fish up shallow.
Tom Hughes Park
12714 Hughes Park Rd, Austin, TX 78732
Tom Hughes Park is located near Marshall Ford Marina and is a very popular swimming and hammocking spot. Located on the lower end of the lake, this fishing spot has a steep rocky shoreline. During times of the year bass on Lake Travis get close to the shoreline and hug these rocky banks in search of crawfish and other forage species. Dropshots, shakey heads, and Texas rigged plastics work well here.
Windy Point Park
6506 Bob Wentz Park Rd, Austin, TX 78732
Windy Point Park/ Bob Wentz Park is a great location to take your family and introduce them to the sport of fishing. With tables and barbeques it is a nice place to spend the day. The shoreline facing the main lake is a dive area, but also has great fishing. This spot has a lot of structure and big rocks under the water that attract bass. Jigs, Texas rigged soft plastics, and shakey heads will produce bass here. If you move to the section of the park where the coves are, swimbait and crankbaits are excellent lure choices.
Cypress Creek Park
13601 Bullick Hollow Rd, Austin, TX 78726
Cypress Creek park is an easily accessible park with a boat ramp in the back of Cypress Creek. When the lake is full this fishing spot has a lot of brush in the water that the bass like to hide in. Fish this area with a small soft plastic swimbait or a squarebill crankbait. A Texas rigged worm can also work well casting at the end of the boat ramp. When boats power load onto their trailers, the prop wash digs out a hole at the bottom of the boat ramp that attracts fish.
16410 Stewart Rd, Lakeway, TX 78734
Sundancer grill is a casual restaurant located close to the water in Lakeway. This is not a public park, however there is ample shoreline to fish on this point. As long as you do not trespass on the marina here you should be fine. The shoreline around this point is rocky and has a lot of cover for bass to hide around. I recommend parking out of the way near the restaurant and fishing all the way around the point.
Point Venture/ The Gnarly Gar
18200 Lakepoint Cove, Point Venture, TX 78645
Point Venture is a HOA community on Lake Travis. The point of the lake where the entrance to The Gnarly Gar is, is a great place to fish. This is also not a public park, however if you do not get on the dock and simply fish from shore you will not have a problem. The community clubhouse is here so there is ample parking. I recommend fishing a crankbait or a Texas rigged baby brush hog here.
Pace Bend Park
2011 Pace Bend Rd N, Spicewood, TX 78669
Pace Bend Park is one of the largest public parks operated by the Travis County Parks department. This park is huge and has plenty of places to explore and fish. I recommend the west side of the park where the banks are steepest. These rocky bluff walls can hold big bass! A football jig or crankbait can be excellent baits to throw here.
Arkansas Bend Park
16900 Cherry Lane Lago Vista, TX 78645
Arkansas Bend Park is located on the north shore of Lake Travis in Lago Vista. The park is 323 acres and has ample shoreline to fish. The shoreline around here is more of a gradual slope, so depending on the lake level when you go, it will fish differently. I recommend looking for places where there are small rocky drop offs. These are great ambush spots for bass and tend to hold multiple fish. A Texas rigged craw or senko is a good bait to throw here.
Another option is to walk out onto these points that extend into the lake and fish a small swimbait or topwater. It is not uncommon to find small schools of bass around these points. A small paddle tail swimbait fished on a 3/8th ounce lead head, or a topwater bait such as a Heddon spook are good baits to cover water with. I should also note, I see carp and buffalo in these coves all the time. If you are targeting them dough bait or corn fished on a hair rig would be a good way to catch them.
Warf Cove Road
16107 FM2769 Suite D, Leander, TX 78641
Where the light grey pin is located on the map screen shot above is a great lesser known fishing spot. Warf Cove is a public road that dead ends into the lake. It is located between the Volente Beach Waterpark and Highland Lakes Marina. Please note, either side of the road is private property, I do not condone trespassing. There is a fence line that runs along this road out into the lake. It is common to find bass hanging out around this underwater fence. In addition to this, there is a ledge that drops off into the lake way out from the road. If the lake is low enough, making long casts out to this ledge can be a great spot to catch fish.
I recommend throwing a paddle tail swimbait on a 1/2 ounce lead head and letting it sink out, then slowly reeling it back in. A football jig dragged along the road bed is also very productive. I should also note, this is a good place to fish for catfish if you are using cut bait.
Jones Brothers Park
10301 Lakeside Dr, Jonestown, TX 78645
Jones Brothers Park is a public park located in Jonestown near Lago Vista. This is an easily accessible park perfect if you are fishing with young children. There is a playground, benches, tables, and restrooms accessible here.
The shoreline is a rather gradual slope here until you get further out into the main creek channel of Sandy Creek. Depending on the lake level you may have to make long casts to reach the drop off. Bass can be found both out deep hanging out around the creek channel, or up closer to the shoreline on isolated structure. You'll find rocks and small brush piles around here that you can drag a Texas rig over. Another good way to target bass here is to throw a 3/8th ounce underspin with a small 4" swimbait on it. Let is sink down about 10 feet then begin your retrieve. This is a good way to cover a lot of water. The areas around the boat ramps can also be good fishing, but please note, if there are boats in the water using the ramp you should avoid these areas.
Hopefully these fishing spots will help you get out on the water! Remember, when fishing a new place, please be respectful of other people using the park and be a good steward of the land. Do not leave any trash behind, do not trespass on private property, and leave your new fishing hole cleaner than you found it.
If you are headed out for a day on the lake feel free to visit my website for up to date fishing reports on Lake Travis with tips on lure selection, colors to throw, and what has been working the best. My website is https://www.torwicksguidingservice.com
If you want to guarantee yourself success on the water and would like to see a side of the lake no shore fishermen gets to see, consider booking a fishing trip with me!
I also sell a honey hole report through Lake Pro Guides in which you get 5+ exact spots on the map I have been catching bass. Each report is updated weekly on Thursdays at 4PM. You will also get a detailed written description of how to fish each spot, as well as a 3-4 minute video I record for each spot going over bait selection, colors to use, how to fish the spot, what conditions to look for, where the bass are holding, etc etc. If you have a boat this is a great way to save yourself a ton of time trying to find fish.