In most of the country December means winter fishing. Cold water typically means fishing reaction baits or fishing plastics and jigs super slow. While you can get bit doing some of those things at the moment, that’s not the main way I am fishing. Here in Austin, we are fortunate it doesn’t really get that cold. Right now Lake Travis is very much in a fall type pattern. So what does this mean for the bass fishing right now?
The water temperature on Lake Travis is currently around 64-66 degrees. I’ve seen it as low as 61 degrees recently though. Keep in mind that during this time of year cold fronts, rain, and wind can cause the lake temp to change more than normal. Paying attention to these factors, and especially the water temp helps me decide on where I want to be fishing. During the fall, weather plays a huge role in how I fish and what baits I tie on.
On windy overcast days, especially if the barometer is dropping from weather moving in, I like to get on main lake points and shorelines getting hit by the wind. I look for areas where bass can move to feed on bait that moves into these areas. Often times the choppier and windier the better. An Alabama rig is my go to bait for this type of situation. A jerkbait and a swimbait on an underspin head can also be very productive. Fish baits that are fast moving, throw off a lot of vibration, or have some flash to them. You are getting these fish to react to it.
On those calm days I tend to slow down a bit, however a crankbait can still be very productive. I recommend rigging up a ½ ounce jig in a brown or green pumpkin color and working banks with large rock. Make long casts to get away from your boat and target 10-25 feet of water. Fish the bait slow and really try to get a feel for the bottom. Bites will be subtle but typically they’ll feel like one light thump. Hook sets are free! Don’t be afraid to swing away. When I have clients in the boat who can cast well, I love to cover water with a medium diving crankbait. A Rapala DT-10 or a Storm Wiggle wart are two good options. Have a crawfish pattern and a shad pattern ready to go. I typically start with a brown craw color this time of year, but if I’m not getting bit on it I will quickly switch to a shad pattern.
This time of year can be very productive! Don’t let some cooler weather stop you from getting out there. Some of those days with less than ideal forecasts can be some of the best fishing! Winter is my slower season and I have more open dates. If you’ve been wanting to get out of the house and catch some fish, visit my website and book a trip!