Report provided by Professional Austin, TX fishing guide Tyler Torwick
Lake Travis Bass on a shakey head
I am very pleased to announce that the fishing on Lake Travis has turned for the better! With these cooler evenings and shorter days the water temperatures are starting to drop a little. We’ve had some really good fishing trips this summer on Lake Travis, but cooler water means better numbers and bigger fish. One thing I always look forward to once I get tired of the triple digit temps is the fall transition. As we get further into fall you will notice the bite improving, fish moving more shallow, and the bites being more aggressive.
We have begun what most anglers refer to as the “fall transition”. What is that you ask? Well this time of year when things start to cool off the fish start to move around. Seasonal cooler water temps instinctively tell the fish that it's time to move from their deep summertime spots to more shallow areas where they can feed. The patterns that work to catch bass in Lake Travis are going to start changing. It's still a bit early for this, but eventually you will start to notice more schools of shad moving up into the coves. This is caused by the baitfish following warmer water where plankton is blooming for them to feed on. I usually see this behavior more around the end of September, but its all water temp dependent. The bass will start making the same migration in order to feed on those shad. You will also find crawfish becoming a larger part of the bass diet, so jigs and red/ orange crankbaits will be effective.
So what does that mean for the fishing? In this fishing report, let's just focus on what I am starting to throw and will be throwing for the next few weeks. Once fall is truly here and the water temperatures really drop this will all change.
One thing that will get everyone excited is the mention of topwater! Currently the topwater bite has been good. This past week, as well as the next week or so there are light thunderstorms forecasted on and off. Whenever there is changing weather, cloud cover, and swings in the barometer, I always have a topwater bait tied on. Lately a chrome pop-r with a black back has been working well. We’ve caught fish in just a few feet of water! The fish definitely gravitate towards isolated cover, so be looking for those shallow sloping rocky banks that have stumps or large rocks on them. Those anomalies on the bank are great ambush spots for largemouth so make sure to get your casts close to them. A lot of the topwater blowups have been rather subtle, more like the fish slurp down the bait rather than blowing it out of the water. I will often hesitate just a second longer before setting the hook when I see them do this, just to make sure they have the hooks in their mouth. I would also recommend throwing a zara spook jr. in bone, walking style baits such a this are a staple of mine on Lake Travis.
Another bait I have been running with success is a small profile shad pattern medium diving crankbait. Find you a crankbait that will get down to 6-8 feet, but with a small profile body to it. Keep in mind the average size shad in Lake Travis is 2-3 inches. Similar to the topwater pattern, look for more gradual sloping banks where you can effectively get that crankbait down closer to the bottom and get it to hit the rocks. I also keep the bow of my boat in closer to the bank and run my bait more parallel to the shoreline. While I prefer a more gradual sloping rocky bank for this pattern, banks with steep drop offs can be good, but its imperative you run your bait more parallel to the shore for it to be effective. Crankbaits fished out over deep water where they're running nowhere near the bottom are generally not very effective.
Moving baits are fun, but as the fish transition you will still find a lot of fish out deeper in that mid-depth depth range of 10-20 feet. Small ledges, points, and rock piles not far from shallow cover is a good place to look. Big bonus if the spot has structure like brush, grass, or large size rock. There are a variety of baits you can throw here, but a large shakey head or a football jig are two good options that will get you a better grade of fish. Over the last few years I have been becoming a bigger and bigger fan of a magnum shakey head, I’m talking a ½ ounce football head and a 10” worm. You will get less bites on it, but the fish willing to eat it are usually pretty big! In addition to this I recommend a Texas rig paired up with your favorite craw style soft plastic. Zoom speed craws are a great option, stick with natural colors like green pumpkin, watermelon, etc. As it gets cooler and cooler bass will begin to eat more and more crawfish. Adding some orange or red dye to the tips of the claws, as well as a little scent can also be helpful on those days when the fishing is a little slow.
Client with a nice Lake Travis bass caught on a topwater
Another pattern is fishing grass, and when I say grass I am referring to Hydrilla! Believe it or not, there is a surprising amount of hydrilla in Lake Travis. I'm talking areas with grass growing several feet up off the bottom and lots of it. Historically Lake Travis has not been known to have much grass in it, so this may come as a surprise to lot of you. Unfortunately for you this is a pattern I keep pretty hush hush about. You'll have to get out there and spend some time driving around and graphing for it! OR… you could try one of my paid Honey Hole reports. I spend a lot of time each week putting together these reports. These reports are updated each Thursday at 6PM and contain EXACT locations and information on how to catch these fish. I hold nothing back and include information about where I am finding grass, the baits I’m throwing, the colors that are working, etc. Each week I update the reports with new spots, so they're never the same. These spots are the same places I am fishing with paid clients and spots I fish in tournaments. Try one out, I promise if you don’t think it was worth your hard earned money I will give you a full refund. I am that confident in these reports!
Check back on here periodically as I update these free reports as often as I can. As it starts getting cooler these patterns continually evolve and change. Lastly, do me a favor and do a little rain dance! We’ve got rain in the forecast, but let's hope it's plentiful and lands in the right areas to fill Lake Travis back up!
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