Lake Travis Fishing Report: Tyler Torwick
Summertime gets a bad reputation for being tough fishing. I will admit, the fish can be a bit more finicky and tougher to find, but you can still have some really good days on the water. Currently water temps in Lake Travis are in the mid to high 80’s depending on time of day. The water clarity is very good, 10+ feet in some areas depending on where you are in the lake. If you are reading this to help plan out your fishing trip my advice would be to get on the water as early as possible, I’m talking right at first light. If your schedule allows I would recommend going during the week. Summer brings out the party crowd so Saturdays and Sunday after about 11AM can be pretty busy on the lake.
Right now there are two main patterns I would recommend: deep grass and marinas.
Deep Grass Fishing
Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water, this is one reason that bass favor deeper water during July. The deeper they go the cooler the water, unless a thermocline is present the fish in Lake Travis will go very deep sometimes. One thing that will change this behavior is the presence of healthy grass in the lake, in the case of Lake Travis that would be hydrilla. Just like any other plant, Hydrilla undergoes photosynthesis during the day which produces oxygen. Areas with grass will hold more dissolved oxygen, attract more baitfish, and provide good habitat for the bass. Since grass needs sunlight for photosynthesis this is why you will not find it growing way out in the middle of the lake. The deeper you go the less light penetration, obviously this will depend on the water clarity of where you’re at, but generally speaking 18-20 feet is about as deep as I find the grass growing.
I recommend getting out there with your side imaging and 2D sonar and scout for the grass. Look for large isolated patches of grass, grass edges, and points the grass form on its own. Target these areas with slow moving soft plastics. Weedless drop shots, neko rigs, and light Texas rigs can all be great options of baits to throw. With the clear water I recommend going with natural colors such as watermelon or green pumpkin base colors.
Another pattern that works well during July is fishing around deep water marinas. Some marinas on the lake attract large schools of bass. They will get up around the docks and boats, oftentimes sitting under the docks suspending. Casting baits along side the marina breakwalls and pitching baits into the empty slips can produce some big bites. This style of fishing is a bit more advance in that it requires some very accurate casting.
The use of live sonar is extremely helpful for this kind of fishing. I can usually tell within half a dozen casts whether or not a dock is holding fish. You may not get bit right away everytime, but most of the time a few bass, if not a whole school will come out from under the dock to inspect your bait if they are there. There is no shortage of marinas on Lake Travis, I recommend running and gunning and keep moving if you don’t get bit within 10 minutes of fishing the dock.
Small swimbaits, jigging spoons, drop shot rigged flukes, and flutter spoons can all be good baits for this kind of dock fishing. In addition to the bass, the shade of the marinas also attracts threadfin shad, you want to be selecting lures and colors that mimic these baitfish.
If you want to take all the guesswork out of locating fish and figuring out what bait to throw, consider purchasing one of my Honey Hole Reports. I offer a paid fishing report that is updated weekly on Thursdays at 6:00PM. I am an open book and include the EXACT spots I am catching fish with clients, the baits I am throwing, the colors I am using, and lots of other helpful information. For the price of a couple crankbaits you can save yourself a ton of time looking for fish and learn more about what work well on Lake Travis!
If you are interested in a guided fishing trip give me a call or visit my website! In addition to my normal guided trips I offer Coaching Trips, these trips are all about education and teaching you to be a better angler. We’ll cover things like locating fish, understanding seasonal patterns, how to understand what baits and lures to throw, what colors to throw and why, how to better understand your graphs, and soooooo much more!