Lake Travis Bass Fishing Report - April 2022 - By: Austin Texas Fishing Guide Tyler Torwick
April is an excellent month to fish on Lake Travis! By this time the bass have begun spawning and will continue to do so the rest of the month. Towards the ends of April you will also begin seeing Threadfin and Gizzard Shad spawn in the lake. These are the primary species of baitfish that bass feed on in Central Texas. With water temps in the low to mid 60’s and water clarity anywhere from 6-15 feet depending on what end of the lake you are fishing, the conditions right now are good!
Currently there are two main patterns I would use when targeting bass on Lake Travis.
1. Targeting spawning fish on nests
During the spring bass move up shallow to build nests and lay their eggs. When they do this you are able to sight fish for them and catch them off their nests. Keep in mind during this time the fish are not focused on feeding, rather they become very territorial of their bed. This is why you can pitch a bait into their bed and agitate them into biting.
Where to look: I recommend searching for beds in the back of protected coves and on spawning flats. The fish will seek out protected areas away from wind and boat traffic where they will not be disturbed. Often times they like to make their nests directly next to some cover such as old stumps, rocks, or shallow anchor blocks from docks. Keep your trolling motor on low and put on a pair of polarized sunglasses to aid in seeing the beds on the bottom of the lake.
What to throw: I recommend a craw style bait rigged on a Texas rig or a drop shot with a very short tag end between the hook and weight. I like to use bright colored baits such as white and bubblegum. I use these bright colors since they are easy for me to visually see on the bottom of the lake. It is common for the bass to pick up and bite you lure very quickly, then spit it back out. They are not interested in eating it, just hurting or killing it. Because of this, you need to be quick to set the hook. A bright colored bait lets you see it disappear in their mouth easily. Pro tip: if the fish is being finicky and not biting the bait but is expressing interest in it us a scent. I like to use a crawfish scent on my plastics to make it a little more enticing. You may also get more aggressive with your approach and hop the bait more erratically and even try to bump the bait into the fish’s nose.
One other important thing to mention! Once you catch a fish off a nest, please return them to the lake quickly. Don’t put them in your livewell, don’t stress them out taking a million pictures… let them go so they can repopulate our lake with more bass!
2. Target fish feeding on Shad
During the Spring months bass tend to feed heavily on fin bait. Throwing small swimbaits that mimic threadfin shad can be a great way to cover a lot of water and catch a lot of fish. I recommend a 3.5 or 4 inch paddle tail swimbait rigged on a ¼ ounce lead head. Stick to colors that imitate a baitfish, anything white, grey or silver will work well. Focus on rocky shorelines with a more gradual slope to them. Areas where there are small drops offs that allow fish to sit at the base of them waiting to ambush prey are even better. Make long casts and use a slower retrieve. Anytime you see shallow structure in the lake such as brush, anchor blocks, or isolated rock piles, make sure to cast at those. Repeated casts alongside structure like this can often lead to a few extra bites.
I hope these tips help you catch more fish! April is a busy month at Torwick’s Guiding Service, but I do have a couple dates open towards the end of the month! Visit www.torwicksguidingservice.com to book your trip.