Lake Travis has finally begun what I refer to as the Fall transition. During the end of September and the beginning of October, depending on when we first start seeing cold fronts, the lake temps will start to drop. Typically it takes several cold front and several days of extended cool temperatures before you see the surface temp of the lake actually start to drop enough to have an effect on the fish.
With this cooler weather I have been seeing the lake temperature around 78-80 degrees. Once you start seeing temps around this the bass start to get more active and move up out of their deep summertime homes. During the hottest months of the year the bass go deep to offshore points, humps, ledges, and bluff walls. There are other places they live as well such as marinas, but you can learn more about that in previous fishing reports.
Now that its that time of year for these fish to start transitioning you can expect to find some populations of fish moving closer to coves. I recommend looking for large coves and trying the points and sections of shoreline directly adjacent the to the point. Creek channels are a major factor during the fall, as these fish will move up into the creeks channels and use them to move from the main lake to the backs of the coves. Here on Lake Travis a lot of our coves are very deep and are basically flooded canyons. For coves like this stick to the points and nearby shorelines. For coves that do have a defined creek channel, look on the map and look for the places closest to the mouth of the cove that have a bend or ledge. Then find shallow water closest to that! That is a high percentage spot for those fish to pull up on.
The top water bite has been exceptional as of late, and will continue to be a major pattern until December. Typically this is a morning or evening pattern, however on days with lots of cloud cover and wind, you can get them to bite a topwater all day long. Recently I had a day with a morning and evening trip... we caught numerous fish, up to 5 pounds, on a spook all through out the day.
Clients always ask me my favorite time to target largemouth bass on Lake Travis. My answer is always the same... spring and fall. Fall is a close second to springtime for me as the numbers of fish you catch are excellent, and later in the fall you start to see lots of big fish being caught.
Cooler water temps tell the fish's biological clock that winter is approaching and that it's time to start fattening up. Come December through February the fishing will slow down a bit as the fish get more lethargic. (With that said, some of the absolute best fishing I have every experienced on Travis has been during the winter.)
As far as bait selection goes, a topwater walking style bait is hard to beat. Of the various styles of topwater lures a classic spook is my favorite. There are a lot of versions of this bait, a Vixen, sexy dawg, spook, rover, dogma, etc are all good choices. I like this style bait since I can fish it fast making it "walk the dog" back and forth, but not fish it back towards me out of the strike zone too quickly. Bone or a shad color is all you need.
A drop shot is also hard to beat. I know I sound like a broken record, but I throw a drop shot with success year around on Lake Travis. A small roboworm or trick worm in something watermelon, green pumpkin, or purple is a sure fire way to put fish in the boat.
The last bait I recommend is a underspin. This is a lead head with a willow blade under it that you rig with a small paddle tail swimbait. A 3.8 size Keitech fat swing impact in electric shad is a deadly combo. I like this bait since I can cover a lot of water quickly and the strikes tend to be very agressive.
I hope this fishing report helps put you on some fish! If you would like to learn more about Lake Travis, way more than you could ever learn from reading something on the internet, consider booking a trip. Don't take my word for it though... I encourage you to look up reviews about my guide service on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or Trip Advisor. I will let previous clients speak for me!
There are several fishing guides in Austin, but I pride myself on being the most knowledgeable about Lake Travis. I fish Lake Travis over 200 days a year and know what works based on the seasons and can teach you that too.
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