The bite on Lake Travis has been steadily improving as spring progresses and the water gets warmer. March is always a transition month on Lake Travis. What I mean by that is that this is the time of year when the fish start moving around and getting more active than they have been all winter…. In particular they start spawning. For those who don’t know this bass terminology, this simply refers to when they build nests and lay their eggs.
Currently water temps on Lake Travis are between 58-62 degrees. Areas on the lower end of the lake out in deep water will be colder than the backs of coves. Deep clear water warms slower than shallow or stained water. This is why coves warm quicker, and is why bass move to the backs of the coves to spawn.
This brings me to discussing spawning fish. I have been consistently catching spawning bass lately, however I have yet to see a push of big females. It’s mostly the smaller buck bass right now. With that said, there is a level of luck when it comes to fishing for bedding bass. You simply have to be lucky enough to come across a big female bass on a bed! So how do you find fish on beds? Let’s break that down.
1. Water Temperature
Water temp is by far the most important factor when looking for bed fish. Bass instinctively know that if the water is to cold their eggs will not hatch. Look for water 59 degrees or higher… warmer the better. When I am pulling into a cove I will always have my graph on and be watching the temperature sensor. If a cove is too cold I will move on in search of warmer water. Right now with the warm forecast ahead this should not be an issue.
Location is very important, as fish won’t just spawn anywhere. Largemouth bass like to spawn in shallow protected areas. They want to be away from boat traffic, wind, and anything that could disturb their nests. Typically they will go as far back into a cove as they possibly can. On average you will find them spawning in 1-6 feet of water. With Lake Travis being so clear though it is not uncommon to find them spawning even deeper than that. Often times the backs of docks, next to rocks, next to anchor blocks up shallow, near brush, or by dock stairs is a good place to look. I find that they prefer nesting next to something as it makes the nest that much more protected.
3. Polarized Glasses
Bed fishing is sight fishing; you are visibly looking for these fish and casting at them. A good quality pair of polarized sunglasses is a must. Polarized glasses cut the glare on the water and make it easier to see the fish.
So now that you know where to start looking let's talk about baits. I have an article on my website that I will link that goes WAY more in depth on this, so check that out too. Here are my top 3 baits for tricking spawning fish into biting.