Lake Travis Fishing Report: Brought to you by Austin, TX fishing guide Tyler Torwick
The fishing on Lake Travis has been exceptional the last few weeks! If you read my reports you know Spring is my favorite time of year. March and April are when the bass spawn, but May is very fun as that is when the Shad spawn. Water clarity is very good right now, 4-8 feet depending on where on the lake you’re at. Water temps have been climbing and are up in the 70’s
A lot of the baits I am throwing right now revolve around the shad spawn. When they are spawning the schools of baitfish move up shallow to lay their eggs early in the morning. They spawn on shallow gravel banks, on dock floats, and around marinas. There have been several mornings recently that you can watch the shad up in the docks swimming around. Oftentimes you can see the bass nearby ready to eat them!
I break down fishing right now in two ways, early morning and the rest of the day. As I mentioned before, early in the morning is when the shad spawn happens, so I recommend taking advantage of this by throwing moving baits to mimic those shad. Looks for shallow sloping gravel banks, especially where the wind is hitting. Fish eating birds like Blue Herons and Egrets are also a good indicator of the shad. On glass calm days you can often see the shad on the surface, other times I use my sonar to look for schools of shad in the general area. If there are large schools of shad around, it's likely there are some up shallow spawning.
Once you have found an area with bait I recommend tying on several lures and rotating between them frequently. A couple I recommend are a white and chartreuse spinnerbait, a 3-4 inch paddle tail swimbait, a jerkbait and a topwater lure. Lately the sub surface baits have been producing a lot of fish, the topwater bite has been slow, but I get a lot of clients who still want to commit to fishing it for that exciting blow up on the surface.
A 6th Sense 106 Provoke in a realistic shad pattern and a 6th Sense 3.5 Whale in a shad pattern have been my go to lures for guiding. There are a lot of other baits that look like a bait fish you can try, but those two are proven fish catchers. With both these baits fish them slow enough to get below the surface, but fast enough to stay over the top of the rock or grass, depending on where you are fishing. Coves off of the main lake have been great places, I wouldn’t bother fishing way in the backs of the coves for the shad spawn bite.
Once the sun comes out and it warms up the shad spawn stops, this is when the fish move out a little deeper and get on cover. I have been catching fish in 10-20 feet of water later in the day. You want to look for structure where they can move to to position themselves to ambush prey. This is still the spring time so those fish are still looking to feed! Grass edges, secondary points, and ledges have all been good places. For this type of fishing I put away the jerkbaits and topwater plugs and pull out some soft plastics. The two rigs I recommend the most are a weedless dropshot and a Carolina Rig.
For the drop shot I recommend a cylinder weight as it goes through the grass and rock the best. When fishing around the hydrilla I recommend a 1/0 EWG hook in order to rig your worms weedless. A straight tail worm such as a Roboworm or a Trick worm are excellent options. Fish this rig slowly through the grass, the key is to not overwork your bait and fish it too aggressively.
For the Carolina Rig I recommend a ½ ounce tungsten bullet weight, I find this weight works a lot better than an egg sinker when you are fishing it around grass. Go with a 3 foot leader and a 3/0 EWG hook. Craw style baits like a 6th Sense Stroker craw have been really good. Stick with natural craw colors for that bait. I like Carolina rigs a lot as you can fish them relatively slow, yet still cover a lot of water. When fishing this make sure to give it the occasional long pause in order to make sure you are staying in contact with the bottom.
By the way: If you use the code TORWICK at checkout on the 6th Sense Fishing website it saves you $ and helps me out a bunch!
My Honey Hole Reports go into much greater detail about these rigs including the exact colors that have been working the best. Generally speaking natural colors work best on Lake Travis due to the clear water. With that said, there have been a few particular colors lately that are working best.
The fishing is really good right now, so I highly recommend getting out there! The weekends have gotten really busy, especially at Mansfield Dam Park. However, most weekdays I have the lake to myself aside from a couple other bass boats and a few dock company boats. I have quite a few openings right now if you’re looking to book a trip! I usually get a small lull between the spring frenzy of bookings and the end of school for kids when everyone is on vacation. Now’s a great time to book! For anglers with more fishing experience, consider looking into one of my Coaching Trips. These trips are all about education and are designed to teach you as much as possible about fishing Lake Travis.