November Fishing on Lake Travis
November is one of my favorite months to fish Lake Travis! Fall is finally here and the water temps are down int
o the mid 70’s and will continue to get colder with these shorter days and chillier nights. With the water cooling the bass’ metabolisms will speed up and they will get more active. This translates into catching more fish, bigger bass, and being able to throw more moving baits.
Where to Look For Bass
Largemouth Bass are going to start moving up into coves to continue feeding on baitfish. This time of year I will focus on points and ledges close to the mouth of coves. I will also start moving up further and further into the backs of coves as it cools down. As of right now, I have been doing best targeting the points at the entrance to coves and fishing as far back as about halfway into the coves. As it gets colder I will continue going further and further into the backs of coves.
The reason for this is due to the water temperature. The backs of coves will stay slightly warmer than the deep part of the main lake. This allows the plankton in the lake to bloom longer. This is the bottom of the food chain and what species like threadfin shad eat. Predator species like bass will move into the coves to follow their food source. During the fall bass eat a lot of shad, however they still continue to feed on bluegill and crawfish.
What Baits to Throw
During the fall there are several baits I always keep tied on, but to keep this short I will focus on three main baits. I find it more fun catching fish on moving baits, but you can't argue with the results of slowing down and fishing the bottom. Two of my recommendations are moving baits, one is fished slow along the rocks.
Medium Diving Crankbait
A crankbait is one of my favorite ways to catch bass in the fall. You can cover water quickly, you can trigger reaction baits by choosing a bait that will bump into the rocks on the bottom, and the come in tons of realistic colors. I mostly stick to crawfish patters, browns, oranges, and reds are all very good colors. Shad patterns work well too, but something about a crawfish colored crankbait bumping along the bottom kicking up sand and silt just triggers those bass into biting. A Storm Wiggle Wart in brown craw is one of my favorite baits, but there are tons of great options out there. A Rapala DT10 is another very good option that most sporting goods stores offer. Choose a bait that will dive to 10-12 feet and fish it along rocky shorelines with drop offs along them. Run the bait more parallel to the shoreline and try to get it to grind the bottom. When fishing it I prefer a medium speed retrieve but I stop and start the bait a lot as well as very the retrieve by speeding up and slowing it down often… keep the retrieve erratic and avoid just reeling it in over and over again at the same speed.
The link above is a great video I filmed last year teaching you how to fish a crankbait this way.
During the fall, crawfish become a large part of a bass’ diet. Lake Travis is mostly rock and has a healthy population of crawfish in it. Texas rigged craw style plastics work well too, but a personal preference of mine is a jig. Football jigs and finesse jigs with a craw style trailer work very well and tend to draw larger bites. I stick with a ½ ounce football jig in very natural colors. A jig with a light brown skirt with some orange or red it in works very well… think natural! Fish that jig along rocky banks and over rocky veins along the shoreline. Slow down and don’t over work it. Too often I see clients fishing the jig very fast, lifting it off the bottom quickly and practically swimming it back to the boat. Make sure you can feel the bottom, maintain that contact with the rock, and give it plenty of pauses. A slower retrieve gets more bites in my opinion. I prefer a ½ ounce football jig most of the time, but on days with no wind and high barometric pressure I go to a round ball 3/8th ounce finesse jig in the same color.
A small swimbait is another bait that works year around on Lake Travis, but especially excels in the fall. Keitech is my brand of choice, but there are lots of other good options. I stick with a 3.8 fat swing impact of a 4 inch Easy Shiner in shad colors. Keitech makes a ton of excellent colors, so stick with something that looks like a baitfish. Most of the time I fish this bait on a ¼ or 3/8th ounce lead head. On cloudy days or when the fish are being finicky and I just want to try something different I change to an underspin. An underspin is just a swimbait lead head that has a small willow blade attached to the bottom of it. It throws off more flash and vibration and at times can make a big difference. Fish these baits with a medium speed retrieve and a steady wind. Make long casts up forward of your boat and get close to the shoreline. These baits and rocks don’t mix, so do not let it hit the bottom. However, you want to let it sink and try to follow the bottom contour keeping it a few feet up off the rocks. When fishing steep banks, I will sometimes pause and take the reel out of gear half way back during the retrieve. Let it take line and sink out to help it get deeper. During the fall the fish move shallower, but keep in mind on Travis “shallow” is a relative term. Fish live deep on this lake all year, so catching them in 20 feet of water right now is not uncommon at all.
Fishing has been getting good and will only get better until it gets really cold! I am pretty booked up this week and part of next, but I have openings after that! If you would like to get out on the water or learn how to fish the lake more effectively give me a call or book online via my website!