I'm excited to finally say fall is right around the corner and those evening air temps are going to finally start dropping a bit. Now let's not get too carried away... this is Texas after all! It'll stay hot for a bit longer, but with the passing of Labor Day, that means the fall transition bite is right around the corner. Spring time fishing is my favorite, but the fall bite is a close second! During the fall the fish begin feeding up for winter and get more aggressive than they have been during the summer. The end of September all the way through November is historically been great fishing on Lake Travis. If you want to throw swim jigs, crankbaits, A rigs, and fluke, start planning your trip now! I book up in advance, so if you have a particular date in mind you want to fish, consider booking in advance!
For now though, let's focus on the current lake conditions and give you some info that you can use if you are getting out on the lake this week. Currently Lake Travis is close to 17 feet low, as of late the lake has been dropping 8-10 inches a week. This is pretty typical of this time of year, so don't freak out! The lake is still 75% full. Water temps are around 86 degrees on the surface with clarity anywhere between 6-10 foot visibility. If you are new to Lake Travis please keep in mind there is a big difference in water clarity between the lower end of the lake and the upper end up the lake closer to the Pedernales River. The lower area near the dam can often be even clearer than 10 foot visibility.
With the lake temps so high, this pushes fish offshore and into deep water. When fishing these conditions I want you guys to think about places with structure that will hold bass that are in deep water. Ideally you want a location where there is shallow cover nearby and even deeper water, such as a creek channel, nearby as well. While bass will prefer deep water, changing conditions will make them move deeper or shallower. For example, if a small weather system moves through, like one of the little summer showers we have been getting, fish will move shallower to feed. Sunfish, Bluegills, and other minnow species will be up shallower and the bass will move to cover in these areas to sit and wait to ambush prey.
Secondary points, rocky veins, and ledges close to the main lake are all spots I have been finding bass. Some marinas are still holding decent schools of fish, so don't be afraid to spend some time scouting around deep water marinas. During the warmer months bass tend to be more sluggish and not wanting to move a ton throughout the day. Places where they can transition from actively feeding to just hanging out, without having to go far are where these fish will live.
It is not uncommon to graph for fish, find them, and not get them to bite. I am more of the "run and gun" type of angler. I rather keep moving searching for fish that are willing to cooperate. However, at times it can be advantageous to wait out the fish and keep trying new baits and techniques until you get a bite. If the school is fairly large and tight to structure of the bottom, this is when I will keep fishing for them. Slowing down and working them over can work well when the fish are like this. Changing baits and colors is key to getting them to bite. Once you can get one to bite though, it often fires up the school and you can catch a few more. As I have mentioned in previous reports, the feeding window may not last long, so keep fishing and catch them as fast as you can!
Jigs, drop shots, Texas rigged stick baits, and Neko rigs are all things you should have on your deck right now! Don't be afraid to change things up and try a deep crankbait though! Conditions dictate what baits I throw more than anything. Learning to read the conditions when you are on the water is part of becoming a better angler. It's what sets the pros you see on tv apart from your average weekend angler. This is something I would love to teach you should you book a trip! My guarantee with any trip is that you will walk away with more knowledge and a better understanding of how to fish Lake Travis than before you fished with me. I love teaching people to fish! A trip with me is more than just a fishing trip, it's a learning experience.
Good luck out there and I hope to see you on the water!