Spring Bass Fishing Report for Lake Travis- March 29, 2023
The fishing on Lake Travis has been exceptional the past month! I’ve had some trips catch in excess of 60 fish in one outing. During this time of year the bass pull up shallow to feed and spawn, making them more aggressive and easier to target. Additionally the White Bass are moving up to spawn, and with the low lake levels I have found them spawning in unusual places. While not the species I normally guide for, I love catching them as they’re hard fighters and are great for clients who want to keep their catch.
April is one of my favorite months to guide because here in Central Texas that is when the Shad spawn. Threadfin Shad are one of the main food sources for largemouth bass. These small silver bait fish are plentiful in Lake Travis and are like candy to hungry bass. During April when the water warms to the right temperature the shad move up shallow on gravel banks and around docks to lay their eggs. They do this during the early hours of the mornings, so getting on the water early is your best bet for success. When they move up to spawn they are very vulnerable and easier for the bass to prey upon.
I recommend looking for shallow sloping gravel banks where the wind is blowing into. Avoid the steep bluff walls or banks with large rock. The other place I find shad spawning is up in the marinas and docks as they lay their eggs in the algae that grows on the dock floats. A quick tip is to look for Blue Herons and Egrets, these birds feed on the shad and are a dead giveaway to the presence of bait fish. It is not uncommon to see two or three of these birds sitting statuesque at the water’s edge waiting for a shad to swim close by where they can catch it. I look for these birds to help me quickly find shorelines the shad are spawning on.
When it comes to baits to use there are a lot of options but I will give you my top three. The main thing to keep in mind is you are trying to mimic a Threadfin Shad, so select baits that look like them.
Top 3 Baits to Throw This Spring
Topwater Baits: a chrome pop-r or bone colored spook are great topwater options that will allow you to cover a lot of water. With the pop-r I like to work it about 2-3 feet giving it small little pops of the rod tip to make it spit water, then pause it briefly before continuing. For the topwater spook I work this a little faster giving it a “walk the dog” action while pausing it every 5-6 feet.
Swimbait: A 3 or 4 inch paddle tail swimbait in a silver or white color is another excellent option. Keitech, Megabass, and 6th Sense all make a great option. Pair this up with a ¼ ounce lead head and fish it slowly just over the bottom. Little twitches of the rod tip every once and a while can also help to trigger bites from followers.
Flukes: A Zoom fluke in a shad color rigged weightless or on a Owner twist lock hook with a small belly weight can be deadly fished up shallow. I prefer to fish these weightless just using a superline hook to give it weight, but on windy days I will go with the belly weighted hook. I like to fish this bait with the same cadence I do a jerkbait, when the bait gets out further from shore where it is deeper I like to give it a long pause to let it get closer to the bottom. Tip: a “Donkey Rig” is a rig with two separate flukes on it, this is a fun way to fish this bait and make it look like a small school of bait fish. Sometimes you catch two fish at once with it!
The fishing will stay really good for a while longer! Until the water gets really hot and summer gets here you can expect to have good fishing up shallow. Once summer gets here and the water warms more fish will start to move out of the coves and out of the shallows to deeper cooler water. Until then tie on the baits mentioned above and go catch some bass!
Consider booking a trip with me! Torwick’s Guiding Service is fully licensed and insured and offers only the highest quality equipment and a brand new Phoenix boat to fish from! In addition to my normal guided trips I also offer what I call a “Coaching Trip” geared solely towards teaching you how to become a better angler. For more information about my Coaching Trips please visit my website. www.torwicksguidingservice.com
Have a boat of your own? I also sell a weekly Honey Hole Report on my website! Each report contains 5+ EXACT spots on Lake Travis where I have been catching fish with my clients. In addition to the location we’re catching them I also tell you the exact baits, colors, and techniques I’m using.