Lake Travis Bass Fishing Report- April 2021
Big Lake Travis Striper
The bite on Lake Travis has been exceptional as of late! Currently I have been targeting mostly post spawn fish, there are still a few stragglers up on beds however. Last week during one of my morning trips we switched gears and targeted bed fish and ended up pulling 4 off beds. As the water warms as summer arrives, more and more fish will pull out of the spawning coves and get on the post spawn pattern I have been targeting.
Water temps on Travis are currently around 63-67 degrees. I have been seeing large swings in the water temps depending on time of day and weather. Lately the weather has been so unpredictable. One tip for you guys who have the freedom to get out and fish whenever you want... pay attention to your weather app and look for those days right before a rain storm is supposed to move in. If you can get out there right before it, it is often windy and overcast. I LOVE these conditions! Truth be told they are a little tougher to guide in with beginners simply due to boat control. However, if it's just you and a buddy fishing, these can be some of the best windows to fish. Especially if you are experienced at casting as it opens up what baits we can throw. That falling barometric pressure and drop in temperature can get the fish very active. Combine this with the wind making them more predictable, you can hammer on some fish!
The water clarity right now is very good. Travis is usually very clear, so this is no surprise, but it averages anywhere between 8-12 feet depending on where you are in the lake. With this clear water, I highly recommend downsizing your fishing line and using more natural colors. Sadly that means putting away your big heavy flipping sticks! For spinning rods I use a lot of 10 and 12 pound test. I would prefer to go lighter, but with the Zebra Mussels in the lake you just can't get away with that. For bait casting rods I like to throw 15 pound fluorocarbon if I am using a Texas rig or similar bait. For jigs such as football jigs I go with 20# fluorocarbon.
When targeting those post spawn fish I alternate between a small swimbait as a search bait, and a ned rig when I find the fish, or decide they just want something slower moving. Look for coves that bass have spawned in and target the areas closest to the main lake. Points, drains, and small ledges are key this time of year. Find those areas and work them over with the two baits I mentioned. You will catch fish anywhere from 5-25 feet deep right now, so pay attention to every bite you get. You will often notice a pattern in how deep the fish are hanging out. Experiment with baits too, if you are not getting bit after 20 minutes of fishing change things up! I start by changing baits or colors, and after 30 minutes of fishing I will just pack up and move. Like I mentioned earlier, I mostly throw natural colors. Grays and silvers to mimic the shad, green pumpkin and watermelon if throwing a plastic on the bottom. I also experiment with dyes such as orange and chartreuse Spike it depending on the conditions and water clarity.
With the water temperatures still below 70 degrees, the threadfin shad have not spawned yet. They are getting close and I have been seeing a ton of activity from them. The schooling bite early in the morning in some of the marinas has been exceptional. If you can time it right you can catch a bunch throwing small spoons and little swimbaits. Watch the water closely and look for little ripples on the water, this is the shad swimming on the surface. You can often predict where the bass will come up just by looking for this. If you have Garmin Panoptix it makes this even easier!
Once the shad begin their spawn that is when fishing gets even better! In my opinion it's more fun that when the bass spawn. With largemouth feeding up heavily on shad you can throw more moving baits such as flukes, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs, and topwater baits. Baits similar in size and color to those spawning shad will work well.
Threadfin shad spawn when the water reaches at least 70 degrees and lay their eggs in the algae that grows on rocks and the dock floats of docks. Wind blow shorelines and marinas can be very good places to find these fish if you are out early. Shad spawn in the very early hours of the morning, so once the sun is up they stop. You will still find bass in those areas throu