Top 5 Best Baits for Lake Travis
Lake Travis Bass Fishing Guide
Lake Travis is the gem of the Hill Country and has a phenomenal bass fishing fishery. Located 25 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas it is the perfect place to escape the busy life of the city for a relaxing day of fishing. If you are new to Austin, or just want a little more info about your home lake, take a sec while I explain what my top 5 favorite baits are for Lake Travis.
1. – Drop Shot
This is hands down my favorite rig on Lake Travis to catch bass. It is very versatile: you can fish it deep, you can fish it shallow, you can drop it down vertically or you can cast it out and cover water with it. Travis is a very deep and rocky lake, my preferred set up is an Owner 1/0 Octopus hook and a 3/8 ounce cylinder drop shot weight. The cylinder shape passes through the rock and avoids getting snagged easily, while the 1/0 hook is the perfect size to remain finesse but still get a good hook set without skin hooking the fish.
A Roboworm or small Zoom trick work is my favorite plastic to throw on this. Red Bug, Green Pumpkin, and Watermelon black flake are excellent colors to throw.
One of the main forage on Lake Travis for largemouth bass is Threadfin and Gizzard shad. These small silver colored bait fish can be found in large schools all over the lake. During the late spring you can find these fish spawning along rocks, marinas, and docks. During this time of year bass gorge themselves feeding up after a long winter. A ¼-3/8 ounce lead head paired up with your favorite paddle tail swimbait is a great bait to throw.
I recommend a Keitech easy shiner or a Z Man Diezel minnow. Any natural color that resembles a shad such as a silver or pearl color will get bit. I like to fish these baits on a spinning rod with 10 pound test in order to cast them the furthest and get more bites.
3. Football Jig
Since Lake Travis is mostly rock there is a large population of crawfish in the lake. These tiny crustaceans are protein packed snacks that big largemouths love to eat. A football jig is the perfect bait to imitate this forage and work the deep bottom of the lake where bass will go during the summer and winter months. With that said this bait is versatile and can catch bass year round.
A recommend a crawfish color such as browns with some orange and red accents. PB&J and Black & Blue are also excellent colors to throw. A Zoom Speedcraw and a Strike King Rage Craw are excellent trailers to pair your jig up with. Select a color that matches or accents the jig’s skirt color and you will catch fish.
A crankbait is a very versatile bait as it can imitate several different types of forage. During the spring months a white and black back squarebill can be deadly fished along rocky banks when the bass are keying in on shad. During the fall an orange or red squarebill is perfect for those bass eating crawfish as they try to fatten up in preparation for the winter.
I recommend matching the hatch when it comes to color selection. If you are seeing a lot of bluegill in the area you are fishing, switch to something with more greens and purples in it. When you are seeing shad flickering on the surface switch to a baitfish color such as Tennessee shad or white and black. I try to match the depth the crankbait dives to the area I am fishing. Along shallow banks a 1.5 squarebill is perfect, whereas offshore around deep ledges I will throw a 6 or 10 XD.
5. Alabama Rig
This is a bait I don’t think gets enough love. It was the all the rage a while back, but as of recent years to seems to have a reputation as solely a wintertime bait. I throw this bait year around, but where I throw it changes based on the season. Obviously during the winter slow rolling this bait around high percentage spots such as rocky ledges, rock piles, brush piles, and docks will catch fish. My personal favorite time to throw this rig is during the shad spawn when bass are going crazy feeding up on shad. Either throw it around docks as those shad will lay their eggs in the algae that grows on docks, or throw it at schooling fish you see hitting the surface. Catching more than one fish at a time is not uncommon.
I recommend a 1/16 ounce lead head with a stiff hook. Academy sells a saltwater brand called Hoagie that makes a lead head with a screwlock and a 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu black nickel hook. That screw lock will save you so many swimbaits and that stout hook will not bend out when you either hook a big fish or hook a Striper which is all too common. Zoom swimming fluke jr’s and Keitech easy shiners are my favorite swimbaits to pair this up with. Another good option when you are catching a lot of fish is a Z man swimbait since their brand of plastic lasts forever and the fish won’t bite off the tails. Just keep them away from your other baits as they will melt them!