It’s going to be another hot summer here in Central Texas! We’ve already had several days where the temperature nearly reached the 100-degree mark, and the water temperature has been hovering around 80 degrees. Summertime fishing is here folks!! With the annual shad spawn nearing its end, the morning bite has substantially died off as the bigger bass remain offshore overnight. For the past few weeks the late afternoon and early evening bite have been very predictable on Lake Travis.
The hot days and high boat traffic have pushed the bass deeper than they have been earlier in the month of May. My clients have been catching bigger bass in the 4 to 7-pound range by slowly dragging their baits off steep bluff walls to the depth of 30 to 40 feet. The steeper bluffs next to the spawning areas seem to be the key in finding the bigger fish! Some of the bigger fish have been very skinny and are clearly in recovery mode after the recent spawn cycle. However, the Guadalupe bass population is very healthy with several 14 inchers caught in the past two weeks.
A good portion of my trips are with beginners, and I’ve had quite a few clients this past month with 7 and 8-year-old youth anglers. The key to success for these new anglers has been working with them to make sure they let out plenty of line and let the bait sit long enough to reach the necessary depth or strike zone. The light gear and light line take time to reach the target depth 25 to 30 feet. With the super clear waters of Lake Travis, you really want to give that bass time to inspect the bait. Dead-sticking a ned rig has been deadly this past week for the young ones. When I see the bright yellow braid start running for deeper water it’s time for them to set the hook! Usually my go-to baits have been a Texas rigged baby brush hog with a ¼ oz worm weight or a speed craw on a ¼ oz shaky head this time of year, but the baits with exposed hooks like the drop shot and ned rig have a better hookup rate with the beginners. Surprisingly, the ned rid has been out fishing the drop shot this week!! For a good fish or two around the shallow side of the marinas, the ned rig and neko rigs have been consistently putting keepers in the boat. For targeting the deeper bass, I’ve added extra weights to get the drop shot down to the right depths.
With the weekend boat traffic already in full summer swing, some areas to target during the day include main lake marinas, bluff wall just inside coves like Devil’s Cove, Rough Hollow, and Little Rough Hollow. These are areas you can load the boat with bass without battling the wind or boat traffic. Early in the morning and later in the day, I’ve been targeting the main lake bluffs in the basin around Oasis and Hippie Hollow as well as main lake points around Starnes Island.
I hope you find this information helpful as we enter the dog days of summer! Just remember, the bass will move up and down the areas throughout summer. You can find them in the same areas day after day for the next several months.
Follow @fishingwiththefriz on Instagram and let us know if these tips help you have a successful trip on the water!
Big fish for the month goes to Omar T. with a beautiful 6.74 pounder caught on a drop shot in 25 feet of water!