To say it’s been a hot summer here is Central Texas would be a huge understatement of the relentless heat we are experiencing. The first 100-degree days starting in May this year and continued through June and July. I been running mostly early morning trips for the past month so we can get to the first marina by 6:15 am when the sun is just starting to come up and the bass are starting their morning feeding frenzy. We are usually off the water by 10 or 10:30 when the temperature is just getting into the mid-90s. Even with the water temperature pushing 90 degrees on Lake Travis and in the mid-90s on Lake LBJ, I’ve been able to have a very consistent bite for my clients and catching 15 bass on average in a four-hour trip. With the low lake levels (33 feet low at the time of this report) the shoreline has exposed new layers of limestone to the wave action. This is given the lake a very nice lime green stain and reduced the visibility from 15 feet down to about 3 feet from the dam to Lago Vista. (25 miles). This is helped the bite tremendously in the past few weeks. A dropshot worm and a shaky head craw continue to put up to five Guadalupe bass in the boat each trip. There are about three 100 yard stretches around the lake where I’m able to rotate through throughout the week and catch several Guadalupe bass and an occasional largemouth bass. These areas are all deep bluff walls on the main lake where the boat is sitting in 50 to 70 feet of water, and we are throwing the bait right at the bank. The strike usually happens in just a few sweeps of the rod as the bait falls down the various ledges on the bluff wall. This bite is supper soft, and even experiences anglers can miss the bite. When I doubt, set the hook!!
Fishing the bluff walls is not something I focus on during the trips. It’s more of a spot along the way from marina to marina. The first spot and last spot of each trip have been one of three marinas that hold several hundred bass. Yes. Hundreds. During a few brief periods throughout the day, you can see 40 to 50 bass breaking the surface in a feeding frenzy. This is the time you want to have your bait in the water and not looking at the bass in amazement! This happened a few weeks ago when I was reeling a solid bass on a whopper plopper. My clients were from up north and have never seen such a site. The stood there holding their rods which has the little swimbait dangling just inches away from the tip of the rod. “This would be a great time to make a cast!”, I said. I ended up boat flipping my bass just in time to grab the net to haul in their catches. It’s always nice to triple up!!
The whopper plopper is such a simple bait for beginners. I’ve had youths as young as 9 years old catch some pretty good bass the past month on it. That bait tends to call the fish up from the depth where they are suspended around the marinas when they are not feeding. At time, it can even get a lethargic school fired up into a brief feeding frenzy. This is the time of year you always want to have your favorite topwater bait on deck and ready to cast.
The marina bite should continue through summer and into early fall. Once we start getting some really cold night and there is fog on the lake in the morning, I’ll start looking for bait transitioning to the major creeks. When this happens, the bass aren’t far behind.
There are many factors that can make fishing during the dog days of summer a success. Knowledge of fishing patterns, as well as what’s under the water, are key to catching bass when the water temp is pushing 90 degrees. Let Captain Randal with Central Texas Fishing Guide help guide you to success in fishing!