Fishin' Fever - bass, striper and bay fishing austin texas and texas coast

Spring Fishing Tips

Time To Dust Off Your Tackle Box!

by Shane Holmes - Fishin' Fever

Spring is here.

It's time to wipe the dust off of your tackle boxes, oil your reels and get out on the water!

Here are some tips, for a couple of the Austin area lakes, that will put some fish in the boat. However, please remember that you are catching bass which are about to or are spawning, so handle them carefully and get them back in the water as soon as you can.

If you do choose to put some on your dinner table, please keep only the amount necessary to feed you and try to keep only the male bass and let those females complete that most important spawning.

Now, with that out of the way, here are the lake reports . . .

Lake Travis:

With the water levels as low as they are, and no relief in sight, there is not much cover for the bass to use except for marinas, private docks and rocks. These are the primary structures
you will want to locate in the back of coves, pockets and creek arms.

A real hot bass bait, for the last few years, have been both hard and soft plastic jerk baits. Pretty much any natural color will work. However, my favorite is either baby bass or smoke shad. These baits will not only catch those active feeding pre-spawn fish, but also trigger reaction strikes from inactive and spawning fish.

Start out with a fast erratic retrieve and gradually slow it down until you find the way they want it. There have been times that I had to literally let the bait sink several feet and twitch it only every 10 to 20 seconds. But, 9 times out of 10 this won't be necessary.

If the jerk bait bite isn't there try spinner bait and worms in the same areas. A spinner bait worked along a rock ledge that drops from 2 to 5 feet of water in to deeper water can catch you some big females this time of year. I prefer 3/8 to 1/2 ounce tandem willowleaf spinner with white, chartreuse, white/chartreuse, or golden shiner skirts.

Lake Austin:

The water temperature is generally cooler than Travis. It seems to me that because of this, the water temps don't go through such drastic changes due to weather and therefore spawn is more generalized. What I mean by this is that the fish will move into pre-spawn, spawn 
and post spawn pretty much all together, and it will only last a few weeks. If you make it there, during this time, you can catch a boat load of large fish. However, please remember that these fish are producing our future stock and keeping them will hurt our fisheries. 

To catch these spawning fish I will usually throw a half ounce jig with a large port trailer around shallow docks and grass edges. Also, there are many feeder creeks and canals that can provide some excellent sight fishing for fish on beds. If the jig doesn't produce, try a bright colored floating worm over the bed.

These tips should help put you on the fish and help improve your results . . . so get busy dusting off your gear and get to fishing!

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