Fishing on Lake Travis

Interested in central Texas fishing? Lake Travis is one of the area’s most popular spots. Here is some basic information to get started:

What is Lake Travis?

Lake Travis is on the Colorado River, northwest of Austin in Travis and Burnet counties. Its surface area is 18,622 acres, with a maximum depth of 190 feet. Its conservation pool elevation is 681 feet, and its clarity is clear to slightly off-color in the upper sections. There is no significant aquatic vegetation in Lake Travis.

What kinds of fish are in Lake Travis?

The predominant fish species in Lake Travis include Largemouth bass (good,) Guadalupe bass (good,) White bass (good,) striped bass (fair,) Catfish (good,) and Sunfish (good.)

Largemouth bass generally are present in large numbers, although few trophy Largemouth bass have been caught. White bass are found in major creek arms, the Pedernales River, and the upper end of the Colorado River arm during February to May. A low-density striped bass fishery is in the extreme lower end of the reservoir, and blue, channel, and flathead catfish are located throughout the lake.

Fishing Cover/Structure

The Lake Travis terrain is dominated by rocky banks, steep cliffs, and clear water. Some portions of the upper end have more stained water, with a flatland type impoundment. The lower end’s marinas, boat docks, rock piles, ledges, and steep drop-offs provide cover for game fish. When lake levels are high, Largemouth bass anglers often find best success on flooded terrestrial vegetation lining the banks, primarily in the upper end. Year round, the lake’s incoming large creeks hold game fish.

Tips for Fishing on Lake Travis

The spring and the fall are the best months for Largemouth bass anglers. Largemouth bass are known to suspend over points and along drop-offs, and topwater, jerkbait, or spinnerbait pulled near the surface often will call them to the top. Sight fishing for spawning bass is popular during the spring, and jerkbait pulled along the shoreline at this time likely will yield larger female bass. In the fall, try a big topwater on windy, main-lake points. Use minnows suspended under corks for all of the above if live-bait is preferred.

Recommended baits: Zara Spooks, Jumping Minnows, Pop- R’s, suspended jerkbaits, and Double willowleaf spinnerbaits with metal flake blades

For tips on white bass and blue catfish, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Lake Travis page. Also, see information on boat ramp conditions, download lake maps, and more.