505 Staples Road
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Marcos De Jesus, Biologist
Location: On the Colorado River northwest
of Austin in Travis and Burnet counties
Surface area: 18,622 acres
Maximum depth: 190 feet
Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 681 ft. msl, but lake is usually below this level
Fluctuation: High, 10-20 feet
Normal Clarity: Clear to slightly off-color in upper sections
Reservoir Controlling Authority
3700 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
(512) 473-3200 or 1(800) 776-5272
No significant aquatic vegetation present
Predominant Fish Species
Free, downloadable maps of the lake and surrounding areas are available in the map section of the LCRA website. Commercial maps are available at area map, tackle, and sporting goods stores. Lighted mile marker buoys are in place to aid boaters in navigation.
Lake Travis is noted for producing good numbers of largemouth bass, although they tend to run small. Very few trophy largemouth bass have been caught. White bass runs occur in the spring (February-May) in the major creek arms, the Pedernales River and the upper end of the Colorado River arm. A low-density striped bass fishery is available in the extreme lower end of the reservoir. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish occur throughout the reservoir.
|Largemouth & Guadalupe Bass|
Lake Travis is dominated by rocky banks, steep cliffs, and clear water typical of a highland reservoir. The water tends to become more stained as one moves up the lake, with some portions of the upper end more closely resembling a flatland type impoundment. In the lower end of the reservoir, marinas, floating boat docks, rockpiles, ledges, and steep drop-offs provide cover for game fish. When the water is high, largemouth bass anglers should concentrate on the flooded terrestrial vegetation that lines the banks. The upper end of the reservoir will have more flooded vegetation. Many large creeks enter the lake and hold game fish year round.
Largemouth bass anglers have their best success on this reservoir during
the spring and fall months. Bass fishing from June through August can be difficult
for even the most experienced anglers. Topwater baits such as Zara Spooks,
Jumping Minnows, Pop- R's, and suspended jerkbaits are popular with bass anglers.
Double willowleaf spinnerbaits with metal flake blades also work well. In Lake
Travis, largemouth bass are famous for suspending over points and along drop-offs. Often a topwater, jerkbait, or spinnerbait pulled
near the surface will call them to the top. During the spring, sight fishing
for spawning bass is popular among anglers. A jerkbait pulled along the shoreline
this time of the year will catch some of the bigger female bass that are waiting
to go on the nest. In fall, a big topwater worked on windy main-lake points
can be deadly for both numbers and quality-sized largemouth bass. For live-bait
fishing, try minnows suspended under corks in the same places where an artificial
For white and striped bass, fishing at night around the lighted boat docks in the lower end of the lake has become popular during winter months. White bass start to run up the major creek arms and into the Pedernales River on their annual spawning run starting in late February or early March. They may stay in these areas until May as they slowly trickle back to the main lake. Anglers can catch these fish using small spinners, jigs, and crankbaits. Striped bass anglers should concentrate their efforts in the lower lake from the dam to the mouth of Sandy Creek. In April and May, these fish often school to chase shad and can be caught using a topwater bait. During the summer, downrigging with bucktail jigs and trailers over submerged humps and deepwater points is often effective.
Blue catfish dominate the catfish population, but anglers can also find channel and flathead catfish. Stinkbait and cutbait work well for the blues and channels, while live bait is preferred for large flathead catfish.