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Lake Info: Travis, Texas


Lake Travis was formed in 1942 by the construction of Mansfield Dam on the western edge of Austin, Texas by the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Lake Travis has the largest storage capacity of the seven reservoirs known as the Highland Lakes, and stretches 65 miles (105 km) upriver from western Travis County in a highly serpentine course into southern Burnet County to Max Starcke Dam, southwest of the town of Marble Falls.

The Pedernales River, a major tributary of the Colorado River, flows into the lake from the southwest in western Travis County. The lake is used for flood control, water supply, electrical power generation and recreation.

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.

Fishing Description: 

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.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

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 would work.

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.

Directions to Lake: 

On the Colorado River northwest of Austin in Travis and Burnet counties.

Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Guadalupe Bass
Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Fisherman's Bait House
  • 4601 Red Bluff Rd - Austin, TX
  • (512) 386-9693

Boat Rental

Vacation Rental

    Horseshoe Bay Gem Vacation Rentals
  • 108 Lachite Dr - Horseshoe Bay, TX
  • (512) 751-3357

Bar and Restaurant

    Lil Bit of Texas Bbq
  • 3619 Fm-620 N - Austin, TX
  • (512) 266-9450
    Busters Barbeque
  • 303 N F M 620 - Austin, TX
  • (512) 266-3926

Travis - 2009/06/28/ 82F - Black bass are good on watermelon worms and bone topwaters i... Continued

Travis - 2009/04/23/ 70F - Caught a few catfish up on a creek arm, nothing huge but som... Continued

Travis - 2009/01/24/ 65F - White bass are good on minnows, white grubs, and chrome spoo... Continued

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