Even though it’s pretty close, I’ve only been to Lake Austin a handful of times. I’m learning more and more about it, but it’s still challenging me. I spent three days there in the past few weeks because I had a tournament there, and I feel like I am just now starting to figure out more about the lake.
My tournament was this past weekend and leading up to it, I spent two days on the water. It was interesting because the tournament site was a mystery until a few days before the event, but I guessed right. The parameters were that the event would be on a lake that wasn’t on the 2023 Media Bass schedule and was within two hours of Austin. My guess was Lake Austin, and I spent one day there before the lake was announced and again the Friday before the event once it became official.
Both of my practice days were rough, and I wouldn’t have had a limit of bass in either one. I had some glimpses of what the lake is capable of with a few solid fish, but I wasn’t sure where to start when the tournament began. My best areas were miles and miles apart and there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to where I was catching them. Some were on flats, some on steep banks, and some right on the shoreline.
My best bait in practice was a Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait, and I decided to stick with that bait and cover ground. I found one half-mile stretch in the last hour of practice that was key. It had plenty of docks and grass mixed in and plenty of shad swimming around. This was where I was going to start when the tournament began.
I ran to my good stretch of docks and immediately started catching fish. I caught my first keeper five minutes into the day and then caught several short fish right after. About a half hour later, I caught two more and decided to keep going down the bank. The bite slowed, and I gave it another hour before making a move. I had three fish in the livewell, but nothing to brag about.
I ran to my second-best area and found boats everywhere. It must have been a popular area because boats were everywhere I wanted to be. I made a quick adjustment and ran across the lake to a bank I had never fished and caught my fourth keeper immediately, again on the ChatterBait.
One crazy part of the day was the weather. It started just about perfect, with temperatures in the 70s, light winds, and overcast skies. Then, the wind and rain came and it poured, while also dropping the temperatures significantly. It was downright freezing after that and the bite was not very good.
I was able to fill out my limit and catch several more short fish, but it wasn’t a great ending to the day, and I weighed in around 9 pounds of bass, 5 pounds back of the winner.
Overall, it was a fun day of fishing and turned out about as well as I expected. I caught plenty of fish, just not the fish I would need to have a shot at cashing a check there. Luckily, I have several more events lined up this winter on the lake, and I’ll have a shot at redemption.
Here’s a video from my first-ever trip to the lake last fall.