Fishing Canyon Lake, TX with Low Water

After moving to Wimberley a few months ago, Canyon Lake has become my new home lake, mainly because it’s the closest one. As fate would have it, it’s at a record low right now and the boat ramps keep closing and we’re down to just three that are usable as I’m typing this. Even with the low water, I’ve made it out three times and even fished two tournaments and overall, I like the lake and how it sets up.

Low water makes launching a boat a little more difficult.

Even with the low water, the bass are still biting and the lake appears healthy with a good amount of hydrilla and plenty of trees to hold bass. Every bass I’ve caught out there looks good and although I have yet to tap into the big ones, I’ve had success every time I’ve been there and you can get a lot of bites just about anywhere you go.

My first trip to Canyon was back in May, and this was the first time I had seen the lake before the event, which is not a recommended way to fish a tournament. I had signed up for the event when it was set for Lake Buchanan, but they moved that one due to low water, and I was out of town the week before the tournament and didn’t get to pre-fish the new venue. My results showed as I only caught four small keepers, but it was good to fish the lake and begin my process of learning it.

A view of just how low the water is right now.

I’ve fished it twice in the past week to learn it even more. Once was just for fun, and the other was for a small half-day tournament. Both times, the fish were plentiful, just nothing to write home about in terms of big ones. The tournament had a three-fish limit and the winners had over 13 pounds, which shows what the lake is capable of. My limit weighed less than half that, so I have some work to do to compete here.

In all of my trips, a drop-shot rig has been a great way to get a bite and it makes sense since the lake reminds me a lot of the lakes I grew up fishing in Nevada, Mead and Mohave. The water is generally clear and you can target many of the same rocks, bluffs, and other structure that I used to fish back in Las Vegas years ago.

One of many fish that fell for a drop-shot rig.

Finesse fishing with a drop-shot with a Roboworm has easily been my best tactic so far, and I’ve found that Canyon has quite the population of smallmouth in addition to the largemouth. I have yet to catch any monster smallmouth, but I have learned the lake has some big ones, and I’m hoping to run into a few of them this fall and winter.

The other best bait for me thus far has been a Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait, which works for me everywhere I go. I’ve found a lot of success fishing the grass edges and the backs of drains or cuts that have a little bit of grass and it’s something I’ve been able to replicate all over the lake as I explore this new body of water and try to see every corner of it.

The ChatterBait catches them on Canyon Lake.

I’ll be fishing this lake more and more in the coming months and hope to learn more about it and share more about what’s working. While the low water changes things, it’s all new to me right now, so none of my best areas are high and dry like those that have fished here for years. I’m hoping for more rain like the rest of us, but I will keep fishing Canyon Lake as much as possible in the meantime. The plus side is that there’s less water, so the fish should be more congregated now, right?