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01-04-2016, 12:02 PM #1
Lady Bird Lake - Past two weeks from Kayak
Had the past two weeks off, so i hit up LBL quite a few times form my yak. I fished the east end only, fished around Snake Island and the main part of the lake. Nothing, fished slow fluks, T-rig 10inch black worms and even tried drop shot craw around the island and deep areas. I do very well on LBL most of the year but the winter bite has been hard to find. I have no depth finder on my kayak, i am wondering, is it advisable to add electronics to a kayak? is it worth it? aka... do you need electronics to find fish in the winter.
01-04-2016, 02:07 PM #2
Lots of good fish coming out of LBL after the cold fronts, no electronics needed. I normally stick between Mopac and 35. Ive never fished the east side - seems like less visible structure (bridges on the west side) and no gin-clear Barton Springs.
As far as the electronics, there a lot more knowledgeable folks on here than me and maybe they will chime in. But I can give the standard "only if you know how to use it". Ive had a lowrance elite 4 dsi/chartplotter on my kayak for 8 months. It took a few trips to learn the menus well, a few more to get the settings right, and it will take quite a few more before being confident with what I am seeing. For sure if you are drop shoting or fishing deep water it is nice to have a clue what is going on beneath you withtout having to blindly drag you line over and over to find depth/structure/etc that you are looking for. Chartplotter will give you a general idea of where things are and waypoints are handy for marking what you find and making notes for future trips.
New models are coming out now, so last years should be on sale. There was a open box 2015 5xdsi/chartplotter w/transducer at cabelas in the bargain cave a couple weeks ago for $270 I think. I like my 4 but wish I went with the 5 because the split sonar/DSI is too damn skinny on the 4. Also keep in mind cost of mounting and battery if you are not already running electronics.
01-04-2016, 02:51 PM #3
I wouldn't say electronics are required but they certainly do help, especially in the winter. For me, it's been the difference between catching one or two fish an outing vs dozens. It's incredible just how tight the bass hold to a particular structure, and being able to see the bottom of the lake and mark a spot is critical for catching greater numbers. Without electronics it's very tempting to go fish places that look "fishy" when in reality, while they may be great spots in the spring or an early summer morning, those places are usually ghost towns during the winter. When you add electronics to the hunt, you'll gradually change your approach to fishing as you figure out how to use it. I would say that DSI is very useful, even if you don't get it so dialed in that you see every branch of a submerged tree. It's also pretty useless if you look for structure and bait schools with it while youre casting 40' away from the boat. The diameter of the scanning halo is about equivalent to he depth of water you're in, so jigs and drop shot rigs fished right under the boat are an excellent way to start. What you'll likely end up with over time are several spots you've got marked off that you've consistently caught fish at. Then all you have to do is go on your milk run from spot to spot and dial in the bait selection. This is a way more effective way to fish than just casting all over the place picking off the occasional fish. Also, a marker bouy is extremely useful in the winter. Again, it's really incredibly just how tight bass hold to a particular structure in the winter, and having a marker bouy is very helpful in dropping your bait right on top of them when your too far from the shore for a good reference.
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01-05-2016, 09:57 AM #4
Hello Cannon and Matt.... many thanks for the thoughtful and indepth replys, you may have hit the nail on the head, i should try a different part of LBL, i have actually never fished the Mopac to I-35 area.... i usually launch at Holiday inn and hit up the boardwalk and snake island, always treats me well and have landed a good number of fish, its also fun to catch a nice fish right below the boardwalk and show it off to the girls running... but i digress..... i guess i fish the east end because there is less structure and less "boat traffic"... i am a Texan but i honed my fishing chops in the Army in Kansas... i am more familiar with open water smallmouth and largemouth on rocky open lakes.... i guess i have avoided the Mopac I-35 area of LBL because there is too much strucuture... not my comfort zone.... but i will give it a try. Thanks again gentlemen for your thoughts an assistance. Getting a graph/depth finder for my Yak is on my to do list now. Speaking of now, i think this weekend i will try my luck with the White Bass on the Nueces river
01-05-2016, 10:18 AM #5
True dat...electronics are only helpful if you know how to use them BUT if that keeps you from adding one to your kayak you'll never figure it out.
What I know about fish finders is that some brands take lots of knowledge and/or experimentation to set up just exactly right, other brands you pretty much just turn em on and look. Smaller units (4 + 5 inch) seem to have less complicated menus and set up, 12" screens make my head spin with thinking about setting one up (not to mention needing an expensive big battery to run em). DSI is worth the money IMHO, if you fish different lakes a Chartplotter is super handy.
I've never heard anyone say:
I wish I had a smaller screen, this one is too easy to see things on.
And I don't recall anyone ever going back to fishing without electronics once they used them for a couple of weeks.
Well ok I think maybe MecCredy did take his off and go back to none but he's almost super human when it comes to LBL toad locating.Pro Wrestling is real Mr Anderson.
01-05-2016, 11:43 AM #6
Good deal on a 4x w/chartplotter . Depending on what kayak you have, mounting can be fairly simple. Do a search on Texas Kayak Fisherman and you will see all kinds of ideas from completely portable/removable to built in.
The crowds on the water on the west side can get bad in the summer with rec'ers and the sculls can also be annoying, but to have such a good fishery in a metro area is crazy.
01-05-2016, 03:08 PM #7
image.jpgimage.jpgStart with the navionics smart phone app and download central Texas or all of Texas for that matter. When I purchased the app a few years ago it was 12$ and I got a few add ons as well for more detail. Gettin at least the app will give you a very good idea of where to look and know community holes and all the contour lines under the water. Here is a quick picture (zoomed out so less detail) of the area you were talking about just so you get the idea.
01-05-2016, 03:14 PM #8
East end used to be the ticket when the power plant was there :-(
Go to Barton Creek area now. 68 degrees discharge brings those cold blooded beasts to that area. Another thing to do is cruise west looking for creek inflows and artisian wells, they are warmer too. Deep channels are good too but you do need a fish finder. Contrary to popular opinion, a small cheap FF is the way to go on a kayak. All you need is depth and temperature. I still use a cheap instant read digital thermometer stuck through a foam golf ball and wedged in a scupper hole for surface temp. If I want deep temp, it goes onto my #5 dumbell anchor that has knots tied every 5'. Temp is the key this time of year, even a degree will make a difference
01-05-2016, 04:23 PM #9
Is there a place to launch a small job boat near the west end? I've never fished LBL, but have a 14 jb that would need a launch ramp. What options are there?
01-05-2016, 09:36 PM #10
If open water rocky bottom lakes are your thing you outta try get on Travis. And this is the time of year to do it, you can have an entire cove all to yourself.
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