The Mossy Oak Fishing Team is preparing now to fish Lake Travis in Jonestown, Texas, near Austin. This 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest is May 17-20, benefits Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and has a $1 million payout.
Mossy Oak Fishing Pro Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, a past Rookie of the Year on the Elite Circuit, has studied this lake carefully as it is one that Bassmaster has never fished before. DeFoe explains:
“Lake Travis is a fairly clear and deep lake. Known for anglers catching numbers of bass there, but not necessarily big bass, Lake Travis has a good population of three types of bass: spotted, largemouth and Guadalupe bass. The Guadalupe, a bass found only in Texas, doesn’t grow very big. Although anglers catch 2-3 pounders frequently, the world’s record is only 3.71 pounds. This tournament primarily will be a deep water tournament with the bass in the post-spawn stage with probably few bass still spawning in the lake.”
DeFoe fished a bass tournament there about 12 years ago and says, “I’ve been looking up bass fishing tournament results for Lake Travis and have learned that 12 pounds of bass per day is a solid catch there. If a competitor can catch some 2-pounders and an occasional 3-pounder, he will do well in this tournament. A contestant catching a bass weighing 4-5 pounds can have a very good tournament.”
From DeFoe’s research, he’s learned football head jigs, deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, Carolina rigs, shaky head worms and other finesse techniques often called sissy baits will pay off in May at Lake Travis. The tournament’s competition days are Thursday (May 17) – Sunday (May 20), with 2 and half practice days prior.
“I don’t plan to spend a lot of time fishing on the practice days or during the tournament but rather will spend more time glued to my depth finder to locate bass and learn where they’re living,” said DeFoe. “In my opinion, on water like Lake Travis, you can be much more efficient as a bass angler if you spend 90-percent of your time locating bass and only 10-percent of your time fishing for bass. I think to win the Lake Travis tournament, a pro will have to catch more than 15 pounds of bass each day of the event to have a total of all four days of about 65 pounds of bass.”
The Mossy Oak Fishing Team consists of Kevin VanDam, Ott DeFoe, Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, Gerald Swindle and Brandon Palaniuk. Visit bassmaster.com to see live stats from the tournament.