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Summertime Fishing on Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is located in Texas between San Antonio and Austin, just west of New Braunfels.  It is renowned for its deep clear water surrounded by the Texas Hill Country, beautiful lake homes, abundance of wildlife and recreational activities.  Although it is certainly not considered a mecca for fishing, it has improved some over the past few years.

Canyon is a lake, unlike most, that surprises folks with a special sense of serenity. Its many beautiful home stand picturesque atop the rock outcroppings and high cliff banks.  Yet, these beautiful homes do not have boat docks so the pristine shoreline is not obstructed like most lakes.  The sailboats gently gliding quietly across the water’s surface are contrasted by loud roaring powerboats barely touching the water as they speed across the lake.  If it were not for Diver’s Flags, scuba divers would be completely obscure while jet skiers and water skiers can be seen skimming, darting and turning with acrobatic maneuvers just about anywhere on the lake.  All the while, abundance of deer, rock squirrels, birds, sunbathers and anglers go about their own business as if the whole lake only belonged to them.  It’s captivating to me to see how diversity can be shared and enjoyed by so many at the same time if each person will just relax and respect the rights of others.

I am a professional full-time bass fishing guide and I consider Canyon Lake one of my home lakes, Lake Dunlap the other.  I must admit, however, that the abundance of summer recreational activity is very taxing on boating anglers.  The constant bobbing due to boat wakes and wind makes for difficult and often dangerous fishing conditions. So, understanding that we all have the same rights to enjoy the lake means we (boating anglers) need to recognize how to adjust to the heavy pressures of the busy water recreational times and these are a few things that can help you be a successful angler.

1. Avoid fishing during the busy part of the day, 11 AM to 5PM.

2. Fish weekdays rather than weekends, when possible.

3.Fishing with smaller baits, 2” - 3” crankbaits, 3” - 6” soft plastics, 1/4 - 3/8 oz spinnerbaits and 2” - 3” topwaters will produce more strikes.

4. Use small diameter fishing line, 8-12 pound test.

Fish shallower water, 1’-10’, until the sun comes up and then move to deeper water.  The summer thermocline is generally around 25’-30’ and bass will most often hang close to the thermocline.

5. Concentrate of flats and main lake points close to ledges and drop-offs early and follow the contours down deeper as the sun rises.

6. Fish an area well before moving and watch for surface activity.  Bass move into deep water a lot but suspend and follow schools of baitfish.  They ambush their prey at the surface and when you see this happening stay casting distance away and throw crankbaits into the schooling bass.

7. Vary your retrieve speed.  Fast retrieves work well in the summer but not always.

8. Wear polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes. They also help you see what’s just below the water’s surface.

9. Protect your skin with sunblock or by coverings and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.

Contact me and let’s go fishing.

Barry Dodd


Jun 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM