The reigning champion of rendering incredible trophy bass amid the Highland Lakes is by far Lake Buchanan. Lovingly dubbed by locals as Big Buck, anglers that know the region and are familiar with the lake’s geographic layout have the best luck landing trophy bass. Locals also have the skinny on which lures and rigs reel in fish faster than competitors in a NASCAR event, and they know exactly when and where to hit the lake to have the best success. However, friendly locals who frequent this beautiful lake are always willing to provide visitors with some tips, and this compilation of their expert advice explores how to land some of the state’s most sought after bass species including largemouth, white, and stripers.
True to a highland-type lake, Big Buck boasts numerous rock piles, ledges, and rocky banks. Several creeks and rivers converge with this 22,000 plus acre, man-made dam, and cedar-tree fish attractions grace key spots that include humps, roadbeds, and drop offs. Because the water levels fluctuate heavily throughout the year, the outdoor enthusiasts employed by Texas Parks and Wildlife oversee these created covers and structures to foster angler’s success year round on the lake. Even during times of drought, many species can be landed from the shoreline or from a small canoe – however, fishing here is most fruitful when undertaken within a GPS equipped boat.
Showing Largemouth Bass Who’s Boss
Snaring this sought after species is easiest during the spring and fall, when the staining that occurs near the northern shores of the lake all the way from Beaver Creek to the Colorado River keeps largemouth running shallow regardless of water temperatures. This natural occurrence makes the lower regions of the reservoir a clear-water haven for anglers seeking bass. Use top water lures and leaf spinners in this area, or consider running medium crank bait shallow near the rocky banks. Flipping and pitching under boat docks can prove fruitful, and trial and error can be quite revealing. Having a boat when the waters are elevated can be an advantage, as many of the best local yarns recall days running a jig deep at a slow troll.
Outwitting White Bass and Striper
These species begin spawning in February during their annual run up the Colorado River. Keen anglers concentrate on the area where Beaver Creek meets the Colorado in the early season. However, as with the largemouth bass, the stripers and whites become plentiful and more feasible concerning top fishing catches each spring and fall. One of the most productive lures for stripers includes the Carolina rig set with live shad and run close to the lake’s floor near the drop-offs and humps. White bass often frequent these areas, too, but they respond best to twister tail jigs, small crank baits, minnows, small-hair jigs, and top water lures. Keep and eye out for any flocks of birds appearing to work schools of shad, which indicates that white bass and stripers may have them on the run just beneath the surface.
Surprisingly, one can have a successful bass fishing experience most any time of year here, as these fish can be targeting even during times of extreme heat using downriggers, especially when backed by white or yellow bucktail jigs set around 20-30 feet. Expect summertime expeditions to also lead to health catches of sunfish, crappie, and sizable catfish. As the largest freshwater body amid the Highland Lakes, count on Lake Buchannan to be a worthwhile venture that is a “must-do” for any avid angler planning to visit the region, regardless of the time of year.
Lynn is a novice fisherman whose first fishing excursion took place at the Highland Lakes, an area she enjoys writing about and promoting to visitors.