Lake Travis is an 18,930-acre reservoir located in the northwest corner of Austin, Texas. It is the largest of the Highland Lakes chain, and is fed by the Colorado River. Lake Travis is over 60 miles long and the deepest point is 190 feet in depth.
Lake Travis is home to several species of fish, with the Largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish being the most predominant species. On January 25th, 1993, James Penny set the lake record for Largemouth bass. The bass weighed 14.21 pounds and was 28 inches in length. Ray Ward set the record for Blue catfish on July 16th, 2005 with a fish weighing 41 pounds and measuring 41 inches in length.; David McGruffy set the Flathead catfish record on May 18th, 2003 with a fish that weighed 24.69 pounds and measured 38.25 inches in length.
Due to the ever-changing water levels and the lack of significant vegetation, fishing can be both rewarding and challenging to even the most seasoned angler. The best places to fish for bass are points, docks, and especially the numerous coves scattered throughout the lake. During the spring and summer, watermelon flukes and worms, chrome rattletraps, and chrome topwater baits work well for Largemouth bass. Catfishing is best with night crawlers and bait shrimp. In the fall and winter months, pumpkinseed worms, shad or chartreuse crankbaits, and chrome topwaters work well for bass. Catfishing is best when using night crawlers or fresh cut bait.
Lake Travis abounds with water recreation. Since its water is crystal clear year round, it naturally attracts water sport enthusiasts. From multi-class sailboat and windsurfing regattas to competition ski boat, cruisers, cigarette boats, and mansion-like houseboats. There is something for the whole family at Lake Travis. Campgrounds include Arkansas Bend, Mansfield Dam, Pace Bend Park and Sandy Creek just to name a few. All of these facilities have boat ramps. There are numerous boat and Jet Ski rental opportunities around Lake Travis such as VIP Marina, Lakeway Marina, and Emerald Point Marina. For large parties, you can rent Large Marge", a double decker pontoon boat at Highland Lakes Marina. You can take a parasail ride at AirScape Parasail, ride down water slides at Volente Beach Waterpark, and the true naturalist can visit Hippy Hollow, a public clothing optional park.
To get to Arkansas Bend, take US Route 183 to FM 1431. Go south for eleven miles to Lohmans Ford Road, turn left, and go four and a half miles to Sylvester Ford Road. Turn left and travel one and a half miles to the park entrance.
To get to the Mansfield Dam Park take FM 2222 to RR 620. Turn left, and travel south five miles. Turn right onto Mansfield Dam Road, just south of the dam. The park entrance is on your left.
To get to Pace Bend Park (thirty miles west of Austin), take Texas 71 west to RR 2322 (Pace Bend Park Road). Turn right, and travel four and a half miles to the park entrance.
To get to Sandy Creek Park, take FM 2222 (Bullick Hollow Road) west two and a half miles to FM 2769. Turn left and travel 4 miles to the town of Volente. In Volente, turn right onto Lime Creek Road and follow for six miles to the park entrance on the left.
[Sources for information include Texas Parks and Wildlife and the LCRA]