By Jim Hagerty
Located in San Antonio, Texas, Calaveras Lake is a sprawling and popular fishing lake for a variety of species. Known mostly for its catfish population and ample freshwater drum fishing, Calaveras also houses many active and sizable largemouth bass. The key to catching bass in Calaveras Lake lies in understanding the waters and bass behavior.
Bass, much like in other parts of the country, spawn in early spring. The Texas temperature usually promotes earlier spawning conditions than cooler areas of the United States. With Calaveras Lake’s south-central location, bass commonly spawn between February and early May, which is when the water temperature reaches 65 to 70 degrees. Near spawning season, a variety of live bait and floating lures are used in or near beds.
Summer bass fishing in Calaveras Lake can be a bit slow. Most bass, during the hot season, head for deeper and cooler waters and feed on crayfish, small minnows and worms. With a little patience, a Texas rig with a sinker outfitted with a live leech, night crawler or plastic worm often entices a bass in the deep. At dusk and dawn, floating lures are effective in shallow pools.
Calaveras Lake usually produces ample bass fishing after the hot season. As water temperatures cool, bass will rise and scan the shallows more than during summer. Jerkbaits, jigs, spinners and shad are effective in catching Calaveras fall bass.
Because of its often tepid water, the most successful bass fishing in Calaveras Lake involves trolling, especially during late spring and summer. Most anglers use mid-to-high-voltage trolling motors and scan the entire lake in a few hours. At dusk and dawn, bank and pier fishing near vegetation and shorelines can be effective until bass head for deeper pools.
From the Feb. 17-23, 2010 issue