Self-chartered Largemouth Bass Rotation


The following is a rotation list for self-chartered largemouth bass fishing on central Texas lakes within 90 miles of Austin.  We will fish either Lakes Travis, Bastrop, Fayette, Decker, Stillhouse Hollow, Belton, Lady Bird, or Austin.  I, Randy Rowley, can take up to two fishermen on my boat (three, counting me).  Trips will usually be six to ten hours, counting travel time, unless the fish are biting well, in which case we may decide to fish later, or if they’re not biting well or at all, in which case we may decide to quit earlier.

We will fish out of my 20′ 3″ 2019 Excel Bay Pro 203 with a 115 HP Yahama motor, an 80 lb. thrust trolling motor, and a fish finder.  I usually will have at least one of these trips a month during non-hunting months (February through August), but will not guarantee a set number of times.

We will fish with artificial lures.  I’m willing to fish part or all of the time with live or dead bait, but everyone in the boat must fish with live or dead bait or none of us will, as the boat needs to be moving for artificial lures and it shouldn’t move when fishing with minnows (as movement will drown the minnows).  If one guy is trying to fish with live or dead bait and another guy is trying to fish with lures then one or the other will be unhappy.

How the Rotation Works – Fishermen who want to participate must sign, if they have not already, a lifetime FCS Liability WaiverYou do not have to be an FCS member to be added to this rotation; however, the Event Hierarchy (pecking order) applies.  Whenever I’m about to lead a self-chartered bass fishing trip I’ll send an email to the people on the rotation.  I’ll say something like, “On Saturday, XX/XX/XX, I’ll lead a self-chartered bass fishing trip on Lake Bastrop (for example).  Let me know if you’re interested in going before XX/XX/XX.  As always, the rotation and Event Hierarchy (pecking order) apply to events where we have a limit on the number of people that we can take.”

The following people are on the Bass Fishing Rotation list for the 20XX season (this is fictional):

  1. Tim
  2. Ron
  3. Bob
  4. Roy
  5. Jim
  6. Joe

So, let’s say that Ron, Roy, and Joe all want to go on the Bastrop trip.  As I prefer to fish with only three fishermen (counting myself) when we’re fishing with lures for safety’s sake, I’ll only take two of them.  In this case, Ron and Roy would get to go, as they are above Joe in the rotation.  After a fisherman goes on one of my self-chartered bass fishing trips I move him or her to the bottom of the rotation.  So, after the Bastrop trip, the rotation would be revised to the below.

Whenever a fisherman asks to join the rotation I start him or her at the bottom of the list.  I want to stress that if someone who is on the rotation says no, or doesn’t respond, to an offer to go on a trip he or she will never drop in the rotation.  Nor can anyone leapfrog him or her in the rotation.  The only exception to the rotation is the boat captain/host always gets to go.  Just as rotating ensures that everyone on a volleyball team has an opportunity to serve and play by the net, rotating the event lists in this manner ensures that everyone eventually will be near the top of the list.

  1. Tim
  2. Bob
  3. Jim
  4. Joe
  5. Ron
  6. Roy


  • We’ll split the vehicle and boat gas (the amount depends on the distance traveled and the number of people sharing the gas).
  • There is also often a per person park entrance fee (usually $5 each) or a boat launch fee that we will split (no more than $5 each).
  • If we take a toll road, because we’re running late, we’ll split that fee.
  • We’ll also stop at Whataburger on the way to the lake and will probably stop for brunch on the way home.

What to Bring:

  • Freshwater fishing license
  • Rods and Reels
  • Lures
  • Headlamp/cap light (preferred) or flashlight (to help ready my boat for launch)
  • Cap/hat (optional)
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Sunscreen (optional)
  • Drinks and snacks (optional; drinks are highly recommended)
  • A small ice chest to take fish home in, if we decide to keep them (I usually return largemouth bass to the water; there will be a large ice chest on my boat to put your drinks and snacks in)
  • Rain gear if rain is predicted (I have three ponchos on my boat)

If you need to borrow an item(s) let me know before we leave.

Being on this rotation is a privilege and is not a FCS membership benefit.  This rotation is a service to FCS members and guests, but I will not tolerate the below actions.  I can and will remove a person from the rotation for any of the following reasons (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Not fishing in a safe manner, including deliberately not following my instructions and the FCS Fishing Rules during a fishing trip.
  • Not paying your fair share of gas and park entrance fees/boat launch fees.
  • Not paying for items (that are not yours) that you broke or lost (including losing lures that you borrowed).
  • Not helping during a fishing trip (including not helping get the boat back on the trailer).
  • Not talking quietly (bass can hear you and will get away from the sound).
  • Indicating that he or she will attend a fishing trip and then not showing up.
  • A pattern of being more than a few minutes late.
  • A pattern of canceling at the last minute.
  • Not returning my phone calls and/or emails.

The people who will be on the Bass Fishing Rotation list for the 2020 season will be determined in January 2020.

The following people are on the Master Bass Fishing Rotation list:

  1. Bill Smith
  2. Flint and Harrison DeShazo
  3. Jeff Cates
  4. Ryan Rowley
  5. Jeff Peterson and son
  6. Rex Yokum
  7. David Lesser and sons
  8. Nathan Hoeft
  9. Mark Shackleford
  10. Eddy and DaLee Trevino
  11. Monalisa Almanza and child
  12. Roy Zengerle
  13. Jim McGee
  14. Earl and Janet Prochnick
  15. Roland and Lena Olivarez
  16. Dustin Rhodes
  17. Burl and Daniel Fulenwider
  18. Binh Chu
  19. Mike Walsh
  20. Chris Rowley
  21. Steve Fusco

Lure recommendations

Topwaters – walk the dog lures like Heddon’s Zara Spook, Zara Spook Jr., or Zara Puppy or Xcalibur’s Spittin’ Image; poppers like Heddon’s Chuggar Spook or Hula Popper, Storm’s Rattlin’ Chug Bug, or Rebel’s Pop-R; torpedo lures like River2Sea’s Whopper Plopper, Heddon’s Baby Torpedo; and Buzz baits like Booyah’s Buzz Clacker.  Colors – bass, shad, chartreuse, bone, and clear.  For lakes with a lot of grass (such as Bastrop, Decker, and Fayette) you can add frog colored topwaters or plastic frogs such as Lunkerhunt Lunkers, Strike King KVD Sexy Frogs, Scum Frogs (including the Scum Frog Popper) and toad style baits such as Stanley Ribbits.

Lipless crankbaits – Rapala Rattlin’ Rapala, Xcalibur Xr75 , Strike King Red Eye Shad, hard swimbaits, etc.  Colors – bass, shad, perch, red (best in spring), and chartreuse (best in the summer). Crankbaits – Norman Little N, Strom Wiggle Wart, Strike King KVD 2.5 or Pro-Model 3XD, Rapala Shad Rap, Bandit 200, and similar.

Deep divers include Norman’s DD-22, Strike King’s 5XD and 6XD, and Bomber’s Fat Free Shad.  Same colors as the lipless crankbaits.

Jerk baits (stick baits) – Bomber Long A, Rapala Husky Jerk, Rapala X-Rap, Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue, and Storm Thunderstick.  Same colors as the crankbaits.

Spinnerbaits – white, yellow, chartreuse, combo white/yellow or white/chartreuse, watermelon (green), red (in the spring), and black/blue or black/red when it’s dark or there is a heavy overcast.  I prefer spinnerbaits with two blades over one.  The type is not that important but I tend to prefer the Colorado blade.

Soft plastics – Zoom finesse worms, flukes, crawdads, lizards, or baby brushhogs, Berkley power worms, crawdads, or lizards, Senko worms, Yum Dinger worms, Big Bite worms and grubs, Grandebass rattlesnakes, and Roadrunner’s with grub tails.  Colors depend on the time of year and such things as if it’s overcast of sunny.  The general rule is darker colors work best when it’s overcast and during the winter.  Lighter colors work best in the fall, spring, and summer and when it’s sunny.  Some of my favorite colors include Smokin’ Green, Watermelon, Watermelon Red, June Bug, Red Bug, Red Shad, Motor Oil, Pumpkinseed, Dark Blue, and Camo.  Zoom’s Baby Brushhog in pumpkinseed is a good choice for Travis in the fall.  Lizards and crawdads in pumpkinseed are good in the spring.  Frogs like Ribbits, Scum Frogs, and Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog are good in early morning in grassy areas or lily pads.  Soft swimbaits are good in the grass.

Line Recommendations

It depends on the reels that you are using.  Generally for spin cast reels you don’t want to use anything heavier than 10 lb. mono.

For baitcast and spinning reels: Topwater rod/reel – mono 12 – 15 lb. test.  The exception is fishing with frogs, in which case 50 – 65 lb. braid is the best (to cut through weeds, lily pads, etc.; braid also floats).  As most spinning reels through lighter lures better than baitcasting reels, you can use them for more finesse applications.  In such cases, lighter line is a plus.  A lot of people will use 8 – 10 lb. test line when using a spinning reel to throw lures such as 1/4 oz. Roadrunners.

Crankbait/spinnerbait/jerk bait (stick bait) rod/reel – flurocarbon (preferred) or mono 12 – 15 lb. test. Soft plastics rod/reel – braid, fluro, or mono.  Fluro or mono – 12 – 15 lb. test.  Braid – 30 – 65 lb. test (braid does not have the same thickness as mono of fluro (40 lb. braid = 12 lb. mono)).

Let me know at (my preference) or at 512-922-2484 if you would like to be added to this rotation.

Categories : Bass Rotation

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