Freshwater Fishing Trip Rotation – Self-chartered


The following is a rotation list for self-chartered freshwater fishing trips on central Texas lakes within 90 miles of Austin.  We primarily target largemouth bass but can also go after crappie, white bass, hybrids, and/or stripers, so be prepared (for reel, line, and lure recommendations see the bottom of this page).

As I, Randy Rowley, have a full-time Monday – Friday job, am not a guide, fish on Saturday’s or state of Texas holidays (usually), and fish on highly pressured lakes, do not expect to always catch limits on these trips.

We will fish either Lakes Travis, Bastrop, Fayette, Decker, Stillhouse Hollow, Belton, Lady Bird, Austin, or a creek such as Yegua off of Somerville during the white bass run.  I can take up to two fishermen (three if they’re smaller) on my boat (not 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 (unless we’re fishing a creek during the white bass run, in which case we’ll be on foot).  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 primarily 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 agree how we will fish before we leave as people who want to fish with lures will become frustrated if the boat isn’t moving often and people who want to fish with live bait will become frustrated if the boat is moving (as movement will drown the minnows).

Decker and Bastrop have 14 – 21″ slot limits.  That means that you can keep up to five bass under 14″ or up to four bass under 14″ and one bass over 21″.  Anything between 14 – 21″ must be returned to the water.  The reason that they do this is they’re small lakes and this ensures that there will be a lot of 1 – 5 lb. fish for people to catch.  If everyone kept their limit every time they went to those lakes the lake would soon have no bass.  Fayette has a 14 – 24″ slot limit for the same reason.


  • 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 (at least two in case you break one; I usually fish with eight).
  • Lures.
  • Headlamp/cap light (preferred) or flashlight (to help ready my boat for launch).
  • Cap/hat (optional).
  • Sunglasses (optional).
  • Sunscreen (optional).
  • Bug repellent (optional).
  • Drinks and snacks (optional; drinks are highly recommended).
  • A small ice chest or bag 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 in and storage compartments to put your snacks in).
  • Rain gear, if rain is predicted.

I have five life jackets so you won’t need one.

I have extras of many of the items that are listed above and will happily loan them if you let me know before we leave.  Of course, if you borrow something and break or lose it I will expect reimbursement.

Being on this rotation is a privilege and is not an 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 truck and boat 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 following people are on the Bass Fishing Rotation for 2020:

  1. Nathan Hoeft
  2. Roy Zengerle
  3. Roland and Lena Olivarez or grandson
  4. Dustin Rhodes
  5. Kevin McConnell
  6. Jonathan Fleming
  7. Earl and Janet Prochnick
  8. Chris Campbell
  9. Jeff Cates
  10. Jim McGee
  11. Burl and Daniel Fulenwider
  12. Mike Pozhenko
  13. Darryl Swann
  14. Harold and Edward Terry
  15. Zack and Yuri Tomlinson
  16. Monalisa Almanza and child
  17. Ryan and Claire Rowley
  18. Chris Rowley

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

  1. Bill Smith
  2. Flint and Harrison DeShazo
  3. Jeff Cates
  4. Ryan and Claire Rowley
  5. Jeff Peterson and sons
  6. Rex Yokum
  7. David Lesser and sons
  8. Nathan Hoeft
  9. Eddy and DaLee Trevino
  10. Monalisa Almanza and child
  11. Roy Zengerle
  12. Jim McGee
  13. Earl and Janet Prochnick
  14. Roland and Lena Olivarez or grandson
  15. Dustin Rhodes
  16. Burl and Daniel Fulenwider
  17. Binh Chu
  18. Mike Walsh
  19. Chris Rowley
  20. Steve Fusco
  21. Kevin McConnell
  22. Jonathan Fleming
  23. Chris Campbell
  24. Harold and Edward Terry
  25. Mike Pozhenko
  26. Darryl Swann
  27. Zack and Yuri Tomlinson

Lure recommendations for Bass

Topwaters – walk the dog lures like Heddon’s Zara Spook, Zara Spook Jr., or Zara Puppy, Xcalibur’s Spittin’ Image, or Rapala’s Skitter V; poppers like Heddon’s Chugger 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 River2Sea’s Phat Mat Daddy, Bully Wa II, and Spittin’ Wa, Lunkerhunt’s Lunker Frog, Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frogs, American Baitworks’ Scum Frog Bigfoot, Scum Dog, and Scum Frog Popper, and toad style baits such as Stanley’s 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.

Slabs/spoons – 1/2 – 1 1/2 ounce in white, silver, chartreuse, or combos of those colors.  These are particularly good for white bass, hybrids, stripers, and largemouth bass along steep rocky ledges.

Soft plastics (usually will only attract largemouth bass – not whites, hybrids, or stripers) – Zoom finesse worms, flukes, crawdads, lizards, or baby brush hogs, 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 or 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.  Toad style baits like Stanley’s Ribbits and Frog style baits like Lunkerhunt’s Lunker Frog and Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog are good early and late in grassy areas or lily pads.  Soft swimbaits are good in the grass.

Lure Recommendations for Crappie (also good for white bass in creeks)

Crappie jigs (1/16, 1/8, or 1/4 ounce and crappie grubs such as the Bobby Garland Mo’Glo (glow-in-the-dark) 2″ Baby Shad or Hyper Grub in Ghost Sparkle or Ghastly Minnow).

Spinners – inline spinners such as the Mepps Aglia Ultra Lite spinners (1/18 ounce with a gold blade and yellow wool) and Blakemore Roadrunners (1/8 ounce white or chartreuse, the grub version).

Line Recommendations for Bass Reels

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.

Spinning reels can usually handle heavier line that spin-cast reels, but they shine as finesse applications, so I recommend 8 – 10 lb. fluorocarbon or lighter.

For topwater baitcasting reels use mono in 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).

For crankbait/spinnerbait/chatterbait/jerk bait baitcasting reels use fluorocarbon in 12 – 15 lb. test.

For soft plastics reels use fluorocarbon in 12 – 15 lb. test or braid in 30 – 50 lb. test (braid does not have the same thickness as fluorocarbon or mono – 40 lb. braid = 12 lb. fluorocarbon or mono).

Line Recommendations for Crappie Reels

Have a spinning reel spooled with fluorocarbon or mono in 2 – 6 lb. test, the lighter the better.

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

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