Review of Lake LBJ
Lake LBJ is one of the Highland Lakes which include: Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin. The largest towns on the lake include Marble Falls, Kingsland, and Horseshoe Bay — all of which offer a number of things to do off of the water. Lake LBJ is fed by the Llano and Colorado Rivers and is 22 miles long, 10,800 feet wide at it's maximum point, and is a constant level lake varying less than a foot or two annually. There are some shallow spots on the lake which will rip your prop to shreds, so keep an eye out for some of the shallow water buoys.
Lake LBJ is highly developed and covered with some very large and beautiful homes, particularly on Applehead Island which is part of Horseshoe Bay. The homes up the Colorado river also make for some very good cruising.
Lake LBJ is very popular and can get crowded with boats and jet skis, particularly up the Colorado River, so be careful. There are a few coves and one sandy beach for anchoring, swimming, and rafting up.
Lake LBJ offers plenty of rental properties, a few RV parks, and some hotels. You can find some good information on Lake LBJ, marinas, restaurants, resorts, boat rentals and rental properties on this interactive Lake LBJ Map.
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A typical Texas Outsider day consists of cruising either the Colorado River or the Applehead Island canals and marveling at the big, expensive, and beautiful homes. It's easy to find Applehead Island, just head toward the dam and look for all the big homes on the south side of the lake.
We also like to find a cove and swim or beach the boat on the sand bar on the Sunrise Beach arm of the lake. You'll usually find a big crowd here frolicking in the water, playing volleyball, and having a good time.
Outside of cruising the homes, swimming, or fishing, there isn't much else to do on the lake. You can boat over to Storms or Lake LBJ Resort & Marina for lunch. The Colorado arm is excellent for skiing and has some beautiful homes. You can cruise around Horseshoe Bay and marvel at the huge, beautiful multi-million dollar homes.
The Llano arm past the bridge is good for skiing and has nice sandy beaches. The same is true for the Sunrise Beach arm, but the bottom can be nasty in certain spots. Just past the big homes on the south side of the lake and just before you get to the homes along the peninsula with the lighthouse is another shallow area for rafting up, swimming, and socializing.
Here is a link to our Lake LBJ Boat Rentals Page.
If you like golf, Horseshoe Bay has 3 of the best courses in the State, Packsaddle is very fun, and Blue Lake is good nine hole course. You can find out about other local golf courses and read reviews and ratings on the golf section of Texas Outside.
Within 50 miles of Lake LBJ you will find plenty of things to do including: wineries, restaurants, caverns, shopping, and more. Visit the Discover Texas.
Lake LBJ doesn't offer a lot of choices for sitting on the deck, eating some good food, sipping a cold one, and listing to some music -- in fact, we haven't found anyplace on the lake that offers all of that except for our friend's lake house. A new restaurant opened in 2016 at dam - Forno's Bar & Grill - with lakeside dining.
If there isn't a lot of boat traffic, the Colorado River or Llano River offer some smooth water. Otherwise, try to find some good water near the dam or one of the smaller coves.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there are a few smallmouth bass in the lower end of the reservoir. The reservoir also has a moderate density white bass population with runs occurring up the Llano River in the spring (February-May). Lake LBJ's white crappie population is the best of any of the Highland Lakes chain. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish are abundant and occur throughout the reservoir.
Here are some tips and techniques provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Largemouth bass anglers have their best success on this reservoir during the spring and fall months. Largemouths on this reservoir are noted for staying shallow regardless of the time of the year. Flipping the scattered water willow patches with worms and jigs can be productive year round. When the bass aren't in the water willow, there are thousands of docks to flip and pitch to. Docks in the Colorado River arm of the lake near deeper water can be especially good. In the lower section of the reservoir where the water generally remains clear, topwater lures, metal flake willowleaf spinnerbaits, and shallow- to medium- depth crankbaits work well along rocky banks. In early spring (February-March) the many canals and small drains on this lake warm quickly, bringing in bass preparing for the spawn. Starting in February, white bass begin their annual spawning run up the Llano and Colorado River arms. Productive lures for white bass include twister tail jigs, small hair jigs, small crankbaits, and small topwaters. Live-bait fishing with minnows is also productive. The Lions Club boat ramp in Kingsland offers close access for anglers wishing to fish for white bass in the upper reaches of the Llano River above Lake LBJ during the spawning run. Crappie fishing can be good on this lake, especially around docks and man-made brushpiles. Catfish anglers can find channel, blue, and flathead catfish throughout the reservoir. Stinkbaits and cutbaits work well for the blues and channel cats, while live bait is preferred for large flathead catfish.
If you are looking for a fishing guide who knows Lake LBJ and where to hook the big ones, you need to contact Joe Bray's Guide Service - home (830 693-3799), cell (512 417-7212) or email Joe at email@example.com. Good luck.
There are 5 or 6 places to get gas and ice on the lake - check out this interactive Lake LBJ Map to find some.