AHQ INSIDER Lake Jocassee (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 20 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- November 20 Lake Jocassee is at 94.9% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures are around 66 degrees on the main lake. The bass fishing is nothing short o -- November 20 Lake Jocassee is at 94.9% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures are around 66 degrees on the main lake. The bass fishing is nothing short o Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Lake Jocassee (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 20

November 20

Lake Jocassee is at 94.9% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures are around 66 degrees on the main lake.

The bass fishing is nothing short of excellent on Lake Jocassee, and on the one hand Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that the action for numbers of spotted bass is very strong.  In a recent trip they caught about forty nice spots up rivers, with most fish in 20-40 feet of water.  Fish are mixed between suspended and on the bottom, with about half of the fish each way.

It’s hard to tell if the fish are on bait schools, and really the easiest way to locate them is to idle around and look on your electronics.  Sometimes they will push bait to the surface, but that is only sporadic.  Jigging spoons, drop shot rigs, underspins, and of course live bait will all catch fish, and they have also been picking up some good catfish on the bottom.

There are also some really, really big largemouth biting well – like the 8-pound 12-ounce fish pictured below.  They have moved relatively shallow and they are feeding up for winter.  Right now aggressive largemouth will chase big moving baits.

Guide Rob McComas shows off a monster caught this week

The trout fishing has gotten pretty slow on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that even though they are still marking plenty of fish in 60-90 feet they are just not biting very well.  There are some fish on the graph in 30-60 feet, but those are likely bass.

Even though the bite is tough right now it should turn on very soon, and by the end of December the fishing should be fantastic in 20-60 feet of water with spoons and live bait.  The water is cooling quickly and so the fish should move shallower and start feeding any day now.

October 30

Lake Jocassee is at 94.8% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures have cooled to about 72 or 73, and with little rainfall the lake is as clear as it gets.

It’s partly a seasonal thing, but Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that bass fishing has gotten really, really good in the last week or two on Lake Jocassee.  They have caught thirty plus fish on each of the last couple of trips, up to largemouth in the 5-pound range.  Fish are grouped by size, and in the last trip they first got into a school of small spotted bass, then a school of bigger spotted bass, and then a school of nice largemouth.

Most of the fish Rob is catching are in between 20 and 40 feet of water, but they are coming up to eat.  Topwater lures are dominating the catch.  There has been a migration of fish into the creeks, and while some of them are around timber the larger pattern is that they are following schools of bait.  If the bait is close to the bank then fish have been close to the bank, and if bait is in the middle of the channel the fish are there.

Random schooling activity has been sighted, but riding the lake and looking for schooling fish is rarely a productive pattern on Jocassee.  But you should still keep your eyes open right now!

There are certainly some deeper fish that can be caught in 60+ feet of water over the tops of trees, and either a jigging spoon or a drop shot rig will work for them.

A nice largemouth caught yesterday on Jocassee

A nice largemouth caught yesterday on Jocassee

They are still plugging away for trout on Jocassee, and even though Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that this is not the best time of the year some nice browns with beautiful spawning colors are still being caught.  They are making up a mixed bag with some catfish and good numbers of spotted bass.

There is still very little change in the pattern, and the best fishing is still trolling in 60-90 feet of water in the main lake and the section of the Whitewater River in the main pool.  Some of the best action is coming trolling beside the timber in the Whitewater.

Both spoons and live bait will catch fish.

October 17

Lake Jocassee is at 94.5% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures have cooled to about 76 or 77 in the big water, and clarity is normal (very clear).

October and November are not usually the best months for trout fishing on Jocassee, but Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that they are still catching some nice fish and decent numbers.  At times they are getting a mixed bag, and Sunday they caught one rainbow, one brown, four spotted bass, and one catfish.

Even though temperatures have dropped a little there is very little change in the deep water temperature, and you still have to go down to about 90 feet to hit 60 degrees.  That means the best pattern is still trolling in 60-85 feet of water in the main lake and the section of the Whitewater River in the main pool.  Except for bass not much is being caught in the creeks.

While Sam’s boat is still mainly trolling spoons, if the fish seem particularly finicky or you want to troll the tree tops (where it’s easy to lose lures) live bait is a good option.

A nice brown trout caught with Guide Sam Jones

A nice brown trout caught with Guide Sam Jones

Bass remain in a similar pattern, and Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that the best bet is still probing laydowns in fairly deeper water.  Fish are starting to move into the front section of creeks, and as temperatures really drop the next step will be to look from the mouths to halfway back in the rivers and creeks.  It should still be some time before the backs really turn on.  Depending on water levels there will be more or less laydowns available to fish, as there needs to be plenty of water on the deep side for cover to be productive.  Topwater lures and swimbaits can both be effective.

The other main pattern right now is fishing around points, and there will be schools of spotted bass as well as generally smaller largemouth relating to the points.  Look for about 30 feet of water and fish a drop shot worm.

October 2

Lake Jocassee is at 95.2% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures remain in the lower 80s over most the of the lake, and clarity is normal (very clear).

Continuing the bass pattern that he was fishing in September, Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that the best bet is still probing laydowns in fairly deeper water.  For right now fish are closer to the big water, but when temperatures finally cool he will look for them to move into the mouths and then about halfway back in the rivers and creeks.  It should be some time before the backs really turn on.  Depending on water levels there will be more or less laydowns available to fish, as there needs to be plenty of water on the deep side for cover to be productive.  Topwater lures and swimbaits can both be effective.

The other main pattern right now is fishing around points, and there will be schools of spotted bass as well as generally smaller largemouth relating to the points.  Look for about 30 feet of water and fish a drop shot worm.

Guide Rob McComas with a point fish caught last week on Jocassee

Guide Rob McComas with a point fish caught last week on Jocassee

On the trout front, Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that the fishing has gotten very slow.  We are coming into what are usually two of the toughest months of the year for trout fishing on Lake Jocassee, and it is usually not until December that fishing really starts to pick up.

The best pattern right now is to troll in 60-80 feet of water around the tree tops, as in the fall Jocassee trout usually become more structure-oriented.  It is also a good time to switch over to live bait, both because fish are finicky and because it is more palatable to lose live bait in the trees than pricy spoons!

September 19

Lake Jocassee is down to 93.9% of full pool.  Morning surface temperatures are in the lower 80s over most the of the lake, and while much of the lake is very clear there are some stained areas in the very backs due to recent northeast winds.

Just back from a trip on Jocassee yesterday, Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that he is catching largemouth bass related to trees.  They are around any trees where the end of the tree is in at least 15 feet of water, and he is still having the best luck running this pattern with topwater lures like walking baits.  Right now the best concentrations of largemouth seem to be in the rivers.

While spotted bass can certainly be caught in the rivers, Rob is having the best success pursuing them around rock points or rock bluffs in the main, lower lake.  He has found schools from 20-45 feet, but the best numbers are in 25-35 feet.  Drop shot rigs with a purple worm have been working the best.

Rob with a nice one caught yesterday

Rob with a nice one caught yesterday

On the trout front, Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that the bite is starting to slow down, although bass and catfish continue to provide some extra action.  The pattern is pretty much unchanged and fish are still in the 70-90 foot range, at the dam as well as on the other side of the main lake at the mouth of the Whitewater River.  Spoons seem to be working the best.

September 9

Lake Jocassee is down to 95.2% of full pool.  Surface temperatures remain about 80 degrees in the big water first thing, although they are warmer in the backs.  The water remains typically clear.

They are still plugging away at the trout on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that even though the bite is not hot they are still getting fish – and some nice ones. Mornings remain better than afternoons. Fish are still in the 70-90 foot range, at the dam as well as on the other side of the main lake at the mouth of the Whitewater River.  Spoons are still working well enough that Sam’s boat is not fishing live bait.

On some days when the trout fishing has been a little slow the bass have saved trips, and on one recent outing the trout weren’t eating very well but then they trolled up a 4-pound, 3 ½ pound, and a 2-pound spotted bass at the same time.  Generally the bass are coming in the same general depth range but a little shallower at 60-80 feet.

A triple caught this week with Guide Sam Jones

A triple caught this week with Guide Sam Jones

While right now much of the action for bass is very deep on Lake Jocassee, if it will ever cool  Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) expects a new pattern to open up and stay good for some time.  It is primarily a largemouth pattern, and they will become more structure-oriented and relate to the trees more.  The basic pattern is to run as many laydowns as possible, eliminating any cover where the end of the tree is not in at least 15 feet of water.  Jocassee is so steep that this does not exclude much.   The best bait is some sort of topwater lure like a walking bait, and this pattern usually starts off in the rivers and creeks before the main lake laydowns really turn on.  The best days are overcast and/ or rainy but this can also be a sunny day pattern.

Trolling spoons or live bait will obviously catch spotted bass, but it also possible to fish for them around deep timber with drop shots.  However, this can be a difficult technique in heavy cover.

September 4

Lake Jocassee is at 97.2% of full pool.  Surface temperatures have cooled to about 80 degrees in the big water first thing, although they are warmer in the backs.  The water remains very clear.

September can be a tough month for catching trout on Lake Jocassee, but Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that they are still pecking away at the fish.  Mornings remain better than afternoons.  Fish are still in the 70-90 foot range, from the dam as well as on the other side of the main lake at the mouth of the Whitewater River.  Spoons are still working well enough that Sam’s boat is not fishing live bait.

There are still a lot of spotted bass mixed in with the trout, also in the 70-90 foot range, running up to some nice 3+ pound fish.

A good morning with Guide Sam Jones

A good morning with Guide Sam Jones

While right now much of the action for bass is very deep on Lake Jocassee, very soon  Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) expects a new pattern to open up and stay good for some time.  It is primarily a largemouth pattern, and they will become more structure-oriented and relate to the trees more.  The basic pattern is to run as many laydowns as possible, eliminating any cover where the end of the tree is not in at least 15 feet of water.  Jocassee is so steep that this does not exclude much.   The best bait is some sort of topwater lure like a walking bait, and this pattern usually starts off in the rivers and creeks before the main lake laydowns really turn on.  The best days are overcast and/ or rainy but this can also be a sunny day pattern.

Trolling spoons or live bait will obviously catch spotted bass, but it also possible to fish for them around deep timber with drop shots.  However, this can be a difficult technique in heavy cover.

August 21

Lake Jocassee is at 98.7% of full pool.  Surface temperatures have warmed to around 83 in the big water first thing.  The water remains very clear, even for Jocassee.

The catches of big trout have slowed down a bit more, but Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that they are still having some strong mornings.  Afternoons have gotten a little tougher.  Fish are generally in the 70-90 foot range, and while most of the fish are coming at the dam they have caught some nice fish on the other side of the main lake at the mouth of the Whitewater River.  Spoons are still working well enough that Sam’s boat is not fishing live bait.

Sam notes that they are marking a ton of bait, threadfin shad and blueback herring, which is a mixed blessing.  Overall this is good because it makes for fatter fish, but it can make trout harder to catch when there is already a buffet laid out in front of them!

A beautiful rainbow trout caught this week with Guide Sam Jones

A beautiful rainbow trout caught this week with Guide Sam Jones

An exciting development is that they are starting to catch more spotted bass mixed in with the trout, also in the 70-90 foot range.  This has included some nice 3+ pound fish.

While right now much of the action for bass is very deep on Lake Jocassee, very soon  Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) expects a new pattern to open up and stay good for some time.  It is primarily a largemouth pattern, and they will become more structure-oriented and relate to the tree tops more.  The basic pattern is to run as many laydowns as possible, eliminating any cover where the end of the tree is not in at least 15 feet of water.  Jocassee is so steep that this does not exclude much.   The best bait is some sort of topwater lure like a walking bait, and this pattern usually starts off in the rivers and creeks before the main lake laydowns really turn on. The best days are overcast and/ or rainy but this can also be a sunny day pattern.

Trolling spoons or live bait will obviously catch spotted bass, but it also possible to fish for them around deep timber with drop shots.  However, this can be a difficult technique in heavy cover.

July 29

Lake Jocassee is at 99.3% of full pool.  Surface temperatures are still around 80 in the big water first thing but warmer in the backs.  The water is very clear, even for Jocassee.

The catches of big trout have slowed down a little this week, but Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that they are still catching a lot of nice 2-4 pound fish.  Fish have gotten a little deeper into the 70-100 foot range, and they are still catching fish in the big water near the dam as well as at the mouths of the rivers.  Time of day does not seem to make a huge difference, typical when the fish get this deep, and often the best bite is still mid-morning.  They are still exclusively pulling spoons and have not messed with live bait.

A good morning with Sam Jones

A good morning with Sam Jones

There’s not a lot of change in the recommended bass pattern on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that night fishing is still the best idea.

Probably the most consistent way to catch fish at night is using green pumpkin, watermelon, and junebug finesse or trick worms/ centipedes.  Fishing the points in 30-40 feet is a good pattern.

There is also some activity in the really early morning hours related to the Bad Creek water release.  This occurs around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, and fish can be caught on spoons or around the riprap with jigs and worms.

It’s also important to keep your eyes open for surface activity, and sometimes fish will come up during the day – particularly after thunderstorms or on overcast days. Spooks are a good option when you see fish break because you can make long casts.

If you must fish during the day in the heat of summer, working deep points with the same worms you would fish at night is a possibility.

One other trick right now is to look for freshwater flowing into the lake in the backs of creeks, as it could be a bit cooler and have more oxygen.  The backs of creeks and rivers can be particularly good after periods of heavy rain when you can fish a spinnerbait or jig.

July 18

Lake Jocassee is at 98.6% of full pool.  Surface temperatures are around 80 in the big water first thing, and rising into the low-80s  during the day.  Water clarity is normal (very clear).

You could be forgiven for not thinking that July in South Carolina and monster brown trout belong in the same sentence, but this week you would be wrong!  On Sunday Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) had an 11-pound, 28 inch fish landed on his boat, one of the biggest trout to come out of Jocassee in some time.  The huge fish was caught in 85 feet of water, consistent with the 70-90 foot range where they have generally been catching them.  Sam’s boat has only caught one fish recently that was outside of that range, in 105 feet.

The best trout fishing is in the big water right now, and although a lot of it is taking place near the dam there are also some fish being caught at the mouths of the rivers. Time of day does not seem to make a huge difference, typical when the fish get this deep, and the big fish came well after daylight at 10:30 a.m.  They have been exclusively pulling spoons and have not messed with live bait.

An 11-pounder caught off Guide Sam Jones' boat

An 11-pounder caught Sunday off Guide Sam Jones’ boat

There’s not a lot of change in the recommended bass pattern on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that night fishing is still the best idea.

Probably the most consistent way to catch fish at night is using green pumpkin, watermelon, and junebug finesse or trick worms/ centipedes.  Fishing the points in 30-40 feet is a good pattern.

There is also some activity in the really early morning hours related to the Bad Creek water release.  This occurs around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, and fish can be caught on spoons or around the riprap with jigs and worms.

It’s also important to keep your eyes open for surface activity, and sometimes fish will come up during the day – particularly after thunderstorms or on overcast days.  Spooks are a good option when you see fish break because you can make long casts.

If you must fish during the day in the heat of summer, working deep points with the same worms you would fish at night is a possibility.

One other trick right now is to look for freshwater flowing into the lake in the backs of creeks, as it could be a bit cooler and have more oxygen.  The backs of creeks and rivers can be particularly good after periods of heavy rain when you can fish a spinnerbait or jig.

June 24

Lake Jocassee is up to 99.4% of full pool, and although the main lake remains very clear there is some debris floating in the water from recent storms.  Morning surface temperatures are in the mid-70s at the dam, up to 77 or 78 in the rivers.

It’s not a particularly popular time for bass fishing on Lake Jocassee, but Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) says that there are a few ways you can catch them right now.

After periods of heavy rain, it’s a good time to fish the backs of creeks and rivers.  Both spinnerbaits and jigs will work.

Probably the most consistent way to catch fish is at night, using green pumpkin, watermelon, and junebug finesse or trick worms/ centipedes.  Fishing the points in 30-40 feet is a good pattern.  There is also some activity in the really early morning hours related to the Bad Creek water release.  This occurs around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, and fish can be caught on spoons or around the riprap with jigs and worms.

It’s also important to keep your eyes open for surface activity, and sometimes fish will come up during the day – particularly after thunderstorms or on overcast days.  Spooks are a good option when you see fish break because you can make long casts.

If you must fish during the day in the heat of summer, working deep points with the same worms you would fish at night is a possibility.

Lake Jocassee trout fishing remains very strong, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports there is no change to the pattern.  Fish have still not gone deep.

A little rain didn't keep this bass from being caught by Rob McComas' boat

A little rain didn’t keep this Lake Lure bass from being caught by Rob McComas’ boat

June 20

Lake Jocassee is at 97.6% of full pool.  Surface temperatures are in the upper 70s, and clarity is normal.

Lake Jocassee trout fishing remains very strong, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that they continue to catch good numbers on most trips.  In a half day on Tuesday they caught nine!  The predominant pattern remains trolling 50-60 feet down near the dam, although a few fish have come as deep as 75 feet.  They have also caught some fish in Whitewater River near the main body of the lake.

Hardware is still working well enough that there is no need to mess with live bait, and fish continue to feed throughout the day.

A good morning for fish up to 6 pounds with Sam Jones

A good morning for fish up to 6 pounds with Sam Jones

June 3

Lake Jocassee is at 98.2% of full pool.  Surface temperatures in the morning average about 75 degrees, and the lake is very clear again.

Lake Jocassee trout fishing is very strong right now, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that on most trips they are catching several good fish.  Yesterday they caught five, including a 5 plus pounder (pictured below).  Fish are not very deep, with 40-70 feet the best depth range.  Most of the action is at the dam, and it continues throughout the day. There are flurries when you will get more bites, but any time can be productive.

Sam’s boat is pretty much only pulling hardware, although live bait will work as well.

A good day yesterday with Guide Sam Jones

A good day yesterday with Guide Sam Jones

There is no change to the Jocassee bass pattern from Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041).

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