AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Winter Fishing Report – Updated February 9
Lake Keowee is at 95.4% of full pool. As always water temperatures vary widely on Lake Keowee, from the lower to upper 50s. Clarity is very good.
Guide Brad Fowler reports that Lake Keowee bass are in about the same mood as Lake Hartwell bass, which means that they are as likely to be in 80-90 feet of water as on the bank – and everywhere in between. Unseasonably warm temperatures and a winter that never got truly cold meant that there was never a mass movement of fish out deep, and as a result they are scattered all over the place. Overall fishing is fair to good.
Fish can certainly be caught drop-shotting or fishing jigging spoons around very deep structure, and there have also been a lot of fish caught the same way in 25-45 feet of water. There is also a pretty good shallow bite in the creeks where a lot of fish are cruising, although most of these fish are being caught on finesse-style soft plastics. If you can find some very stained water in the creeks then you can get bit on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Brad notes that there is no rhyme or reason to where fish are up shallow, and they are as likely to be at the back of a long flat as in a shallow pocket near deep water. This is a result of the warm winter.
Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) has also been targeting Lake Keowee bass with live bait, and his boat has picked up a ton of spots in 20-30 feet around the bends of creeks and rivers. These fish are usually on the bottom but can be found suspended throughout the water column depending on conditions. They have also caught a bunch of nice blue catfish between 8 and 20 pounds and even managed this 13 ¼ pound hybrid bass!!!
Lake Keowee is at 96.8% of full pool. Water temperatures vary greatly across the lake, but generally range from the mid- to upper 50s on the lower end to the lower to mid-60s in the 6-Mile Area. Clarity is very good.
Guide Brad Fowler reports that there is little change in the bass fishing on Lake Keowee. The pattern is very similar, but on one recent trip they found the fish holding very tight to the bottom. Spoons and drop shots caught a few fish, but fishing a worm on a jighead very close to the bottom was more effective.
Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that this is the season where he typically spends less time on Lake Hartwell chasing striper and more time fishing for spotted bass on Lake Keowee, and on recent trips his boat has caught good numbers of spotted bass fishing live bait. In a typical morning they have caught 15-30 fish on down-lines, including some nice fish in the 3 ½ pound range. Bill has been concentrating on 40-60 feet of water and marking fish on his graph. He has found the best concentrations of fish by following long coves back until they hit the 40-60 foot depth. Note that he downsizes to 10-pound line on Keowee.
Lake Keowee is at 95.9% of full pool. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper-50s in the majority of the lake and clarity is very good.
Bass are finally starting to settle down in their deep holes on Lake Keowee, even though Guide Brad Fowler reports that water temperatures are still a little behind where they usually are at this time. The fish are slowly getting into a typical winter pattern, and there is a decent bite with good numbers of fish. Fish are being found in 50-60 feet of water around drops, ditches and other depth changes, and there are also some fish as deep as 70-90 feet. Brad reports that birds will sometimes offer clues about where fish are located (even though there isn’t much surface activity on Keowee in the winter), and dropping baits under the birds is usually a good area. Finding bait and fish on the Lowrance is even more productive but can take a little more looking if you don’t know the lake. Drop shot rigs, spoons and fish head spins will all catch fish.