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AHQ INSIDER Lake Jocassee (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated August 21

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Jocassee fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-jocassee-sc-fall-2019-fishing-report/

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 bassmixed 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 basspattern 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 reallyearly 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 basspattern 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 reallyearly 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 bassfishing 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 reallyearly 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 troutfishing 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 troutfishing 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 basspattern from Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041).

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