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AHQ INSIDER Lake Jocassee (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated December 2

  • by Jay

December 2

Lake Jocassee is down to 88.2% of full pool and water temperatures have dropped into the mid- to lower-60s.  Clarity remains very good.

In his last bass fishing update Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reported that it was a struggle to catch fish, but luckily with water temperatures having dropped a bit that has really changed.  On recent trips Rob reports seeing a ton of fish up shallow in the rivers, and they have been willing to bite.  On his last trip when he would get hung up and go shallow to retrieve the bait Ron says that he would frequently see a bunch of 4-6 pound largemouth within 5-6 feet of the bank.  At this time of year Rob likes to throw swimbaits, including Huddleston baits which have been working well recently.  Despite how shallow the fish were Rob did not see any topwater activity.

In addition to finding fish shallow in the rivers, the other place Rob was able to locate fish was around main lake points.  This is the time of year when this typically happens, but Rob is still a little surprised that they have showed up there already even though temperatures are warmer than usual.

Another Lake Jocassee beauty caught recently on Guide Rob McComas' boat
Another Lake Jocassee beauty caught recently on Guide Rob McComas’ boat

Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) hasn’t done a lot of troutfishing in the last few weeks, but as of his last trip out he was still finding fish super-deep in 100 plus feet of water.  However, he believes that this may be one of those years when oxygen levels will stabilize all the way down instead of really turning over, in which case fish will be able to disperse all the way throughout the water column.

November 8

Lake Jocassee is down to 89.4% of full pool and water temperatures are around 71 degrees. With no rain clarity remains very high.

It’s been a really tough fall for bass fishing on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) says that it’s not entirely clear why.  The calendar says it’s November, but the water temperature and fish don’t seem to think so.  Normally in October and November Rob says that fish have worked their way back into the creeks and rivers and he has some pretty reliable spots where he can catch them before they turn around and head out the other way.  This fall he has been checking those spots where he has been catching them for years, but they just aren’t producing.  On each trip it’s been tough to get bites and the action has been very sporadic.

It seems that one problem is that the water temperatures just haven’t cooled like they should have, and on one recent trip he found 73 degree water temperatures.  Rob says it’s almost like a late summer, not a fall, pattern.

Some fish are on the banks right now, but they don’t seem to be on good trees or points.  They just seem to be in the middle of nowhere, cruising.  As a result the key has been covering water.  In the fall Rob is a big fan of topwater lures on Jocassee, and walking the dog with a Spook-type bait is one option.  Sometimes the fish will also take flukes.

Finally, in the last few weeks Rob’s boat has caught some fish on shakey heads fished around steep bluff banks in 30-40 feet of water.

Guide Rob McComas with a 6 1/2 pounder caught recently on Lake Jocassee
Guide Rob McComas with a 6 1/2 pounder caught recently on Lake Jocassee

Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that no change in the troutbite since the end of last week.  Fish are still very deep with some bass and catfish mixed in.

November 4

Lake Jocassee is at 91.3% of full pool, with water temperatures in the lower 70s. With no rain clarity is very high.

Unsurprisingly considering the air and water temperatures, Lake Jocassee fish are still very deep. Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that the troutbite has improved recently, and they are catching more fish like the 3-pound rainbow pictured below.  The fish are still being caught trolling in 70-120 feet of water on the main lake, and bass (both spotted and smallmouth) continue to be mixed in with the trout.

A nice three-pound rainbow caught this week on Guide Sam Jones' boat
A nice three-pound rainbow caught this week on Guide Sam Jones’ boat

October 20

Lake Jocassee is all the way down to 89.7% of full pool, while water temperatures are back up to around 79 degrees.

With water temperatures still very warm it’s no surprise that the trout pattern has not changed substantially on Lake Jocassee.  Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that the fish which they are catching are still very deep, in the 60-120 foot range.  On one recent trip he caught a mixed bag including a spotted bass, a smallmouth, a catfish and a trout – not surprisingly some catfish have showed up again as temperatures have rebounded.  More bass have also been caught recently than trout.

Sam has tried to catch fish in the rivers, but with no luck there he has stuck to the big water.

Early morning on Jocassee - photo courtesy of Sam Jones
Early morning on Jocassee – photo courtesy of Sam Jones

October 13

Lake Jocassee is down to 91.8% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 76 degrees.  Clarity is still very good.

Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that trout are still in the same very deep pattern that they have been in, with fish from about 60 feet down to as deep as 120 feet.  The fishing has improved in the last week or two as water temperatures have begun to drop.  They are still picking up some spotted bass trolling the depths but the catfish seem to have moved on and are no longer creating a nuisance for trout fishermen.

A 20-inch brown trout caught this week on Sam Jones' boat trolling a Sutton Spoon 115 feet deep
A 20-inch brown trout caught this week on Sam Jones’ boat trolling a Sutton Spoon 115 feet deep

September 29

Lake Jocassee is at 94.0% of full pool, and water temperatures remain around 81.5 degrees.  With no rain the lake is about as clear as it gets.

The trout bite remains very similar to last week, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that for the second week in a row they are picking up a lot more bass than trout.  Fish are eating spoons trolled in 60-100 feet of water, and while the bass they are picking up aren’t huge they are a good eating size.  Sam suspects some cool weather is needed to jump-start the trout bite.

September 23

Lake Jocassee is down to 95.1% of full pool, while clarity remains normal.  Water temperatures are holding around 81.5 degrees.

Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that the pattern for catching Lake Jocassee trout remains about the same, with fish mostly in the 80-100 foot range.  Overall the fish are still being pretty stubborn, and small catfish have been a nuisance, but there has been a more exciting by-catch.  Some nice spotted bass are being caught in the super-deep water.

A couple of spotted bass caught yesterday in very deep water on Guide Sam Jones' boat
A couple of spotted bass caught yesterday in very deep water on Guide Sam Jones’ boat

September 12

Surface temperatures on Lake Jocassee are in the mid to low 80s.  Water levels are at 97.2% of full pool and clarity is normal.

Air temperatures are just starting to cool, and even though water temperatures on this deep lake generally drop more slowly than on other lakes surface temperatures have already dropped a degree or two.  However, trout remain very deep and fishing is a little slow.

Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that his boat is still picking up some decent, keeper-sized fish, but bites from small catfish have been driving them crazy.  He is concentrating on 80-110 feet of water in the big water near the dam as well as up the Whitewater River.  Time of day is not a factor with fish this deep, and both spoons and live bait are catching fish.  However, large shiners have been performing a little better than spoons most days.

Some nice trout have been caught on Guide Sam Jones' boat late this summer
Some nice trout have been caught on Guide Sam Jones’ boat late this summer

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