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AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated November 30

  • by Jay

November 30

Lake Keowee is at 97.5% of full pool. Water temperatures are around 60 degrees and clarity is normal.

Bassfishing continues to improve on Lake Keowee, and Guide Brad Fowler reports that there is now a pretty good drop shot and spoon bite.  As predicted fish are getting deeper and starting to group up well in 50-70 feet of water, but this early in the season they are pretty dispersed throughout the water column.  Brad says that some fish will be 15-20 feet below the surface, others will be 40-50 feet down, and some are already on or near the bottom.  Later in the season more fish will be hugging the lakebed.  Drops and creek channels are some of the best deep-water structure right now.

As always on Keowee there are a few fish shallow, but Brad doesn’t spend much time messing with them this time of year.  He says that unlike on Hartwell you can’t usually do a lot of good just throwing a crankbait up shallow.

Finally, the topwater bite has slowed down.  There may be some fish chasing bait high in the water column, but they will probably just be rolling on the surface and not knocking bait out of the water.

November 8

Lake Keowee is down to 96% of full pool.  Water temperatures are in the low 70s and clarity is very good.

It’s getting to be “that time” for bass fishing on Lake Keowee, and Guide Brad Fowler reports that fish are starting to group up and suspend in 40-50 feet of water.  As temperatures drop they will get even deeper.  Sometimes fish could be 10 feet off the bottom in that depth range, while at others they might actually be on the surface.  Using your electronics to find them is critical.  Obviously the lure of choice will depend on how high the fish are holding, but drop shots and spoons are both very good choices.  Fish are often hungry when they first move out to this depth range and they will eat a bait dropped into them.

There has also been a pretty good topwater bite on Lake Keowee, and while this has chiefly been an open water pattern fish are also being caught shallow on buzzbaits.  While it’s probably not the dominant pattern, with temperatures mild a decent number of fish can be found shallow around the banks.

October 19

Lake Keowee is at 96.4% of full pool and water temperatures are in the low- to mid-70s.  Water clarity is normal.

Guide Brad Fowler reports that for the second weekend in a row a 17-pound bag headlined a Lake Keowee basstournament, another indicator that the bite remains strong.  With dropping water temperatures Brad says that there are two movements taking place on Keowee right now, with one group of fish stacking up in big schools of 50-100 fish in 30-50 feet of water.  They could be off points or other structure.  For these fish he recommends having a spoon or a blade runner tied on, and at times they will come to the surface to feed.  At other times you will just mark them.

A second group of fish is moving into the creeks.  These fish will be relatively shallow and they are chasing bait, and jerkbaits, scrounger heads, blade runners and spinnerbaits (early) are good choices to target them.  For both main lake and creek fish have a topwater lure tied on and be alert for surface activity.

Brad Fowler's son with some nice Keowee spots caught on his father's boat
Brad Fowler’s son with some nice Keowee spots caught on his father’s boat

October 12

Lake Keowee is at 96.8% of full pool.

Water temperatures are starting to cool off on Lake Keowee, and Guide Brad Fowler reports that as a result the fishing is picking up.  In particular, the topwater bite is coming on.  In a recent tournament a 17-plus pound bag was weighed, a sure sign that fishing is improving.  Full report to follow after the weekend.

September 28

Lake Keowee is at 96.7% of full pool and water temperatures are – astonishingly – still in the upper 80s.  Clarity remains normal.

The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail had its District 2 Championship last Saturday and Sunday on Lake Keowee, and Robby Hipps and Jim Crider finished in first place with a two-day total of 25.46 pounds. Four more two-day weights over 20 pounds were brought to the scales, while more than half of the 90-plus team field weighed in less than a 5 pound daily average.  Nearly 20 teams zeroed for both days.

Guide Brad Fowler, who did not fish the tournament but was out on the lake Saturday, reports that fishing is obviously still pretty tough.  Water temperatures are still very warm, and most of the fish seem to be suspended.  There is a little schooling activity where bass come up to chase bait around points and islands, but overall catching is sporadic and anglers were trying to tempt one up to eat a topwater bait here-and-there.  This weekend it seemed that every main lake island had 5 or 10 boats fishing it, and most anglers seemed to be on the same pattern.

Everyone is optimistic that fishing will improve once water temperatures cool.

A young angler happy to show off a Lake Keowee bass caught on Guide Brad Fowler's boat
A young angler happy to show off a Lake Keowee bass caught on Guide Brad Fowler’s boat

September 22

Lake Keowee is at 96.6% of full pool and water temperatures are in the mid-80s.  Clarity remains normal.

Guide Brad Fowler reports that Lake Keowee bass fishing has picked up in the last week or so, and weights in last weekend’s two-day BFL event were better than expected.  Winner Andy Burgess of Greenville finished with a two-day total of 27-3, and almost half of the anglers managed to put a limit in the boat on the first day.  The winning angler reported catching his fish the first day with a bream-colored swim jig fished on mid-lake docks located on shallow flats.  The second day he couldn’t get that pattern going without sunlight and ran rocky banks with a topwater Greenfish Tackle Prop Bait.

Winner Andy Burgess - photo courtesy FLW Fishing
Winner Andy Burgess – photo courtesy FLW Fishing

Brad says that his tournament partner Brock Taylor caught his fish on an offshore topwater pattern the first day, then fished shallow the second day.  He caught some fish on a buzzbait.  Plenty of top anglers were also fishing deep, and so there are a lot of ways to catch fish on Keowee right now.

Schooling activity is starting to get more widespread on Keowee.

September 9

Lake Keowee is down to 96.2% of full pool and water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s.  Clarity remains normal.

Guide Brad Fowler reports that Lake Keowee bass are still in a pretty typical late summer pattern, and as on Lake Hartwell the best fish are still suspended out over deep water.  Anglers who fish the same live bait pattern that they would employ for catching striper on another lake can catch some fish down-lining herring, and the majority of the bass are in the same areas where the bait is holding.  Chiefly that is suspended out on the main lake about 20 feet down in 50-60 feet of water.

The best artificial pattern is probably still trying to catch fish on topwater lures, and from time to time there is some surface activity.  In part because the fish are concentrating on small bait it is a pretty tough time to pull fish up from deep water right now with topwaters, and so waiting for them to come up may work better.  Fish can also still be caught on drop shots and shakey head worms.