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AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Spring 2018 Fishing Report – Updated February 16

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Keowee fishing report can be found at:

February 16

Lake Keowee is at 97.9% of full pool.  Water temperatures are in the mid-50s in the lower and upper lake, and in the low-60s mid-lake.  With a lot of rain in the past week major creeks are stained near the back while the main lake is still clear.

Lake Keowee bass fishing has been tough, but veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that the pattern is changing.  The deep bite has dropped off significantly as fish have started to move up with the warming water.  A good depth right now is 25-40 feet.  Fish can be caught a variety of way including on shakey heads, jigs, drop-shots, medium running crankbaits, fish head spins and Carolina rigs.

A limit over 10 pounds has been good the last few weeks, but with warming temperatures that should change.  It will be interesting to see what approximately 175 boats pull out of the lake this weekend in the Boatin Atlanta event.

Charles Townson with a fat Keowee spot caught this week
Charles Townson with a fat Keowee spot caught this week

February 9

Lake Keowee is at 98.2% of full pool.

There’s no strong new pattern on Lake Keowee bass to report, and Guide Brad Fowler reports that the fishing remains tough.  You have to be willing to try different things to get bit.  Brad fished the BFL Savannah River division tournament this past Saturday, where fish were hard to come by.  With more than 100 boats only 12 bags over 10 pounds were weighed in, and 9-1 was good enough for a check.

J.R. McKay of Helen, Georgia won the boater side of the event with a strong 15-7, and even he reported that the places which had produced for him in practice didn’t pan out for him on tournament day.   He ended up heading into the back of a creek with some stained water and flipping a jig for three of the fish he weighed, then caught another on a jig on a long flat on the main lake.  He rounded out his limit with a swimbait off a rock pile in 70 feet of water on the south end.

J.R. McKay, winner of the BFL last Saturday

January 31

Lake Keowee is at 97.3% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the lower 50s on the lower and upper ends of the lake.  Mid-lake temperatures are right at 60 (because of the influence of the power plant).  Clarity is high.  Lake levels have been fluctuating about three feet each week with the movement of water between Keowee and Jocassee for power generation.

The bite on Keowee has gotten much tougher over the past few weeks, and veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that in two big tournaments on the lake this weekend any bag over 10 pounds was a very good one.
Some better fish are being caught deep on drop shots and spoons, but these fish are hard to find as they are scattered and not present in large numbers. Smaller fish are being caught on shakey heads around docks and any structure like lay-downs – this bite is better on warmer days as the water temperature rises.  Fish can also be caught on fish-head spin with small swim bait or flukes.

There has been a lot of fishing pressure on the lake with multiple large tournaments taking place or upcoming in the next few weeks.  If you find an area holding fish, the best bet is to fish slowly and thoroughly in that section.


January 18

Lake Keowee is at 98.3% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the low 50s.  Visibility is normal.

After getting pounded on all winter bass fishing is a little tough on lake Keowee, as is typical from about mid-January to February.  Earlier in the season there were some good bags being caught up the lake just behind the Jocassee dam, but that bite has slowed way down.  For now fishing deep with jigging spoons and drop shot rigs is the best bet, relying heavily on electronics and looking for bait around depth changes.

December 11

Lake Keowee is at 97.2% of full pool, and water temperatures are falling with the lower and upper ends of the lake around 60 degrees and the mid-lake area around 64 degrees (because of the warm water discharge).  Clarity is normal.

With dropping water temperatures fish are getting into a more seasonable pattern, and veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that the best pattern is finding schools of bait with suspended bass in and around the bait.  These will be primarily spotted bass with an occasional largemouth mixed in.  Fish a drop shot or jigging spoon around the bait, which can be found from 30 to 50 feet deep typically.  Anglers should also look for surface activity with diving gulls/loons to locate schools of bait.  If fish are on the surface they can be caught with topwater or lipless crankbaits while they are chasing bait.

Fish can also be caught on shakey heads or jerkbaits on windy points.

Harry Elrod of the Keowee Anglers with some nice ones caught yesterday
Harry Elrod of the Keowee Anglers with some nice ones caught yesterday