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AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Spring 2022 Fishing Report - Updated January 7

  • by Jay

January 7

Lake Keowee is at 96.6% of full pool and major creeks are stained to muddy (in the very backs) due to heavy rain this past week. Morning surface water temperatures have fallen into the high 50s over most of the lake with low 60s still present mid-lake near the power plant. 

Now that water temperatures are getting down to a more normal range for the season, N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that bass are getting into a more traditional winter pattern. More fish are stationed in deep locations such as at the mouth of major creeks, coves, main lake drop-offs and points.  These fish can be targeted with a drop shot, spoon, or blade bait.  Looking for bird activity on the main lake is another good option currently.

There is still some activity shallow, however, and these fish can be caught with a shakey head or swimbait around docks and in creek drains.  

Charles Townson with a nice fish caught this week on a drop shot
Charles Townson with a nice fish caught this week on a drop shot

December 31

Lake Keowee is at 96.7% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures have actually gone UP a degree or so this week on the lake, with water temperatures at 60 degrees over most of the lake.  The mid-lake region is still holding in the mid-60s. 

With temperatures running quite a few degrees higher than normal for this time of year, N&C Marine/Skeeter Teammember Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that different sections of the lake continue to fish differently for bass. The south end is in more of a traditional winter pattern with fish chasing schools of bait in deep water.  A drop shot, spoon, or blade bait is the best bet for these fish.  Soft plastics are also working out to 25 feet or so, particularly in the mid-lake region.  Some deeper fish can also be found mid-lake but that bite is not as strong as the southern end of the lake. 

With some cooler weather predicted, Charles anticipates that the mid-lake area will soon begin to move to a more traditional winter pattern.

A fat one caught this week on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson
A fat one caught this week on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson

December 24

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures are in the upper 50s over most of the lake with low 60s still present in the mid-lake. 

Overall bass fishing on Lake Keowee is good right now, but N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that different sections of the lake continue to fish differently. 

The lower end of the lake is much more in a traditional winter pattern than either the middle or upper lake.  On the south end, look for fish on deep drops, creek channels, and anywhere loons and gulls are feeding.  More activity is being found on the main lake and a drop shot or spoon will catch these fish around schools of bait. 

In the mid-lake, fish can still be caught on shakey heads and soft plastics out to 20 feet or so.  A drop shot and spoon are also working in the creeks where bait is found.  A jerkbait is also productive mid-lake and north around schools of bait. 

Regardless of where you are fishing, one commonality is that finding bait is key as there will likely be a school of spotted bass in the vicinity.

Caught on drop shots today with guide Charles Townson
Caught on drop shots today with guide Charles Townson

December 10

Lake Keowee is at 99.0% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures are now hovering around the 60-degree mark over most of the lake, with higher readings just north of the power plant. 

The Lake Keowee bass fishing patterns continue to depend upon what part of the lake you are in, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish on the lower end of the lake are, for the most part, in a winter pattern now with baitfish moving out to the main lake from the creeks.  Watch for loon and gull activity on the main lake and use a jigging spoon or drop shot to target the fish in deep water.  It is also possible to still see fish chasing bait on the surface. 

The middle and northern sections of the lake are a little behind the pattern from the southern end of the lake, and there is still more activity in the creeks.  A jerkbait, drop shot, spoon, and shakey head are still working from the power plant up the lake.

A hungry spotted bass caught on a drop shot this week
A hungry spotted bass caught on a drop shot this week

December 4

Lake Keowee is at 98.2% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures are now in the low to mid-60s over most of the lake – having gone upover the past week.   

While bass fishing patterns vary based upon what part of the lake you are in, overall N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fishing remains good to excellent. 

The southern end of the lake is much more into a winter pattern with fish roaming deeper water around schools of baitfish.  These fish can be targeted with a dropshot, spoon, or blade bait.  Any area holding large amounts of bait will typically have spotted bass in the vicinity. 

The middle and upper ends of the lake are still more in a fall pattern with fish shallower.  They can be targeted with soft plastics around docks and points.  Creeks holding bait can be productive with a dropshot out to 50 feet or so. 

A good one caught yesterday on a jigging spoon with Charles Townson
A good one caught yesterday on a jigging spoon with Charles Townson

November 20

Lake Keowee is at 98.5% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures are now in the mid to high-60s over most of the lake with the coolest temperatures at the far north and far south ends.   

A strong fall/ early winter bass pattern remains in effect on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish are chasing schools of baitfish in 40 plus feet of water in the major creeks.  These fish can be targeted with a drop shot, spoon, or jerkbait.  This pattern is at or near its peak for the season but should remain strong for the next few weeks.  Using electronics to find areas holding shad or blue back herring will likely result in finding schools of bass. 

While these are primarily spotted bass, the occasional nice largemouth will also show up!

A nice 5-pounder caught this week with Charles in 40 feet on a drop shot
A nice 5-pounder caught this week with Charles in 40 feet on a drop shot

November 12

Lake Keowee is at 98.4% of full pool and water clarity is normal. Morning surface water temperatures are in the mid to high-60s over most of the lake.  

It’s still a really good time to fish for bass on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that many of the fish have followed the baitfish into the creeks. 

Bass can be caught on a variety of lures with a shallow bite (out to 20 feet) on soft plastics around docks and points.  In the back of creeks, small swimbaits or crankbaits are working along with some topwater.  Deeper fish can be targeted with dropshots or small spoons. 

Overall, finding large concentrations of bait is key to finding areas holding fish.  

The current fishing pattern should remain strong for a few more weeks until water temperatures fall into the 50s.

A hungry spotted bass caught on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson this week
A hungry spotted bass caught on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson this week

November 4

Lake Keowee is at 98.7% of full pool and the water clarity is normal again. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s over most of the lake.  

For now Keowee water temperatures are still in the 70s, but N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) won’t be surprised if they hit the 60s by the beginning of next week. These slowly dropping temperatures are creating some exciting fall fishing opportunities, and the bite continues to be strong all over the lake with the south and north ends being the most productive. 

Spotted bass are following schools of bait in creek channels and long coves and can be caught on a variety of baits.  Topwater walking baits, swimbaits, dropshots, and small spoons are all effective in areas where baitfish are located.  There has been some good schooling activity this week off secondary points and the back of long creeks, but an early bite with a square bill crankbait or topwater bait has been producing some of the bigger fish of the past week. 

Loons and gulls are slowly starting to arrive on the lake and are often the ultimate "fish-finder" – so keep your eyes peeled for the birds working bait.

A nice fish caught with Guide Charles Townson on a topwater this week
A nice fish caught with Guide Charles Townson on a topwater this week

November 1

Lake Keowee is at 98.6% of full pool and the water clarity is normal again. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s over most of the lake. 

Water temperatures continue to slowly fall on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that bass fishing is very good to excellent on Keowee as the spotted bass feed up for winter.  A good migration into major creeks and coves continues. 

Look for schools of spotted bass anywhere large amounts of baitfish are marked.  A good depth is 35 feet out to 50 feet in the creeks around bait.  These fish can be targeted with a drop shot, swimbait, or small spoon. 

Some schooling activity continues to be present as well around schools of baitfish – a walking bait is best for these topwater fish.  Overall, if you find the right area, a good quantity of spotted bass can be put in the boat!

Unknown to many anglers, Keowee holds a lot of catfish.  These include channels, blues, and flatheads.  There are some big catfish in the lake and they don't get a lot of pressure.  Anglers catch some while bass fishing, including this one caught on a small spoon with Charles this week.

A hungry flathead caught this week with Guide Charles Townson

October 25

Lake Keowee is at 98.2% of full pool and the water clarity is normalizing again. Morning surface water temperatures have fallen into the 70s throughout the lake with the lowest readings at the Jocassee dam. 

As water temperatures continue to gradually drop the Lake Keowee bass are getting into full-fledged fall patterns, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish are now in more of a fall pattern and holding in the mouths of major creeks.  Depths of 40-60 feet are productive with drop shots, spinnerbaits, and small spoons.  Finding areas holding schools of threadfin shad or blue-back herring will most likely result in locating schools of spotted bass feeding. 

There is on and off schooling activity present around the lake, particularly in the morning and then again late afternoon.  However, schooling can occur at any time on Keowee, so be ready!  A topwater walking style of bait is best for these fish – a lure that can be cast a long distance is preferred to reach these fish while on the surface. 

Overall, fishing is good on the lake and should remain strong over the next few weeks as the water continues to cool.

Caught on a drop shot in 40 feet this week with Guide Charles Townson
Caught on a drop shot in 40 feet this week with Guide Charles Townson

October 15

Lake Keowee is at 98.4% of full pool and the water on the main lake is clear while the backs of major creeks are stained. Morning surface water temperatures are in the high 70s over most of the lake. 

As water temperatures continue to gradually fall the Lake Keowee bass continue to make a slow migration into fall patterns, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that the fishing is now good and should only continue to improve in the coming weeks. Fish and bait are beginning to migrate into the creeks and more surface activity is taking place as well. 

An early bite on points and flats is still present with crankbaits and topwaters.  Topwater action can take place throughout the day now so a walking bait should always be ready.  Having a topwater that can be cast a long distance is another good item to have handy on Keowee if fish explode on the surface chasing bait. 

A drop shot bite out to about 50 feet is good as well in areas holding bait.  A 4-inch soft plastic in light colors is a good choice on the rig.

Some good ones caught this week on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson
Some good ones caught this week on a drop shot with Guide Charles Townson

October 11

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool and, since a lot of rain has fallen in the Keowee watershed, the backs of major creeks are stained to muddy. Morning surface water temperatures have held steady this week at around 80 over most of the lake. 

The Lake Keowee bass continue to make a slow migration into fall patterns, but N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that overall not much has changed since the last report. 

An early bite on points and flats with topwater and crankbaits (square bills seem to be better) continues, with the topwater bite lasting until mid-morning in areas holding bait.  After that, a drop shot out to 50 feet or so is working on deep points and drop-offs. 

Schooling activity can happen at any time right now so have that topwater handy to throw!

A good one caught on top yesterday
A good one caught on top yesterday with Guide Charles Townson

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