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AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Summer 2018 Fishing Report – Updated June 1

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Keowee fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-keowee-sc-summer-2018-fishing-report/

June 1

Lake Keowee is at 98.6% of full pool, and water temperatures are now in the high 70s to mid-80s throughout the lake.   Water clarity is good on the main lake, but stained in the creeks due to heavy rainfall.  Additional heavy rain is expected this week so clarity is expected to remain below average for Keowee.  The lake should continue to stay pretty full with all the inflow.

Fishing has remained pretty similar for the past couple of weeks – which is to say inconsistent.  Veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that many fish are still showing signs of the strain of the spawn, but this is starting to improve as the fish move into a more typical summertime pattern.  Early, fish can be caught on topwaters (popper, walking baits, buzzbaits, etc.), crankbaits, and spinnerbaits (in windy conditions) on points and adjacent flats. Look for fish chasing bait on the surface as the sun is coming up.

After the sun comes up, fish can be found in the 15-40 foot range and caught on soft plastics such as a shakey heads or drop shot rigs.

Keep an eye open for any schooling activity, which is very spotty and not widespread yet. However, there are some good fish chasing bait on top at times. This can happen anywhere on Keowee, including over very deep water.

Mark Yarborough of the Keowee Anglers with a nice one caught recently
Mark Yarborough of the Keowee Anglers with a nice one caught recently

May 17

Lake Keowee is at 97.8% of full pool, and water temperatures have jumped to the high 70s in the lower and upper sections and the low-80s mid-lake.  Clarity is high on the main lake, but there is some stain in the back of creeks due to heavy rainfall the past two days.

After a strange spring, it seems we have moved quickly into summer – but veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports the bass have not fully moved into a summer pattern.  Fishing overall has gotten tougher the past two weeks with many fish in a post-spawn funk.  Many of the fish caught in the past two weeks show the stress of the spawn.

Early, fish can be caught around shallow rocky points on topwaters such as a Sammy or popper, and also on small crankbaits like a 1.5 square bill. They can also be caught on soft plastics such as a fluke or shakey head.

After the sun comes up, fish can be found deeper in 10 to 40 feet as they are moving out to summer depths.  These fish are scattered, however, and you have to work a variety of depths to pick up a fish here and there.  The more shallow fish can be caught on a shakey head or Carolina rig, and for the deeper fish a drop shot works better.  Look for fish on deeper drop offs on points or any structure where there is a depth change such as a hump.

The bite on docks has been very slow the past week.

Dave Goeckel of the Keowee Anglers with a nice spotted bass caught this week
Dave Goeckel of the Keowee Anglers with a nice spotted bass caught this week

May 4

Lake Keowee is at 98.1% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the mid- to upper-60s throughout the lake.  Water clarity is very high, with visibility at about 8-10 feet.

Veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that most of the bass spawn is over, but there are still some fish that are in the final stages.

The pattern is transitioning to a more typical early summer bite.  Fish can be caught early on topwaters, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics on points and humps.  After the sun comes out, fish are found more in the 15 to 35 foot range and can be caught on shakey heads and drop shots around points and drop-offs.  Some fish can also be caught around docks using the same baits.

Be on the lookout for fish chasing bait at any time, particularly early along rip-rap banks. The early morning bite is improving and will get even better over the next few weeks.

John Sheets of the Keowee Anglers with a nice largemouth caught last week
John Sheets of the Keowee Anglers with a nice Keowee largemouth caught last week

April 18

Lake Keowee is at 99.2% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the mid- to upper-60s throughout the lake.  Clarity is high and the lake has been at full pool for several weeks.

Fishing continues to be very good on Lake Keowee, and veteranangler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglersreports that bass can be found at all three stages of the spawn right now: pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn.  They have generally moved into the 10-20 foot range, and fish are bedding in the traditional areas.  This means under docks, along rocky shorelines, in cuts off the main lake, and in the back of coves around cover. Lake Keowee spotted bass spawn a little deeper, and it is not unusual for a spot to spawn in 8 to 15 feet of water on Keowee. There is still another wave of fish that will move up to spawn.

Right now fish can be caught on topwater, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits (when windy).

Charles Townson shows off a nice one caught this week
Charles Townson shows off a nice one caught this week

 

Kristin Townson with an even better one caught yesterday
Kristin Townson with an even better one caught yesterday

April 9

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool, and water temperatures have moved into the low to mid-60s on the northern and southern ends of the lake and mid- to upper-60s around the power plant.  Clarity is normal.

It’s been an up-and-down spring on Lake Keowee, but veteranangler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglersreports that fishing is very good overall on Keowee now.  The spawn is on throughout the lake with many fish on the bed, and there are also still some pre-spawn fish that have generally moved up to the 8 to 15 foot range. Fish can be caught on a variety of soft plastics now including shaky heads, neko rigs, carolina rigs, etc. On windy days, spinnerbaits will also catch fish on points and rocky shorelines.

Some limited topwater action is underway as well and that bite will get stronger over the next few weeks.

Mark Yarborough of the Keowee Anglers with two of 16 spots caught on a recent afternoon on the north end of Keowee
Mark Yarborough of the Keowee Anglers with two of 16 spots caught on a recent afternoon on the north end of Keowee

March 30

Lake Keowee is at 98.7% of full pool, and water temperatures on the lower and upper end have again risen into the upper 50s while the middle part of the lake is in the low to mid-60s. Clarity is normal.

Things are finally getting back to where they were about a month ago, and veteranangler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglersreports thatin the warmer middle part of the lake some fish are bedding – but for the most part fish are pre-spawn throughout the lake. Pre-spawn fish are biting soft plastics in the 10-25 foot range, including shakey heads, Carolina rigs, and neko rigs.  The bite is definitely starting to improve and with warmer temperatures more and more fish should pull up shallow.

March 15

Lake Keowee is at 99.0% of full pool, and has been stable for several days.  Water temperatures have fallen significantly all over the lake, with temperatures on the upper and lower ends in the mid-50s and in the lower 60s mid-lake.

A couple of weeks ago it looked like spring on Lake Keowee, but after two weeks of falling temperatures it looks more like winter.  Veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers reports that the fishing has gone backwards as a result.

In the middle part of the lake some fish have moved up, but for the most part they are out deeper in 10-20+ feet of water.  Most fish are being caught on jigs, shakey heads, Carolina rigs, and medium running crankbaits.

There are even some fish still in a typical winter pattern, like these fish caught today on Guide Brad Fowler’s boat in 35-55 feet with a drop shot and shakey head.

Lake Keowee bass caught today on Brad Fowler's boat
Lake Keowee bass caught today on Brad Fowler’s boat

March 2

Lake Keowee is at 99.3% of full pool.  Water temperatures remain in the lower-60s on the southern and northern ends of the lake, and mid-60s in the mid-lake area.  The water is stained in the backs of creeks but clear on the main lake.

It’s a weird early spring in South Carolina, and veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers points out that although water temperatures have shot up in the last two weeks fish have not pulled up yet as they are probably behind what the temperatures would suggest.  There are some fish in the middle part of the lake starting to prepare for bedding, and a few around the hot hole already spawning, but other than there is not a major push to spawn yet – even with the full month.  This is much more likely at the next full moon if water continues to warm.

Fish can be caught on spinnerbaits early or in the wind, jerkbaits, medium running crankbaits, jigs, and shaky heads.

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

February 23

Lake Keowee is at 99.1% of full pool.  Water temperatures have shot into the lower 60s on the southern and northern ends of the lake, and mid-60s in the mid-lake area.  The main lake is clear but the water is stained in the backs of creeks.

Veteran angler Charles Townson of the Keowee Anglers and Guide Brad Fowler concur that the fishing has been pretty tough on Keowee, and Charles points out that 10 pounds is still a good bag on Keowee right now.  With temperatures rising so fast fish are actually a little behind the water temperatures, but expect to see fish start to moving quickly to the banks with the rapid change.  (Unless there is a major cold front, expect to see some fish moving in to spawn in the next few weeks).  Shakey heads, jigs, and Carolina rigs should all work in the next week.  Charles points out that even though some fish are moving up, it will not happen all at once.

As a reminder of that, last weekend Brad and tournament partner Brock Taylor finished 4th out of 190 boats with 15+ pounds in the Boating Atlanta event.  They had to look hard, but they caught all their fish in 50-80 feet of water on jigging spoons, doodle worms and drop shots.  Even while they were fishing super deep there were some rumors of fish on the beds already, completely plausible with the hot hole influence.

A fat Keowee spot caught in last weekend's tournament
A fat Keowee spot caught in last weekend’s tournament

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

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