Reel in the big fish with one of our handpicked fishing reels. Shop by brand or reel type.

Shop our collection of fishing rods to find the one that best matches your needs.

AHQ INSIDER Lake Keowee (SC) Summer 2020 Fishing Report - Updated June 19

  • by Jay

June 19

Lake Keowee is at 98.5% of full pool. With the cold front this week water temperatures have remained in the high 70s to mid-80s over most of the lake.  The coolest water is in the very north end of the lake.  Clarity is normal. 

Despite the cold front water temperatures did not drop too much this week, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that there continues to be a good early morning and late evening bassbite on points and humps with small crankbaits and topwaters. 

After the sun gets up, target fish in the 10-20 foot range with soft plastics.  Some fish are out deeper and can be targeted with a drop shot in 40+ feet of water.

Schooling activity is taking place at scattered locations throughout the lake but no one location or area is consistent in this pattern. 

 A rocket launch out of Florida over Keowee last Saturday
A rocket launch out of Florida over Keowee last Saturday

June 11

Lake Keowee is at 98.9% of full pool. Water temperatures have risen quickly this past week with most of the lake now in the low to mid 80s.  The coolest water is in the very north end of the lake.  Clarity is normal. 

Now fishing out of the new 2020 Skeeter FXR21 Limited Edition from N&C Marine, N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that a good early bass morning bite continues on points and flats where bait is found.  Topwater lures and crankbaits can catch these fish for the first ninety minutes of daylight. 

After the sun gets up, the fishing is getting tougher.  Target deeper fish (15-25 feet) with a shakey head or Carolina rig.  A dropshot in 40 plus feet of water is also starting to produce. 

Sporadic schooling activity is occurring on the lake but it’s not widespread in any specific section of the lake. 

Evening and night fishing is more active on the lake now as the daytime bite declines.

Guide Charles Townson's new ride

June 5

Lake Keowee is at 98.5% of full pool. Warm weather this week has moved the temperatures up into the high 70s over most of the lake, although the area around the Jocassee dam is the coolest spot on the lake with temperatures in the low 70s.  Water clarity is back to normal. 

More consistent summer-like weather has been a boon for bass fishing on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that the early morning bite on Keowee has been very good to excellent this past week.  Topwater baits and small crankbaits are producing on points and flats in the early morning.  The topwater bite has lasted until 9-10 a.m. some mornings.   Move quickly from point to point until you find feeding fish. 

After the sun gets up, fish deeper with a shakey head or small Texas rig worm in 15-25 feet off steep banks and docks in the shade.  Some schooling is happening so keep an eye open for that at all times.

Two bass caught on one lure yesterday morning with Charles Townson!
Two bass caught on one lure yesterday morning with Charles Townson!

May 30

Lake Keowee is at 98.3% of full pool. Water temperatures have remained steady this week in the low to mid-70s throughout the lake, with the warmest water around the power plant discharge. There has been a lot of rainfall over the watershed again this past week and major creeks and coves are stained while the main lake remains clear. 

The rain continues to fall but bass fishing is good on Lake Keowee, with N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reporting that fish are predominantly in a post-spawn mode now.   There is a good to very good early morning bite on topwaters and small crankbaits on points and flats where bait is present.  Keep moving until you find an area where fish are feeding. 

After the sun gets up, a shakey head or other soft plastic in 10-20 feet on steeper banks is a good bet.  There is also some schooling activity taking place around the lake but it is randomly scattered.  However, if you can find an area where this is happening some good fish can be caught quickly on topwaters.

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

May 20

Lake Keowee is at 99.0% of full pool. Water temperatures are now in the low to mid-70s throughout the lake, with the warmest water around the power plant discharge. A lot of rain has fallen over the region in the last few days – and continues to fall – and all the main creeks (Cane, Crooked, Crowe, etc.) are stained to muddy in the backs.  The back of coves that have a lot of runoff are also stained. 

Even as the rain falls serious bass fishermen are still getting out on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Teammember Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish are now predominantly in a post-spawn pattern.  Recent catches of bass have often seen the fish displaying signs of coming off the beds (tails beat up, sore spots, etc.) 

Fish are moving into more of a summertime pattern now with a good to very good early morning bite on points, shoals, and shallow flats.  Targeting these fish with a topwater, small crankbait, or spinnerbait has been productive. 

After the sun gets up, move out deeper with a shaky head in 15-20 feet and around docks.  Some fish have also moved out to traditional deeper water areas in 40 plus feet and can be targeted with a dropshot.

A good one caught on a topwater with Guide Charles Townson this week
A good one caught on a topwater with Guide Charles Townson this week

May 13

Lake Keowee is at 97.6% of full pool. Water temperatures have actually dropped a couple of degrees with cool nights last week, and temperatures are generally in the upper 60s over most of the lake and lower 70s around the power plant.   

There is good news with the bass fishing on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that the early morning bite is good and getting better each day with warmer mornings.  Topwater baits (poppers or walk-the-dog baits) are working well on points, flats, and rocky shorelines early and even until mid-morning on cloudy days.  Small crankbaits also working well early. 

Some fish are also chasing bait early – keep moving if you don't get a bite until you find an area holding bait.  Wind-blown shorelines are often better than calm water. 

After mid-morning, fish deeper with a shaky head or Carolina rig in 12-20 feet of water. 

Charles expect the early morning bite to continue to improve in the coming weeks as fish are moving through the post-spawn phase.

A Keowee bass caught this morning with Charles Townson on a topwater
A Keowee bass caught this morning with Charles Townson on a topwater

May 7

Lake Keowee is at 98.4% of full pool. Water temperatures have now reached into the 70s throughout the lake with the warmest water around the power plant at 74 degrees.  

Bass fishing on Lake Keowee has gotten a lot tougher in the past ten days, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that in a tournament last weekend with over fifty boats fewer than half brought a five fish limit to the scales.  Any bag of ten pounds or more is very good now. 

While some fish are still on the bed, many are now post-spawn on Keowee and this has slowed down the bite considerably.  However, there is a good early morning bite on small crankbaits like a 1.5 squarebill or topwater lures.  Look for points or flats where bait is present.  This bite is lasting for about 90-120 minutes each morning. 

After that, soft plastics on the bottom in 12-25 feet fished very slowly are a good option.  Flukes in the back of coves or around cover are another option. 

Keep an eye out for any schooling activity which should begin to pick up on the lake.

A spotted bass caught this week in 15 feet on a finesse worm
A spotted bass caught this week in 15 feet on a finesse worm

May 1

Lake Keowee is at 98.4% of full pool. Water temperatures are in the mid-60s on the lower and upper ends of the lake and in the low 70s mid-lake around the power plant. 

Overall bass fishing on Lake Keowee continues to be very good, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish are in pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn phases. 

The early morning bite is continuing to improve.  These fish can be targeted on points for the first 90 minutes of daylight using small crankbaits and topwater baits.  If it is windy, spinnerbaits will also produce early.  Keep moving until you find a point where fish are up feeding. 

After the sun gets up, target fish in the 15-20 foot depth range off points with shakey heads, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs or a finesse plastic presentation.  Fish can also be caught in the back of coves and pockets with flukes, particularly around laydowns. 

There is sporadic schooling activity on the lake so keep something ready to throw at any fish chasing bait on the surface - this can be a lipless crankbait or a topwater.

A nice fish caught this week with Charles Townson on a finesse worm in 15 feet of water
A nice fish caught this week with Charles Townson on a finesse worm in 15 feet of water

April 16

Lake Keowee is at 98.5% of full pool. Water temperatures are now in the mid-60s on the lower and upper ends of the lake and in the low 70s mid-lake around the power plant. Storms the past few days hit the area very hard and the back of major creeks are once again stained. 

The bass fishing on Lake Keowee is still strong, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fish can be found pre-spawn, on beds, and some post-spawn.  The next full moon should bring another wave to the bank, including bream on the bed. 

A good early morning bite is developing with crankbaits and spinnerbaits (on windy days) and topwater baits – this trend will continue to improve over the coming weeks.  After the sun gets up, targeting fish in 10-20 feet of water with soft plastics is a good technique on points, around docks, and any wind-blown shoreline as fish are active right now. 

All public ramps on the lake remain closed so there is definitely less pressure on the fish during this year's spawn than typical. This should lead to a very successful spawn as a result.

This fish was caught by Bob Allen of the Keowee Anglers with Charles Townson 
This fish was caught by Bob Allen of the Keowee Anglers with Charles Townson

April 10

Lake Keowee is at 98.4% of full pool. Water temperatures are now in the mid-60s over most of the lake and in the upper 60s mid-lake around the power plant. Water clarity is high on the main lake with some cloudy water in the back of major creeks.

It continues to be very good time for bass fishing on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that the spawn is now underway over most of the lake. It will happen in phases on Keowee, and while some fish are on the bed now it will take a number of weeks to work its way through all sections of the lake. 

The morning bite is improving each week and small crankbaits and topwaters on points early are producing some good fish.  These bass are mostly pre-spawn. After the sun gets up, finesse baits like a shaky head are working well in 6-15 feet of water around docks and secondary points and spawning pockets.  On windy days, spinnerbaits are also working well. 

Access to Keowee remains very limited as all public boat ramps are closed.

Charles Townson with a nice fish caught early on a topwater lure
Charles Townson with a nice fish caught early on a topwater lure

April 3

Lake Keowee is at 98.0% of full pool. Water temperatures have continued to rise with the northern and southern ends of the lake now in the mid-60s and the mid-lake region approaching 70 degrees. Water clarity is good with the exception of the back of major creeks which are still stained.

It’s a peak time for bass fishing on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that some fish have spawned and many are now beginning to spawn, which will continue over the next few weeks.   As a result fishing is very good right now in the shallows, which for Keowee means out to 15 feet or so.  The dock bite has picked up this past week, and other good targets are rocky shorelines, long-running points and humps. 

Fish can be caught on a variety of baits including topwaters, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics. 

The biggest issue on Keowee is that basically all ramps are closed.  Access to the lake is thus very restricted with private ramps being the only option.  However, the privately-owned marinas have closed their ramps as well due to the Executive Order.  Charles’ guide service is not taking reservations for the remainder of April and May at this point.

A couple of young anglers with Keowee bass caught earlier this week in shallow water 
A couple of young anglers with Keowee bass caught earlier this week in shallow water
March 27

Lake Keowee is at 98.9% of full pool. Water temperatures have reached the lower 60s on the lower and upper ends of the lake, and temperatures are in the mid-60s mid-lake around the power plant. The water is stained in the back of all the major creeks due to heavy rain this past week. 

Bass fishing remains excellent using a variety of different techniques on Lake Keowee, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Teammember Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that there are spawning fish in many areas of the lake now.  Bedding fish on Keowee can be from 2-3 feet deep all the way out to 12 feet deep or more.  Look in the back of coves, under docks, or around any laydowns in the water.  Rocky banks and docks with access to deep water are also good areas to search.

Fish can be caught early on main lake points using square-billed crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  Shakey heads in 6-18 feet of water with a finesse worm are another good choice.  There is also some topwater action in the mid-lake region when fish are on the surface chasing bait.

Some hungry spotted bass caught this morning with Charles Townson on finesse worms
Some hungry spotted bass caught this morning with Charles Townson on finesse worms
March 18

 

Lake Keowee is at 97.5% of full pool. Water temperatures on the south and north end of the lake are now in the upper 50s, with the mid-lake area in the mid-60s.  There is a slight stain in the backs of major creeks, but otherwise the lake is clear. 

It’s getting to be a really good time to fish on Lake Keowee, with N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reporting that fish are moving quickly into a strong pre-spawn and spawning pattern (particularly mid-lake).

A variety of baits are working.  Crankbaits, like a DT6 or Shad Rap, are good along banks.  Spinnerbaits are good on windy days in particular.  Soft plastics such as a shakey head or Carolina rigs are working in 8-16 feet of water.  Some fish are chasing bait on the surface in the mid-lake area and can be caught on top water baits. 

A lot of good quality fish are being caught now so it’s a great time to be on the water!

Guide Charles Townson guided this father/ son duo this week
Guide Charles Townson guided this father/ son duo this week

March 10

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool. The difference in water temperatures on the lake is at the biggest margin of the year.  On the south end, water temperatures are still in the low to mid 50s while mid-lake temperatures are now in the low 60s.  The north end of the lake is in between these two ranges. 

As a result of temperature variance, N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that there is a significant variation in fishing patterns over Lake Keowee.  Fish are still deeper and more lethargic on the south end, and so anglers need to fish slower.  Shaky head and jigs in 15-25 feet are working best. 

Mid-lake fish are more active and can be caught on a variety of moving baits as well as shakey heads and other finesse techniques.  There is some schooling activity mid-lake as well. 

Over most of the lake, fish are starting to move up on points and humps and around docks into more of a pre-spawn pattern as the water warms.  It would not be surprising to see fish on the bed mid-lake in the next week or two.  Overall, fishing is picking up and getting stronger, particularly on warmer days.

Charles Townson with a hungry Keowee spot caught yesterday morning on a finesse worm
Charles Townson with a hungry Keowee spot caught yesterday morning on a finesse worm

February 21

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool. Water temperatures have fallen in the past few days with cold rain and temperatures in the area.  On the south end of the lake, temperatures are around 55.  Mid-lake the temperature is around 60-61, and the northern end is around 57. 

With periodic cold fronts coming in, N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that fishing has been up and down. Fish are wanting to move up, but then a cold front will come in and stop any movement. Overall, fish are moving into a pre-spawn pattern but the weather pattern is important each day.

Finesse baits on a shakey head or ned rig are catching fish around deeper docks and rocks in 15-20 feet, particularly on warm days which will tend to bring some fish up around dock floats and rocks.  Jerkbaits and mid-level crankbaits are also productive on windy points and humps. 

There are also fish still deep which can be targeted with a drop shots or small spoon in 45-60 feet of water.

A spotted bass caught earlier this week with Guide Charles Townson on a finesse worm fished off a rocky point
A spotted bass caught earlier this week with Guide Charles Townson on a finesse worm fished off a rocky point

February 6

Lake Keowee is at 99.0% of full pool. Water temperatures have been relatively stable over the past week, with the low to mid 50s on the southern and northern end of the lake and around 60 mid-lake. 

Even though water temperatures have not begun to raise, N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that bass are slowly beginning to move from a winter pattern and fish can now be found at a variety of depths.  There are still a lot of fish out in deep water (50+ feet) which can be targeted with drop shots, damiki rigs, and spoons.  In a mid-depth pattern of 25-40 feet fish can be caught using a jerkbait or drop shot. 

Some fish are also moving more shallow, particularly on warmer afternoons, and they can be caught on a shakey head with finesse worms. Green pumpkin is a good color. 

There is a lot of rain forecast over the next couple of days and another cold front behind the rain which should keep a lot of fish in deeper water.  As the days/water begin to warm, look for fish moving up.

An aggressive spot caught deep on a jigging spoon with Guide Charles Townson this week
An aggressive spot caught deep on a jigging spoon with Guide Charles Townson this week

January 29

Lake Keowee is at 98.8% of full pool. Water temperatures on the lower end are now in the mid-50s, the mid-lake region is in the upper 50s to low 60s, and the northern end is in the mid to upper 50s. 

Water temperatures have fallen quite a bit over the last week, and N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that as a result bass fishing has gotten much tougher. Fish that had moved up some now appear to have moved back deeper with the drop in temperature. 

Some fish can still be caught on shakey heads with finesse worms in 15-25 feet around rocky points and steep drops.  Small swimbaits fished very slowly will also catch some fish in 30-50 feet of water in the creek channels.  

Deeper fish can be targeted with drop shots or spoons in 65-80 feet of water.  Many of the deeper fish are tight to the bottom so look for any piece of structure that might hold a fish.

A cold weather spotted bass caught in 73 feet yesterday by Todd Anderson with Guide Charles Townson
A cold weather spotted bass caught in 73 feet yesterday by Todd Anderson with Guide Charles Townson

January 17

Lake Keowee is at 98.1% of full pool. With the very warm weather we have had recently water temperatures have actually climbed about 2 degrees on Keowee.  On the southern and northern ends of the lake temperatures are in the upper 50s, and in the mid-lake area they are around 61 degrees. 

Colder weather is coming, but for now N&C Marine/Skeeter Team member Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that bass can be caught a variety of ways on Lake Keowee.  Swimbaits fished in 25-35 feet of water are working on a jighead, and shakey heads and other finesse worms are getting good results around docks and points in 15 feet of water. 

Fishing for deep fish on a drop shot or small spoon in the 65-75 feet depth range is another approach, and this pattern may be about to get even stronger. With much cooler temperatures predicted for the next few days fish may move a little deeper.

The last view this threadfin shad ever saw - on Lake Keowee with Guide Charles Townson
The last view this threadfin shad ever saw - on Lake Keowee with Guide Charles Townson

January 4

Lake Keowee is at 97.7% of full pool. Water temperatures on the lower end of the lake are around 57 degrees, the mid-lake area is about 62, and the northern end is running roughly 60 degrees.

Bass are following baitfish (threadfin shad) and getting into their winter pattern, which N&C Marine/Skeeter Teammember Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports means the action is more on the main lake and not as much in the creeks.  Look for fish in the 60-80 foot depth range. 

Finding bait in a channel, off a deep point, etc. in that depth range will typically result in a group of spotted bass being nearby.  These fish can be targeted with a 3/4 or 1 ounce jigging spoon in white or chrome colors or a drop shot rig.  Look for fish that are "glued" to the bottom.  Hooking a fish here will often lead to a school exploding off the bottom chasing your bait.  While most fish are on the bottom, there are also some suspended fish chasing bait in the same depths so keep a sharp eye on your electronics.

For more detail about winter bass fishing on Lake Keowee check out this article.

Keowee fish caught Wednesday on a trip with Guide Charles Townson
Keowee fish caught Wednesday on a trip with Guide Charles Townson

 

Search