Lake Jocassee bass are making a seasonal move into the rivers following baitfish, and they are feeding up and biting well. Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that right now fish are about half the way up the rivers, but as the season progresses they will get further and further back until temperatures drop enough that they reverse course and move out to the main lake. Right now main lake temperatures are about 71 degrees, and up the rivers temperatures are about 69.
Some days Rob says that fish will be relating to the banks and shoreline cover including trees, rocks and drop offs. On other days they will be hanging out more in the middle of channel, and he will have to do more searching with the graph – as well as searching for visible fish. The pattern generally depends on weather, with cloudier, overcast days usually causing fish to relate to shoreline cover this time of year while bright, sunny days pull them out.
True schooling activity is relatively rare on Lake Jocassee, but frequently Rob will see fish chasing bait on the surface – particularly on cloudy days. On his most recent trip he caught fish from the surface down to 30 or 40 feet of water. Rob spends most of his time fishing either the top or the bottom of the water column, and he doesn’t do much mid-depth fishing. This time of year he likes to fish topwater lures as well as jigging spoons, underspin-style baits rigged with flukes, or live minnows.
Overall, Lake Jocassee water levels are up to 97.9% of full pool.
Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that Lake Jocassee trout are still surprisingly deep for this late in the year, and on recent trips he has been catching fish in 100+ (110, 115) feet of water. Main lake surface water temperatures are still in the 71 degree range and Jocassee trout fishermen are looking for 65, so they are having to fish very deep. Fish should start to come up anytime now but the temperatures will have to drop – a couple of weeks ago they caught some as shallow as 85 feet, but everything since has been deeper. Right now Sam is concentrating his efforts on the dam and rock quarry areas out in the big water, and he is having the most success trolling large minnows on downriggers. Every now and then they will pick up a fish on a spoon, but right now the catch ratio is about 4:1 in favor of minnows over spoons. In addition to some nice rainbow trout they are also picking up some spotted and even smallmouth bass in the super deep water.
DHEC Fish Advisory – Only one meal per week of largemouth or spotted bass.