There’s been a ton of tournament activity in the last few weeks on Lake Keowee, with the BFL two weekends ago, a large dealership tournament this past Saturday and the 150-boat Boating Atlanta tournament on Sunday. The water has also dropped into the 50-52 degree range, and with another Arctic blast this week should be getting even colder. The combination of heavy boating pressure and cold temperatures has created a slow bite, and Guide Brad Fowler of Pendleton says it’s been pretty tough on the water. Nonetheless guys who know what they are doing are catching them, and Brad and tournament partner Brock Taylor finished 4th with 14.04 in the Boating Atlanta event. With the Skeeter money ($5000.00) that was worth $6,500.00!
In practice they were able to get the fish stirred up a little bit and could catch numbers of fish off several spots, but in the tournament Sunday they were mainly catching singles with the exception of one place where they caught a few small fish. It was also rare in the tournament to mark large groups of fish on their electronics. Most of the fish are out deep in 50-80 feet of water, glued tight to the bottom, but they can be hard to find. Drop shotting with a 6-inch or 4-1/2 inch Roboworm has been the most successful pattern, and shakey head worms have also been working. They also picked up one or two fish on blade-runner style baits but nothing on spoons. In practice once schools were activated spots would eat a spoon. While water temperatures are so cold and fish are so pressured working the bait slowly is key.
Notably, the winners in the Boating Atlanta tournament were doing something completely different from many of their other competitors as they had over 15 pounds and weighed only largemouth instead of the usual spotted bass. Brad isn’t sure how they were fishing but is quite certain they weren’t in 50-80 feet of water!
Overall, Lake Keowee is at 98.7% of full pool.
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