For a number of reasons, fall is a great time of year to go bass fishing on South Carolina’s Lake Keowee. Summer, with its almost intolerable heat and humidity, is just a bad memory as cooler fall temperatures prevail.
The lake, with its clear, emerald blue waters, is just a stepping stone from the Blue Ridge mountains, which come ablaze with color as the leaves change from green to bright reds, oranges and yellows in preparation for winter. There may be no more picturesque setting for a fisherman this time of year.
But the main reason this is a great time to go fishing on Keowee is simple: the fish are biting, especially bass.
“This is when the fish start their fall feeding, and they can be caught so many different ways, from drop-shotting to working shaky heads out deep to topwater,” said guide Brad Fowler of Pendleton, S.C. (864-934-5813).
“The bite is pretty consistent, but if we get some cold weather, it could get better and concentrate the fish more. Going into November, the bite will still be good.”
With water temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-70s, depending on the area of the lake, fish can be found almost everywhere, from the main-lake basin all the way up into the major creeks.
“Baitfish are the main forage in the fall, mainly threadfin shad; in certain areas blueback herring can be found,” Fowler said. “Drop-shotting small, soft plastics is a must on Keowee in the fall. At the same time, soft jerkbaits like a Zoom Fluke are a really good choice. And any shad-colored topwater hard bait will produce, too.”
And, he added, prepare to have your arm jerked a lot. This is a good time of year for numbers of bass, and catching 20 to 30 — mostly spotted bass, with some largemouths mixed in — can be easy on a good day, he said.
“It's one of my favorite times to fish on Keowee since in the same day I have the opportunity to catch fish deep on light line and also on topwater, which are two of my favorite techniques,” Fowler said.
“I have had some of my best trips with clients with great topwater action while enjoying really nice fall weather.”