Guide Sam Jones of Jocassee Charters has been having one of the best summers of his career on Lake Jocassee, trolling a variety of spoons and live bait at depths approaching 90 feet, and the action has been great lately.
Summer rainfall has kept the deep, mountain lake at or near full pond.
“The lake and the trout are simply doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Jones (864-280-9056). “Instead of guessing at what they might be doing because of low water or not enough fish, things are normal. And the way things are set up, normal up here is pretty darn good.
“About the smallest fish you’ll catch this time of year is a 16-inch rainbow, and that’s still a pretty good fish.”
Since June 1, size limits and catch-and-release rules at Jocassee have been suspended – by design. Fishermen can catch and keep three fish per day, without having to weed though short fish to catch a limit.
Last week, Jones guided Texan Larry Burt on a trip that netted six outstanding fish: two trophy sized browns and four rainbows up to 19 inches in length.
“Larry caught a 4 ½- and a 6-pound brown,” said Jones. “Both of those fish came off large shiners trolled out in front of the water intakes between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning. Then we rounded out the limit over the rest of the morning with some really nice rainbows on a mixture of Sutton and Apex spoons.”
Jones said fish are holding in the tree tops near the intakes in about 90 feet of water. To tempt them, he runs six lines behind down riggers: two 3- to 4-inch shiners, two Apex spoons and two Sutton Spoons.
“We lost an even better fish the other day because I vary the distance behind the ball from 30 to 60 feet, and we had a big trout come out of the treetops in 90 feet and hit a spoon at 80,” he said. “Before we could reel in the difference, the fish had us back into the trees and broke off. That is one problem during the summer, you’re fishing right over the treetops and a good fish will sometimes grab the bait and head back down before you can stop him.”