Lake Keowee can be one of the coldest and warmest lakes to fish during December, depending on where you choose to wet a line. Scott Emery has fished the Upstate lake for spotted bass ever since they started showing up there more than 30 years ago, and he said finding fish this month is a matter of going to extremes.

“It seems like a certain number of spotted bass live right there around the hot hole on Keowee,” said Emery. “They stay there because there’s baitfish there in all but the hottest months of the summer.”

Emery said fishing the warm-water discharge is a matter of reading where the currents push the baitfish and where the bass hold to ambush them. Boat positioning is more difficult the closer you get to the discharge. He prefers to use his trolling motor to move in front of the shallow riprap, casting into the current while looking for seams where fish will hide.

“The bottom is not flat like a lot of people believe, and it’s hard to get a good read on the bottom because of all the bubbles in the current,” he said. “That’s why I like to run the shoreline going in, then turn and let it push me back out while casting to both sides.”

Hard jerkbaits, shallow-diving crankbaits and un-weighted Flukes top his list of baits. The best action will come from daylight until the sun gets up on sunny days and may last longer on cloudy or rainy days, as schools of bass chase herring in the somewhat confined area.

When the shallow bite cuts off, he heads deep.

“On a bluebird day, the hot-hole bite is done by 9:30 or 10 o’clock,” he said. “Then it’s time to break out the jigging spoons, drop-shots and go hunt a deep point.”

Moving down the lake, Emery will check a number of deep points. He said the one thing to remember is that where there is one spotted bass, there are more.

“All I’m looking for is one fish hanging on the bottom – might be 60 to 80-foot deep,” he said. “Put that drop-shot or jigging spoon on him and hook him. It will look like a Christmas tree growing off the bottom as the rest of those fish you didn’t see chase him up off the bottom.

“It will be on for a little while, until they wear out, and then you go hunt some more on another deep point,” he said.