Spotted bass are schooling, biting on Lake Keowee

spotted bass
Long casts are required to get hooked up with a schooling spotted bass on Lake Keowee in the fall.

Find bait, target schooling fish

Two keys to catching Lake Keowee’s spotted bass in October, according to pro angler and guide Todd Goade of Suwanee, Ga., are finding bait and targeting schooling fish.

“If you find the bait, the spotted bass will be out there roaming, chasing the bait, not even on structure,” he said. “You can catch fish schooling in 100 feet of water in Keowee.”

Finding the bait depends on being aware of your surroundings, said Goade (470-266-9661).

“Look for birds, because they will give the bait away. And usually, that time of year, a good population of loons will show up on the lake. If you see loons, there will be bait around.”

The second key involves not getting too close to schooling fish.

“When the fish are schooling, you have to have the ability to make really long casts,” he said.

Goade’s go-to lure is a Zoom Super Fluke.

“I cast it on 10-pound fluorocarbon with a barrel swivel and a 16-inch, 15-pound leader,” he said. “That gives me some more beef when I set the hook, but the 10-pound line lets me cast a really long way. When they come up, you have to make that cast and land it while they are still up or you are not going to catch them.”

Topwater lures are top producers

Goade said he has several other lures that work really well on Keowee this time of year: topwaters like a Sammie or a Lucky Craft Gunfish and a spybait, a long, slender lure with small propeller blades fore and aft that is retrieved at a very slow speed.

“I rig the spybait on a spinning rod so I can make really long casts,” he said. “I like to use 10-pound Fitzgerald Vursa braid with 8-pound Seguar fluorocarbon for a leader. The braid is very soft but has great strength, and it has great casting ability.”

In addition to schooling spots, Goade said Keowee always has a dock pattern at that time of year.

“If you can find docks midway back in a pocket or creek that has deep water close to them, those are the docks that work best,” he said. “My favorite bait for the docks is a Zoom Beatdown; I throw it on the same spinning rod with the 10-pound braid and 8-pound fluorocarbon.

Click here to read about catching Lake Norman’s spotted bass.

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