Fishing is spot on for Lake Keowee bass

Todd Goade said that plenty of nice Lake Keowee spotted bass start to show up in anglers’ creels this month.

Two-stage pattern will produce good numbers, good fish

Bass pro and guide Todd Goade of Suwanee, Ga., said November is one of the best times to catch spotted bass on South Carolina’s Lake Keowee — for numbers and size.

“Keowee is a good lake to catch numbers of spotted bass, and I’ve had several 50-fish days in November,” said Goade. “There are a lot of 13- to 16-inch fish in Keowee, a lot of pound-and-a-half spots, but at that time of year, for some reason, I catch some of the biggest fish I catch all year long there: 3- to 4-pound fish.”

In fact, he said, November can be so good on Keowee that Goade has had tournament days when he weighed 16 to 17 pounds of spotted bass for a five-fish limit. The pattern in November is pretty simple, he said: fish a spinnerbait around shallow-water spots early and a shaky head and drop-shot around deep docks once the sun gets up.

“First thing in the morning, there are some shallow places around some of the islands where I like to throw a spinnerbait. I will mix a Fish Head Spin in there, too,” said Goade (470-266-9661). “That bite works pretty good until the sun gets up on the water, and then it dies.”

When that happens, he said, he moves back into the creeks and concentrates on boat docks.

“By November, the baitfish have made their fall migration and moved back into the creeks, and the bass have moved with them,” he said. “I like to start two-thirds of the way back in a creek or pocket and fish the deeper docks, ones that have 20 to 30 feet of water on the end. Those are typically the ones that hold spots.

“Once the sun gets up and is shining on the docks, the fish will position themselves under the floats, using that canopy for shade. When you make the right cast, they are following the bait to the bottom, and when you lift up, the fish is already there.

“I will dissect the dock. I start throwing at the corner closest to the bank and work out to the end of the dock. My favorite bait is a green pumpkin Zoom Mag shaky head. I’ll also throw a Z3 Original Zoom on a shaky head. The hologram dawn color does really well for me.”

Goade said there will sometimes be debris in the water in front of the docks, and when he works his way out to that area, he likes to have a drop-shot tied on with a Zoom Swamp Crawler in watermelon red or watermelon candy color.

“I also have some brush piles I’ve put out over the years in 25 to 30 feet of water. I will throw a topwater over them and after that throw a worm into them,”  said Goade, who believes anglers can sometimes cash in on schooling fish.

“The lake has a lot of islands, and if you are fishing docks around those islands, a lot of times the fish will come up schooling out there in 70 to 80 feet of water,” he said. “They are not relating to anything out there, they are chasing bait. If that happens I’ll run over and throw a topwater lure like a Sammie, or maybe a Super Fluke.”