Lake Jocassee Fishing Full Guide, Spots, Techniques, Gear

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Lake Jocassee is a stunning reservoir nestled in the border region of North Carolina and South Carolina. It offers excellent fishing opportunities and is a popular destination for anglers of all levels of experience. Famous for its crystal clear waters and breathtaking mountain views, the lake provides a serene and picturesque backdrop for fishing enthusiasts. This article is all about Lake Jocassee fishing in both north cand south carolina.

The lake spans an area of approximately 7,500 acres and boasts a maximum depth of around 300 feet. Making it an ideal habitat for a wide variety of fish species. Among the most sought after catches are bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Additionally, anglers can find trout, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout, thriving in the cool waters of the lake.

Spring and fall are particularly favorable seasons for fishing in Lake Jocassee. During these times, the water temperature is ideal for various fish species, and they tend to be more active and eager to bite. In the spring, as the weather warms up, bass can be found near the shallows, where they spawn and feed on smaller prey. As the weather cools down in the fall, the fish are more likely to move towards deeper areas, creating excellent opportunities for deep-water fishing.

For those seeking a unique and challenging experience, fly fishing is a popular method on Lake Jocassee, especially when targeting trout. The clear waters allow anglers to spot fish easily, and the thrill of casting a well-presented fly and watching the fish strike is unparalleled.

Following in the article we will discuss everything anglers need to know about fishing in lake Jocassee. From its best spots to planning a trip we will cover everything.

Lake Jocassee Fishing Gear

When it comes to selecting the best gear for fishing in Lake Jocassee, it’s essential to consider the various fish species you’ll be targeting, the fishing techniques you plan to use, and the specific characteristics of the lake itself. Let’s delve into the details of the best rods and reels for a successful fishing experience on Lake Jocassee.


  • Bass Fishing: For targeting bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, a medium to medium-heavy power casting rod is recommended. A rod with a length of 6’6″ to 7’2″ is versatile enough to handle a variety of lures and techniques. Look for graphite or composite construction, as they provide sensitivity and strength for accurate casting and detecting subtle bites.
  • Trout Fishing: When going after trout, particularly rainbow, brown, and brook trout, a light to medium power spinning rod is ideal. Opt for a length between 6′ to 7′ for ease of casting in the clear waters of the lake. Graphite or fiberglass rods offer the sensitivity required for detecting light bites from trout.

Lake Jocassee Fishing Reels

  • Bass Fishing: A baitcasting reel is a popular choice for bass fishing in Lake Jocassee. Look for a reel with a gear ratio between 6.3:1 to 7.1:1 for a good balance of power and speed. A higher gear ratio allows you to retrieve lures quickly and cover more water, which is beneficial in the vast expanse of the lake.
  • Trout Fishing: For trout fishing, a spinning reel is preferred, as it provides easy casting and versatility. Choose a reel size suitable for holding lightweight fishing lines, such as 4lb to 8lb test lines, which are commonly used for trout fishing. A smooth drag system is crucial for handling the often quick and erratic runs of trout.

Fishing Lines

  • Bass Fishing: For bass fishing, use braided or fluorocarbon fishing lines. Braided lines offer excellent strength and sensitivity, ideal for techniques like topwater fishing and heavy cover situations. Fluorocarbon lines are virtually invisible underwater and are well-suited for techniques that require finesse and sensitivity, such as drop shotting and finesse presentations.
  • Trout Fishing: For trout fishing, opt for a high-quality monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line. These lines have lower visibility and provide the necessary flexibility for presenting small lures and bait effectively.

Lures and Baits

  • Bass Fishing: Popular bass lures for Lake Jocassee include soft plastic worms (Senkos, worms, and creature baits), crankbaits, swimbaits, jigs, and topwater lures like poppers and buzzbaits.
  • Trout Fishing: For trout, consider using lures such as small inline spinners, spoons, soft plastic grubs, and jerkbaits. Live bait options like worms, minnows, and crickets can also be effective for enticing trout.

Lake Jocassee Fishing Spots

Lake Jocassee offers numerous excellent fishing spots for anglers to explore and increase their chances of a successful catch. Here are some of the best fishing spots on Lake Jocassee.

  1. Devil’s Fork State Park: This is one of the most popular spots for fishing on Lake Jocassee. The park provides easy access to the lake, and anglers can find various fish species near the shoreline and around the underwater structures.
  2. Horsepasture River: The inflow of the Horsepasture River into Lake Jocassee creates a prime fishing location. The river brings in nutrients and attracts a variety of fish, including trout and bass.
  3. Whitewater River: Similar to the Horsepasture River, the Whitewater River’s entry point into Lake Jocassee is another productive fishing spot. Trout, in particular, can often be found in this area.
  4. The Main Channel: The main channel of the lake is a go-to spot for anglers targeting bass. The deeper sections near the channel edges often hold largemouth and spotted bass throughout the year.
  5. Big Creek: Big Creek is known for its shallow flats, making it an ideal place for topwater fishing during the warmer months. Bass tend to congregate here to feed on baitfish and other aquatic creatures.
  6. Bear Creek: This cove-like area is a favorite for anglers looking for largemouth bass. The structure provided by submerged trees and vegetation attracts bass seeking cover.
  7. Thompson River: The Thompson River’s inflow area can be excellent for trout fishing, especially during the cooler months. The river brings in colder water, providing an ideal environment for trout.
  8. Eastatoe Creek: This area is another top spot for trout fishing. Anglers can find trout hiding in the deeper pools and riffles created by the creek’s flow.

Best Time to Fish Lake Jocassee

Fishing in Lake Jocassee can be rewarding year-round, but the best times to fish vary depending on the fish species you’re targeting and the fishing techniques you plan to use. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the different seasons and the optimal times to fish in Lake Jocassee.

Here is our full guide about western North Carolina Fishing.

March to May

  • Bass Fishing: Spring is an excellent time for bass fishing as the water starts to warm up, and bass become more active. Look for bass in shallow areas near the shoreline, where they spawn and feed on smaller baitfish. Early spring is ideal for using jerkbaits, jigs, and soft plastic worms, while late spring calls for topwater lures like poppers and buzzbaits.
  • Trout Fishing: Spring is also a good time for trout fishing, especially in the rivers and streams that feed into the lake. As the water temperature rises, trout become more active and move to shallower areas. Consider using small inline spinners, spoons, and soft plastic grubs for successful trout fishing.

June to August

  • Bass Fishing: During the summer, bass tend to move to deeper areas of the lake to escape the warmer surface temperatures. Focus on drop-offs, underwater structures, and points where bass seek cooler water and ambush their prey. Texas-rigged worms, deep-diving crankbaits, and Carolina-rigged soft plastics can be effective in the summer months.
  • Trout Fishing: Summer trout fishing can be challenging, as trout may retreat to cooler, deeper waters. However, you can still find them in the deeper parts of the lake or near the dam. Use downriggers to present lures at the desired depth, and consider trolling with spoons or small crankbaits to entice trout.

September to November

  • Bass Fishing: Fall is a fantastic time for bass fishing on Lake Jocassee. As the water starts to cool down, bass become more active and begin feeding aggressively to prepare for winter. Look for them near points, submerged structures, and creek mouths. Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, and jerkbaits are effective lures during this season.
  • Trout Fishing: Fall is one of the best times for trout fishing in Lake Jocassee. As the water cools, trout become more active and move closer to the surface. Target them in the rivers and creeks, using small spinners, spoons, and live bait like worms or minnows.

Here are somethings to do lake Jocassee.

December to February

  • Bass Fishing: Winter can be more challenging for bass fishing, as the fish become less active in colder water. However, you can still catch them in deeper areas using slow-moving presentations such as jigs and soft plastic baits.
  • Trout Fishing: Winter is an excellent time for trout fishing, especially near the river inlets and the dam area. Trout are more active in cold water, so use smaller lures and slower presentations to entice them.

Final Thoughts

Lake Jocassee stands as a captivating and diverse fishing destination, boasting crystal-clear waters, picturesque surroundings, and a wide array of fish species. Anglers can experience year-round excitement, with each season offering unique opportunities to target bass and trout using various fishing techniques. From the thrill of topwater strikes in the spring to the challenge of winter trout fishing, the lake’s ever changing conditions promise a fulfilling fishing experience for all skill levels. Embark on a fishing adventure in Lake Jocassee, and be prepared to create lasting memories amidst its breathtaking scenery and rewarding fishing opportunities.

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