Lake Keokee - Fishing Opportunities

Bass fishing opportunities are somewhat limited at this time. The lake supports an average abundance of largemouths compared to other Southwest Virginia impoundments. The overall size structure of the population is poor, however. Very few bass over 12 inches long are collected in population samples. Age and growth data indicate that it takes more than five years for a largemouth in Keokee Lake to reach 12 inches. So, you can expect to catch bass at Keokee, but most of them will be small. The slow growth rates may be the result of the low productivity and tough foraging conditions in the past. Biologists will continue to monitor the bass population and consider options to improve the fishery. The fingerlings stocked from 2004 to 2006 were Florida strain hybrids that may offer improved growth potential compared to northern strain largemouths. Biologists will continue to monitor the bass population and try to improve its size structure.

Sunfish are an entirely different story at Keokee Lake. Bluegills and especially redear sunfish reach enormous sizes. Citation-sized (1 pound or 11 inches) sunfish are definitely a possibility here. Sunfish spawn in May and June, and that would probably be the best time to land a trophy.

If stocked channel catfish do as well at Keokee as they have in other small impoundments in recent years, fishing should really pick up in the near future. The new catfish stocking protocol seems to have made a big difference in small impoundment catfishing in Southwest Virginia. Channel catfish will be stocked each year.