John's Journal...

Tips for Catching Bigger Bream This Spring and Summer

Day 1: Camouflage Your Hook to Take More Bream

Editor’s Note: Average fishing tactics take average-sized bream. To get the big “bulls,” you need some special tricks, no matter where you fish. Follow this advice, and your stringer will get stretched like never before.

Click for Larger ViewThe line on the fly rod snaked out across the surface of the water and deposited the small, foam-bodied bream fly close to the base of a willow tree. Before I ever twitched the bait, a bream inhaled it with the usual “p-m-o-p” smacking sound. I set the hook, and the limber fly rod curled like a wet noodle. The small but feisty bream zinged the leader of the line as it knifed the water at rapid speeds. Before long, I brought the bluegill to my boat and put it in the cooler with the other 20-or -so average-sized bream I had caught that morning.

Click for Larger ViewDuring the spring and summer, anybody can catch bream around piers, under willow trees and in most shallow water. In the more-rocky terrains, they’ll be in little pools and shady spots on the sides of rocks and boulders and under the rocks waiting on the bait to pass by. These average to small-sized bream are the bream anyone can catch, and that most breamers do catch. But to take big bream – monster-sized bream – the ones that have grown big and smart by avoiding hooks, we must understand something about them. First of all these big bream are basically shy and extremely wary. The subtle mistakes that most bream anglers make are the mistakes that the big bream key-in on and avoid. For instance, oftentimes, large, smart bream can spot the hooks in baits. So, one of the tactics that may work best on big bream is to bury or camouflage the hook as much as possible in the bait. This action may mean utilizing much-smaller hooks than most breamers assume are necessary for catching really-big bream. Many anglers also have found that big bream can see big line – anything 8-pound-test and over. Most sportsmen feel that 2- or 4-pound-test line is much-more effective for taking big bream than 6- or 8-pound-test line.To begin to understand how to catch big bream, we must consider the techniques that big-bream fishermen have historically used to consistently catch a bream that takes two hands to hold. Click for Larger View

Click for Larger ViewThe late Coke McKenzie of Birmingham, Alabama, used light line, fished deep and hid on the bank when he caught a bream that remained the world record for more than 30 years. Also, I have tried a tactic of crawling up on farm-pond bream that really pays big dividends. If you assume that bream can see the fisherman, and that if the fish do see the angler, they will be spooked and will leave their bedding areas or refuse to bite, then you soon realize that the more invisible the fisherman can become, the better his chances of taking bream.

Tomorrow: Sneaking-Up on Bream

Check back each day this week for more about "Tips for Catching Bigger Bream This Spring and Summer "

Day 1: Camouflage Your Hook to Take More Bream
Day 2: Sneaking-Up on Big Bream
Day 3: Catching Hard-to-Reach Bream
Day 4: Use Tiny Hooks to Lip-Hook and Catch More Bream
Day 5: Baits and Tackle for Big Bream in Brackish Water

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Entry 611, Day 1