WHEN LINE COUNTS
How Blakely Catches Bream
NOTE: Billy Blakely of Tiptonville, Tennessee, manages
Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake and also is the chief
fishing guide there. Each day Blakely and the other
guides who work with him on Reelfoot Lake take clients
out fishing for bluegills, crappie, catfish and bass.
“We have to depend on the fishing line we use
to help us be successful and to help our clients to
catch fish,” Blakely explains. “That’s
the reason we’ve all changed over to Mossy Oak
Fishing Line. We know that when a fish takes the bait
we can depend on the Mossy Oak Line to put that fish
in the boat.” This week Blakely will tell us how
he and the other guides at Blue Bank produce large numbers
of fish each day throughout the spring and summer. You
may not believe the catch numbers that Blakely reports,
but if you doubt that he and his other guides can produce
as many fish in a day as they say, go to Reelfoot Lake.
Fish with Blakely and/or his guides. He’ll prove
it to you.
May and June are two of our best months for catching
both bluegills and shellcrackers here at Blue Bank Resort
on Reelfoot Lake. The lake is a relatively-shallow lake
that was formed by an earthquake that caused the Mississippi
River to spill over on the land and create the lake.
The average depth of Reelfoot is 4-7 feet, and the lake’s
full of underwater stumps and trees. If you put your
bass boat in Reelfoot and
run your motor at full throttle across this lake, the
lake will eat your propeller and lower unit up. Reelfoot
also homes plenty of standing timber in it, a large
number of cypress trees and vast expanses of grass and
lily pads that provide ideal habitat for bluegills.
The most-effective way to catch bream, both bluegills
and shellcrackers, at this year is to fish with Popeye
jigs and wax worms and 6-pound-test line. The small
jigs we’re using for bream have feather tails,
and we put a wax worm on each No. 6 hook. We don’t
use floats or weights on our rigs. We fish tight lines.
We’ll put a spinning reel on a 10-foot B’N’M
pole and let out about 2-1/2 to 3-feet of the line below
the tip of the pole. Then we’ll swim the jigs
just under the surface around the cypress trees standing
out in the water. Or, we’ll drop our jigs and
swim in the open holes in the lily pads. One of the
tricks to catching the most bluegills is that anytime
there’s a crack or an opening in the trunk of
a cypress tree, you need to put the tip of your pole
in that hole and swim the jig inside the cypress tree.
That’s when the bluegills will attack.
We like to fish 6-pound-test Mossy Oak Fishing Line
because that line has a small diameter, which gives
the jig much more action than a larger line will. Yet
that line is strong enough and abrasion-resistant enough
to fight a big bluegill out of the cypress and get it
into the boat. To be honest, I wouldn’t have a
problem even fishing 4-pound-test line for those bream,
because this line from Mossy Oak Fishing Line is so
tough and so strong. When we’re bluegill fishing
with customers from all across
the country, we don’t judge the success of the
day with how many bites we’ve gotten or how many
bream we’ve missed, but rather on how many bream
we‘ve bought to the boat and put in the ice chest.
That Mossy Fishing Oak Line helps us get the bream to
the boat and in the cooler.
One of the problems we have fishing under and in these
cypress trees are that the bluegills and shellcrackers
aren’t the only fish that live next to the trees.
We may catch channel catfish weighing from 2- to 7-pounds
each and bass that will weigh from 1/2- up to 5-6 pounds
when we’re fishing for bluegills. Therefore we
must fish with a line strong enough to land a 1-1/2
to 2-pound bream but that’s also able to take
the shock of a vicious catfish or bass strike on that
light line, enable us to play that fish down and bring
it to the boat. That’s why we fish with 6-pound-test
line instead of 4-pound test. With the 6-pound-test
fishing line, our fishermen can catch the catfish and
the bass besides the bream.
At this time of the year, the bream are feeding just
under the surface on bugs and insects that fall off
the trees out in the water or off the lily pads. Our
average bluegills here at Reelfoot Lake will weigh 12-14
ounces each and catching a bluegill that weighs 1- to
1-1/2-pounds isn’t uncommon. In a day of fishing,
two fishermen generally will catch 70-90 bluegills and
shellcrackers, and there’s no limit on bluegills
on Reelfoot Lake. If you like to catch big bluegills
and shellcrackers and plenty of them, now’s the
time to visit Reelfoot and fish for them. If you
fish with us, we provide the rods, the reels, the line
and the baits for you. All of our poles are strung with
6-pound-test fishing line when you fish for bream.
To learn more about Blue Bank Resort, go to www.bluebankresort.com
1-877-258-3226. Blue Bank has a motel, restaurant, guide
service, rental boats, motors, fishing tackle and a
bait shop. For more information about Mossy Oak Fishing
Line, go to www.mossyoakfishing.com.
TOMORROW: COME CATCH SOME CATFISH