Fishing & Boating News

A Journal of Yucky Worms and Bream

by: Ed Snyder, Ed Snyder Outdoors

Photo by Ed Snyder
Photo by Ed Snyder
(Apr 29, 2016 - Lake Sam Rayburn, TX) ... No other freshwater species of fish have ever generated so much allure,  so much pleasure, or such fond memories than the bream. Nor has any other species of freshwater fish influenced so many lifestyles from childhood to adulthood. Bream, though small in stature, often become the keystone for the building blocks of human character.

An umbrella term used for the sunfish family, the term bream (brim) blankets a wide group of fin-fish with munchkin like names such as pumpkin-seed, goggle eye, sunnies, chinquapins, war-mouth, shell crackers, and bluegill.

My first, or I might as well say, most first impressions gained from our earliest encounters with fishing involved squiggly, wriggly, yucky worms, or jumping, chirping, run-a-muck crickets impaled on hooks under brightly colored bobbers, which were then tossed by or mentors out into the water. At first, we were enthralled and excited by the colorful bobbing bobbers floating about in a watery world of outdoor adventures. But then, our childlike impatience took over with the dreaded, Daddy, I'm bored syndrome. That is until one of those little floating corks suddenly dip, dip, dips below the surface changing our lives forever!

When it comes to bream fishing the good ol' days are still very much with us as a cane pole, a can of fresh dug worms, and a quick trip to the pond can still provide those all important life bonding moments between adults and children.

Although I never experienced my bonding moment with dad taking me fishing, with him off fighting the war in the pacific, while mom packed parachutes at the McAllen air base in south Texas, I did, however, experience my very first fishing adventure after catching a Rio Grand perch from an irrigation canal in San Benito. Though smallish, about four inches long, I became hooked forever on the magic of being able to toss something so ugly in the water to pull out something so beautiful.

When summer simmers in for its long hot season, the bream began flooding the shorelines and flats, making them easily accessible by boat or bank anglers. Now is the time to plan those all important fishing trips with our fledgling anglers and anglerettes when they become so easy to find, and most importantly, so easy to catch. Nothing will dull a child's attention level so quickly than when inactivity initiates inactivity. So when the bream begin concentrating in the shallows to spawn or feed, its time to treat our kids to one of the most exciting outdoor adventures of all, bream fishing.

Bream gear can involve anything from cane poles to snoopy rods, the simpler the gear the better as most kids really don't want to fidget with tangled lines or hard to cast rigs that may end up more in the water instead of in their hands. An el-cheapo Zebco 202 combo rig will get them started with the casting end, (let them practice in the yard) hands-on how-to lessons will turn them onto the fishing end of it, and the catching end of it will come after youve taken them out for some fun in the sun.

Sandy points or long stretches of shallow grassy flats will be holding good bream populations, as will pier or bulkhead areas around marinas or boat docks/ramps. Feeder creeks, sloughs, and small bays or main-lake coves are also good bream holding spots. Bream beds are easily spotted as theyll look like sandy colored freckles within the darker shaded bottoms. Saucer sized, the bream beds will hold several fish around them with many bream being caught from just one bedding area. Brush or tree overhangs or lay-downs also hold excellent bream, or maybe a bonus bass or two.

There are no size or creel limits for bream in Texas waters, but keep yourself legal. Kids under 17 years of age do not need a license or freshwater stamp and granddads born before Sept. 1, 1930 are also exempt from holding a license. All others are required to hold a Texas fishing license with freshwater or all water stamps, with the exception of the first Saturday in June of each year as an annual Free Fishing Day when no person is required to have a fishing license or stamp endorsements while fishing on that day.

Key baits for this time of year are live crickets, mealy worms, red wrigglers, or plain ol earthworms. Berkley markets some really great bream nibblet baits that come in a jar, which are popular with those who dont care to handle live baits. For those who enjoy catching them on lures    oz to 1/8th oz roadrunners, or beetle spins, in chartreuse/white or green/black/yellow, or small 16th -to- 32nd oz bream-jigs in black or chartreuse colors are always good choices. You can either cast your baits/lures under bobbers to slowly work back across the beds, or you can split-shot them and slowly drag them across the bottom. Large bream of hand sized to man-sized (   lb to 1 lb) are lurking about this time of year, but may be holding in slightly deeper waters around stumps and brush-piles. Live minnows are great choices for these critters, as are small live crawfish or bits of frozen shrimp cut into bite-sized chunks.

Line choice should be light with 4 to 6 lb test mono-filament recommended. Hooks should be #8 long-shank Aberdeen's. Aberdeen s are wire type hooks and can be easily pulled off of snags and then reshaped to continue fishing, (which makes it much easier for us adults who are kept busy with the kids casting and snagging techniques.) a small BB split-shot pinched on the line about 6 inches above the hook keeps the hook down and a small pencil or ball bobber set about 2 foot above your hook should get you started. The thing to remember is to try and adjust your bobber set to allow your baited hook to drift just a few inches above the bottom to avoid snags. Kids will generate their own fun by casting and reeling, casting and reeling, casting and reeling, so let them have their fun until youve managed to connect with a fish or two, letting them reel the fish in. They will finally connect the two dots and try to catch their own fish. When this happens, theyll be hooked for life.

Sportier bream anglers like to work fly-rods for bream. Fly fishing wasnt only developed for rocky mountain trout or salt flat bone-fish as bream and fly fishing meld like they were born for each other. This needs not to be an expensive venture as fairly inexpensive (but good) fly rod combos can be bought ($29 to $39) at sporting good emporiums such as Wal-Mart or Academy stores. Along with a floating weight forward line and a sinking tippet (4 to 6 lb test) with a pocket tackle box full of nymphs, whollys, or poppers, the your fly rod adventure shouldn't cost you over $50. You don't have to get fancy with a fly rod, but you will have to learn its casting peculiarities before testing your skills on the waters. But once you've done this and learned to roll and loop-cast the unique bond of bream fishing with a fly-rod will put you on a level of sheer joy.

Its 6:am now with 68 degrees pulling predawn mist off of the water, and as I dream of dimples beginning to ripple the surface on a lagoon in front of me, I'm grabbing a fly-rig with one hand, shutting down my computer with the other, and heading out the door! ......................It's time to fish for that Rio Grand Perch folks!!

This Ed Snyder/Outdoors report sponsored by- The Stump Restaurant Club- Fishing - - Miss Nancy s Bait Camp (FB).
Photo by Ed Snyder
Photo by Ed Snyder