John's Journal...

Tips for Catching Bigger Bream This Spring and Summer

Day 4: Use Tiny Hooks to Lip-Hook and Catch 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 ViewOne of the biggest problems that avid bream fishermen have when they get into a good bed of big bream is that the larger fish will stop biting as soon as three or four bream are caught. To prevent this from happening, the late well-known bream fisherman Alf Van Hoose of Birmingham, Alabama, developed a technique of catching and baiting quicker when he was fishing for big bream. “I use a tiny hook and light line, because I believe a smaller hook and smaller line is easier for a bream to get into its mouth. That smaller hook is also easier for a bream to swallow. And, unless you really know what you’re doing, you’ll spend most of your afternoon trying to get small hooks unlodged from deep inside the bream’s mouth or throat. When you take a lot of time getting a fish off of the hook, you are lessening the amount of time you have to fish. So, I try to lip-hook the bream to remove it faster. Click for Larger ViewTo lip-hook the bream, you must set the hook as soon as you see the cork move or the line twitch. Sure, I’ll miss a few bream like this. But, if I miss a bream, I can swing right back to it and give it another shot at the bait. If I do hook it, I can get it into the boat and off the hook quickly and easily.

“The next big problem of getting back into a bed of bream in a hurry is being able to bait-up quickly. If you are fishing with worms you have to dig through the box, find the worm, put it on the hook, rinse your hands off, and swing your bait out to fish again – all of which takes entirely too much time. So, I prefer to fish with crickets, because they are not nearly as nasty as worms and can be baited much quicker. The problem associated with crickets is getting them out of the cricket cage, closing the top on the cricket cage and then baiting the hook. For that reason, I take six or eight crickets out at a time, squeeze their heads just a little to immobilize them and lay them beside me on the seat. Then, I have six or eight baits ready to fish when I need them. Click for Larger ViewWhen I’m ready for a bait, I just reach-down, pick-up one of those immobilized crickets and put it on the hook, and I’m ready to fish again. If you’re catching big bream – getting your bait back into the water as quickly as possible is often the key to continuing to catch big bream.”

Another tactic that most breamers agree is a key to catching plenty of big bream is to have more than one or two beds located when you go fishing. Van Hoose always said, “I believe that the biggest bream that are the easiest to find and to catch are in farm ponds, especially well-fertilized farm ponds. The first thing I do when I go to a farm pond is fish all the way around the pond one time to locate the bream beds. Once I know where the beds are, then I go back to them and try to catch the big bream. When the fish quit hitting on one bed, I move to the next bed and continue to catch the biggest fish.” Yet another spot to take bigger bream is in boathouses where the problem is usually culling the smaller bream. Click for Larger ViewGenerally, a boathouse will be full of small bream and house only a few-bigger bream. And, as you try to catch the big bream, the little bream will run out, grab your bait and either get caught or get-off scot-free while the bigger bream sit-back and watch the action. Most of the time, the anglers who continue to catch the little bream are using big lines, leads, visible corks and small worms. By utilizing a bigger worm, a smaller hook, a very-small line and no cork or weight at all, an angler can present the worm more naturally to the bigger bream, which usually will come-up and take the bait. Also, there are many big bull bream in brackish waters along the bays, rivers and channels that feed into the Gulf of Mexico and other salt water. Although the little brackish-water bream are easy to catch, the big bream can often be very difficult to take. I only have met one angler who really had a handle on how to catch those big brackish bream.

Tomorrow: Baits and Tackle for Big Bream in Brackish Water

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 4