May marks beginning of bream spawn

Published 12:31 am Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yesterday morning a bad thunderstorm and heavy rain changed the plans of many fishermen. Our landlocked lakes were already full and the “live” oxbows — the old river bend lakes that are connected to the Mississippi River — remain flooded.

Low water levels should not be a problem this year. This month marks the beginning of the bream spawn. I heard many good reports this past week from several area lakes. On Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin the bluegill are hard on the beds.

The best way to catch the fish on these lakes or for that matter anywhere else is to use crickets and a jig pole. I find it to be more fun catching the bream using ultra light spinning gear or a fly rod. If you’re using an ultra light it’s hard to beat a 1/32nd ounce black and yellow Beatle Spin fished on 4 to 6 pound test line. Cast the small spinner past the bream bed and let it fall to the bottom.

Email newsletter signup

Retrieve the lure as slow as possible, just fast enough to keep the blades turning. My favorite bream setup is fly tackle. I use a 6 weight fly rod with 7 weight floating line. Upsizing the line one weight heavier than the rod allows you to present small flies to the bream on windy days.

The heavier line loads the fly rod up on the back cast which increases your casting distance and really helps if the wind is blowing. If you’re using a cane pole or jig pole with live bait try a weighted cork. That small piece of lead wrapped around the cork really helps when you’re trying to place a cricket tight to the cover. The bream spawn will last this entire month and right on through the first couple weeks of June

The bass activity is on the upswing. The fish have spawned and the big females are cruising the shallows looking for an easy meal. This is one of my favorite months to fish for bass. After the spawn largemouth bass will look toward the surface for an easy meal. The big surface lures will catch the trophy fish and the small lures will land the numbers. If you’re after numbers try the Rebel Pop R, the small version of a Chug Bug or any one of the many 3 to 4 inch poppers, walkers and chuggers.

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at