Bluegill and chinquapin bream are just getting going on Lake D’Arbonne in Union Parish. And while there are many ways to catch them, you need to stand out in the crowd to make the most of it — and that doesn’t mean wearing a bright yellow shirt or singing country songs loudly in the boat. 

It means following Randy Tucker’s best spring bream fishing tip.

“If there are 50 boats out there bream fishing with crickets and worms and one boat fishing with tiny 1-inch crawfish, the guys fishing crawfish will stand out in the crowd,” the veteran bream buster said. “They’ll be catching 10 to everybody else’s one.

“Water temps have to get to about 75 degrees for bream to really get going. When it hits that, the fish start to bed. When they do that, they will jump on a crawfish anytime they see one because they don’t want it in the nest. They might just nudge or nibble on a cricket, but they’ll smack that crawfish.”

Tucker says fishing for spring bream also requires patience. You won’t find them in big piles this time of year, but if you work your way down a good looking bank, fish in 3 to 6 feet of water with your bait about a foot off the bottom and pay attention, you’ll catch fish. Any area of the lake with structure, from cypress trees to boat docks to grassy banks, will hold bream.

Some favorite areas on the big lake are the coves on the south end by the spillway, the banks around Terral Island and up in Stowe Creek. Both arms of the lake, Corney Creek and Little D’Arbonne, also have miles of great shoreline for bream fishing. 

How to catch crawfish

The big “catch” to follow Tucker’s crawfishing tip is that you have to first go out and catch your own bait. 

Tucker does that with a long pole and a 4-foot small mesh seine on the end. He pulls it through shallow grass in ditches and ruts where water stays pretty much all year long. 

You may have to try five or six spots, but you will eventually get into some small crawfish. Put them in an ice chest with wet newspaper in the bottom and keep them cool to keep them alive and ready to go.

If you can’t find crawfish, don’t let that keep you from going, Tucker said. Red wigglers, Canadian cold worms, crickets and meal worms will all catch fish, too. The main thing is just go, give it a try and keep your eye on that bobber.