Bobby Phillips knows there are lots of reasons to fish Cheniere Lake in western Ouachita Parish this month.

The big bream are biting. Fishing pressure is down. And, oh yes, you can fish in the shade on a 100-degree afternoon.

“The fishing here for chinquapins, bluegills hybrid bream that often stump even old timers when it comes to identification is awesome at this time of year,” the former owner of Honey Hole tackle said. “You can catch them so big you can’t get your hand around them.”

It isn’t complicated, either: Just get a box of red wigglers and some crickets, ease out through the cypress and tupelo gum thickets to an opening and start fishing.

You can’t catch them everywhere, but if you focus on areas in 4 to 5 feet of water out away from the bank, you will catch them bedding up.

Remember the bream are most often bedding and when you catch one, get it away from the bed as quickly as possible so it won’t disrupt the whole school. You’ll catch more that way.

Also, the big bulls also run right under the surface. Keep your eyes on open areas for the “V’s,” as Bobby calls them.

The V’s are ripples on the water’s surface formed as big bream chase each other or run other things away from the beds.

Like several area lakes, Cheniere is recovering from extremely high water this past spring. Damage to area roads and the lake’s spillway has some access points closed.

However, Phillips said Areas 1, 4, 5 & 7 remain open.

“Fishing here can be kind of intimidating because it is so thick with trees, but that shade also helps the fishermen and the fish,” he said.

Just make sure you keep up with where you are going and can find your way back to the dock.

The lake is also stumpy, so take your time navigating about.

But when you get into the big bream, you’ll realize the tough fishing is worth it.

Phillips also said that if you pay attention to your senses you can even smell the bream beds.

“I’m not so sure it’s the fish as much as you smell the muck on the bottom of the lake where they keep it stirred up, but there is a definite odor you can smell on the water where the big bream are bedding,” he said.

One final tip from Phillips: Use light gear, small corks and BB-sized weights. That will make a difference.