Cover a lot of water, and cast to a lot of cover, for a mess of tasty, summer panfish
Long boat rides, 3 a.m. alarms, expensive live shrimp and short feeding periods can make targeting speckled trout in August almost feel like work rather than fun.
Instead of fighting all that, catching bream is extremely productive and far more relaxing.
The Tchefuncte River is a great place to target these tasty panfish, and local angler Jeff Bruhl, having fished the place all his life, knows the river like the back of his hand.
Bruhl targets the bream in the main river since the spawn is mostly over.
“You might be able to find some bream beds left, but usually by then, they’re pretty much done,” he said. “Stick to the main river. It usually has more current, and the water is a little cooler.”
With the ridiculous heat of August, fishing in direct sunlight is one of the worst things you can do when trying to catch bream.
“You want to fish under shade, like under a dock or big cypress trees,” Bruhl said. “You can fish tree tops and laydowns, especially any kind of tree that has limbs on it that are pretty thick. They’ll be in stuff like that too.”
Because the majority of the spawn is finished, Bruhl finds fish to be more scattered.
“You’re not going to sit up on a bed somewhere and catch a big mess off of one spot,” he said. “You’re going to have to move and pick off isolated fish.”
What to use
Bruhl recommends fishing a 1/16-ounce Beetle Spin with a black or green grub trailer. He slow-rolls it around the shady cypress trees or docks.
“They still like crickets that time of year, but the problem is, if you don’t know where a good concentration of fish are, you’ll drown your crickets before you get any bites,” he said.
Bream aren’t the only things eager to hit a Beetle Spin, according to Bruhl.
“With those Beetle Spins, you’ll catch a lot of little bass that time of year, because you’ve got a spawn April or May, and those bass that have spawned will already be 4 to 6 inches by August,” he said. “They grow pretty quickly.”
Another great thing with targeting bream this month is that anglers can sleep in.
“I think bream bite all the time,” he said. “You do want to have the water moving. That always helps.”