Top bream baits

Bass fishermen aren’t the only ones with a wide variety of lures from which to choose. Bream fishermen do, too.

Here are Dr. Ray Jones, aka Dr. Bream’s, top picks for a summer bream buffet and why he picks them:

• Crickets — That’s probably the first bait a bream is going to hit in summer. They don’t have to think about it; they just eat it.

And from the fisherman’s view, they are easy to catch and get on the hook quickly. That’s important when fish are really biting.

Andy Randall, 11, who attends Episcopal middle school in Baton Rouge, had a great day bream fishing in her neighborhood.

• Red worms — Of all the bream baits you can fish with, red worms give the greatest confidence level anytime, anywhere. They would be ranked first but for the mess and time it takes to get them on the hook.

• Wax worms (meal worms) — Technically, there are some differences in those two, but as far as the fish know they are just good bait. You usually don’t get as many nibblers with these worms because you can catch most fish that hit them.

• Spinners — Look for mini-spinnerbaits that have plastic bodies and a tiny spinner blades above them. They can be fished fast or slow, and can cover a lot more ground than live bait.

They work best when the fish are really aggressive and you are fishing more open water. And you don’t have to rebait your hook after a catch.

• Artificials — Fake corn, little scent-infused plastic worms and the like will catch fish. They are easy to keep and won’t die on you. Again, they work best when the fish are really aggressive.

• Catalpa worms — This is one gourmet item that could move all these baits down a notch were it more accessible and available.

“To be honest, the No. 1 bait for me would be catalpa worms, but those are pretty hard to find,” Jones said. “I love them. You can catch a half-dozen good fish off one piece of bait. They are tough, and the fish love them.”

There’s more. Fishing with a popping bug is great for shallow-water bream. It’s also good to help locate spawning beds.

Then there are grasshoppers (the slender green ones) and snails or grubs.

Grass shrimp are good if you can catch them, and don’t forget tiny crawfish. These are particularly good for chinquapin.

When the fish are really aggressive, Jones said you can basically catch bream on just about anything you can get on a hook.
When the fish are really aggressive, Jones said you can basically catch bream on just about anything you can get on a hook.

Basically, Jones said, you can catch bream on just about anything you can get on a hook. Did we mention little pieces of chopped-up hot dogs or corn niblets?

And Jones’ background in botany can’t be ignored when he suggests that he even once caught bream on the small red berry of an ornamental eleagnus plant.

But there is one bait that bream seem to pass up on the bream buffet. In the summer, you can often find swarms of black crickets out at night around street lights and such.

“One summer my dad got me an old drum and painted a broad, white, glossy ring around the inside of the drum,” Jones said. “He sent me out to fill it with those swarming crickets, and I did. I must’ve had 5,000 of them.

“If I ever caught a fish on one of them, I can’t remember it. It’s usually late in the summer when this happens, and these mature crickets have a hard shell. For some reason, just don’t appeal to the bream.”

About Kinny Haddox 595 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.