When to go bream-fishing

Local angler Ray Beadle typically starts getting the itch to fish bream in February when the willows start to bud. I kind of get that, because for me it’s when I can hear the steady singing of prothonotary warblers and northern parulas.

Some anglers say the best time is when the tent caterpillars start to fall from the trees.

Michael Broussard pointed out that chinquapins and bluegills begin to spawn each spring when the water temperature gets between 68 and 75 degrees.

“This is the best time to fish because they’re moving into shallower water and becoming more active,” he said. “They also favor protected backwater areas, where there is little current.

“It’s just a great time of year to be in the Basin fishing.”

At any rate, Bayou Vista’s Beadle chases sac-a-lait initially and bream later.

But he said the problem with fishing too early is that the seasons seem to intertwine — you often don’t know if it’s winter or spring.

“Sometimes you’ll be on a spot where you know they often congregate in schools, and you mop up on them,” Beadle said. “Then the next day it’s 29 degrees with a north wind blowing 25 to 30 mph that turns the water all muddy.

“But, when the (willow) buds come out, I know very soon it’ll be time to hit the schools of sac-a-lait, chinquapins and catfish.”

About John Flores 154 Articles
John Flores was enticed in 1984 to leave his western digs in New Mexico for the Sportsman’s Paradise by his wife Christine. Never looking back, the author spends much of his free time writing about and photographing the state’s natural resources.