How can you make family memories that will last a lifetime? For many anglers, fond childhood memories involve a family fishing trip and a stringer of bream. So, don’t delay – take them fishing today! Where to go? Visit a nearby public fishing area.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division currently operates and manages ten PFAs across the state in an effort to provide the best possible fishing and access for family-friendly outings. Bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcrackers), both part of the bream family, are stocked on nearly every PFA pond or lake.
“This time of year is a great time to try bream fishing because these species move into shallow water and become more active and easier to catch,” says John Biagi, Wildlife Resources Division chief of Fisheries Management. “They also put up a good fight and even better, are good on a dinner plate.”
This time of year brings bream towards shallow waters (less than five feet deep) as they search for places to spawn. This includes the backs of major creeks, downstream end of sandbars, small coves and points off the main lake. Bream are attracted to natural shoreline cover (fallen trees, stumps, rocks and vegetation) and artificial cover (boat docks, fish attractors). Look for bream beds – plate-sized, bowl-shaped depressions in shallow water where adult fish will stay for extended periods of time.
The Wildlife Resources Division recommends targeting the following PFAs for bream: Rocky Mountain PFA in Floyd County, McDuffie PFA in McDuffie County, Big Lazer PFA in Talbot County, Marben PFA at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Newton and Jasper counties, Hugh Gillis PFA in Laurens County and Flat Creek PFA in Houston County.
In addition to PFAs, other bream hot spots include, James “Sloppy” Floyd State Park lakes near Summerville, Lake Richard B. Russell in northeast Georgia, Lake Rabun near Clayton in northeast Georgia, Lake Oliver and Goat Rock Lake near Columbus, High Falls Lake just north of Forsyth, Lake Juliette, near Macon, Lake Jackson in central Georgia, Lake Hamburg, located north of Sandersville on the Little Ogeechee River at Hamburg State Park, Lake Blackshear in southwest Georgia near Cordele, Lake Seminole in southwest Georgia, and the Satilla, St. Marys, Altamaha, Ocholcknee, Flint and Ocmulgee rivers.
Beginner bream anglers should start out with simple and easy to use equipment, such as light to medium rods with light spin-cast reels or medium size open-face spinning gear with six to eight-pound test line. Cane or fiberglass poles with small hooks (size 8-10), small split shot and a float also work well.
Baits and lures to consider are small spinners, small 1/16 to 1/8-ounce jigs, beetle spins and live bait (crickets, meal worms and earth worms) fished under a small float.
If using fly rods, popping bugs, wet flies and small spinner-fly combinations are effective. One especially effective fly rod lure is a small (size 10) sponge rubber spider with rubber band legs. It is best to fish bait on the bottom for shellcrackers while bluegill prefer bait suspended off the bottom. .
For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com .