Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bream Fishing on Lake Moultrie

My fishing buddy, Lewis and I decided to change it up a bit from the Inshore Fishing experiences that we love to do some freshwater bream fishing. Along on this journey, my wife Marian decided to go along as well. We decided to check out the Duck Pond area of Lake Moultrie in the search of some bream.

Lake Moultrie was once a part of large rice, indigo and cotton plantations. Some of these plantations went by the names of Moorfield, Brunwick, Mount Pleasant, Northampton, Oak Field to name a few. In 1939 work began to develop a lake system that now exists to provide power and recreational opportunities. When this project got completed these plantations are now located at the bottom of what is known as Lake Moultrie.

The lake has shallow swamps, black water ponds, thousands of tree stumps and live cypress trees, as well as large open areas of water; resulting in a varied fishing environment for the angler. A world record channel catfish weighing 58 lb (26 kg); was caught from this lake. The lake also holds the South Carolina state record for black crappie (5 lbs). Besides channel catfish and black crappie the angler will also have the opportunity to catch bream, white crappie, blue catfish, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, and bowfin.

Our target species on this trip will be bream. Uff da what is a bream? Since I’m originally from
northern Minnesota from a small city known as Detroit Lakes most people from this area would not know what a bream is. So I will have to inform my fellow Minnesotans of what a bream is. So bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and the other species of sunfish makeup the family group of bream. Uff da; if Detroit Lakes is the Sunfish Capital of the World does that makes it the Bream Capital of the World as well?

On this trip, I took two rods; a medium light 7-foot rod set-up with a beetle spin and the other is a 14-foot match rod or in the south known as a bream buster using a float, a BB size split shot, and a live red worm on a #8 hook. Uff da, the thought of a rod on the Jackson Big Tuna that is as long as the kayak just seems not natural.

The thought of bream fishing brings back memories when my dad would take us sunny fishing.  The sunfish is usually the first fish caught by kids because they are so abundant and easy to fish for. For this reason bream angling is loved by many fishermen. One reason that I enjoy fishing for sunfish is that pound for pound these bantam fish are excellent fighters for their size. For me they are top table fare even compared to catfish and walleye. When we need to keep the kids interested in fishing bream regardless of size this fish answers this call.

As we launched from the boat ramp, we started out fish-finding by casting toward various type of cover as sunfish or bream are cover lovers. Bream will remain close to protective areas to hide from predators; the cover attracts a ready food supply and shelter from the sunlight. In this area of Lake Moultrie the cover consisted of weed beds, some stumps, and live cypress trees.

Eventually we came to a large group of cypress trees and provided also some shade to keep the water temperature cooler. This surely looked like prime area for bream. After struggling with the 14-foot match rod, I managed to keep the line, float, and hook out of the trees and spanish moss. Uff da; that rod really was not working for me in a kayak. At any rate; I managed to hook up three small white bass fingerlings but no bream. In this same area Marian decided that the high seat position of the Jackson Cuda was not for her at this time. So she lowered the seat from the high position to the low position. Also she stood up in the Cuda. She felt that the Cuda was not as stable as the Jackson Big Tuna. Never the less she was standing and paddling a little to get us to standing.

The water temperature in this area was in the mid to high 80s and the water depth about three feet. The time had been approaching the noon time so we started heading back to the launch. So I started to paddle out to some deeper water about 6 to 9 feet. By this time I started using a beetle spin on a 7 foot spinning rod. Occasionally I would feel a bump but no hook up. Also I would see something following it back. It appeared to be about a hand size bream but as soon as the unknown fish would see the kayak the fish would turn around back to the deeper water.

After this experience I do not feel that I will bring that 14-foot match rod along. There is no room for that rod on the Big Tuna or any kayak. A rod of this configuration is more suited for shoreline fishing and not from a kayak. Next time I will bring my ultra-light spinning set-up for bream fishing from a kayak.

See you along the waterways and tight lines.

Uff da! NEWS FLASH…Onalaska, Wisconsin is now the Sunfish Capital of the World and not Detroit Lakes. I guessing this is because their mascot; Sunny the Sunfish is 25 feet long and 15 feet tall. Where in Detroit Lakes they have a school of 50 Sunfish that measure four feet long and 2.5 feet tall. You be the judge of who should claim this title.

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