Crappie For Dough, Bream For Show
Phillip Gentry
“I start looking for bream on the beds during the month of May the week before the full moon,” he said. “Bream will go to fanning their beds and when they do, they stink. You can smell them from 100 yards away. That fanning will also cause bubbles in the water. When I’m in an area I think bream would bed in, I’ll approach with the wind in my face so I can smell them and I’ll look for bubbles or fish popping on the surface.”

In discussing moon phases, Outlaw offered that he finds bream on the beds during the full moon and then again on the new moon. He concurs that for a few days between these cycles, bream show a tendency to pull off the beds and hold in a little deeper water but they’re back a couple of days prior to the new moon and will repeat that cycle up to three times over the course of the summer.

When he’s on the hunt for bream, Outlaw is not a fan of using a trolling motor to move from spot to spot. He fishes from a 14 foot john boat and when he gets in the vicinity of where he may find bream beds, he gets out a short 4 foot paddle and sculls between sites.

Outlaw points out that the number one factor for bream to bed is a hard bottom. Second is cover. He claims he doesn’t have much success around live cypress trees, finding instead that dead trees, stumps and fallen limbs have better appeal to spawning ‘gills.

“I’ll paddle into a swampy looking area and if there’s a stand of dead trees or a blowdown tree that’s dead in the water, I’ll ease over and probe the bottom with my rod. If I feel a hard sand, gravel, or clay bottom, it’s a pretty good bet there’ll be some beds around it.”

Once located, stay off the bed and flip or cast live baits into the bed – crickets are at the top of the list. Rig a cricket on a #4 bream hook approximately a foot to eighteen inches off the bottom. A tiny cork, just enough to float the hook and a split shot weight, will let you know when you have a bite.

I’ll tell you something else,” he drawls. “The best early spring bait is a Catawba worm that comes off of a Catawba tree. You can even order them online nowadays. Next best is a swamp worm we called bluebait. It was about the size of a small nightcrawlers. We’d go into a swampy area and look under some logs or dig them out. But they only work when the water is still a little cool. Once the water gets hot, in the upper 70’s and low 80’s, I don’t use nothing but crickets.”

At B’n’M Poles, we may be better known for our line of crappie fishing rods, but we also offer a complete line up of bream-catching rods as well.

“One of the most well-known rods in the world of bream fishing is the Bream Buster,” said Jack Wells, president of B’n’M. “This great rod was originally made by Lew’s and named after Lew Childre. We acquired the Bream Buster a few years ago and continue the tradition of making the genuine Bream Buster design made of 100% lightweight fiberglass, a leatherette wrapped handle for comfort in your hands, and the cylindrical shape design that maintains the original action that makes bluegills fun.”

At the same time, B’n’M also offers a fiberglass version of their original Little Jewel and now offers a graphite version of the same rod.

“The graphite rod is lighter than the fiberglass pole and to me, has more action” said Outlaw. “Sculling a boat all day with one hand and holding a long heavy pole can wear you out. Plus this graphite rod is strong. When I couple that with 10 pound Vicious line, I like to get him in the boat as quick as I can. The more running around he does, the more fish he’ll scatter off the bed. With this rig,  I can snatch that bream right out of the bed, then throw right back in and get another one.”

For more information on B’n’M’s complete line of bream rods and poles, visit our website at or like us on Facebook.