Reservoir water temperatures are climbing deep into the 70s, largemouth bass have generally departed the shallows with the bedding processes over, crappie have taken residence under the brush filled deep water docks, around the bridge pilings, and what’s left of the standing trees out in the lakes and need to be caught at night under lights. Stripers are meandering the river channels and even if located, the bite only lasts a few minutes. The only area with any dependability for stripers exists upriver against the dam of the next upstream lake. It’s a trip for experienced fishermen only. What to do?
Take a break from the major reservoirs and locate a few small ponds and take some children fishing for bream.
When the water hits 75-plus, the bream fan out in the shallows, make disk shaped beds and are hungry and there for the taking. Unlike largemouth bass, bream will continue to feed even when bedding. You can keep a few for a tasty meal or two but generally, in my view this fishing is for the children. The bream are easily available for kids to catch over and over.
A few recommendations in no particular order of importance! Light tackle, fully operational (children do not do well with tackle and equipment that does not work), hook barbs flattened so if fingers, scalps, ears and fingers get hooked, they can be easily removed. And when you return the bream to the lake the hooks are removed more easily without damaging the fish. Take plenty of different baits; red wigglers, crickets, Fisher’s Choice canned baits (crickets, grasshoppers, shrimp and grubs that will last until the next trip). Why so many? When you return a mama bream to the bed and she gets a little rest, putting a different bait in the bed will get her to bite again. The children will get to catch them once, twice, sometimes three times.
How to locate the ponds that’ll be productive? Visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website and their list of state parks with ponds. Each is kept loaded with bream and other critters. They are safe, practically free and have plenty of parking and other accommodations available for your convenience. All you must do is provide a bit of tackle and locate a child relative, son, grandson, daughter or granddaughter and a few his or her friends to come along.
A couple of more things: No cell phones for them to use, only one for you to take photos.
Good luck. You all will remember it forever.
Photo: courtesy O’Neill Outdoors