Spring weather can impact the bream fishing to a certain extent, but one thing is usually certain: by late May and throughout June, we’re in the peak of South Carolina bream fishing.
For those that enjoy the various sunfish species, there are numerous species in various lakes. The two major species we’ll consider here are the bluegill and shellcracker. However a lot of lakes in South Carolina have good populations of other prized fish and we’ll see where to catch redbreast, white perch and yellow perch as well. You can catch a true smorgasbord of fish during June.
In this feature we’ll take a look at some of the top places in the state to hook into a passel of sunfish species collectively called ‘bream’. Many of the lakes we’ll discuss will have good fishing for multiple species, but some will have a prime target of one species.
Let’s take a look at the best bream fishing in the Palmetto State.
One of the best things about Lake Moultrie is the fact that there is a huge population of both bream and shellcracker in this lake. With the diversity of cover and water depths, some outstanding fishing will occur during the spring during bedding season.
According to Kevin Davis, owner and guide out of Blacks Camp on Lake Moultrie and the Diversion Canal, (www.blackscamp.com; 843-753-2231), bream fishing means both bluegill and shellcracker fishing.
“We’ve got great populations of both species in Lake Moultrie,” Davis said. “Bedding takes place on the full moon cycles predominately, but even when the fish aren’t bedding they are caught in outstanding numbers and usually in shallow water. By June, we’ll also be catching bluegill in deeper water areas as well. It’s literally the best of both worlds.”
Davis said the best way to find bream, and bream beds, is to simply go prospecting in the shallow water. From his home grounds of Blacks Camp he basically doesn’t even have to crank his big motor: he just starts working the shallow shoreline edges and probing back into the pockets and around the grass and edge lines of the weeds and cypress trees.
“Fishermen can use long bream buster type poles or small spinning or spin-cast gear very effectively,” Davis said. “It is important to be able to accurately place your bait where you want it. While both shellcracker and bluegill will bite live crickets and worms, usually I’ll fish with red worms when searching for shellcrackers and crickets when hunting for bream. The biggest problem is that if I’m hoping to find shellcrackers and end up on a big bream bed, it’s hard to pull away.”
Davis does not linger in any given spot long unless he is catching big platter-sized bream or shellcracker. Davis said that at the top end, the shellcracker are certainly the larger of the two species, with lots of shellcracker in excess of a pound and plenty in the 2-pound-plus class caught. But he said a lot of bluegill in the three-quarter-to-one-pound size are caught and when you’re catching these hard fighting fish literally as fast as you can get the bait in the water, it’s a great experience.
Davis added that casting around trees, brush, weeds and other cover will yield scattered bream, and sometimes you’ll run into the mother lode of a big bed of either bream or shellcrackers. The fishing is very productive throughout the month.