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Live to Bluegill Fish
This website is devoted to the art of bream fishing. Over the years I have tried different methods to catch the large bull bluegill but really had little success. Sure I could catch the medium size bream in the 8 to 10 oz. class, but had little success with the big 16 to 20 oz. or larger version. A few years ago my son and I were fishing the deep clear waters of Lewis Smith Lake in the Northern part of Alabama and discovered the art of catching the big bull bream. The term bull bluegill refers to those male bream that are a pound or better. The bull bluegill did not get to be bull status by being dumb. Same statement holds true for the largemouth bass.
Smith lake was built in 1962 as a means to generate electricity for portions of a tri county area. The shore line reaches over 500 miles covering Walker, Winston and Cullman counties in the northern part of the state. Its depth is 300 ft. or better in some places, making it the deepest lake in the state and extremely hard to fish even with the locals. The beauty of the lake is exceptional with its high rock walls and streaming waterfalls streaming from high atop the rock walls. There are many tributaries which feed the lake, but the main source of water is the Sipsey River flowing from the northern part of the state to the south. The lake covers over 21,000 areas. The hydro dam is located in Walker County near the small town of Curry. I have been fishing the lake for over 20 years mainly for bass and was never interested in catching anything else. Since the fishing pressure on the lake is tremendous, I felt a need to try some different techniques to catch fish. So I decided to try a different method of fishing the lake (live bait). I think too many times, we as bass fisherman get locked in on just catching bass and forget their are other fish species out there. Sure there is live bait used on the lake in the form of minnows, shad and goldfish to catch the large strip bass and the crappie, but not the bream. My daughter and son fishing with me at times found that our trips got better with the live bait, catching as many as 20 to 25 per trip. Of the 25, some could be catfish, spotted bass, and of course the bull bluegill. My daughter landed a 4 lb. 2 oz. spot with 4 lb. test line last summer fishing off of one the numerous rock walls on the lake. I am in my third year with this fishing method and found when the bass fishing is slow you can always rely on this method to catch fish. I never go the lake now unless I have my micro light and some live bait with me. It is one of the most challenging and exciting ways to fish I have found.
The following is the method and techniques I used to catch some of the largest bluegill I have ever landed. First of all you need a rod that is extremely sensitive and has enough backbone to land catfish and bass 2 to 4 lbs or better. The rod I used is a 7 1/2 ft. Micro Light Action rod from BassPro Shop. This is a two pieces rod with a fast action taper. I prefer the long rod to get more distance in my cast and to enjoy more play from the fish. Keep in mind you are after the thrill of playing and landing the fish. With this rod you achieve both. Anyone can land a large fish with a medium heavy rod or bait casting combo, but it takes great skill to land a large bull or spotted bass with an ultra light action combo. The reel I used is a Sigma light action Shakespeare with 4 ball bearing retrieve and a balance rotor spool. The balance rotor will give you a smoother line retrive. Crystal clear copolymer 4 lb. test P-Line is an excellent line to use espically in a clear water enviroment. This line has less spool memory and is super strong even without proper drag setting. I have found that a # 6 eagle craw brass hook works best because of the flash that it radiates under water. I would prefer to use a hook with flash instead of a dull blue or brown hook. To rig the entire setup you will need to use a bream bobber stopper and a 1/8 oz bullet weight. This is the same weight used to fish a finesse worm for bass. I don't recommend using a BB shot, because the pinched line when the weight is crimped can cause a weak spot in your line. You will need to place your 1/8 oz. weight on the line first then the bobber stopper up about 24" from the tip of the line. At this point you will need to apply the knot using the stopper line. This will stop the weight from sliding down the line, thus creating a 24" distance from the hook tie on. This setup is similar to the carolina setup for bass. The weight will fall first and the bait will float upward. Now you are ready to apply the crappie niblet on the tip of the hook. I used the niblets to attract the fish with its tremendous smell. The niblets come in a varieity of colors. The one that works best for me on Smith is white. The longer the niblets stays on the hook the slimmer it becomes and the more order it emits. Now you are ready to add the wax worm or the mill worm. Both of these worms resemble a wasp nest grub. I don't use a cricket because they don't stay alive in the cold water long enough. The point in using the wax or the mill worm is their adaptability to cold deep waters of Smith. Keep in mind that some of the largest fish will always be caught in water 30 to 40 ft. or better. I order all my mill worms and wax worms from BassPro. The directions tell you that you must keep both baits refrigerated for maximum life. I order 500 at time. They come packed with all the instructions telling you how to keep them alive for months at a time. Now for the technique----
I position my boat parallel to a rock wall, sometime as deep as 100 ft. deep. The majority of the big bull bream hang out at the edge of the rock wall to catch the small shrimp that wash out from inside the cracks in the wall. The bream could be as deep as 10 ft.or even deeper deapths of 30 ft. or more.I have caught many large bull which will regeritate shrimp when I land them in the boat. Position the boat parallel about four feet away from the bank. Usually the individual in the back of the boat will catch more fish because some of the fish will miss the bait at the front of the boat. Using long cast from the back and front of the boat, I scan the shore tight lining, without a cork and watching my line for the faintest movement. Once I detect that movement or feel a slight hit I tighten the line and the fight is on. It is essential that your drag is set for optimum pull by the fish. As stated earlier I have caught catfish, bass and super bull bream using this technique. Sure you will get hung some but the action out weights the hang ups 4 to 1. Don't try this method if you don't want to get hook on micro light tackle, because it can be habit forming.
Thanks for visiting this site and I hope I have given you a bit of information into the world of micro light and tight line fishing for super bull bream. My email address is below if you have questions or want to give me some pointers. Good Fishing!!!