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Thread: Finding bream beds

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    Default Finding bream beds


    How do you fellows find bream beds on a BIG lake that has muddier water than most lakes do, I usually cruise around and either see or smell them, but on a lake this big I am lost. Help needed please.

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    Before si units came into being I found them by just doing long days on the water. Then keeping meticulous records and returning to same spots year after year. But all that changed when I started using si sonar. While I have on occasion smelled a bluegill bed that is not a set in stone way to find them. The use of si units just changed everything for me. I could dissect an area in minutes and find them or move on. Even on a new big lake it has not been an issue finding them with si. I know that sounds simple but no other way to put it. For a little over 11 years now that is how I have caught so many shell cracker and bluegill.




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    RJR is offline Crappie.com 1K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    I’ve targeted bream all my life but with a fly rod. Now I’m wanting to venture into knowing more about the everyday movement of bream in large lakes. Do the bream travel large distances or do they live most of their life in one area. Shellcracker are usually found deeper than bluegills or do the larger size fish of each tend to spend most of their time in deeper cover?
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    I've fished for them all my life, and I could never figure that out, @RJR. Like Randy, I rely on electronics to find the beds. The rest of the year, I shoot and move, shoot and move .. hit or miss. When you get lucky, and find 'em bunched up, it sure is fun.
    "Alive without breath, as cold as death; never thirsty, ever drinking, all in mail never clinking."
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    I’ve used inline spinners to help locate because they can cover more ground, or water. Once you think I’ve found some I switch to a small jig and change colors a few times. My favorite spinner is the Shyster that was made by Evans but I haven’t seen them on a shelf for a bunch of years. The blade looked kind of like a potato chip with ridges. I fell away from fishing for a while when I was younger and they kind of faded while I was away. I’m sure a rooster tail will get the job done too.
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    RJR is offline Crappie.com 1K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Shyster spinners are still being made and sold. Luhr-Jensen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJR View Post
    I’ve targeted bream all my life but with a fly rod. Now I’m wanting to venture into knowing more about the everyday movement of bream in large lakes. Do the bream travel large distances or do they live most of their life in one area. Shellcracker are usually found deeper than bluegills or do the larger size fish of each tend to spend most of their time in deeper cover?
    When bluegill are not on bed in large lakes it can be harder to pattern large bluegill than it is bass….much harder. I have found beds as deep as 14 feet at Fall Creek Falls Lake in TN. It is a lake of only about 300 acres. I have never found any beds deeper than that anywhere. One thing deep beds usually means is big fish. As to shell cracker bedding in deeper water than bluegill….yes and no. I’ve seen many shell cracker bedding just inches off the bank and their dorsal fin out of the water. I can’t stress enough when you find bluegill make notes and the month and day. Then go back there next year. I used to have reminders in my calendar such as September Gills on Point at Pickwick. It paid off big for me. I know the OP asked about finding them in muddy water but there is another tool to use on clearer lakes. Google Earth Pro. Use the historical views to check out likely coves and hollows you think bluegill could bed in. Many times in scrolling back through images you can see beds in coves. I am no longer in TN but have already been using Google Earth to find bluegill bedding areas on Greers Ferry Lake. Already lined up a friend to take me out if I don’t have new boat by then. Here is an image of bluegill beds on Dale Hollow…yes I went to location several times during spawning seasons and the place has always been loaded with fish. I’ve also gone to Dale Hollow in the summer and while I would catch some really big bluegill it was only 5 or 6 for all day fishing. In a big deep lake they can be hard to find in the heat of summer. Best to fish for them in very early morning or late afternoon.

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    RJR is offline Crappie.com 1K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Danny I don’t know exactly where your house is located but I hope the tornado missed your place a few minutes ago.
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    Quailtail is offline Crappie Wall Hanger II * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphahawk View Post
    When bluegill are not on bed in large lakes it can be harder to pattern large bluegill than it is bass….much harder. I have found beds as deep as 14 feet at Fall Creek Falls Lake in TN. It is a lake of only about 300 acres. I have never found any beds deeper than that anywhere. One thing deep beds usually means is big fish. As to shell cracker bedding in deeper water than bluegill….yes and no. I’ve seen many shell cracker bedding just inches off the bank and their dorsal fin out of the water. I can’t stress enough when you find bluegill make notes and the month and day. Then go back there next year. I used to have reminders in my calendar such as September Gills on Point at Pickwick. It paid off big for me. I know the OP asked about finding them in muddy water but there is another tool to use on clearer lakes. Google Earth Pro. Use the historical views to check out likely coves and hollows you think bluegill could bed in. Many times in scrolling back through images you can see beds in coves. I am no longer in TN but have already been using Google Earth to find bluegill bedding areas on Greers Ferry Lake. Already lined up a friend to take me out if I don’t have new boat by then. Here is an image of bluegill beds on Dale Hollow…yes I went to location several times during spawning seasons and the place has always been loaded with fish. I’ve also gone to Dale Hollow in the summer and while I would catch some really big bluegill it was only 5 or 6 for all day fishing. In a big deep lake they can be hard to find in the heat of summer. Best to fish for them in very early morning or late afternoon.

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    I agree. I’d be pitching something through there every time I went by in the warmer months. When I was about 20 I went snorkeling behind a friends house on Lake Killarney in winter park, just north of Orlando. What I found was a bluegill bedding area that had to be over a hundred feet across. Dumb me, I never fished it. Didn’t remember it for years and he had moved by then. Opportunity missed.
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