Danny Tracy said that going though four cages of 100 crickets each isn’t unusual for a morning of fishing on the Santee River.

“There’s a lot of really big panfish in the river, including bluegill, redbreast and shellcracker, so we often do a good bit of culling,” he said. “That means we just have to keep catching more fish, something I certainly don’t mind doing. The average size of the bream most fishermen will catch and keep is excellent, and it’s not unusual to catch bream in excess of a pound. That is a big bream, and sometimes we catch them even larger, especially bull bluegill and shellcrackers.”

Tracy said one good problem he encounters when fishing with friends is the bait seems to disappear very quickly.

“On a typical morning, we’ll fish up several cages of 100 crickets each and end up having to hunt in the floor of the boat to find the last few that may have escaped early in the day when it looked like we had an excess,” Tracy said. “It’s a good idea to bring some worms along as well, because they’ll catch fish about as quickly the crickets and work even better on the big shellcrackers. But when we’ve fished up a few hundred crickets and a box or two of worms before lunch, it most likely has been a very good fishing morning.”