River bream fishing is scalding hot

river bream
TC Lloyd has been catching big Carolina river bream while using crickets as bait.

Catching bream in the current

When most people think of bream fishing, they think of lakes and ponds. But the rivers across the Carolinas are also full of bream. And that includes plenty of big ones that continually raise they eyebrows of anglers.

TC Lloyd of Southern Angling Guide Service has been putting his clients on some huge river bream. His most recent trip was to the Cooper River. It’s not the most popular bream hole in the Carolinas, but Lloyd said it definitely should be one of them.

“These are big, and I mean big, bluegills. They fight like crazy in the current — lots of fun to catch,” said Lloyd.

The method Lloyd has been using to catch these bluegills is similar to what many shellcracker anglers do. Instead of using a cork, Lloyd and his clients have been using bottom rigs. The bluegills are eating it up.

Drop shots for bream

“We’re using crickets on a double-hook, drop shot rig and just bouncing it along the bottom. It’s working great for these big bream. Sometimes you’ll hook two at a time and that’s a crazy fight,” he said.

Lloyd uses No. 4 hooks and 10-pound test line. He said the key is using a light wire hook. He generally prefers 6-pound line when panfishing, but he said the 10-pound line is better when using this technique on these rivers.

“You’ll get hung up on the bottom debris sometimes. With a thick hook, you’re going to break your line a lot. With lighter line, you’re going to break your line a lot. But 10-pound test line and a light wire hook is just right. It allows you to straighten the hook out while you’re trying to get free of the debris. Then you just use a pair of pliers to bend the hook back and you’re all set,” he said. “It’s a big time saver over tying on new hooks constantly.”

Lloyd also uses technology when finding these bream. He uses the side scan on his electronics which shows the bream beds.

“It’s amazing what side scanning will show you, even for bream. It’s a huge help in showing you where they are. You’ve still got to make them bite, but it’s always a good feeling knowing you’re fishing in the right spot,” he said.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1552 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina.

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