The bream bite is still sizzling across the Carolinas

TC Lloyd of Southern Angling Guide Service is catching stocky bluegill on several lakes across the Carolinas.

Bream bed and bite all summer long

The bream are still bedding — and biting — in lakes all across the Carolinas. Many anglers give up fishing for them once May has passed and the summer heat arrives. But they are missing out on some of the hottest bream action of the year.

TC Lloyd of Hartsville, S.C. loves fishing for bluegills this time of year. He especially enjoys fishing for them around the full moon. That’s when he said you can expect a bite on every cast to a populated bed. The trick is finding those beds, and that’s something he’s gotten very good at.

“The new moon can be hit or miss. I’ve had great luck on a new moon and I’ve had days when the fishing was slow around a new moon. But on the full moon, fishing a bream bed is as hot as it gets. I literally expect a bite on every cast once I find a bed,” said Lloyd.

He uses his Humminbird and Lowrance electronics to locate the beds. These fish finders are advanced to the point that he can not only find the beds, he can tell if the fish are home. Watching him locate bream beds, then adjust his electronics to see all the subtleties of them is like watching a doctor perform surgery. A day of fishing with Lloyd proves the importance of not just having good electronics, but also understanding them.

Don’t waste time in unproductive areas

“You’ll see the beds clearly. But if you look closely, you can also see little white dots in each bed. That’s the fish. Sometimes, you’ll find a bed that is completely vacant. Other times, it might have just a few fish showing. And when it’s right, you’ll see white dots everywhere,” he said. “And when the moon is full, those beds are always full.”

Lloyd, who operates Southern Angling Guide Service, said on a scarcely-populated bed, he might make three or four casts. But he won’t spend much more time than that. Too many active beds are in the water to waste time on unproductive areas.

Bream feed heavily all summer long, especially around the full moon of each month.

“Sometimes people overstate the importance of patience when fishing. That’s especially true when fishing bream beds in the summer. And even more true within a few days of the full moon. There’s a fine line between patience and wasting time. And there’s just no reason to waste time right now. The bream are bedding all through the summer. And they feed heavily just like they do in May. If you’re not catching them steady, you need to move on to other beds,” he said.

Don’t forget to look in deeper waters away from the bank

Lloyd (843-307-6678) said beds can be anywhere from the shallows close to the bank, to deep water on the edge of main river channels. He stresses the importance of anglers studying areas with their electronics. This will give them a huge advantage over just anchoring down and casting toward the bank.

And when he finds a good bed, he uses live crickets on 7-foot light spinning rods with 6-pound test line, and a number 6 hook. He likes slip corks because they allow you to change your depth easily. They also allow easy casting even when fishing 20-feet deep, or even deeper. And sometimes he likes fishing without a cork at all, and bounces his bait along the bottom. He will use both methods throughout a day of fishing, sticking with what’s working best on that particular day or in that area.

Lloyd fishes on several different lakes in both North and South Carolina. He said the bream are on the same pattern on each of them. He expects the hot bedding action to continue throughout the summer and into the early part of fall.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1313 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.