Editor’s Note: Most fishermen, especially those in the Deep South, will name May as the month for catching big bream, and particularly the time around the full moon in May. But, to catch bluegills that weigh almost 5 pounds, certain conditions have to come together to produce a new world-record bluegill. Just like you can’t take a trophy whitetail, if a trophy whitetail doesn’t live on the property you hunt, the same is true for catching monster-sized bream. This week let’s look at what ingredients must come together to produce a big bream, which for most of us would be a 1-1/2 to 2-pounder.
If bigger, better bream are what you like to fish for, here are some general rules that will make your breaming better this season.
* Use lighter, less-visible line.
* Utilize smaller hooks, and try to hide them in your bait.
* Fish with worms or small spinners like Zero Mepps, Panther Martins and Beetle Spins.
* Fish for the deep-water bream first.
* Bait for shellcrackers and bluegills differently.
* Employ bigger bugs with more and longer legs, if you’re flyfishing.
* Refuse to use a cork or a lead unless absolutely necessary.
* Use a clear float if you must use one at all.
* Try to hide from the bream.
* Take your fish off the hook, and bait-up quickly, if you’re in a bed of really-big bream.
* Try seed shrimp if you’re breaming in brackish water. You may be surprised at the results you get.
These breaming tactics have helped more breamers catch more and bigger bream. Try these techniques, and you may catch bream so big, that only one fits in the skillet at a time. People rave about this hors d’oeuvres’ recipe.
Bream Hors D’oeuvres
bream fillets cut in 2 inch by 1 inch pieces
steak sauce with a base of Worcestershire and soy sauce
strips of bacon
Lay the fillets on a platter; lightly salt, and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle each piece with steak sauce. Apply a small piece of butter to each fillet. Squeeze freshly cut lemon over each fillet, and cover fillets with slices of bacon.
If you have a smoker, smoke the ingredients until the bacon becomes done. For oven cooking, place the fillets in the oven at 350 degrees until the bacon is done, about 30 to 45 minutes. Or, microwave in glass dish on HIGH for 5 minutes. Then turn dish, and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes more. Microwave fish another 5 minutes on MEDIUM HIGH. According to thickness of fillets, check fish, which may require more cooking time. Serve with toothpicks.
Crunchy Bream and Shrimp Casserole
2 cups cooked, flaked bream
1 cup cooked shrimp
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup pimiento, diced
2 cups celery, diced
10 ounces of sharp cheese, cubed
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup almonds, sliced
2 cups light mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s)
Ritz cracker crumbs as topping
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Pour into large glass dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
Filleting a bluegill: https://www.facebook.com/murray.ragan/videos/2166724223418205