Freshwater Fishing in Pee Dee Area
Lynches River Redbreast Fishing
Ask midlands angler and Lynches River aficionado Greg Jacobson how the fishing is and he’ll tell you it’s hot on the river. He isn’t just talking about the temperature though. He’s talking about the bream fishing, particularly for his favorite prey, the redbreast bream. This past week he took his little one-man sneak boat upriver from the Hwy. 15 bridge and caught his 30 bream limit—twice. “I usually catch 22 or so bream, but right now the water level is just right, the water temperature is just right, and I limited out two different days,” Jacobson says. Out of the two-day total of 60 fish, he says 44 of them were redbreast bream with the rest being a mix of warmouth, fliers, and bluegill.
Jacobson says this is the time of year when he catches more redbreast than at any other time, but he doesn’t think he’s ever had this much luck with that species. When asked what he attributes that to, he just shrugs and says he does have a theory. He says the closer he fishes to structure, the more likely he believes he is to catching redbreast than any other type of bream. “The mollies (warmouth) will stack up close to cover too, but they seem to like live bait more than artificials, and I like casting a Beetlespin or a Panther-Martin in close to big structure, and the redbreast seem to like that more than any other of the bream.” Then again, he says all bream, or fish for that matter, like to stay close to cover and he says maybe the redbreast are just more aggressive right now.
The technique he uses is easy for anyone to mimic according to this 66-year old retired firefighter. He describes it this way--“I just motor up one side of the river until I see a spot I like the looks of. Then I ease my anchor down or tie up to something and start making casts. I move on upriver that way, then come downriver and do the same thing. Sometimes I don’t catch anything at this or that spot but sometimes I catch a good 6 or 8 fish in another spot.”
Jacobson says he always carries three ultralight spinning rods with him. He ties a 1/16 ounce spinner to one, and sets up another one with a slip cork, a number 6 hook, and two “size B” split shot. He baits the hook with a cricket or waxworm. The third rod he sets up for bottom fishing with either a cricket, waxworm, or red wiggler. Then he just tries each one out until he finds what’s working the best on that particular day. He switches back and forth just to make sure he’s giving himself every possible chance at catching something.
While a lot of bream fishermen prefer to use cane poles or fiberglass bream poles such as the Little Jewel or Breambuster models, Jacobson sticks to ultralight spinning gear. “The bream poles were more trouble to me than they’re worth. You have to collapse it down when you’re ready to move or you’ll break it or get it tangled in something, and then if you break off you’ve got to measure the line just right to retie, and once you break the tip off a bream pole, it’s useless,” he says.
He prefers the slip cork over a fixed cork for better casting accuracy which means fewer hang-ups in the tree branches and other structure. “If you want to fish 4 feet deep, you just slip your knot 4 feet up the line. On the cast, the cork is down where your hook is so it’s just like you’re casting a small lure. Once in the water your line slides through your cork until the knot catches the cork and now you’re fishing 4 feet deep.” Try casting with a fixed cork set at 4 feet, however, and you’re bound to get hung up and tangled in something. Especially, according to Jacobson, on a river as narrow and full of riprap as the Lynches.
Jacobson goes on to say that he just casts as close to cover as he can get, no matter which rig he is casting. He also suggests varying the speed of your retrieve on the spinners, varying the depth of your cork rigs and varying the amount of weight and bait on your bottom rigs.
One key to this type fishing, in Jacobson’s words, is that you can’t worry about getting hung up and losing rigs. “I get hung up all the time when fishing like this. It’s all a part of casting tight to cover. If you don’t get hung up and have to break off a few times each trip then you aren’t fishing aggressively enough. Too many people worry about that, but me, I know where they sell more rigs and I know what it takes to get them fish to bite,” he says with a smile on his face.
“Anybody can catch these fish,” Jacobson continues, “but at the same time it’s still a challenge and that always makes it fun.” The only thing I can add to that is that it makes for pretty good eating too.
So head on out to the Lynches River and see if you can catch your limit and see if you can figure out why the redbreast are biting so good right now. And check out the handful I managed to catch employing the tactics we just discussed…
South Carolina Sportsman Field Reporter