Regional Reports-South

Knowledgeable bream fishermen in South Carolina plan their fishing trips for bluegills and shellcrackers to coincide with the first full moon in May. They know from experience that that's when the feisty sunfish will be at the peak of spawning and the big females will be hungry. Whether there is something to the full-moon theory, or whether it's just when water conditions like temperature are right for spawning, early May is bream-fishing time in the Palmetto State. Bream are prevalent in all of the state's waters, so it doesn't matter whether you're fishing a shallow cove in a major impoundment such as Lake Murray, a tiny farm pond or a flat backwater bank. Look for the spawning beds-a group of slight depressions in one to three feet of water. Use light tackle, 2- to 6-pound-test line on a pole or an ultralight spinning rig. Crickets and worms floated under a bobber are deadly, as are small spinners such as Beetle Spins. Try different colors until you find the one the fish prefer. The current world-record shellcracker was taken from a South Carolina Diversion Canal in 1998. It weighed 5 pounds, 71/2 ounces. Contact: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (803-734-3888).