SHELLCRACKER AND BREAM FISHING
Robert Webster of Hamlet, NC who has a camper at the Lake Tillery Family
Campground, adjacent Highway 24/27, has been
keeping a watch on the fishing conditions for Shellcrackers and Bream. We both wanted to go after them with our fly rods aka
whoppers as Acey Wall, deceased use to call my fly rod. It thrilled
Acey Wall back in the early 1960s to see a Bream tear the water up after gulping down a top water
popping bug and "zig zaging"
through the water trying to get away from what had hold of him.
Robert called a week or two back and we had Tuesday, May 16, 2017 reserved
to do some fly fishing for the Shellcracker and Bream. We had some
heavy rain a week ago and the water was a little dingy, but planned to give
it our best.
I told Robert I would be at the campground at around 0700 hours; 7:00 A.M.
to you non-military folks, however I was up early around 0330 and couldn't
get back to sleep. My bride was up early also and I fixed a coffee for
her and myself and we both had a light cereal for such an early morning
breakfast. I already had my gear loaded and decided to go ahead and
make the early drive to Lake Tillery and give Robert a call once I got
there. That way, he could get a little more sleep in.
I arrived at Robert's campsite and gave him a call at 0456 hours and left a
message on his answering service. He called back shortly, thinking
that something was wrong and I would not be able to make it for our fishing.
I told him, No, everything was ok and I was parked out front and he thought I
was kidding him since he didn't see my vehicle out front, of which I had
parked out of his immediate view from the front of his camper. It took
him a few minutes to get dressed and/or orientated, being interrupted from
an apparent hard fast deep sleep and still somewhat discombobulated.....grin if you must.
I was sitting on the camper front porch kicked back sipping on some hot black
coffee that I had in a thermos when Robert came out and we both had a very
good grin on; myself being there so early and I explained to him why I was so
Robert put a pot of coffee on, fried some sausage and eggs and we had a
sausage and egg sandwich with some Duke's mayonnaise which got both of us
jump started for the early morning. We sat around and chatted until after day
break, watched some news and then headed to the Swift Island boat landing
which is about 1/4 mile from his camper.
I hope I don't have any
physical or mental repercussions from watching the Channel 9 WSOC TV newscast, which
many decades ago, I nicknamed (Tabloid 9) there in
The Queen City, Charlotte,
NC, whereas they tend to invent and create news, rather than simply report
the news in my humble opinion, whereas they do much to fester and create racial
tensions. I have boycotted watching any type of newscast and on my second year of not watching a newscast from the home TV.
I did watch the 2016 Presidential Election results during the early morning
hours of November 9, 2016 and then back to my newscast boycott! I
know, I am not up to date on current events, but I got totally disgusted
with all the negative news. Of late, I rarely turn my TV on and if I
do, it is to check the weather channel. However,
my bride watches what she desires on her own TV. I get plenty of
quality time in reading
God's Holy Word aka the Bible, which is a
very good thing, versus sitting in front of a TV wasting time. It seems like Charlotte, NC is heading
toward becoming another Biblical
Sodom and Gomorrah,
where morality is concerned! The Hollywood, California political correctness crowd
comprised of many Liberals, are leading the bandwagon for those same issues of promoting sinful
lifestyles; e.g., portraying and promoting homosexuality and same sex
marriages as a normal
lifestyle of which
God's judgment will ultimately come to
pass on those individuals and our Nation as a whole for allowing it to
happen through corrupt, immoral legislation attempting to circumvent God's Holy Word. Read my
quote of the decade page! I would not trust a politician
and their die hard supporters in an outhouse with a muzzle on!
LOCKED AND LOADED
Robert had his boat trailer hitched and ready to roll from the night
before. I checked the time stamp on the picture above and it was 0647.
When we arrived at the Swift Island boat landing and there were at least
five (5) boats already on the lake and a couple more vehicles in the parking
lot without trailers attached to them.
I got a pix of Robert as we were heading to some of his earlier known
"hot spots", but his fishing buddy Bob McLean was already ahead of his.
It didn't take too long before we were getting a few keepers and I
believe I landed the first fish. Robert put the hammer down after that
and was nailing them fairly regular, however the wind was blowing a good
bit for using a fly rod.
Pix of a Bream aka Bluegill Robert is about to land.
Robert with another large one, whereas he defected and went with the
Before I get underway posting some pixs, I want to elaborate on the
difference between a Shellcracker and a Bream.
SHELLCRACKER AND BREAM DIFFERENCES
The obvious difference between the Shellcracker and the Bream is their
size. People here in the South, have all kinds of generic names for the
Bream, e.g., Sunfish, Bluegill, Perch, Pan fish, cherry gill, stump knocker, rouge ear,
Georgia Bream, etc. The Shellcracker has a
cherry-red edge to the
operculum which is a series of bones found
in bony fish that serves as a facial support structure and a protective
covering for the Gills; it is also used for respiration and feeding.
Here is a close-up of the operculum or ear as us Country Boys call it:
The Shellcracker averages about one pound and they do get much larger,
with the NC state record being 4 pounds 15 oz. taken from a private pond in
Edgecombe County, not to
mention some wonderful table fare. The
Bream aka Bluegill has a much more varied color pattern than the
Shellcracker. The Shellcrackers in Lake Tillery tend to be colored
more like the Crappie versus the Bream aka Bluegill. Shellcrackers
consume snails, small clams and mollusks and are able to crush them before swallowing
them. Both fish are
some fantastic eating.
Above pix of some small clams/mollusks from one of the Shellcrackers
stomach/intestines. The clams/mollusks were crushed into smaller
pieces with tooth-like grinders in their throats, hence, the name
Robert and myself fished at several of his normal
"hot spots" but the
water was a little on the muddy side for fishing top water lures. Robert
on a dropper sinking trailing lure in a black pattern and it wasn't long
before he was catching Shellcrackers and Bream on the trailing hook.
It didn't take me too long, before I followed Roberts lead and did the same
thing with similar results. I didn't get to fish too long with the
trailing dropper fly because a large catfish nailed it and it was a tug of
war and the catfish won. He broke off my popping bug and the trailer
dropper fly, I had to put another popping bug and dropper fly on the leader. The leader
was probably about seven pounds test strength due to the smaller tippet
section broken off and hadn't replaced it of late.
Yours truly with a smaller Shellcracker destined to the cooler.
We moved to several other known prior hot spots and picked up a few more
Shellcrackers and Bream.
Bob McLean was ahead of us in those normal hot spots and he was picking
the Shellcrackers off pretty regular using light spinning tackle and a black
Before Bob moved to another hot spot, he transferred a Catfish and the
Shellcrackers he had caught so far into Robert's cooler.
Bob transferred the balance of the Shellcrackers and Bream he caught
before he left the lake. Pixs below are out of sequence, but that is ok too.
Those are some nice size Shellcrackers that Bob McLean caught!
SAND BAG BOB
Robert moved to several more locations and we picked up a few fish and we
observed Bob in one of the hot spots just mentioned above and he was staying there
a long time. This indicated he was definitely into some fish!
I observed Bob raising his cooler lid and he definitely was putting
fish in his cooler. He asked me, did I see him with a pair of
binoculars and I told him No, it was my State Eye Plan glasses.
When we made our round getting closer to him, he was snagging them pretty
regular. He had a lunch appointment with his Sister and transferred
the balance of the fish he caught to Robert's cooler as I already mentioned
above. I told Bob that
he was sand bagging e.g., holding
out on us and I was going to name him Sand Bag Bob in my
short story. I told Bob later, "A man's
doesn't give up his hold card" and he grinned on that for
Above is pix of the "hot spot" that Bob was nailing the fish pretty
regular. He said they would bite real good and then a Gar fish would
come through and they would stop biting. He said a Turtle would
come in there and the same thing happened again. Once the Gar and
Turtle left the immediate area, the fish started hitting his lure regular
ROBERT WIMPED OUT
Robert wimped out and brought out his light spin cast rig with a black jig
and started nailing those large Shellcrackers and Bream in no time.
The fish were on the bottom and not messing with top water lures due to the
muddy water conditions. He said he was
"meat fishing", whereas I was
"sport fishing"....grin if you must! Robert dug through
his fishing gear and found a small 1/64 oz. black jig and I put it on my fly
rod leader and started catching those big boys too. The lead head jig
cast horrible on the fly line and it would fold back hitting the fly rod.
I had to give the rod much speed to get the jig to roll over properly.
A stiffer and shorter leader would have helped.
We fished until after 12 noon and I told Robert the cooler was about
maxed out and we would soon have to start putting the fish on the floor aka
deck. Robert aka Chief Shad King, was very reluctant to leave while
the fish were still biting, but finally gave in. I was ready for a
fish fry.....grin if you must!
That is one beautiful cooler full of mostly large Shellcrackers and Bream
with one catfish in there.
BACK AT THE BOAT LANDING
The sky was definitely Carolina Blue and a wonderful day to be on the
lake with friends.
ROBERT'S FISH FRY
It is customary for Robert to fry up some fish when we get back to his
camper and today was no exception. Click on the thumbnails for a
larger screen view:
Robert is about ready to do some serious "chowing down" with those
wonderful White Perch filets, baked sweet potato with Land-O-Lakes butter,
Stoney Gap slaw, pickle slices and cold sweet tea.
Martha Stewart would be proud to sample some of this plated food!
SAND BAG BOB McLEAN CAME BY
Bob McLean came by for a short visit after he had lunch with his Sister.
Pix of Bob posing with the left over White Perch filets which ended up coming
home with yours truly for my bride and myself for later.
We had a good time "riding" Bob about sand bagging on keeping mum about
the fish he was catching in one of those hot spots mentioned......grin if
you must again, because we certainly are.
SHELLCRACKERS AND A COUPLE BREAM TO WADESBORO
I picked out thirteen (13) Shellcrackers and two (2) Bream from Robert's
cooler to bring back
home to scale, dress and freeze for later consumption. Click on
thumbnails for a larger screen view:
I talked with Robert around 7:08 P.M. and he cleaned a total of 93 fish which
included the one catfish and with my 15, a grand total of 108 fish were
caught between the three of us.
We had a great time on the lake and Robert and myself enjoyed a wonderful
fish fry prepared by him. Friendship and Fellowship really makes Life
God richly bless each and every one of you.
Micah 6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and
what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and
to walk humbly with thy God?"
Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-16-17.
LEAVING ON A
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this
moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved.”
link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King
James Version Bible (KJV).
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and
sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of
soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of