BEGINNERS GUIDE TO AUSTRALIAN SPORTSFISH: BREAM!!!

What do I know about bream?  I’m certainly no expert but have spent more time and money chasing these fish than any other.  Bream are one of the most convenient fish to target when living on the east coast of Australia.  They are virtually everywhere and can be caught from the banks, jetties and wharves that dot the Australian coast line.trophy-bream-feature 2

These fish offer advantages over many others in they are accessible all year round as they don’t have a closed season and are relatively active to boot.  As an estuarine species, they don’t require a tonne of specifically designed gear (although you can certainly buy it if your heart desires) and with a few helpful hints and tips, are easy enough to catch.

If you’re starting out with bream fishing, my tip would be to start out easy and stick to the flats.  The pressure on your casting will be significantly reduced and focusing on the retrieve, line management and rod control is much easier with one less major challenge.  The flats offer a challenge in themselves and no two flats are the same but generally “the flats” are a large expanse of water that is shallower in depth than the surrounding water and may have weed beds, cockle beds, rocks or other structure that can provide shelter to bait fish.  Remember, a bream is going to be on the flats for one purpose and that is to feed.nsw-classic-1

I mentioned that you don’t need to spend a tonne of money but it certainly is possible.  In terms of rods and reels, my suggestion would be to start with the ubiquitous 7 foot, 1-3kg, fast action, carbon fibre rod that most anglers start on (and often tend to end with).  This will provide you with enough casting distance, are practical enough to handle and strong enough to get the job done.  In terms of a reel, a 2000 or 2500 sized reel with a smooth drag is all that is necessary and most reels offer the smooth drag that is required.

Deciding whether you will spool your reel with braid or mono won’t matter to begin with but look at the 4-6lb breaking strain as a guide and any leader material (if fishing braid) should be roughly the same.  The leader material I prefer to use is fluorocarbon and I use 2-4 metres worth to provide a bit of stealth.

Bream are opportunistic omnivores that will willingly attack a prawn imitation or quite happily eat a hot chip.  They can be easily caught or can be quite finicky, hence the thousands of hours and dollars spent chasing these fish.  Although they can be difficult to catch, more often than not, they can be easily tempted on most days and are a lot of fun.Lureandfly_blackfish005

Finding the right lure will come down to personal choice with many discussions of colour, shape and action causing much angst among anglers (regardless of species).  Your best bet is to keep it small, regardless of soft plastic or hardbody and keep the lure colour natural (greens and browns are generally safe).

Bream fishing has the obvious dangers around water but without the added dangers of being kilometres off shore.  Like any fishing activity, be careful around hooks and be conscious of boats in the area.

If you are looking for more information, there is plenty more BREAM content on this site.

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