Bream Part 2
Techniques for Bream
The location of where you are fishing will determine the types of techniques that you apply. Because bream inhabit estuary environments and the ocean rocks and inshore reefs your techniques will need to vary accordingly.
One point that all bream anglers can agree upon is that burley will improve your catch rate. Additionally, the importance of light tackle, sharp hooks and fresh or live bait will also have a great impact on your success.
Bream are not particularly picky, nor are they extra clever or crafty than other fish. However, they do dwell in relatively shallow, clear water and they do share their habitat with a big assortment of predators. As a result their senses are totally dialled in to any potential threat.
A good understanding of tidal movement is essential. Bream are nocturnal feeders so it pays to keep abreast of the moon cycle. Best results often evolve around a full or dark moon phase for night time angling for bream.
Techniques might include the following:
- Soft Plastics
- Night Time Angling
- Cast and Retrieve Bait
- Good Burley Trail
The estuary and bream a like two peas in a pod, they go hand in hand. Bream find the estuary food-rich, between the mangroves, sandbanks, man-made pylon structures. The estuary can also provide a safe haven from larger predatory fish. The best thing is that these locations are usually very accessible for all anglers.
When fishing for bream from the shore, anglers should keep in mind, the bream’s favoured feeding grounds, when selecting a fishing spot. Rule of thumb is to collect localised bait to where you are fishing. Live yabbies (bass yabbies) black nippers, prawns, sandworms, bloodworms or beach worms are dynamite baits. These baits are more productive when fishing over sandflats or in sandy or muddy estuary locations. Small rock crabs, oysters, mussels, pipis or other shellfish are preferred for more rocky or reefy landscape.
When fishing these baits in clear or shallow water, proper presentation is the key, and light tackle is a must. About six to ten pound line should be utilised. When larger winter bream invade the estuary, it is recommended to use a heavier gage line, especially if you are fishing across heavy terrain such as oyster leases, mangroves or reef.
Your sinker size and the number of terminal tackle used should be kept to the bear minimum. The simplest and yet the most effective rig for breaming is a small pea sized ball sinker running freely along your main line, down to your hook. AKA, “The Running Sinker”. Try to avoid using any swivels by learning a line to line knot to reduce the amount of tackle. If you are going to use a swivel, ensure that it is the smallest one possible. Use about a meter of leader, this will ensure that your bait is presented with adequate movement and as natural as possible. Choice of hook is an area of debate between many anglers. Although, everyone would agree that the hook needs to be sharp and of good quality, to ensure that it can penetrate the very tough mouth of the bream. Hooks should also be of a very light gage, but strong to ensure that the bait continues to present naturally in the water. Octopus beak, suicide, and long shank bait-holder hooks will all do the job. The size range should be from about #4 to 2/0, of course, this is dependent upon the size of the bream you are targeting. The choice of hook size should also be determined by the size of the bait used.
Berley for Bream
You cannot underestimate the power of berley attracting bream to your baits. It helps bring bream into casting distance; largely the fish based broths are most effective. They can be made from fish scraps, left over bait or go old school and throw in a tin of Snappy Thom. It is also recommend that you use stale bread or bran cereal to bulk up your berley.
Time and Tides
Bream tend to have pretty set feeding times, with dawn, dusk and night hours being their most productive. However, it is not uncommon for bream to feed right through the day, especially when it is overcast, or there has been a lot of rain or chop in the water the day prior. These types of conditions help stir up the water and make it discolored, giving bream some coverage and enticing them to feed throughout the day. Tides can also have a bearing on your catch rate, with the high or last few hours of the rising tide, often the best for shore breaming.
Estuary Tips for Boat Goers
Boat based bream fishermen have a distinct advantage of mobility and can reach many great bream spots that might be unreachable to land based anglers. Bridge structures, deep water holes, reefs and secluded shorelines are just a few examples. The most productive bream fishing comes when anchored up; drifting is also very effective on bream, predominantly over mussel or cockle beds or in the deeper channels of an estuary system. It is these spots that often yield bream in the otherwise dead daylight hours. Tackle for boat breaming is much the same as that used by the shore angler. A light two meter rod coupled with a small spin reel loaded with 6-10 pound line. When fishing shallow water, along scattered rocks, shorelines, or over sandbanks keep your sinker size to a smallest. A small ball sinker around size 00 to 1 running strait to the hook is all that’s needed. In deeper holes or gutters, where tides play a bigger part, a different technique is called for. Larger ball or bean sinkers are often needed just to reach the bottom. A longer leader at least a meter and preferably two is use to offset the unnatural effects of this heavier weight.
One deadly breaming method used at anchor in tidal waters, comprises of rigging a channel sinker weighting about 30 grams above a swivel large enough to act as a stopper. A meter of 6 pound leader runs from this stopper down to the hook. The idea is to drop just the bait and swivel over and feed out about twice as much line as the water depth under the boat, holing the running sinker in your hand. When all this loose line has been fed down-current, the channel sinker is dropped over the side, where it drops straight to the bottom. Using this technique, a whole range of fishing depths is covered with a very long hook trace that drifts freely and naturally in the current. This approach often results in exceptional bream catches. Berley is constantly an advantage when at anchor or fishing shallow ground from a boat. In a strong current, the addition of gravel or sand to the mixture will guarantee it gets down to where the fish are feeding.
Bream from Beaches and Breakwalls
Many anglers who target the yellowfin favor the breakwall or a beach as their prim grounds for hunting bream. Beach and breakwall fishing is generally done so with longer rods than those sometimes used in the estuary. A longer cast is called for and good line clearance is a must to ensure you are well clear of the rocks. Light to medium surf fishing tackle should be suitable.
A standard beach or breakwall bream rig would generally consist of a ball small to medium sinker running freely down to a size 10 swivel, with a meter of leader running down to the hook. In the heavier condition just upscale your tackle size to match the conditions. In calmer conditions or when the tide slacks off, go down to a size 1 or 2 ball sinker which can be ran directly to the hook. Also this variation of the running sinker fishes well at night when bream tend to move closer into cover.
The baits used for beach and breakwall fishing differ from estuary breaming. Use pilchards chunked, mullet strips, mullet gut, beach worms and pipies are the proven baits.
Bream on the Rocks
Yellow fin are regularly caught off rocks right along the east coast of Australia. They do prefer the wash strewn areas in the corners of beaches and around the rocks. They are drawn to these spots because of the plentiful supply of cunjevoi, crabs and weed growth. The same tackle used for beach and breakwall fishing is the same, when fishing the rocks. However a small bobby float can be also used to keep your bait off the rocks and help reduce the risk of snagging up. Baits used for fishing for bream off the rocks are cunjevoi, crabs, pilchards, whitebait and garfish strips.
Bream on the Offshore Reefs
Many east coast fishermen encounter bream whilst fishing for snapper on the offshore reefs, generally speaking these are more caught on the shallow offshore systems. Bream respond well to lightly weighted or floating baits fished in a good berley trail. They will also rise off the bottom and feed mid water column. Again the tackle is much the same as above but just keep you sinker light, just enough to get down to the reef slowly.
Moon Phase Over Easter
Well the effects that the moon phases have on fishing is quite debatable, every cat and his dogs have their own belief. Perhaps this discussion paves the way for an entirely separate blog? But for what it’s worth here is our stand point on the matter. I believe from experience and reading a lot of content on the matter, that bream on a full moon feed at night. Therefore, on full moon they tend to not feed throughout the day. Based on this, I do not chase bream in the daylight hours during Easter, if only at night time. Given that Easter in Australia is set to the full moon phase, I definitely avoid fishing for bream during the day, throughout the holiday period. However, I turn my attention to fishing for them at night.