Yabbies, worms, fish flesh, mullet gut and pilchard.
Bream usually inhabit rough, snaggy areas, in depths ranging from 2 to 6m. They feed in schools, usually around areas that give them some protection, like sunken logs, oyster leases, eroded banks or the base of rock walls.
During the winter months they bite best during the night and at dawn and congregate in deep fast running water close to surf bars where rivers and estuaries empty into the open sea.
The most productive nights are during the winter months on the big tides leading up to the full and new moon.
The best rig is designed to give maximum bait movement and is made up of a round running sinker, between a 00 and a 3 ball dependent on the tidal flow, directly above the hook and a small No. 10 free turning swivel about 1m above the sinker.
Having the sinker so close to the bait doesn’t reduce bites when bream fishing, but gives you direct contact with your bait whether fishing into or against the tide and the bites are easier to detect.
If fishing the right area, a bream fisherman will loose rigs through snagging. Another benefit of this rig is that it is also easier to unhook when snagged.
Bream do not like clear water and it is rare to catch them when you can see them. An offshore wind, which often flattens seas and clears the water, does not produce good fishing.
The fish reappear when an onshore sea breeze brings turbulence and cloudy water. When fishing piers or jetties, try fishing under the structure. The bream feed and shelter around the piles, often right under where you are standing.
Never attempt to set the hook by striking with the rod or every fish swimming across or towards you will be lost. The wind and lean method is most important when bream fishing.
Bream are often credited for being a wily or clever fish, but in reality is one of the easiest to catch. The only time it picks at food is when the angler is not presenting the bait properly. With a well presented bait, its bite rarely varies and the action to set the hook remains constant.
Bream will feed on a variety of baits however yabbies have proven to be versatile in all situations. Peeled prawns are also excellent, followed by whitebait and gut baits are particularly good for anglers who are prepared to wait for a bigger class of fish. Yabbies are easily pumped at low tide on sandbanks with an Alvey Yabbie Pump.
They will stay on the hook well if baited as shown on page 63 and cast with a smooth action without jerking.
Bream Surf Angling:
Small surf gutters and holes close to the beach are often neglected by many anglers but hold good size bream, whiting, flathead and swallowtail dart. An estuary rod and reel loaded with 4kg line and rigged with a small hook and sinker can be a productive and entertaining way of fishing these areas.
The fish come in very shallow at times, often with less than 60cm of water over them.
When fishing around a rocky bottom, the favourite haunt of bream, it still pays to rig the sinker right on the hook to prevent constant snagging. When fishing a sandy gutter, a better rig is to use a 40cm (approx) trace below the sinker and a size 1 or 1/0 hook. Top baits in the surf include yabbies, eugaries (pipis), small pilchards, strips of Sea Gar and gut. Cunjevoi is also a good bait around rocks.