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ARTICLE - How to catch BREAM


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How to catch Bream by @Ken A

Fishing for Bream in the Hawkesbury River


Broken Bay is a great area to fish for bream. The amount of water travelling through this area ensures a constant supply of food, prawns, small fish and crustaceans of different types for the bream to feed on. Where to fish for bream is dictated mainly by the stage of the tide and at times a couple of changes of location may be needed as the water movement increases / decreases. The bream tend to move around a bit so they are in prime feeding locations. The only real way of knowing when and where the bream will be to be comes from experience and the methods you choose to use. Like most other things the only way to learn is get the boat wet and try different areas if the one you are at is not firing. Bream fishing is a lot of fun and bream are a top table fish as well

Bream Locations

Things to look for to find a good bream spot in this area are eddies caused by the various points of land breaking in to the tide flow. Popular areas that all produce bream are, Gunyah Point , Juno Point, Walker Point. All these areas are well known spots and have all produced good bags of quality bream for me. Flint and Steel is another good bream ground but due to the amount of anglers who fish for bream and jewfish at this spot it can be hard on weekends. West Head is another fine bream spot as well especially on a run out tide. The flats at the back of Palm beach also produce well. There are numerous other little bream fishing spots in this area so my best advice is try a few spots until you have success.


You will need a good threadline or bait caster for this type of bream fishing. I am a dyed in the wool overhead man so I go with a bait caster but threadline are fine. I prefer Shimano for both rods and reels as they have a proven track record in performance and reliability. Daiwa along with Penn and Mitchell also put out some fine tackle. I won't go into specific reel models and rods here as the variety available to fit this category would be enormous. You need a well balanced outfit capable of handling 3 or 4kg line. I use Berkley Fireline in 3kg class. Its one of the new super lines and certainly lives up to its reputation. You need a line that is tough and abrasion resistant with minimum stretch and Fireline has it all. In hooks I use Mustad Bait holders (92668) in sizes 2/0 & 3/0. A selection of sinkers are needed from the small bug sinkers through to large bean sinkers of around 20 grams


I keep my bream fishing rigs as simple as possible for this type of fishing. I use simply a swivel with 30cm of line below it tied to the hook with the sinker free running on the trace. I use a uni knot for most of my connections now it is a proven knot and very reliable.  A word on knots find a good knot that you can tie and one that gives good knot strength. Many people speak highly of the blood knot and the half blood knot. Correctly tied and pulled up tight both of the bloods are good knots. Unfortunately many people do not do this and it results in the knot slipping and a good fish lost. My advice is give the blood knots away. The uni knot is a simple knot and easy to tie. Thread the line  through the hook eye leaving a long tag end then form a loop in the tag and go through the loop and round the main line 5 times. Wet the knot well and draw tight. 

Bait & Berley

The right bait and berley are the keys of course when bream fishing and many people miss out on bream as they do not berley in these areas thinking the current will wash it away and take the bream with it. This is true if you are using a berley pot and grinding out a fine stream of particles but having a berley dispenser on your bow anchor works well. On the market these days there are also a few berley dispensing gadgets that can be lowered to the bottom and jiggled to release the berley also. I normally use fish flesh for bait when fishing for bream and I simply drop striped tuna or bonito frames over the side and these get down quickly and stay close. When the current is light a few handfuls of boiled wheat works wonders. It sinks reasonably well and the bream love it. I think it is fair to say that prawns would be the most commonly used bait for bream in the Broken Bay area. A lot of bream have been caught on them and for catching quantities of bream prawns and nippers would have to be the No.1 baits. As far as catching big bream goes nearly all the 1 kilo plus fish I have caught have come on fish baits. I use Striped tuna ( I prefer salted to fresh) and Slimy mackerel (salted or fresh) as my top baits followed by Bonito , Tailor and pilchards in that order of preference. Stripies are available off shore during the summer months and I catch and salt my own but if you have not got offshore capabilities they can be had at some bait shops or the markets. Slimy mackerel are about in Cowan Creek and Pittwater and a few of the other bait grounds during the warmer months and are definitely worth the effort to collect. Bonito and Tailor are about most of the year around Barrenjoey Point and trolling a few lures about should produce a few. Pilchards are at most bait shops. Give fish baits a run when chasing bream it is worth the effort.


I prefer to fish for bream from around slack water at low tide through the run up to the top of the tide. It is important to get the berley happening as soon as you arrive. Get it happening and keep it happening. Start fishing with the lightest lead that will get your bait down deep in the vicinity of the berley as that is where the fish are. Many people make the mistake of getting berley down near the boat then cast 30 meters away. That's Ok if you are there to relax but doesn't put a lot of bream in the boat. These areas need effort put in to produce fish. Anchoring your bait in one spot while you demolish a six pack will guarantee you a minimum of bream to clean and a lot of stories to tell mates about plagues of catfish. As the run in the water increases you will need to cast up current so as to give the bait time to get down in the area the berley is laying. Remember that most of the current activity is in the first 6 feet of the water column so your bait needs time to get down deep do not try to keep the line tight to the bait as this will plane the bait back to the surface. Normally it is just a matter of keeping a light feel on the bait until it swings back past the stern and begins to plane back up to the surface. Time to retrieve and repeat the action again. You may need to change sinker size 2 or 3 times during the tide and if your bait is not moving along the bottom freely change to a lighter lead. Bites come hard and there is no need to let the fish have line to swallow the bait as the existing belly in the line is plenty. Often the bait will just suddenly stop moving and if this happens just wind hard until you come up tight on the fish. It takes a while to used to this type of fishing but it works very well. The most common problem I have is fish being hooked deep no matter how quick you strike. A method I use when fishing this way is to have a snap swivel on my main line and several rigs made up in advance wound around a flat piece of Styrofoam. The when a fish is landed if it is hooked deep you just unclip that rig and clip on another. I make up rigs with varying amounts of weight so as the tide increases in flow changing weight is just simply unclip one rig and clip on another. One point I must stress is many fish are missed and lost by using too small a hook. I use Mustad bait holder hooks in 2/0 & 3/0 and would not even consider going smaller. Hooks this size are needed on flesh baits to ensure the point is clear for a hook-up. Any bream you want to catch will get these down no problem at all and my biggest problem is gut hooked fish. Another point is do not bury the point in the bait or do as many people do and sew the hook through the bait a couple times. Doing this causes the bait to bunch up in the bend of the hook and you will miss many fish. Use large baits and put the hook through the bait once. Big bream just gulp the lot down in one go, if you are getting constant bites and missing you can bet they are only small fish

Bream Pictures





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