Four Pound Bream
  |  First Published: July 2011

This will get your attention. Two 46cm bream to 1.81kg.

Those two thumpers were part of Mick Selzer’s recent catch when out lure fishing. The Gippsland Lakes seem to keep producing big bream and this winter has seen a lot of stud fish reach the net. All the rivers have cleaned up now and it’s making perfect conditions for lure fishing with bait anglers also getting their fair share of fish.

The flathead are unusually quiet this winter and I expected them to show up in big numbers through out the rivers, but like last year they seemed to have stayed out in the lakes.

There are a few mullet, luderick, tailor and the odd trevally also turning up to make things interesting but my report is once again dominated by the catch of black bream.

Luring big bream

Every bream angler’s dream is to find trophy fish and only a handful of us will ever see, let alone catch, a big old genuine four pounder. Over the last decade of lure fishing madness, the quest for these fish has almost driven bream anglers insane, broke and divorced!

Mick Selzer is one of those very keen anglers and headed off from Wattle Point recently not the slightest bit deterred by the rain and wind forecast for that day. With his first bream at 42cm he was stoked to equal a PB on lure but his next fish had him over the moon. At 46cm it’s a bream most anglers dream about and Mick took a picture of it weighed on his digital scales at just on 4lbs.

Lots of anglers say they have caught 4lb bream but not many provide the absolute proof to back it up. He was very excited to land such an elusive big fish and took plenty of pics of his new PB bream before it’s release. A short time later Mick goes into battle again and puts another 46cm truck into the net. This fish goes 3lb 7oz, which is a bit light for a Gippsland Lakes bream for it’s size, but it will remain heavy in Mick’s memory as part of an awesome day of luring up bream.

He ended up with eight fish that session and no guesses required on where he’s going to spend a lot more time fishing in the near future!

Chad Aumann has been fishing and guiding kayak clients around Paynesville and rang me to say there are plenty of bream on offer in Duck Arm and Picnic Arm with a few good flathead as well.

Rivers fire up

The Nicholson and Tambo rivers are chock-a-block full of bream in their lower sections at the moment you’re your sounder will have a lot fish will be marked up. That’s the good news but trying to catch them is another thing. Clark Wilson and myself had a devil of a time trying to hook them recently in the Nicholson River and we could only trick a few smaller bream during a long painful session.

We were seeing almost a wall of bream on the sounder, but amazingly when sending blade and soft plastic lures down to them, we hardly got a single touch! I’ve had better luck in the Tambo however where I got 20 or 30 bream to 34cm on each visit.

The estuary perch have made a comeback into this river as well and nice to see anglers releasing them all. Just on dark, lure anglers are also getting some nice luderick on lures to 36cm and even trevally are being caught in the upper Tambo. Bait anglers are having a ball at the moment with no shortage of bream but getting a bag of size fish is a challenge.

I also noticed quite a few anglers getting mullet with sandworm under a float and some decent sized fish at that. I spent a day with Owen Pierce recently and we fished both rivers on a terrible day with 40km winds and just 8C. Talk about keen – or should that read brainless!

We persevered with hardbodies in the snags all day and found some cracker winter bream. We only managed 14 fish landed but two of those bream went 43cm and we both lost a handful of good fish that spat out the lure. A couple of large old nasty, barnacle crunching bream also got away when they chewed down and broke our hooks! I know they have a tough set of dentures but that’s a rude way to lose big bream!

Looking ahead

It should continue to be a bumper year on the bream and my tip is they will spawn early because the rivers are in such a healthy state. There is already a big number of fish in the streams and you can expect to hook a lot of big fish when the bream start to congregate even further for the breeding season.

The Mitchell River will be the hotspot for sure and I suggest anywhere above the highway bridge is worth exploring from late this month and into early August.

The Tambo should also be stacked with good-sized spawning bream where bait anglers will be lined up from the Blue Hole and upstream into the fresh.

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