Make the most of the bream
  |  First Published: June 2012

Even though we’ve reached the coldest time of year it doesn’t necessarily mean that fishing will be cold.

Some species will have moved on or may go into hibernation over the next few months, but there is still quite a bit on offer in our estuaries, along the rocks, beaches and offshore.

Bream fishing in Brisbane Water and the lakes should still be OK this month but if you’re keen on bream I would be trying to make the most of it because they’re going to become a lot more difficult once we hit July and they’ll be even worse in August.

Although Summer wasn’t the best for bream locally, they kicked into gear a lot more through Autumn but a large percentage of them will be heading out to sea now and so the lower reaches from The Rip Bridge to Broken Bay and at The Entrance will be the better areas to target them.

I don’t quite understand how it all works, because I’m not a fish, but for some reason not all bream move to the lower reaches or out around the beaches and headlands through Winter.

It’s understandable that the little bream remain behind because they’re not ready to spawn anyway, but it’s not uncommon to score the odd big bream further up our systems and in the creeks, even if the water is cold and muddy.

Still, though, I would advise fishing closer to the mouths over the next couple of months if you want numbers of fish.

Blackfish have been caught at all the usual spots in the lakes and Brisbane Water, although the best fishing should occur from about now to the end of July.

Having just purchased a very nice British centrepin reel, I’m quite keen to get into them myself, as it’s been a few years since I’ve fished much for blackfish in our local estuaries.

For now, though, plenty of green weed should be easy enough to find around Tuggerah Lakes. Even if we get another flood, it normally takes only a week or so for water levels to drop and a few sunny days gets the weed growing again.


Offshore action is a bit like our estuary fishing – in that it should still be fine in June but will become more difficult through the second half of Winter.

Snapper and kings are probably the main fish local anglers look forward to through the cooler months, but if those two species are proving difficult to find, try fishing in close for trevally. A light berley trail and lightly weighted baits like cut pillies or peeled prawns should produce some action.

If you’re yet to try them, soft plastics work exceptionally well on trevally and you don’t have to do much. Simply cast it out the back, let it sink a few metres and slowly wind in a metre or two at a time.

The best softy I’ve used on trevally is the good old Berkley 3” Power Minnow and the best colour is pearl/watermelon.

Other fish like snapper, rat kings, sweep and salmon also hit these little plastics while you’re trying to catch trevally, so it can be a lot of fun as well as putting some fish in the icebox for a feed.

Tailor are another inshore option this month and the best places to look are right in close around the headlands and shallow reefs.

Tailor love whitewash so it’s important to cast right into it and try not to worry about snags too much.

If it’s shallow, just start winding in your bait or lure as soon as it splashes down.

Alternatively, try casting poppers over shallow reefs early in the morning or later in the day.

If you’re doing this from a boat and you haven’t tried this sort of fishing before, one very important tip is to leave the motor running. That way you can move quickly and avoid any larger waves that might want to push the boat in towards the rocks.

As with rock fishing, always keep an eye on the water while you’re fishing and with a commonsense approach, inshore tailor fishing can be a lot of fun.


Rock fishing should be quite good this month and tailor are also one of the main early Winter targets. Again, cast baits or lures close in and slowly retrieve them back through the washes.

Depending on how quickly the water cools, there may still be the odd bonito, mack tuna or kingfish around but, in reality, tailor and salmon are the main fish that will hit lures cast from the rocks this month.

Of course, blackfish, drummer, bream and groper are all pretty reliable species this month. Trevally and snapper are also on the cards.

So the only real problems facing the rockhopper at this time of year are big seas, which are quite common, especially when one of those dreaded east coast low-pressure systems moves over.

If the sea conditions are favourable, then beach fishing should also be fine. Tailor, salmon and bream are likely early in the morning or later in the day on a rising tide.

After sunset there’s a very good chance of pinning a jewfish this month and there are some big squid around at this time of year. Catch a couple of those and you’ve got some first=rate jewie bait.

Reads: 2017

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