Big bream come out on top
  |  First Published: February 2014

At this time of year it’s not uncommon for many anglers to be tucked away, up a creek or river enjoying the explosion of life that has developed over the summer months.

The warmer water up the rivers has encouraged heaps of bream, gar, mullet, and even bull sharks to seek the warmer water of the tidal tributaries. Bream of 38cm or around 1kg are reasonably plentiful on the right day, as are the small flathead that are only too willing to accept a minnow style soft plastic bounced close the shore edge. The top of the tide and the run-out are best for both the flathead and bream in and around the structure or deeper banks.

For those needing a surface fix, the bream have been in really good form up the Coolongolook and Wallamba rivers. Cicada style lures like the Tiemco Soft Shells are my pick; it makes sense with the deafening din of the bankside cicada hatch that has taken over this summer. I have taken to wearing a pair of earplugs to make the noise bearable.

Tie your lure on with a loop knot and 8kg leader and you should be right, provided you keep your casts as close to structure or the shade of the banks as possible.

While on the subject of surface bites, the whiting in the lower lake, around the bridge and channels have been a good run of fish. While most anglers are picking these fish up on beachworms or yabbies there is no reason why you couldn’t stir them up on a pencil popper or fizzer.

The lease poles and weed beds around Wallis Island have some large luderick over them, and if you are lucky enough to have some green weed you will do well. For everyone else you may like to return during the even run-out with yabbies. The blackfish have a change of diet come nightfall and are often caught on yabbies and green prawns. It just may be that you are out on the lake at night during the run-out tide chasing the prawns.

It has been a good prawn run this year with heaps of them being put through the local Woolies for those not able to get out on the water. Breckenridge channel is always a favourite spot to prawn, though getting away from the crowds and light of the street can be done further afield in spots like the Wallamba River mouth or The Step near Wallis Island.

Many people have been talking about how good the crabs in the lake have been in the last month and we can only hope this continues. Pipers Bay area and the weed around The Step are good, as is the Coomba Bay area. Just keep a good eye on your traps and nets because they have a habit of disappearing. If I ever catch the individual or pro that steals pots and cuts crabs from nets, I’ll be only too happy to take ample photos with the 400mm lens and then name and shame – along with a postcard to Fisheries (DPI).


What can I say about the bass fishing this year; it has been sensational. Big fish and good numbers for anyone that has had the earmuffs or poor hearing required to cope with the cicadas. You can actually feel the sound reverberating in the water, and that obviously has the bass tuned up.

A sneaky hint when using cicada patterns is if you find you’re not getting many surface hits is to ‘shake and set’ the lure. Essentially you cast your lure, shake it, and then leave it on the surface, motionless. Try it, it works a treat on tough bites when you know the fish are there and are only slapping at the lures.

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