Breaming the bobby cork way
  |  First Published: August 2016

Bream are a highlight of fishing at this time of year. With a reputation of being tricky, picky, and generally shy biters, there is one situation where bream can become outright easy, and that’s when fishing around wash.

Wherever wash occurs around ocean walls and headlands, bream become opportunistic feeders, moving quick as a flash to devour any likely bait offering that’s become unstuck from the waves pounding in. Bream can be very finicky if they can get a good look at a bait, but if the food item is on the move, as is always the case in a wash, they either grab it quick or lose it to a mate.

This situation makes for easy bream fishing, providing the angler uses their head and keeps the bait from snagging up and keeps it on the move so the fish has to eat it. The bobby cork technique is perfect for this scenario as the bait is suspended to avoid snagging, and if the angler casts into the right spot the bait will drift about until a fish finds it, which from my experience is not going to be very long.

As for the resistance of the float, it’s not worth worrying about. When bream find a bait drifting tantalizingly in all those suds, they don’t pick or feel if it’s attached to anything, they just gobble it down!

In the wash

So what do we need to get some action? Obviously, you need an area with a wash. Rock walls are okay, but you will need to find just the right spot to lift that fish for landing. Select carefully, but don’t go too low or you might get very uncomfortably wet.

Usually, somewhere just behind the wave break is the right place, as there will be plenty of suds in this area. Another really good situation occurs around the ocean rocks where little bays or coves form plenty of cover for these canny fish to dive in and out of with each wave.

The trick is to locate a small area that is hardly ever short of wash – if possible, without too much back and forth surge – and such a place is absolutely perfect. Bream will be there for sure, and waiting for some tucker to be washed free by wave action. Crabs are high on the menu, as is any other critter washed in, but if a crab is found it’s top tucker. Even a crab leg, makes for a good bream bait.

If crabs are hard to come by, it’s hard to go past strips of unfrozen mullet. A mullet that’s been filleted with the flesh then cut into small sections, perhaps salted to toughen it up, makes very good bait. Making each bait about the length of a postage stamp, but not as wide as one is ideal and the clue is to use a no. 4 hook threaded through the strip of mullet a couple of times and then suspend it around 1.5m below the bobby cork. ]

Even if the water is 3m deep, a bream will be on that bait like a shot, as these fish are always on the lookout for anything, anywhere in that wash, that they can eat.

Prawns are also very good bait in this situation, and there’s no need to peel them, as the fish will not be fussy.

the rig

The bobby cork needs to be highly visible at all times in that wash, so a fluoro coloured one is perfect. Understand that this is not like luderick fishing, meaning the bobby cork does not need to be well weighted at all, it’s merely there to suspend the bait. Therefore, even a fairly large one will still get dragged under when a big bream latches on to the bait.

A small sinker or split shot placed near the baited hook will ensure that the bait sinks rapidly once the rig is cast into the wash, ideally with the wave or swell having just arrived and broken on the rocks. This is important, as the bait will be drifting out after the wave breaks and needs to get down quickly.

The means of keeping the depth just right is as easy as sliding a small bead on the line just above the float and with a bit of dental floss or similar material tied onto the 6-8kg mainline the bead contacts this stopper, in turn, and stops the line from running further down through the float. This means that the bait’s location under the float is adjustable, and this is helpful, as bream will even feed in less than a metre of water if it suits them, or might be out in deeper water where a good bit of wash is hanging in.

A fairly strong rod around 3m long is required, as a big bream is not going to want to be washed up into a small gutter or pool prior to being lifted out of the water and will put up a good fight. Retying the hook after each fish is also smart, because they can scuff your line on the rocks after the fight.

Location is everything

The last word is to very carefully select the right spot to fish on the rocks. If the rocks are wet, forget it, as the next wave could cause real trouble. There are sufficient excellent spots on any headland or rock shelf on our ocean front areas to find a bit of bream attracting wash, without getting into difficulties.

On a trip to Woody Heads last year I picked just the right location for my wife’s grandchildren and I to have a great time catching bream on bobby cork gear without the slightest issue, even with waves or wash. The youngsters enjoyed eating those fish for tea at night!

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