Bream are usually associated with the colder months but they can be caught in good numbers right through the hottest months of the year.
Bream are generally more aggressive in summer, hitting lures and flies with gusto. All the regular spots will hold some bream in February, but a great deal of feeding activity takes place in the upper reaches of coastal creeks such as Eprapah, Tingalpa and Moogerupum and the Brisbane and Logan rivers, right up into the brackish water sections.
Closer to the open parts of the Bay, bream also move back into mangrove swamps cruising amongst the many small channels that drain these areas. They feed on a variety of species, including prawns, crabs, fish and worms as well as terrestrial insects that fall in the water such as moths, cicadas and beetles. The further upstream you go, the more likely the fish are likely to be looking for offerings falling from above, with insects at the top of the menu.
Stealth is important when chasing these fish, whether on the shoreline or fishing from a boat or canoe. Many of the bream will be cruising within centimetres of the shoreline, hanging in close to overhanging trees and mangrove roots. In the brackish waters, the movement of reeds in the shallows can indicate fish poking around for food. Light tackle and leaders around 8lb maximum are usually necessary for bream fishing, but there are times when the fish will happily eat 70mm lure rigged on 30lb trace for jacks. The better the water clarity and the higher in the sky the sun is, the lighter the tackle required.
In the clearer Bay waters, try fishing a rising tide using small soft plastics such as 1.5” Slider Grubs or Storm Wildeye Sprats in translucent colours. Hard-bodied lures such as the Ecogear SX40 or small poppers like Yamashita Pop Queens work well. Try to get the lure as far up into the base of the mangrove trees as possible, cast as far as you can into the gaps and gutters between trees once the tide has risen. Work the lures slowly in a stop-start fashion. Flyfishers will do well with various prawn imitation flies, snag resistant Bendbacks and small Gurglers. Bait fishers will have good success with live prawns or hardiheads tossed unweighted into the same areas.
Further up the creeks larger lures and flies get great results sub-surface but try to keep topwater lures and flies small to match the little cicadas and other creatures that fall on the water. River 2 Sea’s little Buggi Pops are great for this, they can be left to drift around the snags or under overhanging trees and just twitched every now and again, just like an stunned insect. The Ecogear Grass Minnow M in translucent pink is another killer, when rigged on an unweighted worm hook paddled slowly across the surface. It imitates something more like a cruising prawn but is just as deadly as the popper.
In diving lures, Lively Lure Micro Mullets, SX40s and Lucky Craft Bevy Shads are among my favourites. Cast tight to cover, left to sit for 5-10 seconds then cranked back on a slow, jerky retrieve, they are dynamite for big bream. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times, the further upstream you are, the less the tides are of influence.
Until next month, tight lines, or for more information on the southern Moreton Bay area, come and see me at Fish Head (Cnr Broadwater Tce and Stradbroke St, Redland Bay, www.fishhead.com.au) or call us on (07) 3206 7999.Reads: 1177