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Baiting Big Black Bream
  |  First Published: May 2006



Now that the days are getting shorter and cooler, calm conditions out on the open ocean have become more limited. Boats have been stowed away for the coming winter months and the focus has turned towards land-based fishing, particularly in our coastal estuaries.

While many species are caught within our southern estuaries, it’s the black bream that draws the most attention from anglers along the Great Ocean Road. Bream would have to be one of our most popular species, full stop!

I’m sure you’ve all seen the TV shows, the fishing competitions, magazine articles and walls and walls of soft plastics at your local fishing store all dedicated to bream.

But don’t get sucked into thinking that you have to be an expert fisher to catch them. Just like in the old days, bream still take bait and even the most novice fisher can toss out a line and find themselves attached to a fish.

Good baits to try include worms, prawns, crabs and shrimp, but the list doesn’t stop there so ask what’s working best at the time and place you wish to fish.

Aire River

I recently fished the Aire River with prawns and landed nine fish to 38cm, while the guys beside me landed six fish between them on crabs, which would have averaged bigger than mine.

I tried flicking a soft plastic about for an hour and could only manage a few hits that didn’t stick so I gave it away and went back to bait. Not to be out done, local diehard bream angler Josh Lee went down that afternoon and landed himself a couple of beauties on a Berkley 6” sandworm. One of his fish nudged 40cm!

Bream are slow growers and a 40cm bream is a very old fish so take only what you need. Josh and I let all of our bream go. The only reason the fishing is so good in many of these estuaries is because people practise catch and release. Next time you’re onto a hot session give it some thought.

Barham River

The Barham River is also producing plenty of bream as Graeme Noye and his son Chris recently found out. They were fishing off the sandy beach right down at the mouth of the river with prawns and took home two nice bream and released a few as well.

Other rivers worth trying for bream are the Kennett, Erskine, Gellibrand and Curdies.

For the latest info on where they’re biting drop me a line at Surf-n-Fish on (03) 5237 6426.

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