I never thought it would happen but I think I am turning into a ‘bream bum’.
Three people I blame for this. The first two are Starlo and Bushy for releasing their highly appealing Squidgy soft plastic range. They are so versatile, effective and fun to use that I have not tied on a hard-bodied lure in my past six outings.
Murray Cooper is the third villain responsible for this perversion. Murray is a self-confessed Clyde River bream bum from way back, becoming an addict around the time that Kevin ‘Ollie’ Gleed was doing regular guided bream-on lures trips in the Clyde. Three years ago I jumped on board with Murray for my first taste of Mogo Creek oyster-rack bream and found it to be a highly challenging and mildly appealing fishy pursuit.
Little did I know that that ‘mild’ little planted seed would slowly but surely transform into a piscatorial bitou bush! The other night I was casting No 3 24 Carrot Squidgy Wriggler to rock bars and tree snags in my sleep for the best part of the whole night. I have clearly lost the plot.
The restless casting-in-my-sleep night was the result of one of our most recent sorties west of Nelligen. We pushed deep into Cockwhy Creek in search of bass on a warm, windy afternoon. To our surprise, the creek was crystal-clear and full of garfish, whitebait and undersized bream.
Lack of rain has allowed the salt to transform what would normally be tannin, almost black pools to become clear. Around 200 combined casts later and with only one hit each to our score, we decided to go back to the main river. The first rock bar we cast to produced a near double hook-up on bream and estuary perch and the rest of the arvo continued in similar fashion.
The size of the fish were nothing special but it was good to finally bend a rod. The EPs hit really hard but then it was a simple matter of cranking ‘em in. According to the boys at McCallum’s tackle store in Nowra, they also found the creeks to be fishless and frustrating on a recent four-day camp. They did, however, manage to find good-sized flathead, bream and EPs in the main river to make the trip worthwhile.
The charter vessel OB1, skippered by Ashley Wallis, scored its first billfish for the season in mid-November – a 120kg striped marlin. They also scored well with a healthy haul of 24 solid albacore and five yellowfin tuna over four consecutive trips.
By the time this issue hits the shelves, the blue-water highway should be full to the brim with sickled, beaked and toothy speedsters aplenty.
The arrival of these fish nicely coincides with the annual Tollgate Classic game fishing tournament, held on January 10 to 12. It is always a big hit with the game fishing fraternity. Fingers crossed for light winds and good currents as the competitors are often faced with some woeful sea conditions for this event in years gone by.
The only fish I’ll see in January will in the deep fryer at my shop and the only flippin’ I’ll be doing won’t be with Squidgies – it’ll be on the burgers. But there is a big light at the end of the tunnel. This new chum to the bream thing is very seriously looking to step up from non-boater status by purchasing a Hornet 4.35 Trophy after the Summer silly season. I simply fell in love with it at the Harbour Marine stand at the recent boating and leisure show at the Bay. Even Trish, the better half, semi-approves of the idea…
Nyomi Hudson-Dawson with her first ‘big’ fish, a lovely salmon taken from the beach on a 20g Raider.
Murray Cooper with a typical ‘feed’-sized flattie, taken on a No 4 Squidgy Fish in Gary Glitter colour.Reads: 1472