By the time this issue hits the stands, the yellowfin bream should be hitting baits in Botany Bay and Port Hacking.
Last years run of Summer travelling yellowfin bream was very dismal, even though there had been no professional fishing in the Bay for some time. I might not like eating bream too much, but I like targeting them with small minnow lures, soft plastics and sometimes with a fly. If you are going to target bream you will first need to get to know which areas they inhabit, what they prefer to eat during Summer and at what time of day they bite best.
Yellowfin bream inhabit coastal and estuarine waters of eastern Australia from Townsville to the Gippsland Lakes and are most abundant in estuaries, but they also inhabit inshore reefs, ocean beaches and rocky headlands. They live in rivers up to the limit of brackish water but rarely enter fresh water. Yellowfin bream are associated with sand, mud and rocky sections of bottom.
The other major bream species in these waters, black bream, inhabit estuaries from the Myall Lakes to the Murchison River in Western Australia, including Tasmania. Black bream are usually restricted to estuarine habitats and only leave them during flooding.
The best time to target any bream is in low light, such as at night, the first hours after sunrise, the hours before sunset and overcast days. Bream seem to be much more aggressive and less shy at these times. You can, however, keep them on the chew if you consistently berley to attract them to where you bait or lure may be.
During the middle part of Summer bream tend to like whole or peeled prawns, live pink nippers, blood, beach, tube and squirt worms, strips of fresh squid, salted slimy mackerel and small soldier crabs. If there has been a fair bit of rain, their taste can turn towards baits like chicken or abalone gut, mullet, tuna or chicken breast in Parmesan cheese.
If you are fishing from a boat in Botany Bay, you could try The Drums in the middle of the bay, the end of the third runway, Towra Point Wide and Yarra Bay. Shore anglers could try the groynes of Kurnell and Dolls Point, the entrance to the Cooks River and off the rocks at either side of the entrance to the bay.
Port Hacking boat anglers could try the drop-off at Lilli Pilli, Deer Park, the deep water of Gunnamatta and Gymea bays and out near the Dee Ban Spit. Shore-based spots include the beach at Jibbon, Maianbar flats, the baths at the end of Gunnamatta Bay and the swimming pool at the end of Gymea Bay.
Fish as light at the current or tide will allow you to and if you use a running sinker down to a swivel, try a leader of between one and two metres long. These rigs will keep the bait off the bottom, away from those bait stealing small snapper and sand whiting. If you are using lures, which must be below 6cm long, whether hard or soft, I would not go anywhere without my fluorocarbon leader. It definitely makes a difference.
While this bream smashed a 10cm soft plastic used to target flathead, the general norm when targeting bream is to use lures below 6cm long..Reads: 1469