The big buzz around town for estuary lure-tossers is the arrival of the popular BREAM circuit.
The Clyde River should turn on some great fishing for the competition, especially if the weather is kind. Keen bream spinners are definitely a minority around The Bay – this is still an estuary dominated by bait-danglers.
Popularity in luring has grown somewhat in recent years but nowhere near the extent of locales north of The Bay. Still, the news has certainly got a handful of local breamos (and no doubt a few ACT and Ulladulla boys) as excited as kids at Christmas.
I have been doing a bit of selective practice ‘pre-fishing’ with Murray Cooper and the results have been promising. Each outing we have managed to find a few nice 35cm to 40cm fish, which would be very welcome come comp weekend. Murray has been doing well especially lately, with many fish nudging 40cm on plastics and hard bodies from a multitude of different structures throughout the river.
Murray knows the river well, consistently finding a few nice bream most outings, but his heavily-weighted preference for fishing run-out tides has meant that we have had to reinvent our strategies to learn where the fish are on the run-in tide that will dominate the BREAM event. Big Muzza loathes the run-in tide.
On a recent trip above Nelligen, Murray scored 16 bream with only two below legal size. There are plenty of good bream west of the Nelligen bridge but the usual by-catch of 20-plus estuary perch may prove annoying in a bream-only comp. Is it worth the long run? Hard to say.
Speaking of estuary perch, boy has there been a stack of them available over the last few months! Twenty-fish trips have been the norm on most days but genuinely big perch are always hard to come by. Still, plenty of kilo specimens make them a worthy pursuit.
The best success I have had has come from the long stretches of tree-lined rock faces that the ski boats constantly hammer. I was a little surprised to read some comments in another fishing publication that perch rarely feed on the bottom. Almost every good sized perch I have connected with recently has been right on the bottom.
The last third of the retrieve in an average of seven metres of water, virtually straight below the boat, is where the fish seem to hit. All of the deep dwellers have taken No 2 Squidgy Wrigglers in killer tomato or 24 carrot colours. fish seem to be much smaller off snags and shallower rock bars but the odd good one is falling for the No 4 bloodworm and conventional sub-surface presentations.
Friend and sometime jewie companion James Gale hooked the Mulloway from Hell around the full moon. One hour before the sun set James set out a slab of mullet in a washy gutter but, with the sun still up, he had no early expectations.
The hook-up woke the leviathan from its lazy take and proceeded to take James on a merry ride up and down the beach, over rocks and back to the beach again. One hour and ten minutes after later, James had the beast floundering in the shore dump.
The fish saw him advancing towards him and shot off eastwards, clean spooling him under a crackling heavy drag on 15kg line. Empty oversized Baitrunner, a very tender nether region, limp muscles and no fish –thanks for the memories!
Murray Cooper displays a lone bream taken amongst the hoards of small to middling estuary perch in the upper Clyde. The bream are definitely about in the upper reaches but perch seem to rule the roost.
The author with an average Clyde estuary perch. These fish have been falling for slow, twitching retrieves in about seven metres of water.
This fat EP is a personal best for the author. It scoffed a bloodworm No 4 Squidgy Wriggler off a big submerged log while five ski boats raced behind.Reads: 549