Catching the bream bug
  |  First Published: April 2005

The little lure plopped down right next to the heavily-encrusted pylon. Clicking the reel into gear, I watched as the slack line slowly drifted towards it, then I hesitated for a moment, then move out urgently.

The little rod and reel appeared to want to join the lure in the water as it did it's best to wriggle free from my grip. The rod tip surged down hard with the reel singing in protest and then it was over – from lure splashdown to wipe-out was but a few seconds.

I was swearing and smiling as I retrieved the slack line and examined the tattered trace. I noticed my finger shaking as I tied on a Squidgy and smiled and swore some more as I plotted round two.

It's funny how a film, TV show or DVD can get the blood going. Just the other day while flicking through the Fox program I came across a program from the AFC bream series. The show had barely finished and I was already making plans for the following day which consisted of light spinning outfits, little Squidgy lures, a couple of local wharfs and some big fat bream.

The outcome was two wipe-outs and three bream and I had a ball. Bream spinning can be as complicated or as easy as you'd like it to be. Sure, oyster racks and rock bars hold heaps of bream but some of my favourite areas are but a short stroll from the car. Public wharfs, rocky banks or any forms of structure are all potential habitat for bream.

I do not profess to be expert at this type of fishing but if there are a few points I found when targeting bream on lures.

Firstly, fish the structure. If you’re on a wharf, drop the lure straight down from the rod tip and jiggle it around the pylons or even flick it out of sight under your feet.

If the sun is shining brightly, you'll often see the bream hanging in under shade. Random casts towards midstream seem to be a complete waste – you'll be surprised how many bream can be found in well under a metre of water.

Slow retrieves are a must; one complete turn of the reel handle every three seconds is heaps. It pays to work the water column so if there is any vertical structure like a pylon, try the top metre first and then allow the lure to sink deeper. The bream can be hanging at any point from the surface to the bottom.

It's quite overwhelming the number and variety of lures available to the bream angler today. I remember 20 years ago my fishing mates and I used Rebel Crawdad crankbaits, although while the soft plastics these days appear to more productive.

My favourite is the smallest Squidgy Wriggler in bloodworm colour. Matched with a fairly light jig head and hook and tied onto 6kg nylon trace with 4kg braid main line seems to work well.

The beauty of this style of fishing is that it is something that it can be done before or after work as it requires no bait. Travel time is minimal because some of the best areas are right in the middle of suburbia. Give it a go, it's heaps of fun.

On the Central Coast we have had some overly warm temperatures of late which seem to stimulate some species and shut down others.

However, April should see a slight drop in water temperature and I believe that will be a good thing for the fishing. The jewfish should be back on the bite right along our coastline again, as well as the kingies, both of which have quietened down since the water temperature has reached the mid-20°s.

Snapper should snowball from here on with the next couple of months the best for this species. It's been a great season for bream and, like the reds, they should only get better over the next couple of months on lures and bait.

There have been quite big whiting around with bloodworms the best bait to tempt them. More should turn up in the estuaries in April and May.

Marlin and mahi mahi have been regulars along the coast and they should still be around this month. Tailor are usually around in numbers at this time of year and the average size for these blokes has been biggest in the past 12months than any other time in the last decade.

Big jewies haven’t been particularly active in the warm water of late but this month they should pick up as the days cool.

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