Time to battle bream
  |  First Published: November 2004

It’s big bream time again! This is when I go from a half-hearted, casual bream spinner to a possessed bream nut overnight.

This is because the yellowfin bream flood the lower estuaries in big numbers, returning from their Winter coastal migration, and they are always hungry.

A few encouraging early appearances from bream began showing throughout September and into October but the bulk of the returning bream seem to show up late October and early November. It is safe to say that by the time you are reading this the best action will already be happening.

Surface plastics fished over flooded oyster racks and shallow, oyster-clad rocks is my favourite form of attack when it comes to bream spinning. The fight is always memorable but often short-lived, with victory or failure decided in a couple of seconds.

Last season I got skunked by way too many big silver bruisers in shallow oyster rock country and this year it is payback! The beauty of surface fishing is you can get away with heavier leaders because most of the line is above the water’s surface.

It may be two months shy of New Year’s resolutions but I have already made a few. As well as getting even on a few thug bream, this year I am going to do my best to amend two woeful seasons on land-based kingfish.

The hunt will start this month and a ‘think-big’ theme will be the order of the day. Big live squid or oversized baitfish will be the baits to seek and long, 100kg wind-on Ande traces will be standard.

Some good sized baitfish bust-ups just wide of my local LBG possie have got me tingling with anticipation and slimy mackerel numbers are already quite abundant.

The presence of slimies in numbers can make or break a LBG season so the signs are looking much better this year.

Offshore fishos have continued to fare well on quality snapper. Justin Lake scored another 7kg knobby over his favourite bed of gravel not too long back and other anglers report plenty of fish to 4.5kg.

A recent trip to Bendalong with the Soldiers Fishing Club showed promise for Rex Medbury and Karl Ryan. The boys boated some nice mowies and small snapper but it wasn’t until Rex pinned a 4.5kg red that the interest of a nearby dozing seal was sparked.

Despite their best efforts it unfortunately knocked off each successive snapper they hooked, including a couple around the 4kg mark.


I enjoy being proven wrong for the right reasons. Last month I commented on a lack of albacore on the shelf. The very day after I clicked ‘send’, sure enough – several local and visiting crews got stuck into a good run of albies averaging 8kg with a few into double figures!

Some boats managed between 12 and 15 for the day as well as a couple of school yellowfin. With an ounce of luck, this run should continue and there is still the odd story on the grapevine as I type this report. It is nice to have some incentive to head wide rather than taking pot luck.

On the beaches, things should be starting to cook with the increased water temperature. Whiting numbers will slowly increase and some straggling schools of bream will be around, too.

Salmon never seem to disappear these days and tailor numbers will only strengthen. Of course, all this increased fish activity will be attracting the hook-thieving whaler sharks once the lights go out.

Some big jewies always seem to show up, too, if your hook stocks are up to the challenge.


Creek dwellers will be dusting off their canoes and kayaks in search of bass but lack of rain will be restricting the return of the big breeders to far-flung freshwater pools.

Starting from the brackish water and working west is the best plan. Pick a warm sticky afternoon when the insects are active and grab the surface lures.

Now that Summer is knocking on the door there are simply too many fishing options on offer but I’ll do my best to sample a bit of everything. I suggest you do, too!

November is one of the best months to lead a big bream to the net in South Coast estuaries. Note this creek-dwelling black bream is missing a pectoral fin.

Murray Cooper extracted this 1.2kg bruiser from a cluster of oyster-encrusted shallow rocks. A three-inch Berkley stickbait did the damage.

A part time bream bum with a couple of Clyde River specimens. Now’s the time to get serious on bream, especially in the lower reaches. Nice boat sticker, too!

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