Frosty Days But Feisty Bream
  |  First Published: June 2009

Last month I predicted that we could possibly be in for the best bream season for years. It’s nice to get something right for a change because the lure fishing has been sensational! The dusky flathead have also turned up on cue and even luderick, estuary perch and tailor are playing their part.

It’s also nice to report on a fair run of winter mullet that have been sorely missed by anglers since the big floods. Sandworm is now selling in most places but it might pay to ring your local bait shop before you head out. You may be a little surprised at the $8 a box though!

Bream Lures

I’ve received plenty of emails and photos from dedicated lure anglers recently and I’m continually amazed with the wicked pictures of impressive bream with small hard bodies hanging out of their mouths. Transparent suspending lures about 4-5cm are by far proving the most popular. A few readers have asked me to mention some of the best lures to tackle Gippsland Lakes bream, so here goes. Ecogear SX40’s are still hooking plenty of bream and try the colour number 350, which is slightly see-through with a flashy green and mauve finish. Its bigger cousin the MX48 hardbody is also now proving deadly when twitched and suspended in front of bream. Try the semi-transparent colour number 303 which is a dark floating lure that I saw a good mate land bream to 43cm on. Another lure tricking bream is the Storm Scatback bibbed lure in phantom black colour that has a single rear set of trebles. A 4cm bibbed hardbody I have introduced to my mates called and Evergreen Micromax is fast becoming the most lethal bream lure around as you can see with my report photos.

Soft plastics

It’s funny how lures come and go like fashion trends and it seems soft plastics have taken a back seat at the moment. I still catch a lot of bream on plastics and an army of anglers are still using Gulp worms almost exclusively. For me, 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers still remain one of the deadliest bream catching tools I own. When I experience a slow fishing session, I always tend to tie on a pink Squidgy and it really is my confidence lure. Another softy I’ve come to hold in high regard is the Storm Nipper lures. They have got to be the best look alike for the real thing in any soft plastic on the market. A first used them in Tasmania recently and I can assure you the Gippsland Lakes bream are rather partial to them.

Mitchell River

So as for where to find these bream, well that subject gets a little tougher. Parochial anglers get very protective about secret spots or honey holes and my mates call me a ‘dodgy swamp rat’ for good reason! It’s not a wise move to give your favourite locations up. However the following areas have also been fishing really well and are known to everyone. The Mitchell River down at the Cut has been a regular hotspot for some time now but I suggest you get there early, as the bream seem to fire up for just a short time after sunrise. This river must support an incredible number of bream because they are being caught from the entrance right up to the township of Bairnsdale. Estuary perch have been showing up in good numbers for the last six months now and it’s great to see them making a come back in the Mitchell. Try the highway bridge or up in the backwater.

Tambo River

Steve Krueger and his son Brendan used local prawn and caught over 30 bream in the entrance of the Tambo River. They fished from the bank and chose that location to get some protection from the wind. The fish were most active from around midday and were still going at five in the late afternoon when they gave it away. The boys landed some real thumpers to 45cm just after lunchtime and said the fish came along at the rate of one every 5-10 minutes. Well done to young Brendan for getting the biggest bream and showing dad how it’s done. It was also nice to hear that these guys chose to keep only a couple of fish and were happy to release the rest.


Just a quick reminder that winter is also the best time to catch a flathead in the area as they move up into the rivers and provide land based anglers with a chance to hook a few. If you use a prawn bait and slowly twitch it back in along the bottom (like fishing a soft plastic) you’ll also probably hook a few decent bream as well.

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