Brackish water bream
  |  First Published: August 2008

Cool clear nights and sunny days have made fishing a very attractive option in recent weeks, with a rod in hand and the sun at your back a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

Anglers chasing bream have found the big sea-run snowies hard to pinpoint, with sanded-up entrances on the Nambucca and Kalang rivers playing havoc with the migration of schooling fish such as bream, luderick, mullet and jewfish.

A couple of mates fished the Nambucca and Bellinger systems recently and found bream in the brackish stretches of the Nambucca, with the better fish coming off the rocky areas.

Bobby Bass lived up to his name, landing a couple of 50cm-plus models while chasing bream in the deeper stretches of the Bellinger. At the moment there is a zero bag limit on bass and if you bump into schools of bass in your quest for bream, make sure you handle and release these great fish with care.

Bait anglers have been taking their bag limits (20) of bream along the Nambucca wall on the run-out tide and there have been plenty of legal flathead to keep mums and dads happy.

John Lambert got a good bag of bream on Boambee Beach recently on mullet strips.

Around the headlands there have been some solid tailor and jewfish on the bite, with both species taking a mixture of hard and soft-bodied lures.

Moonee and Emerald headlands have been producing jewfish to 18kg on soft plastics and whole squid.

The northern beaches of Woolgoolga, Sapphire and Hills have been the battleground for several memorable tussles with big jew in recent weeks, with several tailor anglers hooking more than they bargained for on their lighter tackle.

Smaller school jew have been taken from around the bommies on 4” to 6” soft plastics, with many anglers down sizing their tackle and lures to suit the fish, which seem to range from 2kg to 5kg.

As yet the water has not cleared and there are some great inshore lure and bait opportunities for those who like to fish the shallower areas for bream, drummer and luderick.

There have been some good catches of tailor from the harbour side of Mutton Bird Island, which is also producing big luderick and bream for those who fish with lightly weighted baits and tippy rods.

The southern breakwall is a popular spot for visitors and locals, with tailor and big bream always to be found somewhere along it.

The jetty and wharfs have been producing silver trevally with anglers geared up too light getting smashed up by fish to 3kg, I'm told that some of the biggest fish have come from the end of the jetty, with bread and tuna berley getting the trevors into a biting mood.


Offshore, there have been plenty of snapper around the reefs with soft plastics and lightly weighted baits scoring good numbers and sizes of fish.

As the water cools and clears, inshore snapper chasers will have to contend with a by-catch of tailor, salmon and kingfish for the next few months and those not wanting these species may need to move farther offshore and use heavier jig heads.

Don't be surprised if pearl perch, trag and samson fish start to dominate your deep-water catches, these great species love nothing more than a lure or bait dropped into the depths over broken reef.

The inshore area from the Harbour north to Moonee is a favourite with small-boat anglers. The protection offered by Mutton Bird Island and the various prominent headlands is a definite plus in variable wind and swell from the south.

Starting with the Park Beach Bommie, Macauleys, Korora and various other close reefs and islands, there is no shortage of great territory for snapper and kingfish chasers over the cooler months.

In August I'll continue to target bream and jewfish on a mixture of lures and fresh baits.

I'm keen to put some fresh sea-run bream on the table and I might go and pump some nippers and visit the Hole in the Wall down Nambucca way during the week.

A couple of nights soaking fresh squid or tailor fillets in the gutters on Woolgoolga's Back Beach might do the trick on a nice jew or two.

Tomorrow I'm hitting the Bellinger with mate Mike Colless in search of bream, but as we poke up river into the brackish, I wouldn't be surprised if a bass or school jew hits our small plastic offerings.



Along with the bream, there are plenty of flathead like this around in the Nambucca system.


Good tailor luring can be found around the headlands at most times of year on the Coffs coast.


It’s time to break out the drummer tackle.


Bream have been on the bite off Boambee Beach.

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