Bream numbers rise
  |  First Published: February 2010

If the bream haven’t started to show in numbers this month in the bays and off the beaches and rocks there is something wrong.

This year already the bream action in Botany and Bate bays, the lower Georges River and Port Hacking has at times been exceptional. But there has been the odd occasion when the bream have been a bit hard to find. Well, that’s fishing!

NSWFM Armidale writer Richard Barnsley recently called me to say his Dad, Bernie, was in Sydney for a while and at a loose end during the day. Richard asked me to point Bernie towards a few land-based spots to wet a line.

He fished off the end of the Cooks River wall and caught a few bream, whiting and some small snapper. Off the western side of Bald Face Point he caught bream.

I then invited Bernie out to chase bream and flathead on soft plastics and deep jig with blades.

Bernie had never used blades before but it didn’t take him long to pick up the technique and his first fish on a TT Switch Blade was a 28cm bream.

Then we went up the Cooks River to flick around the shoreline, some mangrove edges and moored boats. This guy, a little over 70 years old, had never cast a small blade or plastics before yet he put the lures within millimetres of the moored boats and we managed a few small bream.

For those chasing bream with bait at anchor, don’t forget to have that small but consistent berley trail flowing out.

If you are fishing from the shore you can make your berley into small balls and every five minutes throw another ball into the water.

The other trick is to have a leader of 1m, to 1.5m long. For this type of bait fishing I use at least a 2.1m rod.

Baits for this time of the year include pink nippers, peeled Hawkesbury prawns, half pillies, whitebait, strips of frigate mackerel, tuna or bonito.

In deeper water you could also try rigging your bait so that the sinker is directly down on top of the bait.


Salmon, tailor, kingfish and silver trevally will also be still around in numbers. Try the end of the Third Runway, The Drums, Trevally Alley, The Sticks, the Oil Wharf, Watts Reef, Henry Head and the washes off Kurnell and La Perouse.

Drummer and luderick will also appear off the rocks in the Royal National Park and from La Perouse up the coast to Bondi.

Mulloway, salmon and tailor can be targeted and caught off Little Marley, Stanwell and Coalcliff beaches on live mackerel, yellowtail and poddy mullet. You can also use them as whole dead baits or as fillets.

Bernie asked, “What can you catch with these blades?” I replied, “Everything”.

Not long afterwards, Bernie pulled up a 5kg to 10kg Shimano T-Curve rod with a 4000 reel attached. One of the blade’s trebles had hooked in the eye of the star sinker that was still attached to this combo, which had been in the water less than a day or so.

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