Week 7: Bream Busting by Andrew Ettingshausen
As a five year old a bream was a prized capture when fishing with my dad on the central coast of NSW. The little town of Empire Bay on the Brisbane Waters was my stomping ground as a young boy. My grandparents owned a tidal waterfront there and every school holidays I couldn't wait to travel up to have some fun. Memories of sitting in my Grandfathers old timber putt putt boat with my dad and Pop berleying up with weetbix and the fat from the kitchen oven are etched firmly in my mind.
When I was a teenager, a Quintrex 12 foot tinnie replaced the timber boat and at 12, I was old enough to handle it myself. I moved from handlines to light rod and reel combos and fished new areas with new techniques. Oyster racks became my favourite haunts. The bream there were aggressive and big and after many dustings I eventually had them pretty wired using cockles for bait and lots of patience. I would park the tinnie in about 3 foot of water right next to the oyster rack on an incoming tide. Four cockle baits would be cast up on the broken sand and weed beds with the empty shells cast out around the baits to draw the bream out. My cheap little rods would almost bend in half, as a big bream sometimes well over a kilo would roar off with the bait. The fish would race straight back to the oyster racks right next to my boat. My teenage tactic was to apply constant pressure on the bream hiding under the rack keeping the line tight and low so not to give the fish the chance to cut me off. After a minute or so he would finally give in and swim out to the waiting net.
As I grew up, I started fishing my local Port Hacking River and Botany Bay on a more regular basis, and over time I have gathered up some tips for targeting bream.
- Use a thinner line: The advantage of using the thinner diameter line is a huge factor in getting bites from the bream. Even at night these fish can sense the heavier mono line.
- The lighter line allows you to be able to countdown to the required feeding depth. This puts your bait exactly in the strike zone eliminating wasted time and getting a quicker hookup.
- Weetbix and fat from your kitchen oven is great burley
- My favourite baits for bream are live prawns. However small black crabs and live yabbies will also do the job!
I do love catching Bream. There are just so many ways to catch them and there's always the chance to learn a few new tricks that you can file away for another day.
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