Bream o’clock
  |  First Published: August 2016

The past month has been great for anglers with lots of good CBD fish caught. I even had the chance to spend a day at the Melbourne Boat Show. The cold miserable Melbourne winter days have truly kicked in, and finding fish isn’t easy. Now that the water temperature has dropped dramatically the black bream tend to become shy and finicky. This means a lot more time and effort is needed out on the water to catch a few.

I tend to target bream by sight casting. Unfortunately due to the cold water bream will sit hard up to the bottom so the alternative is to fish with something on the bottom. In the past three weeks my mates and I have been trying a new method that seems to be successful in the winter months. We simply walk the banks of the Yarra River on low tide and turn over as many rocks as we can to collect live crabs. The first time we tried this we immediately knew it would be a killer method on bream. As the saying goes – match the hatch. Crabs are the main food source for bream in these waters so using something they feed on is a great start. We rig the crab with a nice light fluorocarbon leader and a very small-unweighted bait holder hook. You only have one chance to strike once you feel a bite otherwise you’ll lose your crab, so don’t be too picky on the way you rig the crab onto the hook. It’s as easy as piercing it straight through the main body – the toughest point on the crab. When it comes to bream fishing I’ve always been into my soft plastics, however let me tell you catching bream on an unweighted bait such as a live crab is so much fun. Because you are fishing unweighted the key is to watch your slack line, as you will see the bite before you feel it.

When it comes to challenging yourself and trying to catch bream off a lure I recommend using a Cranka Crab. These lures are almost identical to the live ones we get except you have to create the action when using one. At times the Cranka Crab can be deadly because the stinger hook suspends on the claws. This means that if a bream is curious and decides to just bump the crab and you are watching your line there is a 90% chance you will hook up. That’s why a braided line is a must, simply because you can stay in contact with your line and lure at the same time.

Places such as St Kilda Beach and Pier are producing a steady amount of flathead if you put in the hard yards. Key spots to target flatties along the pier are under moored boats and structure, as they use these locations as a form of shelter and protection. Any form of soft plastic will work, however a 2.5” ZMan GrubZ in motor oil is your best bet.

I’ve found on these often they attack as a reaction bite. Flathead are known to be territorial, which means they don’t like other critters in their space. That’s where your soft plastic work a treat, as you try to get it in their face as much a possible until you get the reaction bite you’re looking for.

Overall there’s some nice fish to be caught if you persist and mix things up. Good luck!

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