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Bream on the flats

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By Darren Weda

One of the best and most effective ways to target bream with lures is on the flats. By flats I mean any piece of water that’s bottom is generally flat or very slight gradient, but is generally 1m deep or less and covers a fair area. Flats can potentially go completely dry on low tides or still hold some water and just be super shallow.

Flats tend to be found towards the mouths of estuary systems, where the riverbed widens and spreads out, but can also be in the form off estuary lakes, lake edges, inside bends of rivers etc.

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The reason why this can be such an effective way of targeting bream is because they are normally on the flats for one reason, to feed.

Flats are normally very fertile areas, home to heaps of little critters that bream love to eat, crabs, yabbies’, worms, prawns etc. Flats can have weed beds or just nice soft sand or mud for these critters to hide and the bream to dig around in.

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Looking at flats on a low tide is a good way to see where the channels and deeper drops are that the fish use like highways, and also to see where the bream have been digging in the sand/mud and feeding. Finding these areas gives a good idea of where to target fish on the rising or high tide.

While flats are a great place to find bream, sometimes conditions are not ideal and fish can be super spooky in the clear or calm water.

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Ideal conditions for fishing the flats include:

Wind. Glassed out conditions are no good, fish do not feel like they have enough protection/cover from overhead predators. The windier the better! Also use the wind to your advantage put it at your back and let it help you get some longer casts.

Clouds. Again bright sunny conditions do not make bream feel as secure, so low light, dawn and dusk, or overcast days are ideal.

Tide. Fish will often move up onto a flat with a rising tide, they know they have plenty of time and move up looking for critters, run out tide can make fish move off into the channels and gutters.

Most river and estuary systems have a flats of some type, so make sure you check it out next time the conditions are right as it can provide some dynamite bream fishing.

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