As we delve into winter, we tend to approach a day’s fishing with different tactics. Bream are one such target that will see anglers use contrasting techniques to fill their bag. The warmth of the summer water call anglers to crank the shallow flats; while on the flip-side, winter will typically see those same anglers searching for bream with vibrations baits and blades in deep and open water.
Blading or vibing depends a lot on a good fish-finder or sounder to locate schooling bream; however, it’s my belief that an appropriate rod for the task is equally as important. Soft and slow-tapered rods are no good for this game. You’ll need a rod with a responsive blank in order to bring your blade or vibe to life the moment you lift your rod-tip. A lot of anglers will harp on rod-length as an vital element, but I tend to think length is less important than action.
I’m a fan of vibing for bream during winter. Some believe it to be a boring way to fish; however, I find it challenging. Locating the fish can be tricky, but when you do find them, you should see a consistent string of fish hitting the deck of your boat as the action can be thick and fast… and that’s what we want right?
I have been using the new Black Label V2 6102LXS for vibing this season, and I absolutely love it! I initially selected this rod for casting crank-baits for Australian Bass, (which will happen this summer) however, It’s serving me well as a vibe stick at present. The reel seat is the key dynamic on this rod, as it “hums” to the rhythm of your vibe pulsing through the water. Not only will you feel the reel-seat vibrating, but you’ll actually hear it too! The rod is only 6’10” in length, but I quite like the fact that it is shorter than you typical vibing rod. I’ve only been using it for two months now – but I still haven’t lost a fish with this rod! I put this down to the rods ability to set the hooks and make them stick. This is harder to achieve with longer and softer rods, as they lack power to ram those hooks home.
Bream will often hover over the top of a blade or vibration bait as it rests upon the riverbed, and can be hooked under the chin or in the cheek as you lift the rod-tip to work your bait. These feeble hook-sets often detach from a rampaging bream, but I haven’t had a hook pull yet with the BL6102LXS.
You’ll require high-vis braided line for this game. TD Sensor PE and J-Braid convey great colours, and seem to incur less wind knots than other braids that I have used. Bladed lures that weigh around the 3g mark and measure between 30 and 40mm are ideal, while hard-bodied vibration baits around the 40mm to 50mm length are perfect. One lure that is my personal favourite is the Gekkabijin Vib. This lure can resemble many components of the bream’s diet, and has been my go-to vibe for years. It’s not all bream either! Most of your typical estuary species can be caught by this method, including flathead, estuary perch, mulloway, trevally, and so on.
Soft-plastic are also a favourite lure type for cold water fishing, and the BL 6102LXS is a nice rod for hopping rubbers too! In fact, this rod is fast finding itself as an all-rounder in my boat; nonetheless, I feel its prowess is showcased when working vibes.