By Joshua Davey
As the weather cools, this is the time many Australians begin to pack up their boats, kayaks and fishing gear until the next summer. But don’t be fooled! The coming months can be some of the best when it comes to targeting large, pre spawn condition black bream.
Where to target
Good electronics aren’t an essential item, especially if you have a good idea of the layout of your local system, particularly the deeper holes. But I’d be lying if I said they won’t drastically increase your chances and reduce searching time. Coming into winter, bream aggregate in large schools, seeking out the warmer, stratified layer of salt water in the deeper sections of estuaries. Focus your attention on these areas, ideally finding thick schools on your sounder like below.
Personally, I prefer to use a longer, fast actioned rod with a sensitive tip such as the Infeet Z 732 LFS as this technique requires precise lure control and the sensitivity to detect the faintest of touches. Match this with a quality 2000 size reel such as a Freams or Caldia, spooled with 6lb J-Braid Grand and 4-6lb J-thread Fluro leader and you are onto a winning combo.
My lure of choice for this style of fishing is the Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5” grub and I will adjust my colour depending on water clarity. Motor Oil UV is the staple all-rounder, but Bloodworm UV is fantastic for clear water and do not underestimate Camo UV in the dirty stuff. Jig heads again are another variable depending on conditions such as wind and current, but given I am usually targeting water > 3m deep I will typically run between 1/16 and 1/8.
This style of fishing requires two things, confidence and patience. If you are fishing the right areas and have confidence in the gear and lures you are throwing, you are halfway there. I know this is said over and over again in how to guides for targeting bream, but it really does ring true, especially when fishing for sluggish, deep water bream. If you think you are fishing slow, fish slower. 10 second pauses, minimum and the smallest of hops along the bottom.
If you know the fish are there, you want that lure sitting in front of their face for as long as possible. The bonus of Bait Junkie grubs is that they are always fishing. What I mean by that is during those pauses they are sitting on the bottom, tail up and wafting in the current, screaming eat me! Always be ready, watch, wait and when you see/feel the smallest little twitch or tick in the line, set those hooks because sometimes the biggest fish are the smallest of hits!
Last of all, get out there! Brave the elements, because honestly when it comes to chasing and consistently catching big bream, you won’t find a better time!