DAIWA FISHING TIPS: Bream in the Timber by Dale Baxter

Of all the forms of fishing around sight casting to fish would have to be one that would be top of the list for most anglers. Whether they use bait or lures you would have to agree it is one of the most addictive forms of fishing around. It is the type that keeps you coming back for more each time.

Being able to place the lure right in front of a fish and watch the take is what can be so exciting. you sight fish anywhere, flats, rack walls, snags, pontoons and under wharfs and jetties. My favourite type of sight fishing for bream is in the hustle and bustle of the city wharfs around Melbourne.

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Accessing these areas in my Hobie kayak means that I can right to the back of the wharfs, usually where the bigger fish tend to hold out. During certain times of the year the pylons are thick with mussels and the bream are almost on the surface feeding on these mussels or crabs and they make sighting them very easy.

Catching them is the next trick, and one of the keys to successfully getting bites is the presentation of the lure against the pylon. If the lure is not hard up against the structure when it lands then they will either spook or just completely ignore it. Casting needs to be pinpoint so you will need to make sure the lure lands against the pylon and the the surface of the water at the same time this will give you minimal splash and also allow the lure fall down the vertical structure. I like to use a pendulum cast or pitch cast which helps with a softer landing and less chance of spooking fish close to the surface.

Most times I will only try to target feeding fish, and if there is tidal flow will also use this to my advantage and get the lure to float past the fishes nose or line of sight. You will see it turn and strike, or follow it as it falls down the structure and wait for the line tick to know you have had a bite. This is where is gets interesting as it is usually tight drags and little time to play, it wind as hard as you can and get it away from the structure, right into the net with most of the fight visible.

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The other key to getting more bites is to have slack line so that the lure falls in a more natural manner, if the line is too tight then it will pull away from the structure and away from the fish. I also like to only fish 4-5lb leader as it will get more takes and if you are concentrating on the line fall you should be able to react quick enough. You can go heavier but the bites are fewer however you will loose less tackle from quality dust ups, but that is all part of the challenge.

The tackle setups that I like for this style of fishing is a rod that is med-fast to x-fast taper and in the range of 6’ to 6’6” in either 1-3kg or 2-4kg. I always use braid and leader combination here as it will give you more control in the fight away from the mussel encrusted pylons. I like to use 8lb J-braid in Chartreuse so that you can see the line tick’s and either 4-5lb leader with a length of 1m – 1.5m all on 2004 or 2506 reel.

My top 3 lures to use.

  • Cranka Crabs
  • Stick minnow
  • Micro vibes

My preferred colour for these is a black or olive colour, but have a good look at the structure your fishing to give you the best clues as to what colours will work best.

Top 3 tips for fishing this type of structure.

  • Make sure your presentation is spot on.
  • Casting accuracy.
  • Slack line on the drop.
  • try to make minimal splash on lure landing.