I'm pretty new to fishing and haven't caught bream on lures before but have gotten lucky with some others including flathead, barra, tarpon and a redfin. Each time I had cast a thousand times beforehand and had zoned out so can't remember what action I was using at the time which always frustrates me.
I just did a quick search for best bream lures and most of them seem to work between 0 and 2m deep so maybe try lifting your lure up a bit? My most recent hook up was a tarpon on pulse soft vibe and loved how the lure worked and they're pretty easy to use with a lift, wind up the slack, repeat action. Apparently, metal vibes work well on bream all year round. Whereas other lures like poppers work better seasonally. Keep trying and hopefully someone with more experience can chip in and help us out.
I dislike having to pick up bait too. I'm thinking about trying to make a poddy mullet trap as an alternative as well. Good luck, hope you start getting some on lures soon.