anthman

Bream on hardbodies in middle harbour

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Hi all, I've just watched a few Steve Morgan YouTube videos and coupled with my beginners journey through tiny topwaters for whiting (still haven't hooked up yet¬†ūüė≠), i've found that I have a lot of lures that could be used¬† for bream fishing! I'm excited!

The videos place him along the middle harbour shoreline and nearby moored boats. Looks like the shoreline from the Roseville boat ramp and the stretch after the 8knot zone. 

Having NEVER fished for bream on hardbodies, can the wise people please share wisdom in answering the questions below? 

1. I'd like to drift along the shoreline chucking hardbodies as close to shore and  retrieving back. Is that the right way to go about it? I'd be looking for oyster growth , as much structure as possible. Method would be cast out and depending on the lure, cast beyond target zone, retrieve slow roll, pause, slow roll - rinse and repeat.

2. How long would you give a spot before moving on? I've heard that if you don't see follows in the first few casts, move on. That is unless there are vary obvious structural signs (i.e. heavy structure with lots of oyster growth)

3a. Are floating hardbodies the way to go? (Pic below of my collection). I do have a collection of light jig heads and soft plastics (2" zman grub, 2.5" gulp shrimp, wrigglers)

3b. I've got a range of rods and reels and line that I can prep for - what would you use? My current plan is to use a 7' 2-4KG Veritas 2.0 rod (quite stuff) with a 1000 Daiwa bg running 8lb braid on 8lb fluoro. My fishing partner in crime (dad) will use a 6'10 1-2kg gen black on a 1000 symetre running 6lb and 8lb fluoro. I've got access to a 7'2 1-4kg raider and a 7' 1-2kg gen black, if going ultralight is the best. Could run line as light as 1.5LB fireline crystal (breaks at 1.5KG!). Not sure of the need to muscle out bream or if you can play them a bit amongst the shoreline of middle harbour.

4. Assuming i've found a good spot (structure, visible oyster growth, cover), what are ideal conditions regarding:

- time of day (early dawn, morning, heavy sun midday, afternoon, sunset, night?). I'm currently thinking of 9:00-9:30am

- tide (before and after low/high, run up to high, run up to low, slack of the tide?big high tide, small high tide?). I'm guessing 1.5hrs on either side of high of a small to moderate high tide.

- current (light, medium, strong). I'm guessing light for the lures to track straight, but at least some tidal flow.

- wind and chop (glass, little chop so that you cant see beneath the surface, rough, whitecaps?). Ive heard little chop so the bream don't get spooked.

Really looking to unlock this light impact style of fishing for my dad (in his older years!) and i - I feel like I've got the gear and access to the area, just need the method and wisdom!

 

20181205_221147.jpg

Edited by anthman

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All those lures you have will work for bream. I have been using top water lures and getting bream from the shore from wharfs using driving lures while your fishing for bream with lures other fish will hit the lure. Lures can be great fun .

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My general formula for bream on soft, hard and vibes are

1. Structure with Oysters that have been busted open. Some oyster positions will not be a feeding ground for bream due to tide and location

2. Overcast day. The more overcast the better as they have good eyes and will very shy on lures. if its a bright day, i use a dark lure. if its an over cast day i will use something a little more vibrant

3. I give a spot 5-10 casts then move on. Even if decent follows occur, bream are shy if they arnt agressive enough to bite after a few cast and a follow, they wont bite.

4. Will have a minimum of two rods setup for bream from a boat. One is soft plastic, my favour right now is the ZMAN CrawZ. I toss it at the structure and let it just float down. The other rod is a hardbody or a metal vibe. Favourite right now is Ecogear Zs. Note the casting limits of your rod, you want a rod that will action your vibe or hardbodies. Too stiff of a rod and your lure will lack action. My favourite rod right now is a 1-3 Powerbream from nitro...

5. Early morning or late afternoon are the most productive for me. Water temperature at about 16-19¬į is ideal for me.

6. Persistence and movement is key, keep moving and keep trying. 

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The whole overcast/weather thing is an overstated misconception.

You don't need overcast weather. Some of my biggest fish have come in the bright sunlight. However, this is normally adjacent to shady pockets or structure I originally cast into. For flats fishing, sunlight or not, it doesn't matter. Whiting will hit anything that moves and so will most other species. Tide and a nearby food source are more important than weather.

In fact, if you are fishing the flats, the wind can be quite helpful and improve your catch rate. Most surface lures in the 5-10cm range will work well around the Middle Harbour shoreline. With the Sugapens and Stickbaits, try removing the rear treble and replacing it with assist hooks. The hookup rate is much higher and I find I don't really seem to drop many fish this way. 

With the hard body lures, natural/clear colours in the clear water will work best. Keep your hooks sharp and use a longer leader combined with a slower tapered rod to avoid pulling hooks. Some of the treble hooks on those lures can be really small. For bream you need to try mixing up the retrieve to figure out what they will hit. Sometimes it is slow roll, other times they want a pause (and will hit it on the pause all the time). 

As with most forms of angling (especially lure fishing) like this, you have to be "in it to win it" which means throwing your expensive lures into some dangerous places (oysters, rocks, wharves, pylons) but that is just part of the game. Don't be afraid to go up to good quality 8lb or even 10lb fluorocarbon leader on one of your outfits for those types of situations.

Look how bright it is in the below picture and how shallow the water is. They'll eat any well presented lure in the right location.

20171029_085249.jpg

Edited by TheFoosh

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Your rod combos will be fine i use a 2-4kg with 8lb braid and fluro

Lure selection looks pretty good with the cranks (short fat ones)  slow roll with occasional pause and with the skinnier ones (shads my preferred) try a twitch pause retrieve you just want the lure to do a small dart with a flick of the wrist and elbow

From a boat or kayak casting towards the shore ahead of the drift is my preferred method cover as much area as you can bream do like structure but they also roam around in packs looking for food away from solid structure

Keep moving bream wise up very fast most of my bream come from the first or second cast at a snag then they just get spooky

Bream will occasionally stitch you up when fighting them but usually with a well set drag and some rod manouvering you can vet them in on resonably light gear the exception being around oyster racks and other really nasty sttructure which can turn into a lure bloodbath if you fish to light the old rule is match your leader to the structure

Scents can also make a difference especially in heavily fished areas

Dont get in too much of a bind about time of day some of my best bream have been caught in the middle of the day

Look forward to seeing some photos of you holding a trophy bream

Dave

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Was a bust today - found it difficult to hold position / get close enough, spent half the time adjusting positions! Perhaps time to think about a trolling motor...

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  Don't forget drifting the sand flats casting ahead of the boat, Try a lighter leader, 6 or 4 lb, But be prepared to loose a few to flathead going to 4 lb..   . Sandflat fishing is my favourite with HB lures, Dawn to sunrise is my favourite time. on a rising tide. And Slow Down, A slow roll is my choice in retrieves.  I also  agree with TheFoosh and all his comets!.  Find the food, yabby holes, bait fish , oysters, and there is a high chance the fish will be there!    Have you watched Sand Flats Fishing on you tube ?   Howard.  PS. I mainly target Flathead, I use a 4 lb leader with what I call a bite trace, about 20 c/m of 10 or 12 lb between the 4 lb and the lure !! 4 lb gives you a longer cast!

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Thanks bluefin, some good advice there. I was fishing against bridge pylons and against the shoreline which was made of large rocks with oysters on them, an area I have caught some big bream on yabbies in the past. Might try land based to get the technique down and THEN add the complexity of a moving boat.

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If you can find some sand flats, walk them. 

 

 

Edited by bluefin

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