Bream – A Closer Look At The Iconic Species

A scavenger by nature, bream can be caught on all manner of baits including secret dough concoctions handed down through generations and too secret to talk about, as well as almost any crustacean you can turn up or cubes of fish, worms, bread, gut and even chicken meat.

Not A Fussy Fish

The final word on bait is that a feeding bream will eat just about anything you put in front of it. After tens of thousands of hours trying every conceivable bait ever dreamed up and catching more bream than I care to count, my personal preference for a bream bait is fowl or mullet gut in the shallows and live yabbies in the deeper channels and holes.
Double Trouble - A young angler looks suitably thrilled to have caught two nice bream.

Double Trouble – A young angler looks suitably thrilled to have caught two nice bream.

Best Fished On A Run In Tide

You will catch bream on all tides, especially around bridge pylons, rocky outcrops or structure that disrupts the tidal flow, but my best catches have always been on the run in tide. I prefer to use an Alvey reel because it allows me to cast unweighted baits and also backwind, slowly feeding line to a tentative bite. Bream are usually found around line fraying structure so I use a slightly heavier 6 kilo main line to help prevent break offs, rigged with a lighter three kilo fluorocarbon or abrasion resistant mono leader. In the shallows where there is little tidal flow, I use a size 1 suicide hook with a 00 ball sinker right on top of the hook. In the deeper water fishing with yabbies I use a size 1 suicide hook with a short 30cm trace and a sinker that is heavy enough to get the bait into the strike zone, which is the bottom third of the water column, but light enough that the bait still slowly drifts with the current, usually between a two and four ball.
Yet another cracker of a bream.

Yet another cracker of a bream.

A Top Tip For Bream

The technique when fishing in tidal flow is to cast up against the current as far as you can then let your bait wash down past the boat until the tidal flow lifts it off the bottom, then wind in and do it all again. Location is paramount when bream fishing, find the structure, the melon hole, the current line and you will find the bream. They are creatures of habit, consistently frequenting the same locations and while you’ll need a boat to get to many of them, there are a few you can get to land based.

Local Bream Hot Spots

There is a patch of snaggy rocks half way between Cabbage Tree Point and the Logan River mouth called Little Rocky Point that can be a good location for bream and it is accessible for land based anglers. To get there, head towards Woongoolba and take Mill Road, Homestead Road then turn into Rocky Point Road which ends up at the Cecil Zipf Park. At the start of the dense mangroves, just before you go up the hill to the Park, turn right into un-signposted Cecil Zipf Road and follow it on a bumpy dirt road 50 metres to the water’s edge.
Nugget's local Brisbane hotspots detail places you can catch top-notch bream like this one.

Nugget’s local Brisbane hotspots detail places you can catch top-notch bream like this one.

Foreshore Fish

These shallow foreshore fish well at night on the top of the tide or during the daylight hours fish the bottom of the tide and wade out past the shallows casting into deep water. The rocks on the northern side of the Cabbage Tree Point boat ramp is another great bream spot as is the Jacob’s Well Jetty, especially at night. The Gold Coast waterways are strewn with a multitude of bridges spanning rivers, creeks and marinas ideal for land based anglers and every single one of the is a bream hotspot. One of my favourite locations are the canal rock walls in the southern arm of the Coomera River at Paradise Point around to the northern Jabiru Island Bridge. Boat anglers at Jumpinpin have plenty of options including the hard mud clump shoreline in close to the eastern face of Crusoe Island, the gnarly bottom off the end of the eastern point of Short Island and the shallow sunken mangroves on the north eastern side of Tiger Mullet Channel.

Broadwater Wanderings

In the Broadwater the western side of the main channel between the Seaway and the Sundale Bridge is a consistent producer so is the rock breakwall off the northern end of Wave Break Island and the submerged pipeline across the Seaway. Bream invade the Logan River in the cooler months and one of the top spots is on the rock bar straight out in front of the waterside gazebo at Pitt Rocks. The southern side of the channel adjacent to the Marks Rocks green beacon is another one of the more consistent locations for boat anglers.

Brisbane River Bream

The Brisbane River has a lot to offer the bream angler, for both land based and boat anglers. Land based locations include the rock walls around and under the Fisherman’s Island bridge and the end of nearby Howard Smith Drive. Boat angler have plenty of options including Clara Rocks just up River from the Fisherman’s Island Bridge, the Sunken Wall which is directly opposite on the northern side of the River and the rock wall along the Treatment Plant pipeline.

Wherever you find structure, either rocks, pylons or just snaggy ground, you will find bream and now is a good time to target them.


About Dave "Nugget" Downie

Dave ‘Nugget’ Downie was raised in the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and grew up fishing for everything from local trout on fly in the Snowy lakes through to land based game on the south coast.


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