For many anglers the cold and rainy weather during this time limits their enthusiasm to get out fishing, although for those dedicated they can experience great success on various species. For me, winter is my favourite time of year to wander the small drains of the south west and explore the yacht clubs around Perth searching for large Black Bream.This species is easily accessible and despite their cleverness, can be caught in abundance in winter months when they school up around drain pipes and heavy structure to feed. Gear, lures, and location all need to be taken into consideration in order to be successful.
When choosing a rod to target Bream, a length of 6-7foot is ideal and around 1-3 or 2-4kg weight rating. My personal choice is a 1-3kg JML Sensation all rounder 7.2 foot, this rod is light weight making it comfortable to fish with and capable of casting light sift plastics a long way.
The reel, a small light weight spinning reel is ideal for Breaming. Sizes between 1000-4000 are best, I use a shimano Stradic 1000FK which has landed it’s fair share of 40cm plus bream.
Mainline and leader are crucial when it comes to targeting Bream, a braided line of 3-12lb is most suitable particularly when using lures. On my Stradic I run 4lb Daiwa J Braid, following on from this a rod length of Ocea 6lb fluro Carbon is attached via a FG knot. Using a fluro Carbon leader is vital for out-smarting the fish, and is far more abrasion resistant than standard monfiliment leaders.
Bream will feed on a whole variety of different marine life, with their diet mainly consisting of small fish such as mullet and bony herring, mussels, worms, crabs, and prawns. Due to this there are thousands of different Bream lures on the market, I have five different favourites which are highly effective. Z man grubz in 2″ and 2.5″ sizes in either bloodworm or motor oil colour, Madeye paddle prawns 3″ in amber oil and ivy flash, cranka crabs, maraku crabs and Madeye whippy worms. I find these lures to be very effective, the soft plastics I rig up on a 1/16th or 1/32th oz jig head depending on the amount of current and size of soft plastic. To get more hook ups applying scents such as the Halco catch-scent is an excellent idea.
Location is the most important factor to consider when going Bream fishing. Bream will live mainly around structure such as sunken trees and bridges. During cooler months yacht clubs and bridges around deep water produce the best for me, along with drain pipes that are pumping out water.
With the possibility of catching monster Bream, why not get out there and give it a crack!