Michael Haley Fishing

Michael Haley

Long-time Fishing Guide & Sponsored Angler

Michael has been fishing northern Tasmania and particularly the Anson’s Bay his whoLe life and was one of the original “bream on lures” fishing guides when he started his business 20 years ago.

Michael’s Top Bream Fishing Tips

  • Michael works on the theory that bream won’t eat a moving lure and reckons there is nothing more important than learning to pause the lure. The majority of bream will take the lure while it’s stationary or on the drop.
  • Bream fishing is about working the angles and avoiding being detected by the fish. Position yourself so the lure is cast up current of the fish. When fishing snags be sure and have a plan for how you will get the fish out.
  • It’s super important to be observant and move quietly and purposefully.
  • There’s no point casting at fish that are aware of your presence. Black bream might be visible but are unlikely to take a lure if they’ve been spooked by a wayward cast or other noise.
  • The bream at Anson’s Bay might be large, but the water is also gin clear, so heavy leaders are not going to work. Keep the leader light and fish intelligently to maximise your chances of coming out on top.
  • Over the late summer through Autumn period the Anson’s Bay bream will usually be down on the flats conditioning up after their spawn. They’ll be grubbing about gorging themselves on crabs, bass yabbies and other estuary fare. There will still be fish upstream in the snags though, so if the wind gets up, that’s the place to be.
  • March/April is the prime time for Anson’s Bay bream fishing on the flats as the fish are very active and the wind tends to be stable.
  • The best bream fishing conditions tend to be on the bigger tides as the water is pushing up onto the flats, with a light breeze of around 5 knots. Michael likes bright days and reckons if the sun is at your back the fish can’t see the line or leader.
  • When fishing the flats keep an eye on the colour of the sand and the water depth. Once you have found fish you can find more by finding the same colour sand in the same depth of water.
  • If the fishing is slow, try mixing it up, exploring areas where you might not expect bream to be or moving around until you crack the code.

Anson’s Bay Bream Fishing Tackle

  • Michael prefers longer rods of 7ft or so for flats fishing, as it helps with longer casting. A 2-4kg line class rod is perfect and the Wilson’s Blade N Tails range is Michaels first choice. He couples this with a 2000 size ATC graphite spin reel, 4lb braid and a couple of rods lengths of 5lb fluorocarbon leader.

Fishing Lures

  • The Zerek Live Flash Minnow Wriggly 90mm in colour 03 is a great soft plastic, which Michael often fishes on a 3g Mustad darter jig head. He prefers shorter length hooks because bream usually hit a lure around the head, so shorter hooks increase the hook set rate. When fished around the snags, Michale likes to weight this lure a little heavier than most bream anglers and to hop the lure through the snag, allowing it to sink between branches. That said, the flash minnow is his favourite lure for the flats. Tasmanian flats are notorious for being infested with weed and an effective technique is to impart as little movement as possible, even dead sticking on occasion.
  • The Fish Art Jerkin Shad is a shallow swimming, floating hard body lure that can be worked in small rips with longer pauses, walking it through the weed. Michael likes the blue and yellow colours and mostly fishes this lure in water of half a metre or less.
  • The Zerek Tango Shad 50mm suspending is a great hard body that dives a little deeper than the Fish Art. Once again, this lure can be worked with plenty of short jerks and reasonable pauses, tossing up little puffs of silt or sand as it strikes the bottom. He likes this lure when the tide has fallen a little and he’s working along the drop offs, although it also works well in the snags.

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Michael’s Sponsors

Wilson Fishing have been supporting Michael’s fishing for a long time with Mustad hooks, Venom Rods, Zerek Lures.

Spotters Sunglasses make high quality polarised eyewear that is critical for effective flats fishing.

Humminbird and Minn Kota produce the electronics that Michael prefers for finding and staying on Anson’s Bay bream.

Michael Haley’s Gone Fishing Charters

Michael Haley’s Gone Fishing Charters is a North-East Tasmania based service that can cater not only to those wanting to experience the best of Tasmania Mega bream fishing, but a range of other estuary and coastal options such as trumpeter, kingfish, southern bluefin tuna and plenty more. Michael has been operating the business for 20 years and will ensure you get the best fishing experience possible. 



  1. John Parkinson

    Michael Haley is a gun fisherman and guide. His knowledge of fishing in Northern Tasmania is unsurpassed especially when fishing for black bream.

    • DocLuresFishing

      Yes, it was a pleasure having him on the show and great to hear how freely he shared his knowledge. Top bloke!


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