Gippsland Fishing Personality
Brett has been fishing for flathead, bream and estuary perch in the Gippsland Lakes area for over two decades and has amassed over 18000 bream captures since he started keeping a diary in the early 2000’s. Spending 120-150 days per year getting up close and personal with the local fish population, he has plenty of insights to help everyday anglers get more from their lure fishing.
Brett’s Myth-Busting Bream Fishing Tips
- Sinking Hard Body Lures Are Deadly On Bream
- Brett found that floating hard bodied lures just didn’t get to working depth fast enough and that it was especially challenging to get them in “the zone” when there was a current running.
- He experimented with wrapping lead wire around treble hook shanks to create sinking lures and found he got better results on the bream. Sinking lures were easier to get in “the zone”, even when there is a current. Sometimes the action of the lure became more erratic, but this only seemed to increase their effectiveness.
- When Brett started using double hooks he found the wire was prone to sliding down the shank, so he switched to gluing a small piece of flattened lead on the underside of the lure near the diving lip.
- Lures with larger diving lips work well as sinking crankbaits because they can be thrown into cover and the lip will cause them to bump over structure with minimal snagging.
2. A Better Way To Use Blades
- When Brett first started using metal blades for bream he followed what others did, casting long and working the lure back in short hops. Eventually he noticed that the majority of his bites came from directly beneath his kayak, so he started “tea-bagging”, dropping the lure vertically in 10-20ft of water and working it with 3-4” hops as the kayak drifted on the wind and current. This markedly improved his results.
- Brett switches the treble hooks on most of his lures for double hooks. He experiments by removing the hook from his blade and dropping it increasingly closer to structure. If he gets a bite, hell put the double hook back on (his home made blades have a tail hook only) and drop the lure back down. Usually the fish will come back and bite it again.
3. Targeting Black Bream On The Surface
- Surface fishing for black bream in the Gippsland area can be challenging, but there are some places where it is effective and it’s always lots of fun.
- Brett started his surface breaming journey using small poppers, which was relatively successful. The trick was to work them slowly and then wait patiently when a bream appeared. Moving the lure once a fish was beneath it would spook the bream, keeping the lure stationary often resulted in a strike.
- To capitalize on the effectiveness of soft plastic lures Brett started experimenting with wrapping some lead wire near the eye of a hook, then threading on a thumbnail-sized piece of foam, followed by a Squidgy Wriggler. He found that this resulted in a lure that floated too high, and the “slurping” take of a bream wasn’t sufficient to result in a hookup. Over time he trimmed back the size of the foam and added a little lead behind the foam to improve casting and make the lure sub-surface, which greatly improved catches.
- In more recent times Brett has all but retired his home made soft plastic poppers, switching to bent minnow lures from OSP and Hurricane Lures, both of which he’s found deadly on bream.
4. Leader Logic
- Brett refutes the need for very fine, light leaders in bream fishing and his extensive experimentation with leaders has led him to conclude that he gets just as many bites on leaders as heavy as 16 lb, but has far less lost fish!
- He notes that few bream fishers even carry leader above 8lb because they believe it’s necessary to fish light and he throws out the challenge to try a heavier leader for yourself!