Jamie Mckeown

Bream Tournament Fisher And Guide

Jamie is an SEQ based tournament bream angler with plenty of results on the board, including some recent podium performances around Sydney and the NSW Central Coast. When he’s not competing, Jamie has set up a guiding business to help everyone from beginner families to aspiring tournament anglers looking for some tips.

In this episode of the Australian Lure Fishing podcast we’ve thrown away the usual format and explored five tips and techniques used by tournament anglers that can be used by anyone interested in improving their results on the bream, anywhere in Australia.   

5 Pro Bream Fishing Tips For New Locations

#1 Use Google Earth, Google Maps And Navionics

  • Jamie has the Navionics app on his phone and uses it to check out navigational info for new fishing locations.
  • Know the types of structures you fish well in your own back yard and then use Google Earth and Google Maps to look for similar structures at your new destination. Bridges, rock walls, oyster leases, fallen trees, wrecks, flats, even weed beds can often be quickly identified for targeting once on the water.

#2 Study Moon Phases And Tides

  • As a tournament angler Jamie tries to identify periods of similar moon and tide phases as he’ll experience on the day of the comp and find clues about how and where to fish. If possible, he’ll visit the location the month before pre-fish on similar tides and explore the fishing to get a head start on pre-fish day.
  • Those who are travelling or holidaying may be less constrained on when and where they can fish, enabling them to research the best tides and moons for their target location and then try to time their visit to suit.
  • Hit the water with a plan of where you want to be fishing from the time you start the day, right through all phases of the tide as the day wears on. Hit the spot you expect to do best on first, use your fishing tech to explore where the fish are holding.
  • During the leadup to the new moon there is greater tidal movement during the day, so the bream fishing is often better in daylight. In the lead up to a full moon the bigger tides are at night, so the fishing is often better after dark.

#3 Preparation Of Tackle And Boat Are Key

  • It’s critical to have all of your gear properly prepared and organised, maintained and ready for use. Jamie goes to extremes to make sure batteries, wiring, electronics and so on are in perfect working order.
  • Make sure you have all key items on hand, top up leaders, have spare hooks for your main lures and so on. Have a “day pack” that contains the essential lures and equipment you’ll need on the day, saving you rummaging through lockers to find what you need.
  • Tournament pros can have 8 to 10 rods rigged in a tournament and ready to go, with freshly tied leaders.
  • Every five minutes you save whilst on the water is five minutes more fishing time. In a competition every minute counts, but even when fishing recreationally you will get better results if you waste less time and fish more.

#4 Become Part Of A Network Or Community

  • Surrounding yourself with top anglers is a great way to improve your own fishing.
  • Even though tournament anglers are competing against each other, there is a lot of camaraderie and a lot of information exchange. Going it alone is hard work, being part of a community allows you to collectively push each other and help each other along.
  • I find when talking to non-tournament anglers on the ALF podcast that similar networks exist outside of the tournament scene. Social media is great for this, for example, search Facebook for check out the bream, flathead, popping, jigging and other special interest pages. It might not be quite the same as sitting around with a group of blokes at the end of a tournament, but it will connect you to some top anglers who are willing to help.
  • Team Doc Lures is another option (and obviously one I’d recommend given it’s my community and that it supports the ALF podcast). There are some top anglers and a expert panel right there to talk to and communicate with.

#5 Use The Magic Of Modern Electronics

  • Jamie has never been a big electronics advocate and has traditionally preferred to use his eyes, ears and brain to figure out where, when and how to fish.
  • The marvel of live sonar has shifted the playing field dramatically because you can not only see where the fish are, but can pick the schools that are active versus those that aren’t feeding.


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