Andrew Death

Bream Kayak Tournament Champ

Andrew has been a serious competitive kayak bream fisher for over a decade and it’s taken him to places he never thought possible – including competing overseas. The reigning Hobie World’s Champion, he’s won a bunch of tournaments, been on the podium plenty of times and had numerous top ten placings.

In this episode Deathy reflects on the conversations he had with bream greats as he put together a string of ALF podcast episodes and his big bream masterclass currently being enjoyed by Team Doc Lures members

Callum Dowell Big Bream MasterclassCallum Dowell

Creator of the might “Muss” lure, Callum shared a couple of rigging hacks, including running paddletails upside down, something Deathy had only done previously when he was recycling plastics that were damaged during fishing. He also alluded to rigging bent minnows with Storm suspendots, enabling them to be fished sub-surface.

He shared a story of the recapture of a bream that was damaged during a previous capture some months earlier and that the fish had recovered and remained healthy thanks to careful handling and release by the previous angler.

A big take-home from the interview with Callum was the presentation of lures at the correct depth by casting upstream and letting the lure drift back into structure. Team Doc Lures Members can listen to the full hour of Callum’s interview.

 

Steve Morgan

“Morgo” is an icon of the Australian bream scene and founder of the ABT tournaments. He’s also incredibly generous with sharing his knowledge. The conversation covered working with a mate to “switchbait” bream and upsizing small fish by taking advantage of the bream’s competitive nature.

Deathy noted Mogo’s mindset of expectation. In other words, expecting that every cast will catch a fish and then questioning why not if a cast comes up empty. He also mentioned lure selection based on the conditions. Windy days and rough conditions = bigger lures.

Finally, there was the statement “If you think you’re fishing slow enough, fish slower!”, which turns out to be a common thread across multiple big bream specialists.

Once again, the full hour of this interview is available to at Team Doc Lures

 

Jason Meech

Jason piqued Deathy’s interest when he tlked about casting and working lures across the wind on when he finds himself in windy conditions, rather than using the wind for long casting.

He also dropped a couple of great tips for crankbaiting – including letting a floating crankbait sit for a minute to allow big bream will take it off the surface. Plus resisting the temptation to rip a crank our of weed, but instead jiggle it until a bream comes to investigate and smash it from the weed.

 

Paul Malov

Paul likes the front end of a system where there is good current flow as he finds that this usually attracts quality bream.

He’s meticulous when it comes to preparation for a bream fishing event from looking at long range forecasts to preparing and upgrading tackle, studying social media and more.

Paul explained his unusual strategy for using The Muss to take extra-large bream in the Gippsland area. This approach landed he and his father a record 13kg bag for 10 fish during a recent tournament. Full details are available at Team Doc Lures.

 

Steve Steer

Cranka Lures creator “Steersy” talked about his trout fishing and how it gave him an understanding of stream craft that enables him to figure out where the big bream hang out.

Steersy focuses on “old growth structure”. In other words, structure that has been in the water a long time and supports a community of food items for bream.

He suggests beginners spend time on clear water systems sigh casting to bream, watching how they respond to attempts to fool then. When a fish is caught, he suggests stopping for a moment to think about all the details of the capture and store the info away for future trips.

To hear the full interview, please support the ALF podcast by subscribing to Team Doc Lures

 

Dylan van der Muelen

This interview was more about understanding bream than catching them. Dylan is a fisheries scientist who has studied black and yellowfin bream Difference between black and yellowfin bream and shared some behaviours that make them easier to predict.

He also talked about tagging studies, what research regarding bream is currently under way and how anglers can get access the information from these programs.

The sensitivity of both bream species to salinity can be a key to finding and targeting bigger fish.

 

Forster bream fishing with Russell Babekuhl Russell Babekuhl

Russell won the Australian Championships just prior to this interview, most of which can be listened to for free here. Team Doc Lures members can get the extra juicy stuff from the members area.

Russell likes to freespool when he has a small bream on and see if a larger bream will snatch the lures from it. This method of upgrading has helped him win a tournament – and he’s not the only one of Deathy’s guests to employ it.

Russell’s strategy when fishing tournaments is not to beeline to the best spot, but to head in the opposite direction to the pack and find water (and fish) that haven’t been spooked by the traffic.

Sydney bream fishing with Luke KayLuke Kay

Luke is a Lane Cove, Sydney Harbour bream king, so be sure to listen to Luke’s episode if that’s your local waterway and you’re after some solid tips.

Luke is a family man and is time poor so he shared tips for maximising the value from time spent on the water and shared a story about the capture of his PB Sydney Harbour bream (>50cm), which was accomplished from a kayak with a toddler on his knee and no landing net.

Luke was forced by injury to fish more slowly and recognises this period in his fishing journey as a turning point when he started catching bigger bream.

Apart from fishing slowly, 90% of Luke’s really big bream are caught on structure near the bottom, and whilst the convention is to use lightest jig heads possible, he uses more weight than most, which helps him stay in contact with the lure.

 

Scotto James

Scotto James is a serial innovator and repeat guest on the Australian Lure Fishing Podcast. His conversation with Deathy was so long that we ended up publishing it as a two-part episode, most of which is publicly available.

Scotto has been experimenting with leaders for years. He’s progressed from mono to fluorocarbon to copolymer and now uses straight through 0.2, 0.3 or 0.4 PE fluorocarbon with no leader.

In the “plus” edition enjoyed by team members, Scotto talked about swimbaits and sink rating techniques for bream – a little known but highly effective approach.

 

Steve Pryke

Steve is a highly accomplished tournament angler and recently competed in the Hobie Worlds in Sweden with Deathy. He attributes much of his success to starting in the ABT as a non-boater and being randomly partnered with a lot of gun anglers from whom he learned a massive amount.

Steve explained how he uses active imaging sonar to improve his bream success and that when you’re having a bad day, particularly during a tournament, you should play to your strengths and focus on the lures and techniques you are most confident with.

Non-members can listen to most of Steve’s interview here, but Team Doc Lures members get the full extended episode.

 

Jamie Mckeown bream masterclassJamie Mckeown

Jamie is the current ABT boating champ and another repeat guest on the ALF podcast.

Jamie shared a technique for fishing Cranka Crabs in fast flowing deeper water along rock walls, something that Deathy had previously used for targeting jewfish but now plans to try with crabs, blades and soft plastics during 2023.

Jamie also explained how to cycles jig head weights to get the lure to the required depth and stay in contact to detect the bite and wind the fish on.

Wrap-Up

In wrapping up his awesome bream roundup, Deathy encouraged all anglers to get involved in tournament fishing as a way to rapidly grow their skills. He mentioned the Yakhunters tournaments for those looking to get started or after a casual tournament environment. The Hobie Bream comp, ABT Tournaments (either as a boating or non-boating angler), Berkley Super Series (enter a team with your mates), Vic Bream Classic and WA Tournament Anglers as the smorgasbord of tournament options on offer around the country.

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Andrew’s Sponsors

Hobie Kayaks manufacture the 360 kayak that Andrew refers to in this interview. He’s been fishing tournaments from Hobie kayaks for years and reckons you can beat hands-free 360 degree propulsion.

Totally Immersed are a great Aussie business that can help with all your kayak fishing needs.

Sax Scents produce a range of attractants that can be applied to all manner of lures and Andrew finds them particularly effective when the bream are not cooperative.

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