by Dan Mackrell | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Dan Mackrell

Dan Mackrell

Bream Tournament Angler

Dan is a very successful Victorian bream tournament angler of around 12 years with a reputation for being able to take a solid bag of bream even in the toughest of conditions. Dan has done very well during competitions in the Gippsland lakes and in this episode shares his tips for winter bream in this area.

Dan’s Top Tips For Gippsland Bream Fishing

  • Winter is prime time for bream fishing in the Gippsland area because the fish aggregate and condition up for spawning. Fresh flushes can stimulate the bites and overcast, windy days fish best.
  • Fish aggregate in schools of the same size class. If you see schools of hundreds of fish, they’re probably going to be smaller ones. Move between schools until you find quality fish.
  • Bream fishing is about identifying patterns, but those patterns can change over very short time periods. When the fishing is tough, have confidence in your technique, persist, and keep trying slightly different things until you find hat works on the day.
  • The Gippsland Lakes area is not super tidal. However, fishing can be tough on the day of the full moon. Fish bite better during the day during periods when the nights are darker.
  • The key to bream fishing is to work your lures very slowly. Most of the food items on which bream normally feed are slow moving. A slower lure stays in the strike zone longer.
  • The Gippsland Lakes is a large expanse of water. To help narrow down the search, ask the local tackle shop where the fish are biting.
    Bream that are in deeper water tend to be harder to tempt. Dan finds these congregations and then fishes around the edges because fish around the edges tend to bite more freely.
  • Early morning and late afternoon offer the best fishing, the bite can be all over by 9.30 in the morning. However, the seabreeze can often kick in around midday and stimulate a bit on the shallow flats.
  • In winter, Gippsland Lakes bream are usually feeding on sandworms, brown clams and crabs.
  • Make sure your hooks are super sharp to convert those short bites into hook ups.

Dan’s Bream Fishing Tackle

  • Samurai 101 Reaction 3-6lb rod is Dan’s light gear option for clear water. He couples this with a 2000 size Daiwa spinning reel to fish flats and areas that are relatively free of snags.
  • A Samarai Reaction 181 is used for heavier fishing where there is a little more structure. Dan uses a Daiwa 2505 spinning reel with this rod, which is a shallow spool, finesse reel.
  • A Samurai Reaction 252 works very well in heavy structure for wrestling fish out on heavier lines and leaders. Dan uses this with a Daiwa Certate 2510 spin reel which has larger, tougher gearing perfect for muscling fish out.
  • Leaders range from 3lb fluorocarbon for shallow, clear water fishing to 14lb for pulling fish from heavy structure. Dan generally uses 1-2 rod lengths of leader and finds that’s sufficient not to spook fish.

Dan’s Best Bream Fishing Lures

  • Dan’s Number one pick for fishing shallow flats is the Atomic Jerk Minnow. These lures weigh more than most similar suspending hard bodies, so they cast a mile. They are best fished very slowly. Let them settle on the surface for a few seconds before retrieving, fish will often take them off the surface. Next hell crank the lure beneath the surface and fish it slowly with lots of twitches. It is vital to pause the lure frequently and not move it. The Jerk Minnow is a suspending lure and 95% of strikes come while it is stationary. Mix up the twitches and pauses until you find the pattern that works.
  • For fishing flats of 1.3-1.4m deep with rubble, logs etc  an Atomic Deep is a good choice in Muddy Prawn, Tim’s Prawn or Ghost Prawn colours. This is also a heavy lure but is fast floating. Work it slowly, keeping it in contact with the bottom. When you feel the lure hit a snag, pause for a moment to let it float up and over the snag. Strikes usually come as the lure is floating up. Bumping this lure into structure is the key.
  • A soft plastic grub in motor oil or bloodworm colour can be rigged weedless of a standard Gamakatsu round 25 jig head, with the barb just beneath the surface of the plastic. It’s necessary to strike firmly when using this approach, but you can fish it through the densest and gnarliest of cover without fear of snagging. It is best fished on upsized leaders and skips under overhanging veg quite well too.

Subscribe To ALF

Apple  |  Stitcher  |  Google  |  Spotify  | iHeartMP3

best bream lures

Dan’s Sponsors

  • Frogleys Offshore are the Australian distributors for Atomic Lures, Sumurai Rods, Gamakatsu hooks and Bassday lures.
  • Mako Eyewear Australia is Dan’s preferred brand of polarised sunglasses – vital for fishing the flats and offshore.