Hopkins River Bream

by Luke Smith | Australian Lure Fishing


Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Sponsored Angler And Fishing Personality

Luke has been a Warrnambool (Vic) local for 13 years and although he has fished all over the country for bream he loves nothing more than to target them close to home in the Hopkins River. Luke has worked in the tackle industry for 8 years and has 5 years experience as a deckie on tuna charter boats out of Portland.

Luke’s Top Tips For Hopkins Estuary Bream Fishing

  • Be persistent and observant. Bream can switch on and off, so stay on the fish and don’t be too tempted to chop and change techniques and locations.
  • Fish slow. When you think you’re fishing slow enough, slow it down some more. Bream can be lethargic, especially during the winter months or when they’re spawning.
  • Hopkins bream can be caught year-round, but their location in the system and their feeding habits depend on whether the mouth of the river is open to the sea or is blocked by a sand bar.
  • Luke usually recommends braided lines with fluorocarbon leaders, but for shy flats fish he sometimes switches to straight through fluorocarbon lines.

Luke’s Hopkins Bream Tackle Selection

  • Luke is sponsored by Okuma and uses their Helios rods and reels.
  • A Helios 7′ rod in the 1-3kg line class helps with longer casting, is light and sensitive enough that you can feel the lure.
  • A 30 size Okuma Helios Spin reel holds more than enough line, with the larger spool also helping with casting distance.
  • 1-2kg braid with a Nitlon DFC or Sunline fluorocarbon leader in the 1-2kg line class is perfect.

The 4 Best Lures For Bream Fishing The Hopkins

  • Zman 2.5″ Slim Swimz on a headlocks finesse jigs 1/20-1/8 size, 1/16 on average in bad shad colour. These are perfect for searching the flats, but can be good around structure too. Very versatile lure if the jig head is changed to suit the application.
  • Zman 2.5 inch Grubz in motor oil or bloodworm colours are the top choice for casting tight to structure when rigged with light jig heads. Rig these on the same jig heads as the Slim SwimZ.
  • TTlures 1/8 switchblade in dark colours such as red nightmare or brown mongrel. These are great for covering a lot of water to find the fish, hopping across the bottom in deeper water during winter or during the middle of the day at other times of year. Vibes also work on the flats at times but are prone to snagging along the rocky shorelines.
  • OSP bent minnows are a great choice for working on the surface as a walk the dog lure or can be worked subsurface. These are best used in low light periods during the early morning or evening.

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Luke’s Sponsors

Tackle Tactics.  Distributors or some of Australia’s finest fishing tackle, Tackle Tactics distribute the Okuma rods and reels, ZMan lures and Headlockz jig heads used by Luke to target Hopkins River bream.

Spotters have supported Luke and are his preference in polarised fishing eyewear.