Chris’ Top Tips For Mallacoota Bream Fishing
- There are both yellowfin bream and black bream at Mallacoota. The yellowfin bream move in and out of the system and tend to stay down the bottom end over clean sand. The black bream are resident fish that don’t leave the system and move into various different areas at different times.
- In early winter the black bream are starting to school up and move into deeper water as they make their way upstream and prepare to spawn. It’s critical to understand the seasonal movements and habits of the bream.
- When the lake is dirty with muddy freshwater, the black bream will be in the top lake in deep water and will continue to move upstream until they get to the headwaters in October. They’re searching for the perfect salinity for spawning. They’ll be away from structure, generally speaking and schooled in the deeper holes. Move through the system watching your sounder until you find accumulations of fish.
- Sometimes during the cooler months the bream will be a little quiet through the day but will start to fire up in the afternoon around 3pm. At these times they can be very particular and you need to be doing everything right.
- Flow is your friend. If there is freshwater coming down you can position your boat to the side and cast upstream with light lures and allow them to trickle down on the current.
- Chris isn’t superstitious about moons and weather. He reckons you can catch bream by being prepared to fish long, light leaders and finessing it up.
- Don’t underestimate the value of putting some scent on your lures. S-Factor is a good options but there are others available that can work well too.
Chris’ Mallacoota Bream Fishing Tackle
- A 1000 size reel loaded with 4-6lb braid and a very long 4lb fluorocarbon leader, coupled with a 1-3kg rod. For fishing up river when the fish are away from structure Chris likes to have a rod’s length plus ten turns of leader on the spool.
- If the fish are very fickle and that gear isn’t enough, you can switch to straight through fluorocarbon in the 2-3lb line class. This gear is especially good when the fish are schooled on the flats post-spawning and you can actively sight cast to them.
Chris’ Top Mallacoota Bream Lures
- A Squidgies Wriggler in the 100mm size in bloodworm colour is Chris’ go-to lure! It can be fished on a standard ball jig head, on a resin jig head or an unweighted Gamakatsu worm hook, depending on conditions. The main way they’d be fished upriver for black bream is on a 2g ball jig head with a #4 hook. Cast up stream and allow the lure to drift down with the current, staying in touch with it and being alert for the slightest “tick” on the line, at which the hook should be very quickly set. It doesn’t hurt to let the lure sit on the bottom for a moment or two after the cast as sometimes the bream will come over and eat it while it’s stationary. As the bream come up higher in the water column, a resin jig head allows the lure to sink more slowly and waft on the current more. The rod shaking/rattling technique can also work very well.
- Squidgies Flickbaits in the (now discontinued) gold colour is good post-spawn when the fish are sometimes schooled just under the water surface. Rigged on a Gamakatsu unweighted worm hook, Chris finds that loading the lure up with S-Factor further slows the sink down. It’s critical that this lure is rigged perfectly straight on the hook or you’re wasting your time. Cast long and then flick the lure aggressively left and right to fire up surface feeding bream during the post spawn.
- The Cranka Crab works well and allowed to sink all the way to the bottom. Once it settles, give the lure a bit of a “rattle”, rather than the more typical long, slow draw technique. The idea if to make the crab claws shudder without making the lure move forward much.
Chris has a long association with Shimano, but isn’t officially sponsored these days as he’s stepped back from tournament angling.
Millerods have been a long-time sponsor of Chris’ and he continues to use Ian’s rods for all of his fishing.