Richard Somerton

Tournament Bream Angler

Richard has been fishing East Gippsland for 15 years and is something of a bream specialist. He’s penned articles for Fishing Monthly, has two bream Australian Championships and a couple of Angler Of The Year awards under his belt, and has done well in tournaments staged at Mallacoota in the past.

Richard’s Top Bream Fishing Tips

  • Both black and yellowfin bream fishing are available year-round at Mallacoota but the area cops a fair bit of fishing pressure these days, so stealth is super important, especially on the flats. use a power pole, avoid standing in the boat and switch off lol marine electronics while you’re fishing.
  • Richard likes sight fishing for bream and reckons he doesn’t place too much weight on factors such as lunar cycles, weather patterns and so on. Tides can be important when the mouth of the Mallacoota system is open though, with fish staging behind sand waves in the lower end of the system.
  • ”Mudding” is the fine art of looking for areas disturbed by feeding bream, which can range from light grey to brown or black in colour. Even if you can’t see fish in these areas it’s worth tossing a lure in as they’re usually there and appear from nowhere to snaffle your offering.
  • Sound is a very important factor. Mallacoota bream see and hear a lot of lures and can become wary of lures that they recognise by their sound. Using silent lures and switching hooks to give a different sound profile can be effective.
  • Fishing the flats is very productive at times but there are also plenty of rocky shorelines, coffee rock bars and snags as you move into the upper river systems. All fish well for bream.

Richard’s Bream Tackle Suggestions

  • A relatively soft, 7 foot rod in the 1-3kg line class coupled with a 2500 size spin reel spooked with 3lb fluorocarbon line is Richards go-to outfit. This combination can be used on the flats, around rocks or in the sticks and has the advantage that it cushions the strike and results in fish being further from cover and confused by the time the hook is set. Slow rolling crankbaits and crabs on this outfit allows the angler to simply keep winding when the lure is taken and the fish will be hooked by the stretch in the system.
  • A second outfit is comprised of a faster taper rod with 2500 spin reel loaded with 6lb braid and a fluorocarbon leader from 4lb on the flats to 8lb in the snags. Richard uses this outfit for throwing soft plastics and other lure styles.

Mallacoota Bream Fishing Lures

  • The 65mm Cranka Crab in black colour is a top lure choice for Mallacoota bream. Richard uses these in all parts of the system, varying his technique slightly depending on conditions. On the flats and in the muds he’ll cast the lure behind the fish and slowly crawl it along the bottom. In rocks and sticks he’ll either cast hard into cover where there is a good chance of losing a lure. Alternatively or he’ll cast in front of cover and let the lure sink to the bottom before slowly walking it out. Fish will often come out of cover to take a crab they’ve seen fall a short distance away.
  • The 35mm Cranka Crank is a great hard body lure option that can be fished all structures at Mallacoota, but Richard loves to slow roll these across the flats in front of pods of fish or along sand waves where fish are staging on the incoming tide. The Daiwa Presso (a discontinued model) is so good and gets a little deeper than the Crank, which can work well if the water is deeper.
  • The 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp is an ever reliable soft plastic prawn given the significance of prawns in the ‘Coota system. They can be fished with the lightest 1/40th oz concealed weight hooks or can be fish unweighted on a worm hook (Richard’s preference). Deadly on the flats or around muds, but also very effective around hard structure such as rocks and logs.

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