Black Bream

by Dale Baxter | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Dale Baxter

Dale Baxter

Tournament & Kayak Angler

Dale is a Melbourne-based bream and kayak fishing specialist with multiple top 10 bream tournament placings. He’s previously authored articles for (now defunct) Lure and Fly Magazine, is an active Youtuber and social media personality and he fishes the Maribyrnong River almost weekly.

Dale’s Top Tips For Maribyrnong Bream Fishing

  • The Maribyrnong River fishes well tear-round for bream. In the winter months the fish tend to be deeper and catches are smaller in number but higher in quality. Fishing is usually tough during a big flush but the system usually fishes well again within a few days after a flush.
  • Dale like the run in tides and reckons ideal conditions are when the last half of the run-in coincides with sunrise. Moon phases are not too important in this system.
  • There is a lot of estuary that can be fished both from bank and from kayak and there is a multitude of structure there that holds big bream, including bridge pylons, pontoons, bluestone hardening and so on.
  • Don’t go too heavy with leaders as it will cost you bites. Even around structure you can usually extract fish with a 4lb leader and you’ll get a lot more bites.
  • Perfect conditions for bream are still mornings pre-dawn on the last of the run-in, which pushes fish into the shllow margins. Later in the day move on to structures such as pontoons and pylons. On tough, shut down days you need to be persistent. Slow the retrieve down and put in more casts on each piece of structure.
  • A great place to start looking for fish is the shallow lake called “Edgewater”, which is shallow and has extensive rocky shorelines as wel as pontoons that always hold fish. Fish the edges during the summer months, in winter fish deeper, bridges are a great place to look and the bottom underneath pontoons is also productive.
  • Be persistent and take every opportunity to get out on the water. Even on tough days when the conditions are less than perfect you can learn a lot about catching bream.

Dale’s Preferred Tackle Bream Fishing

  • Dale likes shorter rods of 6’4″ with short handles for kayak fishing 1-2kg or 2-4kg line class rods are perfect. From the bank a longer rod of 7’2″ to 7’6″ is perfect.
  • 6-8lb braid with a 4lb fluorocarbon leader is Dale’s preference.

Dale’s Top Bream Lures

  • The Cranka Crab has been his top lure choice for 4-5 years now and is deadly in the Maribyrnong River. These need to be cast very close to the structure you’re fishing and allowed to sink on a slack line. Often you’ll be sight fishing and will watch the fish eat the lure, but if not, watch for “ticks” in the line and be prepared to set the hook immediately. In the summer months they can also be sight cast to tailing fish along the rocky shores at Edgewater and slowly moved along the bottom.
  • A Stick minnow or Strike-pro Microvibe is a good choice for sight casting with a very slow presentation to fish around pontoons and other structure.
  • A 40mm crankbait is invaluable for fishing the shallow margins. A Zipbaits Kahnsim Tiny,or ecogear SX40 is a good choice.

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Dale’s Sponsors

Daiwa Fishing Australia are sponsors of Dale and his tournament fishing, being his one-stop shop for rods, reel, lines and lures.

Hobie Fishing Asia Pacific and Hobie Fishing Polarised have supported Dale’s tournament efforts with quality fishing kayaks and eyewear. is a great online place to get the lures that Dale uses for Maribyrnong bream, including his favourite Cranka Crabs.