Joshua Davey Fishing Bio

Joshua Davey

Fisheries Scientist And Sponsored Angler

Joshua is a fisheries technician in South Australia, and an avid sponsored recreational fisher who targets everything from bream and whiting to kingfish and southern bluefin tuna. He’s fished the Onkaparinga River for bream for his whole life, having grown up within walking distance of the system.

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Joshua’s Onkaparinga Bream Fishing Tips

  • The Onkaparinga is a such a small system that it’s possible to cast to the opposite bank in many places. It has one small hole of around 4m deep but is otherwise generally less than 2m in depth.
  • Due to it’s shallow nature and the unusual tidal patterns of the area (including dodge tides), bream are scarce in the Onkaparinga for most of the year, instead inhabiting the Gulf of St Vincent, which is essentially a large tidal estuary system.
  • The gulf has very limited streams flowing in, hence spawning habitat of lower salinity water is in short supply and the bream enter the river during the winter for the purposes of spawning. As a result, bream in the Onkaparinga is typically a June to September opportunity, with few fish in the system through the rest of the year.
  • Joshua suspects that the fish don’t actually stay in the river system for a full tidal cycle, but enter from the gulf on an incoming tide and exit again on the run out tide. The river is largely sand flats near the mouth, mudflats and mud banks further upstream and has a few rocky shoreline areas also.
  • The river is accessible by kayak, but Joshua usually finds that to be more trouble than it’s worth. It is not accessible by boat but has ample foot access.
  • Finding fish is a case of starting on the last half of the run-in tide and trying a few spots. If no fish are taken, jump in your vehicle and drive two minutes to another access point, repeating until fish are located. On the runout tide, work back the opposite direction.
  • It’s worth keeping in mind that bream in the Onkaparinga are usually found close to the edges in super shallow water, so don’t overlooks the margins. This is the opposite of most black bream fisheries during winter, where fish school in deeper water.
  • Overcast conditions and days when the last of the run in tide coincides with dawn or dusk offer the best opportunities.

Joshua’s Onkaparinga Bream Tackle

  • Joshua likes a longer rod for fishing the Onkaparinga and is currently using a 7’2” Daiwa Infeet Z, which is a fast action . This gives some additional casting distance when bank fishing and also assists in landing fish along the muddy shoreline. A 2000s with 6lb J Braid mainline and 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader

 Joshua’s Onkaparinga Bream Fishing Lures

  • The Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5” Minnow is a paddle tail plastic that is particularly deadly in this system in the bloodworm colour. Due to strong inflowing currents, jig head weights are never less than 1/12 oz on this system. These little paddletails are perfect for the flats near the mouth of the river and are best cast as close to the banks as possible, allowed to sink down and then worked close to the bottom with a slow roll. The paddle tail creates good vibration and usually gets a solid reaction strike from the bream.
  • The Daiwa Bait Junkie Risky Critter 2.5” creature bait in chartreuse is a relatively new lure that has appendages hanging off in all directions, giving it lots of movement and making it ideal for imitating the crabs and nippers that the bream feed on in this system. Joshua finds it’s perfect for the mid to upper reaches of the system over the mud and usually works the lure with a series of small twitches along the bottom. Once again, a 1/12oz jig head is the minimum starting point to counter the strong tidal currents.
  • 5” Curly Tail grubs in motor oil colour are a deadly option in this system, as they are in most bream fisheries. Joshua likes these when the tidal flow is slower and likes to cast them parallel to the bank in the upper reaches of the system where the banks are steep rocky drop-offs.

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Josh’s Sponsor’s

Daiwa Australia bring Australian anglers a wide range of high quality tackle, including the Infeet Rods and Bait Junkie Lures discussed in this interview.

Joshua wears and recommends Maui Jim Sunglasses.

Harvey’s Fishing Accessories provide innovative gear including a wheelie bin topping cutting board that really needs to be checked out!



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