Paul’s Top Tips For Swan River Bream Fishing
- Bream are everywhere in the Swan River system and are almost always catchable. For those new to who are new to bream fishing the sandflats and dropoffs are a great place to start from the City to about 10km upstream. Flats tend to hold plenty of smaller fish with the odd bigger one, but when they’re on the flats bream tend to be feeding and are a little easier to catch.
- Paul likes Ardent Cull Tags for keeping track of the fish in his live well when he’s on a hot bite and wants to keep upgrading his bag. He also uses Varivas line conditioner.
- Leave the bait rod behind and focus on using lures until you get them figured out. Slowly rolling a crab lure across the bottom is very effective if you’re new to the game. Buy the best gear you can afford, quality gear makes a big difference.
- When the fishing is tough the first thing Paul does is drop his leader size. Switching to 3lb straight through fluorocarbon line helps to get bites when they’re slow, but makes it challenging to land fish.
- Fishing is usually poor around the full moon, better when there is no moon. Afternoon high tides when there is some cloud cover and enough breeze to create some ripple are Paul’s favourite conditions, with fish moving right up onto the grassy edges in shallow water.
- On the lower tides, fish along dropoffs, rockwalls or bridges. As the tide rises the fish will move up and onto the flats, moving right to the very edges at the top of the tide. Fishing snags at high tide means casting deep into the structure.
- Paul usually starts by fishing the flats, then moves to dropoffs until he finds fish. Once he’s found them he notes the water depth and looks on his charts for other dropoffs of similar depth. If the fish aren’t on either flats or dropoffs he’ll head further up river and fish the snags.
Paul’s Tackle Recommendations Swan River Bream
- Paul has 6-8 rods rigged with different lures, ready to go. This saves time during tournaments and means he spends less time tying knots.
- Most of Paul’s rods are 7 ft in length covering 1-5 lb, 2-6 lb and 3-8 lb line classes. He also has some much heavier gear (4-10 lb) that he uses for drifting soft plastics into snags, then locking up and wrestling fish out.
- He uses spin reels in the 2500 size and has both Shimano models and Daiwa Phreems.
- Sometimes on the flats Paul will switch from braid and use straight through 3lb fluorocarbon lines to finesse some bites
Paul’s Top Bream Fishing Lures
- Tackle Tactics Slim SwimZ 2″ models in bloodworm colour are Paul’s #1 lure. On the flats he fishes this lure with 1/16oz jig head and will fish them very slowly, rolling them across the flats. Sometimes he’ll work them fast during the summer months. In the timber upstream he’ll switch over to a weedless jig head and cast the Slim SwimZ deep into heavy structure.
- Ecogear Bream Prawn in the 40 mm size can be a little challenging to cast in wind but catches plenty of bream. Paul fishes them weedless on a size 4 decoy worm 5 hook. Keep the line straight and be prepared to set the hooks at the slightest tick. Accurate casts are important and just let the lure sink in front of the fish’s face, lures are taken on the drop.
- The 45mm Jackall Chubby is a recent favourite of Pauls in Suji shrimp colour, These work on the flats and dropoffs but also work in the snags. When you feel the lure hit timber, give the rod a couple of sharp jabs to wake the fish up.
West Australian Tournament Anglers
Paul is an active participant in the WA tournament scene and encourages others to give tournament fishing a go. Right now newcomers can fish a comp for free and see what it’s all about (you’re not eligible for prizes, obviously).