Tournament Angler And Bream Specialist
Tom grew up fishing the Gippsland lakes rivers and has been bream fishing since the age of three. Now based in Melbourne, he continues to fish the rivers flowing into the Gippsland Lake system regularly, both in tournaments and every opportunity he gets.
Tom’s Top Bream Fishing Tips
- The rivers in the Gippsland Lakes area all contain quality bream, but it’s a case of understanding how freshwater influxes dictate the movement of fish and where they aggregate.
- In the winter months the majority of bream will move downstream and condition up for spawning, but some fish will stay resident in the upper reaches.
- If there has been little rainfall in the proceeding months the salt can push further upstream and bream will follow in search of the optimum salinity for spawning. Conversely, when there is heavy rainfall the fish can be flushed well downstream to the mouths of the rivers.
- Bream fishing is best when there is some kind of water movement, whether it’s tidal or freshwater coming down river.
- Tom recommends getting onto the water at every opportunity and figuring out how to find fish. Tom finds that fish tend to feed at night during the full moon periods and are then difficult to catch the following day.
- Matching the hatch in terms of the size of baitfish present is important. If the fishing is tough it’s time to put some extra scent on the lure, downsize lures, downsize leaders and slow down the presentation of the lure.
Tom’s Preferred Bream Fishing Tackle
- A 7’3” Ian Miller Grub Freak rod is sensitive enough to feel very subtle bites with a 2500 size Daiwa reel and the thinnest PE 0.6 or 0.8 braided line you can afford.
Tom’s Bream Fishing Lures
2.5” Z-Man GrubZ are extremely versatile and can be fished both shallow or deep. In winter the fish are often holding a bit deeper and Tom likes to rig the GrubZ on 1/16 to 1/12 oz jig heads to enable him to cover plenty of water.
Cranka Crabs are a great option and are cast into cover and allowed to sink on a slack line to imitate a crab that has fallen from structure. Once the crab hits bottom Tom likes to walk it along the bottom for a bit with small, subtle twitches of the rod and long pauses in between. He’ll lay the line flat on the water to keep the wind from picking up the crab. Set the hooks when there is any sign of a tick on the line.
A Smith Jade is a small, slim, silent hard body lure that is very effective when the fishing is tough and the bait is in smaller 40-60mm sizes. If the baitfish are slightly larger, up to 70mm Tom will switch to the Daiwa Double Clutch in natural baitfish colours.