I have always enjoyed beach fishing over all other forms. I have fished the beaches around this area for over 25 years and would like to share what I have learnt to increase your catch rates. Regardless there is no better place to be than with your feet in the sand. First rule “No shoes”
Today I am discussing catching bream from the beach and will touch on my tackle set-up the most successful rigs & methods, best times, best places and best baits to use. This is by no means exhaustive in content although, what we will touch on today has been more than successful over the years.
I fish with a Snyder multi taper 4 wrap 12ft, mid mount, 1 pc rod with sand-spike paired with a Pflueger Salt 060SW spinning reel. In today’s spec’s this rod would be rated 3-6kgs. 2-piece rods are also fine. I find the sand-spike offers some advantages such as allows for longer casts when/if needed and when resting the rod at the back of my vehicle for re-baiting or removing a fish the sand-spike can be slightly pushed into the sand. This will at times prevent your rod/reel from falling into the sand.
The Pflueger has a large spool capacity allowing for 300m of 15lb. maxima mono. I don’t recommend braid from the beach as it has no stretch. When under heavy loan the mono. stretches with the serge of the water giving you an advantage. The reel is simple and robust, easy to clean with 9kg of drag pressure and priced under $200. I don’t recommend high end reels on the beach as they will at some stage of their fishing career fall in the sand/water or both.
Time & Tides
Bream are in greater numbers on the open beaches from about May through until about September, during this time they leave the protection of the estuary system and travel on their spawning run. My favourite time fishing from Birbui end of Stockton Beach is May and June from July onwards I focus more on Samurai Beach. Fish during this time are rowed up and on top condition.
For the most part bream are a nocturnal feeder preferring the cover of darkness, you will of course take bream during the day although not as many. The best times I have found are before the sun rises and sets, overcast mornings/days offer cover as does white water. At times bream will bite well into the night.
If you can combine a morning ¾ to high tide with the rising or setting of the sun it’s preferred. Although, fishing dead low water can also produce, I would recommend travelling further down Stockton Beach towards Newcastle, 16-22km mark where lower water offers you access directly to certain gutters that cannot be reached at the high-water mark.
The moon does indeed place a part with bream as it does with other fish; bright moonlit lights are not the best. The bream tend to be smaller and are very shy when taking baits. The bream will still feed although their appear more concerned about the larger predators during these times.
I fish with a simple paternoster style rig, made of 20lb. fluro carbon, 1/0 Oshanassey style hooks, number 8-10 ball sinker which I have inserted a stainless-steel ring into which allows it to fit into the snap swivel at the bottom of the rig. I have 2 single leaders with hooks which are attached to a swivel held by a loop from a dropper knot. The dropper knot swings around on itself, using 20lb. allows for less twist and small knots in the leader.
Don’t cast over the fish, during the hours darkness the fish will hunt close in, through the intertidal zone searching for pipis and worms.
I simply set 2 rods out in rod holders, bream will hook themselves. Although if the fish are on I hold the rod, remember the bream will pick the bait up so give it a little line before striking. Dip the rod and or walk towards the water which will allow the fish to shallow the bait.
Bream are scavenger fish and at times will take mostly anything. Although, consider the environment in which you are fishing. March into April I would recommend beach worms and or mullet baits. When the mullet move in mid-April mullet anything is worth a bait. From around May onwards on Stockton I would highly recommend pipi baits.
For some reason I have found beach worms work better from Samurai, metho (preserved beach worms) can be deadly on bream and jewfish off that beach.
My favourite bait, when conditions permit is the humble nipper (yabbie) they are a soft bait and you will you get 1 gentle cast with them and hang-on, if the bream are there they will inhale a nipper.
I hope this has been helpful, any questions about bream or any fishing please contact us at the shop (02) 4982 0711