How to catch Bream – The Basics


In this article we will look at targeting the Bream using artificial lures such as hard body and soft plastics.

Hopefully these guidelines will help anglers to get set up and to improve the chances of catching the wily Aussie bream.



The most common is the Eastern Yellowfin Bream (Acanthopagrus australis) ranging from Townsville (Nth Qld) to Gippsland Lakes (Vic). They live in waters such as the upper reaches of coastal rivers, estuaries, bays, harbours, rocky headllands and ocean beaches. Bream are a slow growing species capable of reaching 50 cm in length. A Bream weighing around 1 kilo is likely to be at least 10 years old.



A suitable starting point for a ‘Bream’ rod would be a light graphite spinning rod, with a rating of 1-3kg (2-6lb), 1.8-2.1 metres in length. A reasonably priced rod will be able to cast light lures and be sensitive enough to feel those sometimes subtle bream bites. Match this to a spinning reel around the 1000-2500 size, with a nice smooth drag system and your on your way.

For casting lures and light soft plastics the modern day superlines, braids etc in 4-6 lb make an excellent mainline with ultra thin diameters and no stretch, make casting light weights so much easier, with a leader (trace) of either fluorocarbon or a good monofilament in 6-8lb completes the outfit.


Bream feed in two ways, one is to scavenge for food and secondly by ambushing its prey…

Many inter-tidal areas that are exposed at low tide become the scavenging areas when flooded with water at high tide. Flats, either sandy bottomed or weedbeds are great starting points. These areas are best targeted with lightly weighted soft plastics that imitate worms, grubs or crabs. Equally small shallow diving hardbody lures work well, particularly “searching “ with long casts or when windy conditions make soft plastics difficult to use.

After the cast is made with a soft plastic, allow it to sink to the bottom then slowly wind/hop the plastic back along the bottom with pauses made at intervals. With hardbody lures, simply cast and slowly wind the lure back allowing it to swim invitingly imitating a small baitfish or prawn..

Bream are found in many other locations, bridge pylons, jetties, wharves, under boat hulls, rocky banks, oyster racks plus more. Targeting Bream in these areas requires accurate casting and a good ‘touch” to feel those bites. By starting out on the ”flats” and less snaggy areas the enjoyment of catching bream along with growing confidence will be rewarding.


By experimenting with different colours, weights, retrieves, tidal stages and persistence, catching Bream is both a great pastime and a challenging sport enjoyed by many anglers young and old.

Get set up, have a try and have fun.

Written by Gary Lee 2009