Most seasoned lure anglers would agree that fishing with topwater presentations is by far the most exciting way to fish, and this also extends to bream. Watching a dozen or so contentious bream shoulder one another as they chase down your lure is as good as it gets for any bream tragic. The tell-tale ‘kissing’ sound as they attempt to slurp their next meal off the top is enough to get hairs standing on end and nerve endings tingling.
Bream are available in literally every estuarine environment in the country, even in Tasmania, and yes, they will all take topwaters. However, this doesn’t mean that fishing in this way is possible all the time. There are certain things that need to line up before you can work the surface successfully for bream.
Generally speaking, there are two food items that, when available, will usually have bream looking up: insects and prawns. During the summer when insect activity is at an all time high, the chances of these small wing invertebrates falling into the water to meet their doom is high, and the bream know this. Insect eating bream will usually hang out under some form of vegetation, such as mangroves, grass and non-aquatic trees. Prawns on the other hand are available at different times across the country, with various ‘hatches’ often earmarked by locals, as it’s not just bream who await these tasty little crustaceans!
Finding imitations of prawns and insects is not difficult, with literally hundreds of great lures available. For prawn imitations, it’s very hard to go past the MMD Splash Prawn 70mm, Bassday Sugapen 58mm and 70mm, Berkley Pop Dog 65mm and Lucky Craft Sammy. If you find bream slurping down cicadas or something similar, you’re also very well catered for. The Atomic Hardz Cicada 35, Chasebaits Ripple Cicada and Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada replicate these noisy morsels perfectly, and most bream won’t have any issues slurping them down.
A little tip: if you find you’re getting a lot of short takes from bream - which is common with this sort of fishing - it might be a good idea to replace the rear trebles with assist hooks. Oceans Legacy Stinger Micro Assist Hooks and Ecogear ZX Spare Hooks will often turn short strikes into solid hook-ups. They also have the added benefit of looking like feelers or legs, making your presentation even more life-like.
When working the surface for bream, how you work your lure depends a lot on the lure you choose and the mood of the fish on the day, however bream everywhere seem to love eating a paused lure. Be sure to pause your retrieve regularly and watch how the bream respond every time you work the lure, as this will be your key to a successful session. If they are snatching the lure readily, it may pay to work your lure a little faster, but if they are hanging back a bit, some longer pauses may be the order of the day.
If you haven’t tried topwater fishing for bream, you are missing out, and with bream so available, there’s definitely exciting surface breaming action to be had near you!
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