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It's bream time: Swan River and Browns are really firing at this time

by Carl Hyland 16 Jan 22:23 UTC
Dave Condon with a Huon Bream © Carl Hyland

It's the time of the bream, according to species officionados. Places like the Swan River and Browns in the south of Tasmania, are really firing at this time, particularly for anglers using soft plastics and small lures that the bream seem to like.

Standing on the shore is all that is required but waders or gumboots may be necessary because of sticky mud. Lures that work are many and varied but small minnow type looking like shrimp are very successful and flies sinking with bead eyes are proving a standout at this time.

As the bream in Browns are likely contaminated with heavy metals, and under advice from the Heath Dept, anglers are advised to catch and release here or at least limit your intake of fish consumption from the area.

It's a different story in the Swan River and also Georges River on the east coast where fish may be consumed with no fear. Bait anglers are having luck also with good baits such as earthworms, fish pieces such as trevally or garfish and of course, local pretty fish.

Bream are but one of the target species also as sea trout have been on the move as are yellow eyed mullet and even small salmon and tailor. Angler's fishing beaches are reporting good activity and places such as Bridport in the North East and Scamander are good places to be fishing with some good Australian salmon in surf zones responding to baits.

One angler I spoke with was having trouble with tidal flows taking his line parallel to the beach and a quick way to fix this is to use a sand sinker that is a sinker with spikes that fold out and dig into the sand, stopping bait roll and line stripping from the reel.

Another problem facing beach anglers are sea lice as they can strip a bait in a few minutes and one way to overcome this is with a product called Bait mate" which is nothing more than fine elastic, which is wrapped around the bait in a continuous roll and preserves it from pickers. I also sue another product designed for fingers more so that bait fishing but one has to adapt wherever one can to get amongst the fish and the product I use is tube gauze which also comes with an applicator.

More designed to be worn on the finger, the gauze 'sausage' tube fits nicely over a whole pilchard and allows the scent of the fish to attract the target species. It doesn't seem to affect catch rates as I have found the gauze holds the bait nicely and deters the pickers even more. Another tip for surf fishing and to deter sand from getting in reels (as sand and salt water are the enemy of beach fishers) is to use a rod holder.

For those who find commercial rod holder costs prohibitive, a cheap length of pvc pipe driven into the sand makes a great rod holder and can be used over and over. Metre long lengths are often left over of home construction, so it's sometimes worth asking a friendly builder or your local hardware for unwanted lengths.

Wherever you go in Tasmania, whether visiting or staying, try flicking a lure off any rocky outcrop or platform as you may be surprised at the outcome.

Let me know if you have luck, pictures are most welcome.

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