Fixed-Line Article by Dean Price
Bream are a very common fish along the coastlines of Australia. They are easy to see in shallow waters hunting for scraps and shrimp as well as grazing weed beds and even chomping on oysters. Fishing for bream with a tenkara rod is very workman style, tasked with many challenges.
Bream live in very urban type surroundings with beautiful settings that are inspiring to the spirit. You often meet people while walking pathways along riversides and taking photos of sunsets. However, getting skunked due to shy fish and having your favorite casting spot crowded by others is a constant downer. Tourists and locals soaking baits aren’t too concerning once you learn all the spots that are discovered over time. It’s just a matter of getting in the car and driving or walking to another spot.
I usually limit fishing time for around 20 minutes at my favorite spots along the Tweed River stopping for some accurate casting to these wily fish holding tight under pontoons and snags. At times I go further down the coast South to more productive and better spots. A sleepy little boat harbor on a Sunday morning was one of the best fishing occasions I have had. Sight casting to hungry fish waiting for the tourists to throw bread and potato chips at them.
Bream strike very quickly usually with a blistering tug. With small mouths and stubby little teeth, light tippets often get chewed through at first strike. Bream are hard to catch on fly and on a good day using the tenkara tackle from shore, one or two fish are sufficiently satisfying. I do often catch more, especially at some secret spots. It’s a rare day to catch over three or four. Tenkara rods usually don’t produce bags of bream, however the time out to escape the realities of life and the challenge trying to land accurate casts to attract a fish is very rewarding.
Bream fight very well on a tenkara rod and the bigger ones run hard often snapping tippets and testing light tackle. I use around about 7 or 8 different flies however any small fly with a good profile that holds just under the surface for some time will entice a lightning strike.
Accurate casts will catch more fish and after a few casts the fish have already worked you out and its time to move along in the same area or move to another spot.
The most exciting thing about bream fishing is the sight fishing opportunities that they represent. Seeing the fish around and guessing what fly to present best suited for the way they’re behaving is all part of a days fishing. Accurate casting behind the cruisers and casting in front of the hiders is the general technique.
I really like to tread out of their sight often hiding behind poles. Standing a distance away from the bank before the first cast as well as crouching are good tactics as well. The more you hide away from the fishes’ vision the better. I find the more effort you put into your stealth, the more likely your success.
Alternative tenkara styles are fun to master. Just put in the the time and the rewards are great.
Dean Price is an Australian fixed line fisherman in both fresh and saltwaters. Dean has a passion for the outdoors, fishing and herb farming.
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