I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published November 25th 2014
Bream Tournaments- What are they all about?
I have been fishing bream tournaments for seven years now, and I am still having heaps of fun competing in them. Even though in some of them I go extremely badly.
So what is a bream tournament?
It is where the object of the competition is to catch your five biggest bream over the tournament. Now this could be of duration of one, two or three days. Depending on whether it is a round or a grand final. Not only do you put your knowledge of bream fishing against some of the most experienced and elite anglers in Australia, you also have to out-wit those sneaky bream.
All the bream caught in these tournaments are weighed in live and then released alive back into the water. This is great as yellow-fin or black bream are not one of the fastest growing saltwater water species in our estuaries. I reckon they would have to be one of the slowest. Over the years I have caught yellowfin bream in tournaments that have measured in at 38cm to the fork of the tail and have weighed in at 1.24 kilos. A bream of this length and size may be around 13 to 15 years old.
Catch and release fishing competitions are an important and fun activity that will provide the chance to do something with a mate or family, help provide substantial economic benefits to the area where the comp is being held, provide critical information to the Fisheries in each state, while at the same time helping sustain our fish stocks for years to come. For further information on fishing event management go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
There are five main tournaments that run here in Australia. There are as follows:
To give you a bit of an idea I will give you a small insight as to how Dave Tosland and I (TEAM Pflueger/Tosland Building) made the SBS Grand Final that was held at St Georges Basin over two days in October 2014.
Over the period of nine months (from February to October 2014) the Basin Lure and Fly Fishing Club at St Georges Basin ran seven rounds where you could accumulate points towards team of the year and a chance of competing in the grand final.
This year Dave and I came in at 43rd as we only fished three of the seven rounds due to family commitments. This caused us to miss out of the top 40th to fish in the grand final, but as luck would have it and three teams pulled out so we made it in 40th place. The grand final was held at St Georges Basin over two days on the 11th and 12th of October.
Team Pflueger/Tosland Building came in at 16th place out of 40 teams in the grand final at St Georges Basin. Even though we weighted in our bag of five on each day we need what they call a "KICKER FISH" to get near the top.
Through the three rounds that I fished with Dave I used a variety of gear from the Pflueger, Shakespeare and Berkley products and I have listed what and why and how I used these five outfits.
Outfit 1.Berkley Dropshot DS4721-24 (2 to 4kg)Your text goes here and a Pflueger Abor 7430SW reel spooled with 4lb Crystal. The leader material would be around two metres in length and either Berkley Trilene or Sensei Fluorocarbon.
This particular outfit allowed me to cast a combination of the following:
The Prawn Dog was used when I noticed that there where bream chasing prawns across the surface close to the edges of the weed beds. These particular lures cast like a bullet and can be worked at a fairly quick pace then stopped. Some of the strikes when the lure was moving in a walk the dog fashion and the other strikes came when it was at rest for a second or two. When using this lure I would up the leader breaking strain up to four kilo Berkley Fluorocarbon Trilene so that if the bream would head back to the heavy weeded edges I had enough strength in the leader to pull them out of the weed.
This same outfit was used in combination with the Nitro Torpedo 1/50th to 1/16th oz jig head. The main soft plastics were the Powerbait three inch minnows, Gulp two inch shrimp, three inch minnow and the two inch floating shrimp. The lighter jig heads were usually cast as far as the conditions would allow in a water depth of half to one metre. They would then be slowly hopped through the water just under the surface and upon feeling a bite (and there wasn't an instant hook up) I would stop the retrieve and allow it to slowly sink. This would usually allow the bream to have another go at it.
A small selection of gear that is needed to compete in a bream tournament
Outfit 2. Pflueger PPS702L-XF (2 to 4kg) rod mounted with a Shakespeare DCV1030 DECEIVER reel spooled with 4lb Fireline Original in the Smoke colour. The leader material would be no more than a metre in length and either Berkley Trilene or Sensei Fluorocarbon.
This particular outfit allowed me to use both the Pop and Scum Dog in both calm and rough water. If we found areas that the bream were taking insects off the top of the water this is where they came into their own. The reason for the short leader is so that when I had to stop the retrieve and leave the lure sit for ten to twenty seconds there would be very little bow in the leader. This would make for a solid hook-up. The slight disadvantage in the short leader is there was not much of a shock absorber, so compensate for this I would not have the drag up to tight.
Outfit 3.Pflueger President PFLP-SP701UL (1 to 3kg) and a Pflueger Patriarch 9530 reel spooled with 3 lb Crystal. The leader material would be between two to three metres in length and either Berkley Trilene or Sensei Fluorocarbon.
This outfit was use when casting a variety of Gulp soft plastics like the two inch minnow, three inch shrimp and swimming mullet, plus the Powerbait three inch minnows. The Nitro Bream Pro jig heads ranged from the 1/24th to 1/12th in sizes that varied from #2 to 1/0's depending on the soft plastic length.
These would be cast out as far as possible and allowed to float down to the bottom and left for about two to three seconds. The retrieve would either be a slow lift, a couple of flicks with the rod tip or a quick number of turns of the handle (4 to 6). Most of the strikes came when the lure was falling back down through the water column.
This same outfit was also use when using either a Puppy (shallow or deep) and Sub Dog over the weed and cockle beds or along rock walls or over boulders. I found that it best with either a slow flat retrieve, stop start retrieve or roll and twitch retrieve. It just depended what worked on the day.
Outfit 4.Pflueger Medalist PTSP AB 4770 1LFT (2 to 5 kg) and a Pflueger Supreme 8230MG reel spooled with 2 kilo Crystal Fireline. Used mainly for bladeing in the deep water.
Method 1. Cast out as far as you can in the direction that you are drifting and allow the blade to hit the bottom. Slowly wind up the slack and then lift the rod so that the blade rises off the bottom no more that a metre. Allow it to flutter down again and sit for about four to six seconds and the repeat the process. Most of the hits cam on the fall.
Method 2. Cast out as far as you can in the direction that you are drifting and allow the blade to hit the bottom. The very quickly turn the handle about four to five turns. Allow the blade to flutter down to the bottom and then repeat after about two seconds. Most of the strikes came when the blade started to move again.
Method 3. Locate the spot where the fish are holding up and drop the blade to the bottom. Wind up the slack and then in a tea bagging motion repeated lift the blades slowly off the bottom. The strike could come on the rise or fall.
Outfit 5.Berkley Dropshot DS4702-13 (1 to 3kg) and a Pflueger Patriarch 9535 reel spooled with 3.3 lb Exceed.
Used for long casts over the flats when using the Sub Dog as it cast like a bullet and can be worked both surface and sub water.
During a bream tournament you catch a lot of by-catch like this silver trevally. They don't count
Now, just to let you know a few of these outfits (I have highlighted them) are no longer being distributed by Pure Fishing Australia, but there is a big possibility that you can still buy these outfits though one of your local fishing tackle shops.
If you are after one you could always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I could find out for you.
Also the Southern Bream Series 2015 calendar has been posted up on the Basin Lure and Fly website and maybe I will see you at one of them.