For those who missed it first time around in print, here’s a piece on open water bream luring that first ran in FishLife magazine earlier this year:


Some of the biggest bream in any system spend a lot of time hanging out in open water, well away from structure.

The art of luring bream has been one of the major engines of change in Australian sport fishing over the past few decades. In less than a single generation, catching bream on lures has gone from being an accident or a novelty for most anglers to a regular pursuit for many. Even those who don’t “get it” and wonder what all the fuss is about must grudgingly admit that the pursuit of bream on artificial baits has completely transformed our sport.


Jo with a pair of open water crackers.

Before many of you reading these words were born, that doyen of Australian fishing writing, Vic McCristal, offered the opinion that anglers skilled enough to regularly take bream on lures would tend to find most other species easy. It was McSea’s quietly understated way of doffing his cap to the bream clan as perhaps our most challenging piscatorial targets.

What Vic could hardly have guessed in those days was the passion with which this country’s sport fishing community would eventually embrace that particular challenge, and how doing so would completely revolutionise our tackle, our techniques and even our angling mindset. Make no mistake: bream luring has radically altered the shape of Australian fishing, and this significant evolutionary upheaval is far from having run its course. Discoveries remain to be made. For many, open water breaming is just one of them.

Middle Of Nowhere

For most of us, thoughts of catching bream on lures immediately conjure mental images of structure fishing: accurately casting our soft plastics and little hard bodies at shorelines, rocks, snags, pylons, oyster lease racks or moored boats. But what if I told you there’s a whole world of bream luring far removed from the realms of obvious physical structure? Would you believe me if I promised that you can regularly take bream on hardware literally in the middle of nowhere, far from any bank, boulder, bridge or buoy?

A few of you are probably nodding and smiling as you read this, and thinking to yourself: “Of course! He’s talking about flats and weed beds.” Well, yes I am, but I’m also stretching the concept of open water breaming far beyond the accepted realms of shallow flats and clearly defined weed beds to take in those vast, seemingly empty estuarine expanses that most folks simply motor across on their way to the “real” bream fishing grounds.