The best part of catching bream from the shore is you can approach them a number of ways and with varying levels of obsession. You could whip a prawn out and kick back and wait for a run, or put the backpack on and spend an active day throwing a range of modern lure types at any likely holding points you come across. It's this diversity which makes it such an attractive option.
Shore fishing for these fish is not about compromising your results. Thankfully bream largely live a life of hugging the edges of rivers, sand banks and other structures, much of which is within casting range of the land-based angler armed with a flickstick and a willingness to crack the code of their local fish.
The beauty of bream is they will happily reside in the most built-up of metro areas, or live in a remote and pinched-in little backwater in the middle of woop-woop, and most people have access to a reliable bream fishery.
There's many benefits to fishing from the bank or shore for these fish, as you'll be able to find populations of bream that haven't received a lot of attention from boaties, which is particularly the case in smaller waterways. There's also the convenience of being able to grab some bait or a few lures and have a quick low-fuss session, which can be some of the most relaxing fishing you can do. So where to start your search for a quality bank bream?
When it comes to working lures the shore angler is looking to make as many presentations as possible at bream holding structure, or even known foraging areas for these fish which can be in the extreme shallows in some areas. In more natural systems casts could be aimed at lay-down snags, overhanging trees and rock bars. Older structures that are clearly covered with considerable growth and have been in the system for an extended period of time tend to produce the better fishing. There's nothing like a deep, dark corner of a barnacle encrusted snag to get your casting arm a bit twitchy, as often a fish will be holding up in such areas and willing to swipe at an intruding object.
When the system opens up it can be a bit trickier to find fish, however there's still enough areas to focus the bream to make them viable for lure flickers. Nipper beds, holes, weed beds, and even open flats will hold fish. Man-made structures such as bridges, pontoons, rock walls and wharfs etc. will have the food and shelter requirements box ticked as well.
The bait angler is generally looking for features as well, although is concerned with finding areas the bream will hold or swim through. This could include fishing near structure, in holes, channels and other promising hot spots. As you could be spending a while in the one spot, taking the time initially to pick an area that inspires confidence is crucial to a successful session. In the lower sections of tidal estuary waters, the flats are prominent feeding sites for bream. Crustaceans, shellfish, worms and baitfish can be found over these fertile grounds. Channel edges and weed beds are also hot spots in tidal areas, as food will be flushed out, or at least semi exposed and easy pickings for a foraging bream.
Both lure and bait anglers should concentrate efforts around low light periods. Many people prefer the morning bite for lure flicking as the fish have had considerable time without being disturbed which is great in highly 'metro' areas, though being the hunters they are, during the last hint of light in the afternoon they'll be on the prowl looking to wreak havoc on local bait stocks.
Luring exploits can be done during the sunny part of the day, although you'll have to work for your results and fishing shaded sections of banks becomes important, as does working the deeper holes where fish are likely to still be feeding and not just sheltering from predators.
Bait anglers are equally guided by the time of the day and will notice results dwindle with the sun directly overhead in some shallower locations. This said, fish will concentrate in deep holes during these times, and it comes down to knowing your area and finding options to try at the various times of the day.
Tides dictate the action for both lure and bait fishos. Bream like a bit of run in the water to uncover food, and will bite best on the stronger tides. Which stage of the tide they bite can be a local detail. Some rivers fish best around low water as the fish are condensed into a smaller area, while high water will fish better in other areas as the bream will use it to venture further upstream or up onto the flats.
Observation is required for bank bream. Bream will offer subtle clues that they're in the area. Look for any ripples or surface activity from these fish, also pay attention to edges of bank that are covered with vegetation as often the bream will be crashing bugs and other critters as they fall into the water. There's many examples of possible bream activity in an area which are worth learning and tuning into.
Being a shore bream angler is hardly a setback. If you're a 4x4 owner then push your horizons back by exploring your patch and finding possible access points to the water. Getting a backpack on and walking through the bush to find your own spot can be one of the most rewarding ways to fish as well. Also don't be afraid to put on the waders and walk out away from the shoreline, as this can put you in waters that are also rarely accessed.
There's many such bream situations to be found from the shore if you go looking for them and a bit of prospecting can result in catches comparable to the boat brigade and much better in some circumstances.