Catch of the Day: big winter bream

Catch of the Day (June 7): There is some great shallow-water, winter bream fishing around at the moment from Coila Lake all the way down to Mallacoota and the East Gippsland lakes.

Narooma News editor Stan Gorton had a great session over the weekend on big fat bream in one of his local estuaries.

The bream were so fat, that they could be starting to spawn already or maybe they were just really well fed.

Legendary guide Stuart Hindson has also been doing great down at Mallacoota and local lakes on the bream with winter time the best time to target these big fish.

He reported on Sunday: It's cold, wet and bloody windy but the big bream r chewing, this 46 tip 43 fork the best so far, only got 10 bream till 11am but 7 r over 40 tip, wooohooo all on hard bods!

As any conservationist fishermen knows, these are a tricky fish to catch and could be 20 to 30 years old, so of course they should be released every time.

Here is the summary of the report “Life History and Biology of Black Bream in southern NSW” by Charles Gray from the DPI done back in 2008.

”The bream populations in southern NSW estuaries contain a complex mixture of pure black and yellowfin and their hybrids.

Genetic material is required to distinguish the different types of bream and the results from this study refer to the bream complex in each estuarine system as a whole.

The bream complex in the Coila and Brou estuarine systems spawned in the upper reaches of the creeks primarily between September and November each year.

Bream eggs were also concentrated in the creek systems identifying these areas as critical habitat not only for spawning but also for the early development of larvae and juveniles. Bream reached sexual maturity at approximately 12 to 20 cm fork length and around 2 to 3 years of age.

Growth rates were variable among individuals but within the bounds reported elsewhere for pure black bream.

The oldest bream sampled was 20 years. Populations of bream in the Coila and Brou systems were dominated by fish < 5 years old and there was evidence of variable recruitment between estuaries and years. Management needs to consider providing greater protection to spawners when they are concentrated in the creek habitats in these systems.”


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