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Bream Primer

A typical briefing at one of the bream competitions

Bream Competitions…Are they what they are cracked up to be?

The answer to that question is certainly…Yes! It is indeed what it’s all cracked up to be and more!!!

By Anthony Sexton

Boats on the beach ready for briefing

Boats on the beach ready for briefing

The thought of entering your first local bream competition can seem a bit daunting at the time but let me assure you it’s not at all. A year or two ago, I myself thought that the idea of entering a lure only bream competition was quite a daunting task, not for the fact that I’ll be competing against some very good anglers or the fact that it’s lure only but more the thought, that for some reason or another I didn’t think it would really appeal to oneself even though I thoroughly enjoyed spending my spare time fishing for bream.

I was a post sitter, just sitting on the fence unsure if I would enjoy the experience and had the perception that bream competitions was all about conceited, egotistical anglers but it is far from that. In fact it’s nothing like that at all. Sure you might come across one or two anglers that think their life depends on winning but they are a minority, so all is good and besides there is nothing wrong with wanting to win…In fact nothing wrong with it at all! But there is so much more to these bream competitions than just winning; it’s all about having a fantastic day on the water with a little competitive edge to it and the best part is, if you are lucky you might just take home a prize or two!

Anthony Sexton and a nice black bream

Anthony Sexton and a nice black bream


Some may take it more seriously than others, but at the end of the day it’s not much different to any other day out on the water fishing with a mate and you must admit…Every single one of us all love’s to out fish our mates, as there is nothing quite like having bragging rights over our mates. Well, for the time being anyway until they get one back up on you. It is after all human nature, a bit of banter never hurt anybody and it always makes for an enjoyable, exciting and fun time on the water. What’s a bit of fishing fun without a bit of banter from fellow mates? Any now let’s get back on topic and talk comp fishing.

Fishing the local W.A Classic bream competitions really is a wonderful day spent and the best part about it is the wonderful people you get to meet along the way. Forming new friendships and possibly making new lifelong friends. If that alone is not enough of an excuse to get you out and give them a try then I don’t know what is!

You don’t have to be a sponsored angler or have all the latest and greatest fishing gear or own the flashiest boat, you really just need something to do the job. A rod and reel that’s capable of throwing small lures, a small tackle tray with a handful of soft plastics, jig heads, hard bodies, leader, a little knowledge in regards to catching bream on lures and either a kayak or tinnie and your set, it’s as simple as that. It’s a perfect way to spend a bit of family time with dad, mum, son, daughter or whatever it may be or just a great way to spend a day with the best mate, it’s a perfect excuse. Though there is a minimum age limit of thirteen years old to enter and they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Some may say they cannot see the fun in competing and turn their noses up at it and I was once certainly one of those people at one stage but the secret is to not take it too seriously, as at the end of the day it’s only fishing. I for one have certainly not looked back since entering my first of many bream competitions, it was a ball of fun. Though how do you know you won’t enjoy it unless you don’t give it a go? Bream competitions may not be for everyone but they sure are fun and adds that something more into your fishing. Even if you only try it the once, just give it a go as I’m sure you won’t regret it. If anything you’ll walk away with a smile on the dial at days end and with a bit of luck possibly a prize or two take home. But if all else fails I’m sure you will have learnt something new to apply to your fishing next time you head out. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about…Fun, it certainly makes for a great social atmosphere.

A well sorted bream tournament boat

A well sorted bream tournament boat


The comps normally run on a Sunday every couple of months and only go for about seven hours on the water. The idea is to catch a bag of three or four bream with a minimum length of 26cm tip. Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it?

Once you have your bag limit of three or four fish, you then can start to upgrade and by that I mean, if you are lucky enough to catch another fish that is bigger than the smallest fish in the live well, you can release the smaller fish back into the water and replace it with the bigger specimen. Boats have to be a minimum length of 3.7m with a 15hp outboard or greater and now days most people have or know someone with access to a tinnie so it shouldn’t be that hard to acquire one for the day.

All boats must be registered and insured. In this day and age it’s a given and each competitor must have his or her own PFD, a minimum rating of PFD1. A live well of at least a minimum of 60L is required to keep fish alive, as these comps are strictly catch and release only. You are not allowed to weigh in any dead fish, that is a big no no.

Live wells can consist of just a 60L esky with a battery operated aerator that hangs over the side providing bubbles and oxygen. The only thing required with this set up is you’ll have to change the water a couple of times throughout the day with fresher water, but that’s not a hard thing to do. It’s a simple and effective live well that does the job, but if you decide to get right into bream tournament fishing then you might want to look at getting one permanently installed into the boat. Kayaks only need a 25L live well, as the maximum bag of fish a competing kayak angler is allowed to have is three bream.

Two o’clock in the afternoon is weigh in time. Anglers will all meet at the weigh in and proceed to weigh their fish in. This is always an exciting time as usually spirits are high as excited anglers are gathered around talking about the one that got away and it usually always gathers a big crowd that watch in anticipation. It most definitely makes for a fantastic atmosphere.

I clearly remember my first fishing comp…Well I should remember it because it wasn’t all that long ago. In fact it was only a year or two ago. I was quite nervous to say the least, though I shouldn’t have been, as after arriving for the briefing, the atmosphere that greeted the launch site was outstanding. Good vibes, plenty of smiles with friendly faces and a laid back attitude. Add all of those ingredients together and you have one hell of a recipe for a good time, throw in a few fish and the day is made. Putting a few fish into the live well sure is a good feeling, but if the unimaginable happens and the fish don’t play the game on the day then it’s really isn’t a big loss because as long as you had fun then that’s all that matters.

Just remember it’s only fishing!
Happy fishing and if you see me wandering around at the bream competitions, come and say hi…I won’t bite I promise.

Presentations at the end of one of the bream competitions

Presentations at the end of the day