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By Rhett Gill

On the eastern side of St Vincent Gulf in SA, just north of Adelaide, is the start of the northern tidal flats that stretch up the coast to the very end of the gulf. The shoreline of the flats are lined with mangroves and a few nice size creeks that are home to some extra large bream that love snags and ZMan plastics.

These creeks are extremely tidal and full of man eating mozzies. Picking the right tides to fish them is essential as the current from rising and falling tides can bring a lot of weed, making fishing near impossible at times. An accurate cast is also essential or you will lose plenty of gear to trees and snags.

With plenty of bait fish and places to hide, the bream love it in these creeks and the creeks are perfect for kayak fishing for the bream. This has to be one of my favourite ways to fish. There are plenty of snags in these creeks and a stealthy approach, casting all around the snags, will normally attract a look at by a hungry fish.

The gear that I use when chasing these light line bruisers is a 5 to 12lb Daiwa Harrier rod and a Daiwa Steez 2508, loaded with 10lb Sunline Castaway braid and 6lb FC Rock leader. The first of the TT jigheads that I choose to use for this style of fishing are the TT 1/28oz HWS (Hidden Weight System) for when the tide is slowing down to the bottom of the tide and for the first hour after the change. As the tide increases I will change to a TT HeadlockZ 1/20oz jighead. Being a bit heavier it will drop at around the same speed as the 1/28oz through the moving water and stay in the bream's face, hopefully long enough for them to hit it and hook up.

These mangroves are unforgiving to lures, so I choose not to flick $30 hard bodies at these fish... a few bad casts and you have lost some serious $$$. ZMan plastics are the best for this way of fishing as they are cheap to buy and a packet will last you quite a few trips if your casting is accurate.

I'm an angler that won't change something if it works. The ZMan 2.5" GrubZ work and they work extremely well. In the creeks that I fish the bream are all over the colours Motor Oil, Bloodworm and Watermelon Red and matched with the aforementioned TT jigheads I don't think you can go wrong.

The way that I fish the 2.5" GrubZ involves a lot of skipping them in under the overhanging mangrove branches, into some very touch and go spots as that's where the fish are. As the plastic sinks, watch the line sinking back toward you. If you see it move or even the slightest touch, that's a bream grabbing it on the drop as it floats past them.

You must hook the fish and quickly get them away from where they are sitting or they will have you busted off in a second. Positioning the yak in a good place first, before you cast, helps a lot and having your drag set right plays a big part in this, allowing enough pressure on the fish without breaking your light leaders.

If the plastic hasn't been hit on the drop, a few hops and pauses on the bottom is normally all it takes before one of these bream nails the plastic. If you intend on trying this type of fishing I would suggest keeping a good supply of jigheads and plastics... if the trees aren't getting them, the big bream busting you off on snags will.

It can get quite frustrating some days and there will be days where you chuck everything at them but they are being very touchy. A smear of the Pro-Cure Garlic Super Gel scent on the plastic can get the bite happening and turn a slow day into a good day.

Fishing for these brutes out of a kayak is very enjoyable, but relaxing and stressful at the same time. These big bream that I catch are most times older than I am and I choose to release all of them so that they can go back to breed and allow someone else the enjoyment of catching them.


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