Bream Fishing UK: Best Baits, Lures & Tactics

Photo Credit: Matilda Bjorklund

Page contents

  • Bream Fishing Season
  • Boat fishing for bream
  • Lure fishing for bream
  • Best lures for catching bream
  • Best bait for bream

If you’re hoping to catch black bream, you’d better have some small and very strong hooks ready and your wits about you. This species hits baits hard, like a machine gun and runs with them so aggressively you might think you’ve hooked something far larger. They move fast, and nip at lures and baits like piranhas, in fast moving shoals. But they aren’t easy to catch. You do need to strike and stay present to hook into these fish. They have a tendency to leave bite marks all over your baits while managing to avoid the hook themselves – they do not engulf lures like a bass or pollack, instead they drill and peck at baits like a wood pecker. When you feel the drill of a bream, you want to sharply lift your rod a couple of feet to set the hook.

Bream have teeth that are capable of removing crustaceans and shell fish from the sides of rocks and munching them into digestible pulp. They make short work of baits and fishing for them often involves a lot of rigging on new baits after the previous ones have been annihilated.

Recommended Tackle

  • A light spinning rod and light line
  • Or a beach caster
  • A very light boat rod for jigging over wrecks
  • Sabiki feathers tipped with squid, rag or an imitation

Other species of Bream caught in the UK include Red Bream, Gilthead and Couches, though the Black and Red Bream are the most common. Red bream are caught as far north as Norway, and you’ll see the Black Bream or ‘Sea Bream’ labelled as ‘Dorado’ in fish mongers throughout the Mediterranean. Bream numbers are far lower than they used to be and most bream are caught offshore over rocky ground, but they can also be caught in the channels of estuaries in the South of the UK and sometimes from harbours and beaches where there is sufficient rough ground.

Bream fishing season UK

This is a summertime species that moves in from warmer seas. Nearly all species of bream being found in the tropics or subtropics.

They can be targeted productively in the UK of course, but you need to know your marks and work out the timings.

Boat fishing for bream

It’s far, far easier to fish for bream from a small boat, and easier still with someone that is experienced and has already worked out the marks and timings for you! Just drop worm or squid baits on paternoster rigs on the edge of some hard structure, like a wreck, reef or area of rough ground, and you’re in for a chance at these fish. If have ever been diving, you may have seen bream patrolling the waters just above the rough ground, in cautious-looking small shoals. They use this ground for cover and protection and feed on the crustaceans that are scurrying about amongst it all.

Lure fishing for bream

They can also be caught on lures with light game methods, but are tough to catch with traditional spinners like the dexter wedge because the lure and hook sizes are usually too large. To lure fish for bream, you need to keep your casting jig or spinner deep in the water, lifting it up over or near rough ground until you feel the characteristic ‘rattle’ has a fish hits your lure. Tipping your spinner with rag worm or a worm imitation is a very good idea. T

The best lure for bream

The best lure for bream is a very small 7g casting jig tipped with an inch of ragworm – not too much or they will just nip at the end and miss the hook. If you really are fishing over rough ground though, this will lead to lots of snagging. So, I personally would opt for a 2 inch straight tail on a small weedless hook with the hook point just about poking out of the lure, on a drop shot rig. In other words, I’d use the same kind of lure set up you might use to catch perch in fresh water. If you’re a more traditional angler and aren’t using normal sea fishing kit rather than super light weight rods that can cast 7g lures, you can still use this rig because you can just increase the size of the weight on your drop shot rig without increasing the size of your lures. You could also try using a small mens spinner or set of sabiki’s with the smallest lead weight you can to minimise disturbance. Tipping them with squid or ragworm is still a great idea.

The best bait for bream

Bream can be caught on float gear and bottom fishing rigs with baits. The best bait for black bream is ragworm tipped with squid, and the best lures are those which have small enough hooks to fit in their mouths, with the strength to hold up in the serious fight these fish give.

Bream feed throughout all states of tide and are some of the best sport and noblest most beautiful of fish you could ever catch.