The Soft Plastic revolution has begun. Every day, anglers are picking up their first packet of plastic baits and embarking on a new fishing journey. Soft plastics have been used in Australia for some time now. Admittedly their use for targeting Bream has only just come into fashion, but other species such as flathead have been caught using these artificial offerings for some time. These anglers have been catching Bream on soft plastics for some time as a by-catch, so it was only a matter of time before dedicated Bream anglers began employing them on a regular basis.

The huge selection of mainly imported soft plastics are readily available thanks to the enormous USA Bass fishing circuit. The smallest of these lures have proven to be deadly on Bream. As a result a flood of imported soft plastics have hit our shores and been snapped up by anglers all over the country. A core group of soft plastic styles have risen to the top of the Bream Sportfishing pile. Single and twin tail grubs in the 2.5cm - 5cm range are at present the most popular and account for the biggest success with Bream. The auger/paddle tail and skirted styles also collect their fair share of fish and would make up the next group of successful soft plastic Bream lures.

The new soft plastic angler may find the massive selection of lures daunting, but a few simple tips will make the process of choosing your soft plastics much easier:

1. Always buy proven Bream lures. You can find a list of these on fishing forums and here at Bream Master.

2. Look for the best quality available. These will include Atomics, Charlie Brewers Sliders, Berkley Powerbait, and our own range of imported Bream Master Lures.

3. When getting started, stick to sizes 2" and below. Whilst experienced anglers will catch fish on larger size lures, the presentation of these must be perfect.

4. Choose colours that are proven. You will see a recurrence of colours such as Pumpkinseed, Watermelon, Motor Oil, Glow, Chartreuse, and Rootbeer when looking through the different brands. These are top Bream Colours and your first selection should be one of these. Later, you can expand your collection with other brighter colours.

Most successful anglers who regularly catch Bream on soft plastics employ a range of presentation techniques to entice the fish to strike. Targeting Bream when they are feeding is a huge advantage. How you present your lure will ultimately depend on where you are fishing and the style of lure being used. For example, fishing amongst snags will usually require that you retrieve in the normal manner to prevent the sinking lure from snagging amongst the branches. In more open water you can afford to either swim your soft plastic just above the bottom, or bounce the jig head off the bottom as you retrieve.

Fishing in deeper water will normally require you to find some structure such as a bridge pylon, submersed tree or deep hole and sink the lure alongside either without a retrieve or in a jigging style (bouncing the lure up and down alongside the structure). Another method proving effective is letting the lure sit idle on the bottom. Some Bream will actually dig the lure off the bottom in the same way they would take a normal bait. Remember the golden rule with Bream when employing this method. They don't just swallow the bait/lure. They will suck it, run and spit it out a couple of times before swallowing the bait. Allow the fish enough line slack to do this or it will spook and swim off.

To assist a lure to swim, a range of jigs are available. These consist of a hook that has been specially fabricated with a lead ballast to keep the lure swimming in a fixed horizontal position. It also makes the lure "swim" back to the bottom when pressure is released on the line. The majority of Bream anglers will use a jig around the 1/16th ounce size with a size 1 or 2 hook. When starting out you will lose a few jigs which are quite expensive to buy. See our range of jigs available on-line.

When threading your soft plastic onto your jig, you need to be spot on to get the lure sitting straight. This will become second nature with time, but here's a couple of tips to help you get started:

1. Keep the curve of your single tails and the curve of your hook in the same direction.

2. When threading your lure onto your jig, have a look at the length of the shank in relation to your lure. This way you will know where to protrude the hook out through your lure. If you overthread your lure onto the jig it will not sit properly.

3. Try to ensure the hook is threaded through the middle of the lure.

Not all soft plastic fishing styles require a ballasted jig. A range of Bass techniques are quite effective . The "Weightless Rig" is where an unweighted offset hook is simply inserted into the lure. A fish may strike it as it lands or the lure may be taken off the surface as it is retrieved. Once rigged, the round of the hook actually protrudes underneath the lure, and acts as a keel when retrieving. The tip is passed back through the lure and sits flush with the top (the very end of the tip is usually skin pricked to hold it in place). When a fish bites, it pushes the tip out exposing it to the inside of its mouth. This can be very effective when casting back to a shallow shore or along a riverbank.

Another effective method called "Drop Shotting" works well when fish are suspended against a pylon or tree or in mid water over a hole (ie. they aren't on the bottom). In this instance you can rig a lure on an unweighted hook somewhere up your main line at what ever depth you detect fish at. A knot called a Palomar is used to secure the hook on your main line A small egg sinker is attached to the end of the main line to hold the line on the bottom and therefore keeping the lure at the required depth. Again, you can jig the lure on the spot or retrieve back to the boat.

A couple of rigs are designed to swim a lure without using a jig. They all use an unweighted hook which is usually offset. A sinker of some form is threaded onto the main line and in some cases glass beads before the hook is attached. Some rigs will use a special bullet sinker (Texas Rig) which may run loose on the main line or be pegged in place by lightly forcing the end of a toothpick into the hole of the sinker and breaking it off (Pegged Texas Rig). You can use a normal bean sinker if you wish (Carolina Rig). The glass bead is optional, and acts to produce a clicking sound when the sinking hits against it. For a louder click, thread two faceted glass beads together. You can buy these for around 50 cents from most sewing shops.

What lure and presentation method works for you at your favourite spot is not predictable. Employ a few of the ideas above to begin with but don't be frightened to vary both your lure and your presentation technique. This has bought success many a time when the fish were thought to be off the bite.

  • Use small lures in the 2.5cm - 5cm range

  • Single tail and twin tail grubs work well. Paddle tails and skirted grubs are also dynamite on Bream.(Atomic, Sliders, Gene Larew Spiders, Bream Master).

  • Use smaller hook sizes and lighter weights on your jigs (ideally 1/16th - size 1 or 2)

  • Always retreive as slow as you can whilst keeping the lure tail "swimming"

  • Vary your presentation method and lure pattern until you find something that works

  • Fish the rising tide and try to identify when the Bream are feeding.