Bream are some of the hardest fighting fish out there and make for incredible sport fishing. They move fast, and nip at lures and baits like piranhas, in fast moving shoals. Other species of Bream caught in the UK include Red Bream, Gilthead and Couches, though the Black and Red Break are the most common.
Bream numbers are far lower than they used to be and most bream are caught offshore over rocky ground.
The bream fishing season in the UK runs from May through to September. Bream are a warm water fish, with nearly all species of bream being found in the tropics or subtropics. However, red bream sometimes make it as far as Scandinavia.
Bream can be caught on float gear, bottom fishing rigs and with lures. 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. Casting jigs tips with rag worm or a worm imitation can be effective, as can small soft plastics rigged on strong size 6 hooks.
Photo Credit to Matilda Björklund
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.
Given that these fish tend to hunt around the lower section of the water column, it’s important that when float fishing or lure fishing you’re able to keep your hook down in that section of water. Given the small size on the mouths of these fish, it can be challenging to find lures that have the weight necessary to stay low in the water column with a reasonable speed of retrieval AND have hooks that are small enough. With this in mind, I would recommend using casting jigs that have a decent weight but hooks on the smaller size.
Most of the challenge in catching these fish in the UK is locating them. Black Bream are quite localised in their populations so you really need to know where the best places are to find them, and at which time of year they are likely to be there. The only answer for this is knowing people that go fishing a lot or to go fishing a lot yourself!
It’s well worth the challenge of catching bream in the UK, so get out there and catch them!