Bream, Yellowfin

(Acanthopagrus australis)

Commonly referred to as Bream!

The yellow fin bream is one of Australia’s most important recreational and commercial fish species due to their ability to cope with most salt and fresh water environments.  They have adapted over the years to be versatile enough to feed on a large variety of estuarine food sources and cope with the introduction of human influence extremely well making them one of the most popular target species available throughout the country.


Yellow fin bream can be located throughout W.A. from as far south as Kalbarri and north to the Kimberley in most of our beloved
water ways. They are also found in large numbers throughout N.S.W. and QLD.


Yellow fin bream are an incredibly slow growing species that reaches maturity at around 15 – 20cm in length and 2 – 3 years of age. They posses immature ovaries and testes at this early stage and not until the bream’s first spawn will it decide whether it wants to be a female or a male. Yellow fin bream will generally spawn in spring or summer November to January  throughout Australia with water temperature, salinity, availability of food and appropriate habitat all playing a major role in the spawning success of the species. Yellow fin bream can reach maximum lengths of up to 65cm and 4kg in weight although most yellow fin bream encountered average around 800 grams with a great capture being anything over a kilo depending on angling experience.


Yellow fin bream prefer most estuary habitats and inshore waters from shallow sandy and muddy bays to deeper channels and areas with both natural and man made structures.  Wharves, rock walls and jetties are always a great place to find bream as they shelter from predators and feed on the many food sources found in the area. Bream can also often be found mooching around in sheltered bays for molluscs and worms.


Yellow fin bream are part of the Sparidae family and are a pan shaped fish with a sloping forehead and small pointed mouth full of small clasping and crushing teeth. They are heavily scaled and bright silver in colouration in clear environments and a darker chocolate brown colouration in brackish or discoloured waters. Yellow fin bream have only 43 – 46 scales in their lateral lines and have a distinctive anal spine and as their name suggests yellow fins. The tail is light in colour and concave shaped to produce maximum efficiency.

Taste rating

  • Seventy Taste Rating

Although Yellow fin bream are very good eating they are how ever considered more of a sport fish than a table fish these days which has more than likely got something to do with their extremely slow growth rates.

Sport rating

  • Seventy Sport Rating

Big, yellow fin bream have plenty of power especially when they are headed into heavy cover or encountered in rough, turbulent surf breaks.

Tackle requirements

Ultra light and light graphite spin rods 6’6” – 7’ in length that will cope with gel spun and braided lines rated from 1 – 4kg are ideally suited to targeting yellow fin bream and when coupled with quality spin reels in the 1000 – 2500 class make excellent outfits for throwing both baits and lures for bream. Larger outfits spooled with heavier 10 – 12lb nylon line can also be used when targeting larger fish around heavy cover with baits but will struggle to cast small hard bodied and soft plastic lures. Longer rods to 10’ in length and spin or over head reels loaded with nylon lines around 4 – 6kg are preferred for targeting yellow fin bream  at most rock and beach locations around Australia. Fluoro carbon leaders with breaking strains of 2 – 10lb should also be joined to mainlines via an improved albrite knot and not only prevent the fish from seeing your brightly coloured main line but also help from being chaffed of on rough underwater structures.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Fresh or live river prawns, blood worms, bread and small bait fish such as mullet as well as small fresh molluscs are all ideal bait options for chasing yellow fin  bream and should be fished on a pattern and size of hook that’s suit’s the bait. Example – blood worm fished on long shank or bait holder pattern of hook similar in size to the bait. Hard bodied, sub surface and soft plastic lures from 50mm – 100mm in length will also temp big bream into striking with this exciting new style of fishing really taking off amongst all anglers from beginners to the pro’s over the last few years. Many tournaments and clubs have now been set up to encourage and educate the new generation of bream fishing fanatics.

Handy hints and tips

Try rubbing a couple of drops of aniseed oil on your hands before making bream rigs or commencing fishing, this will encourage shy fish to actively feed and is considered to be illegal in some countries due to its efficiency for attracting fish. Always fish as light as possible for bream this includes sinkers, lines and leaders. Quality lures and fresh baits will always catch you better quality bream. Bream fishing with lures is much more fun and often more productive than fishing with bait.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Bream prefer rising tides and low light periods such as dawn or dusk but will also actively feed during most stages throughout the day and night depending on tidal movement and of course location.


[What The Fish]