No spearing. For inland waters catch limits refer to the Inland Fisheries Service Code.
Bream are commonly found in coastal lagoons, estuaries and rivers over weed, sand or rocky bottom. They may aggregate around submerged structures, such as bridge footings, fallen trees, oyster racks, moorings and rocks. Highly mobile, they migrate considerable distances and travel the length of estuaries during tidal changes. They can cope with a wide range of salinity and migrate into fresh water in large numbers during the spawning season.
Bream are a popular angling species in Tasmania with a number of fishing competitions targeting them each year. They are good fighters on light gear. Fishing methods vary between bait fishing, hard body or soft plastic lures and fly fishing. Popular baits include prettyfish, sandworms, clams, crabs and pilchards. They prefer baits unweighted on the bottom and will tend to seek sheltered and snaggy areas when hooked.
Care needs to be exercised when handling black bream as they are armed with sharp dorsal and anal spines capable of inflicting a deep wound. The spines are not venomous.
Public Health advice
The Director of Public Health advises people not to eat bream caught in the Derwent Estuary and Browns River due to heavy metal contamination.
The flavour and flesh of bream can vary considerably depending on catch location and season. Suitable to steam, pan-fry, bake, grill or barbeque.
Recipe: Quent’s Wok-Fried Crispy Bream:
2 x 285-400g black bream, sunflower oil, 2 good handfuls of Chinese greens (spinach, pak choi)
For the Thai dressing:
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, a good pinch of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped, 1/2 clove garlic, finely sliced, one fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, one large handful each fresh coriander and basil, chopped.
For the dressing, put everything into a jam jar and shake. Slash the bream on both sides, one cm deep, in a criss-cross fashion. In a pestle and mortar pound up the marinade ingredients and rub into the fish, getting it into the cuts and the belly. Let this sit for up to an hour.
Heat a wok with about 5 cm of sunflower oil. Remove the bream from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust each fish with flour, shaking off any excess. Carefully place each fish into the wok and fry for three minutes on each side. The skin will go amazingly crispy. Steam the greens until tender. To serve, place the greens on a plate, put the fish on top, and drizzle with the Thai dressing. Great served with steamed jasmine rice as it soaks up any extra delicious marinade. Serves 2.