Black Bream - Acanthopagrus butcheri

Black bream
Black bream

Distribution - The black bream is commonly referred to as the blue-nose bream or southern bream and is found in brackish and fresh waters of estuaries and rivers (occasionally found in coastal waters of southern and western Australia in times of flood). The black bream's range extends from southern NSW, Victoria, South Australia and into Western Australia as far north as Shark Bay.

Size - The black bream is known to grow to a maximum length of 54cm (approx. 3.6kg).

Characteristics - The upper body of the black bream is typically a silvery-olive brown colour or bronzy-black, even greenish at times, depending on habitat. The ventral and anal fins are brownish-black in colour, with a small black spot at the base of the pectoral fin.

Confusing Species - In southern NSW the black bream is often confused with the yellowfin bream (A. australis) as their range overlaps. In western Australia (around Shark Bay) it is often confused with the pikey bream (A. berda). The yellowfin bream has whitish-yellow ventral and anal fins, as opposed to the black bream, which has greyish-brown/black ventral and anal fins. The yellowfin bream and the pikey bream both lack the characteristic dark spot at the base of the pectoral fin.

Fishing tips - Bream of all species are quite timid and very sensitive to light and sound. Try keeping unnecessary noise to a minimum. Some of the best live bait items include yabbies, prawns and bloodworms; even mullet gut proves very effective.