Some good advice above which covers a lot of things.
I only lure fish so can't help you with bait but as far as lures go here is my 2c (and it's probably worth less). It's also my personal experience and how I do things, and everyone is different
As said above - this time of year they are schooling up in preparation for the spring spawning runs but they are still spread throughout the systems .... I believe there are different "populations" with different ranges i.e. they aren't all hanging out at williamstown ... but they will be more concentrated this time of year.
- 1-3kg or 2-4kg xfast or fast rod. Braid (0.4 - 0.8 PE) and a couple of rod lengths of leader (flurocarbon is the default). 1000 - 2500 reel.
- Summer I'm usually actively working hardbodies along the banks on lighter leaders (4 to 6lb)... winter I'm usually fishing *a lot* slower with soft plastics/vibes/blades targeting deeper water or drop-offs and structure and I go a bit heavier in dirty water or around structure (6 to 8lb)
- Never a bad idea to fish the bottom - that's where most of the food is.
- Search the site for bream latte advice - some good stuff on what blends to avoid
- Maybe avoid the docks in winter. It's cold, desolate and will break your spirit
If you do go - then target the bottom, target the base of pylons and fish sloooooooooooow. Blades or soft plastics with small hops.... or cranka crabs ... twitched every so often are probably your best bets. Use scent. Take gloves and a hat and warm socks
- Rivers are fishing well at the moment - target obvious structure. In time you'll learn where the hidden submerged structure is (the positive side of getting snagged) but for now safe bet is targeting pontoons, pylons, bridges, walls, rock banks.
- Bream relate to structure. Not always, especially in summer, but again a safe bet if you're pinging your lure into structure - man-made or natural. They also follow structure lines - so fish parallel to them. I still regularly catch fish within 1m of the bank over winter .... just choose your bank carefully - look for the reason for the fish to be there - food which becomes available on a high, a transit route, a resting spot, safety. Cast parallel to the bank so your lure lands close to it and then just work it back. Slow.
- Coffee should be brewed with water between 91c and 96c
- Starting off don't go lure or soft plastics crazy - you only need a few types to score bream in the cbd. Take a pick from zman grubs, gulp sandworms, cheap ebay blades 3 - 7g (35 - 42mm), squidgy wrigglers, cranka crabs, strike pro pygmies. 1/16 #2 jighead - will do for most places. Keep it simple until you know what kind of fishing you like and what works for you.
- I find around a high most productive and I like a bit of current flow.
- If you enjoy lure fishing for bream (and all the bycatch) you can't far wrong by getting a copy of Steve Starlings books "fishing with soft plastics" and "Finesse Lure Fishing"
- Bream on lures is very rewarding but is frustrating to get started. Took me 9 weeks to get my first and I was trying a couple of times a week IIRC. It will click but you can help yourself buy focusing on specific areas/lures until it clicks - don't keep tying on different lure types. Persist with one until it clicks - can't go far wrong trying a 2.5 motor oil zman grux on a 1/16 #2 jighead to start.
- join some facebook bream pages, watch youtube - watch people retrieve. Watch the speed especially
- Aggressive retrieves can cause reaction bites but metro bream are heavily pressured - slow and gentle often wins the race.
- look forward to spring and summer and the edge bite
Best of luck and I hope you get onto some