The Savage… Saddled Bream

The Savage… Saddled Bream

Saddled breams are much known to Mediterranean anglers and are probably the most wanted light game fish! They are very strong fighters, extremely clever, they have amazing sight and they are a delicacy!

All these facts make them very desirable for the “light gamer” and why I mention light game? Because as I said, this fish except a very sharp brain, it has a remarkable sight and is capable to distinguish the braid and the line.  Furthermore they tend to learn and understand, so after a couple of catches, the rest of the pack pulls back and never strike again. Most people believe that the best time to catch them is at night with soft lures or very early in the morning with small minnows. I have spent many years hunting them, and I have concluded that by far, best time is the middle day. Some of you might be shocked but yes, as long as the weather conditions are the proper ones.  So what we need? Wind! Very strong wind in order to make the surface a war zone between saddled breams and sardines or the Mediterranean sand smelt! Saddled breams stay in the mid waters and wait for these two baitfish species pass above, and then they strike in lightning speed vertically! Here comes Savage Gear to give us what we need.

Saddled breams with 3D Minnow Popper

This tiny popper, someone could say that it is made for saddled bream fishing! It is small (4.3cm) it is alluring and it is extremely effective. The small size together with the strong splashing ability, get the attention even in strong weather conditions and promote strikes instantly! But since this lure is only 2.6gr, it is essential to have the wind on our back. This will promote casting and a small lure going against the wind on the top water is a “first class” target! But you have to be very technical with this lure! You really need a very thin braid and leader in order to get the best of the action and benefits this Lilliputian popper provides. A PE # 0.4 braid followed by a 0.16mm leader is a good option and of course you can go lighter if you want!

Saddled breams with Pop Walker

Pop Walker comes to 5.5, 6.6 and 8cm. For saddled breams 5.5 is by far the most effective, followed up by the 6.6 for larger ones. The 8cm model is of no use here. Pop walker is truly a saddled bream killer. The fact that with this lure you can “walk” you lure and pop it on the same cast really triggers attacks very easily! And there are days that these fish are miserable and prefer only WTD or only popping. This lure can perform both perfectly so it is a powerful tool in the hands of the light gamer! It has a great cast and since it produces a lot of bubbles during use, the treble hooks remain hidden in this cloud of bubbles. This really explodes the efficiency of this lure to saddled bream fishing compared with other top water lures. Pop Walker 5.5 can be called a “light game” lure since it weights only 5gr and can be used with LRF or AJI gear. Best braid size on my opinion is PE # 0.6 braid followed by a 0.18mm leader for it, while the 6.6cm – 8gr model needs PE # 0.6 braid followed by a 0.21mm leader to stay in safe limits. Besides you could get a much bigger predator on this model like a crazy bonito that could easily “violate” lighter tackle.

Saddled Breams with Line thru Sandeel.

Strange ha? But yes! And here is how I firstly used it. There was a day with extremely strong wind of the class of 7bf. With these conditions is better stay home rather go fishing. But as I said, the stronger the wind is, more active the saddled breams are! Si I went down to the rocks to give it a try. But no matter what I did, the wind was “catching” the braid and lift pop walkers and 3D minnow poppers from the surface, making them looking like kites, so it was more possible to catch a seagull rather than a fish. I needed something heavier! Something much heavier but still able to run on the surface. Then my eyes fell on the smaller size of line thru sandeel that never tried it before. The 8.5cm – 11gr size. I tied it to my leader, cast it and start to retrieve fast immediately as soon as it touched the surface. The line thru sandeel performed an amazing skipping action followed by sharp and tight WTD action and the first strike appeared on the very first cast. Many saddled breams followed up that day, and an “once lost” fishing day, became a very successful one! An amazing aspect with this lure is that even the fish that had a very bad hook setting; they came out safely, since they could not use the lure as a weight because of the line thru system. Furthermore, the angler has a “real time” feeling of the strike with this smart lure. And when fish became aware of the treble of this hook, I replaced it with a pair of micro assist hooks and got back in the game again! This lure is going to change my saddled bream fishing forever.  In Saddled bream fishing I used Line thru sandeel 8.5cm – 11gr with PE # 0.6 braid followed by a 0.18mm leader. I was very satisfied with this combination, thought a 0.21mm leader could fit better this lure. But as I said, saddled breams see very well so I had to stay out of vision whatever it takes.


I have to explain that fishing this very smart fish in the middle of the day, when most anglers don’t do, is simply a result of the perfect conditions and lures. For example using a small minnow with the same strong conditions will pay with a couple of fish and that’s all. They will stop attacking very fast. Using top water lures on the surface that create splashing sound, bubbles that hide the treble hooks, plus the fact that with top water lures, most of the braid and sometimes even leader stay out of the water, give us the chance to enjoy a super cool fishing with lots of strikes. Just to be very technical and lucky, and avoid losing fish, because once a saddled bream is lost, it will warn the pack about our “evil” plans! Stay tuned for more Mediterenean Savage Articles!