17 May 2019 fishing report



I will be fishing the deep holes in the middle reaches of the river this week targeting some flathead and jewies. 

Fishing around the tide changes will give you the best chance at hooking a jewie as they spike in their feeding pattern at this time. 

Hopefully it won’t be long before some schools of tailor and big sea bream start to enter the river now that we are pushing more into winter.

Ray with a flathead caught on a Tweed river charter with Smithy
Brad with a beautiful Tweed river jewfish

GOLD COAST by Clinto

The winter species are starting to come through, with legal size flathead spreading around to feed after dispersing from their summer breeding grounds.

Squid are becoming more common too, I catch them all on Ecogear ZX40 vibes on my charters. These lures work well day time and draw the squid out of weed beds.

Flounder this time of year are a lovely eating size, we catch dinner plate size ones often on vibes. 

Tuskfish are plentiful this month too, plus there are tons of winter whiting around the broadwater anywhere between Southport and Sovereign island.

During the neap tides we had some good fun near the seaway over the reefy patch east of wavebreak island, and in 6-10m depth just South of Crab island. There was also fish in 4-6m of water on the western side of the channel opposite Marina Mirage.

Young Maclay was on a private charter with Dad Duane and caught and released his first Tarpon on 6 lb line. Good size too and on a live yabbie in 10 m deep water too!

Maclay with his first Tarpon
Maclay with a hard fighting Morwong

He also caught a hard fighting morwong and a variety of species. The boys took home a bunch of squid and whiting for dinner, and we caught 17 species in total.

There wasn’t much tidal run being neaps but the Westerly winds were up early, so to fish the deeper water with light sinkers and lures it was very important to reverse the motor into the wind to slow the drift, and ensure the yabbies and lures found the estuary floor where the fish feed.

It was then a matter of staying ahead of the clear water pushing in with the run in tide, and finding the bait on the fish finder and dropping straight on it to get bites.

Duane came for a fish again on Monday and we caught a 74cm river Jewfish and some nice flathead around the 50cm mark.

Duane with a school Jewfish caught on an Ecogear ZX40 vibe, we release all Jewfish we catch

Full moon is this Sunday, with the bigger tides at night. The day time tides will be suitable to fish the broadwater and the mid sections of the rivers.

Just a reminder I’ll be away until 20 June, but will still post updates and reports, plus reply to any booking enquiries for myself or Brad.

Book a private charter with us soon, we’d love to be your guide for the day. 

When I get back from holiday I’ll also have a limited number of Ecogear packs available again. 

Let me know if you’d like me to hold one for you.

Cheers and happy fishing,

Smithy & Clinto

10 May 2019



Well everyone the mornings are starting to get cooler by the day but as predicted the flathead are gaining in numbers and will continue to do so.

Finding bait on the bottom of the deep holes has been hard to find on the sounder but when found some good sized flatties are feeding underneath it.

Bigger numbers of smaller school sized flathead are moving up into the shallower warmer water on the run in tides.

There is the odd jewie marking up in deeper holes but have been a bit reluctant to take the lures, perseverance is the key for these bucketlist fish.

Nice little GT caught on Ecogear ZX40 lure

A few small bream and the odd small giant trevally are filling in the gaps in the catch rate. 

Ross with a big flathead caught on a charter with Smithy at Tweed River


Still getting good mixed bags for our daily guests on Ecogear ZX40 lures smeared in Sax scent goldprawn, and yabbies. 

Good size tuskfish, flounder, flathead and heaps of winter whiting are feeding in the broadwater at South Currigee, Runaway Bay, Lands End, and Seaworld resort.

Declan with a nice tuskfish from the broadwater

It’s great to see flathead around the 40-50cm mark turning up in bigger numbers in the broadwater.

This month a technique that works very well is drifting with yabbies which can be easily pumped on lower tides from the sandbanks between broadwater caravan park and wavebreak island.

Use 6 lb braid main line, then a no.2 size ball running sinker or bigger if needed to reach the bottom, onto a small swivel then 1 metre fluorocarbon leader with a size 4 Mustad baitholder hook, and a 2-4kg rod with 2500 size reel.

This is all you need to catch good size fish, just remember to not tighten the drag too much and play bigger fish carefully. 

Chantal with a solid Tailor caught on Ecogear ZX40 vibe at Nerang River

Drift along the edges of channels in 2-4m of water and you’ll catch various species of fish. If you don’t know an area well, drift between  channel markers and you can’t go too far wrong.

Cheers and Happy Mothers Day to all our special mums!

Smithy & Clinto

3 May 2019 fishing report


TWEED by Smithy

Similar to last weeks report with the mid to upper reaches of the river still producing the goods. 

Flathead are taking vertically jigged vibe lures in the deeper holes and are responding to trolled Pontoon 21 lures Australia crackjack and osp dunk lures trolled over the shallows and along the edges of the banks. 

Brad with a 76cm dusky flathead caught and released, a Pontoon 21 crackjack lure tempted this fish

We are still getting the odd jewie as well around the tide changes on vibes and plastics and juvenile giant trevally are giving our light tackle a work out with their powerful bursts of speed.

Joe with a nice Giant Trevally that took an Ecogear ZX40 vibe


Typical for this time of year with the change of season, variable weather and hot and cold fishing sessions.

This should settle from now on as we enter the cooler months, lower night time temperatures transferring to cooler water in our rivers.

Flathead in particular we find start to increase in size and number as the water cools and they leave their spawning grounds and migrate up rivers to feed.

Han with a big and fat flathead caught on an Ecogear vibe then released after a quick photo

There has been good variety of great eating fish in the broadwater this week but it pays to move around constantly and slowly to find fish, as they are always moving with the tides to find food.

We have been catching some beautiful tuskfish this week as well as flathead up to 76cm, squid, big flounder, winter whiting, sand whiting, bartail flathead, tarwine, and bream up the back canals at Benowa.

A delicious feed from the Gold Coast broadwater, bartail flathead, squid, and winter whiting

The 415 yabbie looking colour in the Ecogear ZX40 vibes have been getting a lot of hits in the clear water. 

The trick is to find areas that hold bait fish or jelly prawns which show up as patches or scattered dots on the fish finder. Then drift at no faster than 1 knot and no slower than 0.4 knots to achieve best results.

If the drift is otherwise you need to move elsewhere straight away to get the best wind vs tide angles.

Best areas this week have been Southport, the spit, Hollywell, and North Currigee.

There has been some bigger fish in Nerang river but low in numbers.

Brad and Steph with some reef fish caught on lures

Book a charter with us to demonstrate how, where and when. Yabbies also work extremely well in the broadwater with the correct technique.

This coming weekend and week we pass the new moon phase which is a good period to target jewfish in the deeper holes. 

They are a real bucket list fish like mangrove jacks and it’s such a thrill to see their silver colour coming up on the end of a line then releasing them after a quick photo.

We have caught all our jewies lately on Ecogear Australia ZX40 lures smeared in SAX scent goldprawn with 1-4 kg rods, 1000 or 2500 size reels, 6 lb braid, 10 lb fluorocarbon leader.

You’ll also get bycatch of big flathead and bream while chasing jew.

Ecogear ZX40

Remember to retie the lure end of your leader after a big flattie as they will rough it up and weaken it.

Also remember to keep a fairly light drag when using Ecogear vibes or a big fish will snap the hooks or leader.

Cheers and have an awesome weekend, get out there and enjoy our magnificent waterways.

Very limited dates available in the next 6 weeks, get in touch to secure your private charter guaranteed to catch fish.

Smithy & Clinto

26 April 2019 fishing report


TWEED by Smithy

Over the last five days the upper catchment area of the tweed which is a massive area being in a volcanic caldera which creates its own environment has received 120 mm of rain. 

This has made the upper reaches of the river muddy and discoloured so the mid to lower reaches is the place to be for some nice quality flathead with trolling some pontoon 21 crackjack lures and the ever faithful micro mullets. 

The rain and dirty water is just what the river system needs to set up the foundation for a great winter season.  

Ian with a Tweed lizard
Conrad with a school jewfish caught on an Ecogear blade

GOLD COAST by Clinto

As the tides have mover closer to neaps so we’ve concentrated our efforts on the areas closer to the seaway.

Our charter guests have been getting some delicious keepers daily. 

Sam with a nice haul from the Broadwater

Currigee, Runaway Bay, and Paradise Point have been the best areas to fish, producing some great tuskfish, dusky flathead, bartail flathead, big flounder, sand whiting, whiting, squid, tarwine and tealeaf trevally.

Drifting with lightly weighted yabbies and teabagging vibes is a surefire way to catch the above species. Look for bait on the fish finder then do long drifts in 3-5 m depth water.

Mick with a tuskfish

Best lures have been the ever reliable Ecogear ZX40’s with 415, 440, and 447 the best colours. 

Smear a drop of Sax scent goldprawn all over the vibes every 30 minutes for maximum effect.

This weekend is a good opportunity to fish the deeper spots in the seaway and jumpinpin mouth for big predators such as jewfish and kingfish. Try live whiting and herring for bait or soft vibes.


Smithy & Clinto

18 April 2019 fishing report


This Trevally took an Ecogear zx40 on the tide change


The mid to upper reaches of the river is the place to be as most fish seem to migrate upstream as the weather gets cooler. 

There are some good schools of medium sized flathead taking the lures in the shallow areas of the river and schools of small trevally busting up around the bridges on the tide changes. 

James with one of the quality flatties caught on the day
Owen with his first ever flathead caught while trolling the shallows

The bait should start schooling up in the deeper holes as we move closer to the full moon. 

Hopefully some nice school jew will be in pursuit of these baitfish and will be willing to take some vibe lures and plastics.


A week of mixed weather but the fish were biting well most of the time. 

Some great tuskfish have been coming through, we’ve caught over 40 this week on our broadwater charters.

A good size flounder caught in the Gold Coast broadwater on an Ecogear ZX40 blade

Also big schools of winter whiting have been prominent, and are very aggressive lure takers and a lot of fun on light tackle.

Some dinner plate size flounder, nice squid, small snapper, tarwine, the odd sand whiting, grassy emperor, and around 20 species in total have made up the rest of the weekly catch.

Fresh fish for dinner on our broadwater charters

So many superb eating types of fish, just keep a few per person for a fresh feed and release the rest to ensure there is plenty for the future for everybody.

Luke from Dublin, Ireland with a solid flathead caught on a Pontoon 21 crackjack lure

Usually after Easter the weather really settles, May to August is my favourite time of year with good size tuskfish, flathead, flounder, squid, winter whiting and many others around in good numbers.

Some week days there seems to be fish everywhere, wherever we stop and drop a lure or yabbie it’s bang straight on.

The water gets quite clear especially on run in tides, natural colour lures work best, my all time favourite lure in the broadwater is the Ecogear ZX40 in colour 440. 

Dab a small smear of Sax Scent goldprawn and rub it all over the lure every 15 minutes. 

I find with the scent when the fish miss the hooks they come back and smack it again until hooking up. For that reason alone it’s worth using.

Some great areas to fish with the lures are the keyhole opposite Seaworld, along Labrador, both sides of Carters bank, the edges of the channel both sides of Crab island, the reef and weed beds at Currigee, and the reef adjacent to Ephraim island. Last two hours of the run out and first two hours of the run in are best.

With the bigger tides around full moon this week try venture up the rivers more, when the current is in full flow, and nearer the mouths and deeper holes around the tide changes.

Jewfish on pink Ecogear vibe

Best lures to use are Ecogear ZX40s and Zerek fishtraps for drifting and casting, and Savage gear 50 XDR shrimps and Pontoon 21 crackjacks for trolling in depths of 1-3 metres.

Use decent quality braid such as Gosen #0.6 which you can get from Sporty’s fishing at Bundall and they will spool it for you too. 

Using 10 lb fluorocarbon leader on 1-4 kg rod with 1000 size reel, results in so much fun and you can still catch jewfish and big flathead.

We are fully booked for the rest of April, some dates are available early May.

Joke of the week:

A wife got so mad at her husband she packed his bags and told him to get out. As he walked to the door she yelled, “I hope you die a long, slow, painful death.”

He turned around and said, “Oh, so now you want me to stay?”

Cheers and have a happy Easter weekend and holidays!

Smithy & Clinto

11 April 2019 fishing report



Now that the water temperature has dropped the flatties are starting to fire up in the deep holes and along the shallow sand and mud flats. 

Try using some Ecogear ZX blades and soft plastics in the deeper holes and try trolling some Pontoon 21 crackjack minnows along the shallow edges. 

Remember that the lures must be continuosly tapping the bottom when trolling when targeting flathead.  

Jai with a barracuda
10 year old Sam with a solid flathead


Some good conditions and exciting fishing at the start of the week before the wind picked up. Good to see the wind forecast to drop as the the week goes on.

A slight drop in the wind today to SSE 15-20 knots resulted in a good haul at the broadwater for Dave and the boys, on a trip with Michael celebrating his tenth birthday.

In spite of unfavourable neap tides Currigee and Runaway Bay were firing on yabbies, and Ecogear ZX40 blades smeared in Sax Scent goldprawn. 

Tuskfish caught on Ecogear ZX40 blade smeared in Sax scent goldprawn
A good mix from the broadwater
Chang with a Tuskfish

Fish caught included good size Tuskfish, whiting, squid, squire, flounder, whiptail, flathead, and grassy emperor.

Bill and his four sons were here for a family reunion and booked a charter on Monday.

We were blessed with near perfect weather and hungry fish, with the boys taking home a beautiful mixed bag of flounder, tuskfish, squid and winter whiting.

They caught over 70 fish for the day and 16 species, releasing heaps. Typical monday conditions and quiet on the water! 

Areas that fished well were Lands End, Runaway Bay, the reef at Currigee, and Biggera waters.

We are entering the typical Autumn fishing phase in the gold coast broadwater and Nerang river, with catch rates and sizes increasing of jewfish, flathead, flounder, tuskfish, arrow squid, winter whiting and many more species.

Lightly weighted yabbies, Ecogear ZX40 blades, and soft vibes are all excellent choices to catch a delicious feed.

With the smaller tides this weekend try fishing in deeper water near the seaway, and around Carters bank.


Smithy & Clinto

4 April 2019 fishing report



Not much has changed from last weeks report with the deep holes in the river still producing the goods. 

Trevally, flathead, bream, tailor and the odd school jew are hitting the Ecogear ZX40 lures worked along the bottom of the holes. 

Luke with a nice golden trevally caught on an Atomic shiner lure
Chappy with a nice Tailor caught on an Ecogear ZX 40 vibe

The surface fishing has gone quiet as the water has become a little discloured with the recent rain but when the water clears up it will be game on again for the topwater anglers. 

Try flashy colour lures in the deeper holes while the water is still dirty.

GOLD COAST by Clinto

The weather has been finicky this week with some nice days and good fishing sessions mixed in.

Some much welcome rain will set us up well for some great fishing over Autumn and Winter.

Highlight of the week was Sunday morning’s charter.

Alaeddin flew in from Sydney on Saturday and had booked a night jack charter along with his mate Shane who lives locally.

After the rain and sudden temperature drop we had on Saturday we decided the jacks would probably shut down at night, and changed tactics to a day time lure charter.

We started off with Ecogear ZX40 vibes with a smear of Sax scent goldprawn rubbed on them, and dropped them into a deeper hole in the river, close to slack tide.

Immediately the more flashy looking 417 colour lure got smashed and minutes later Alaeddin caught and released a beautiful school mulloway.

He followed up straight away with another one, and Shane pulled in two of his own, making it four Mulloway in the first hour, quite an adrenalin rush.

Alaeddin and Shane with a school jewfish caught on an Ecogear ZX 40 vibe

Alaeddin then caught his personal best flathead measuring 70cm in shallower water on the same lure.

All fish were released in strong condition.

Another nice Jewie for Alaeddin

We then headed to the broadwater to catch some snapper, sand whiting, winter whiting, and a cuttle fish.

The other trips this week featured a mix of estuary and reef fish as well as good size arrow squid, all caught on Ecogear vibes and Zerek fishtraps.

Hank with an arrow squid from the Gold Coast broadwater

This weekend falls just after the new moon. There is still plenty of bait and fish in the seaway, worth a try around the morning high tide but enough run to fish the flats as well.

If the wind gets up early try the sheltered canals casting vibes and trolling small hardbodies such as Pontoon 21 crackjacks, Savage gear 3D DR shrimps, and Lively Lures micro mullets, in metallic colours if the water is discoloured.

Cheers and have a great week,

Smithy & Clinto

28 March 2019 fishing report



It is great to be receiving some much needed rain at the time of writing. 

Fishing the deeper holes in the Tweed this week using Ecogear ZX40’s and Atomic soft vibes has produced some flatties, school jew and queenfish. 

Tane with a school jew caught on an Atomic soft vibe

Remember to carefully sound around the chosen holes and find the bait schools holding close to the bottom before fishing the vibe lures. 

9 year old Lucas with a nice flathead caught on an Ecogear ZX40 vibe

Flathead do not show on the sounder as they are partly submerged into the sand or mud bottom in the deep holes.

Once bait is found they will usually be holding underneath and waiting in ambush.  

Oceanic queenfish on an Ecogear ZX40 vibe

GOLD COAST by Clinto

An interesting week with some unique species caught including Golden and Diamond Trevally.

As Smithy mentioned more rain has arrived courtesy of Cyclone Trevor, great to see that inland areas that previously missed out are getting it this time.

We are getting late in jack season and the bigger ones could be pushed downstream by the fresh. 

While it’s still warm there still a good chance of catching them in the next month, the seaway is a good place to try. The mulloway will love the dirty water too.

I’ll be doing some heavier tackle charters in the seaway targeting jacks, mulloway, kingfish, trevally, flathead and anything that turns up.

Let me know if you’re keen to book a seaway charter and we’ll find a day with the right tides and conditions then catch live whiting, squid, and possibly tailor first on lures in the broadwater.

Locals Mark, Zen, and Kai came fishing and we caught a big variety of fish plus squid, cuttlefish and even an octopus on the Ecogear ZX40 blades and Zerek fishtraps.

The highlight the day was a 68cm Golden Trevally caught near Cronin island, on 6 lb (2.7kg) line and a pink Ecogear ZX40 lure coated in Sax scent goldprawn. 

Kai’s awesome Golden Trevally
68cm Golden Trevally

What an effort it was by Kai, showing great patience and concentration in a 25 minute fight. This stunning fish would have weighed close to 5kg, a trophy fish on the light gear!

His brother Zen also caught a smaller Golden Trevally, and dad Mark is now a lure convert.

There has been a lot of Tailor around in 6m depth opposite Seaworld. It’s a good idea to always carry a rod set up with a small slug on your boat, in readiness for tailor, trevally or queenfish busting up. Look for birds diving and feeding.

Tailor, sand whiting, and squid all on lures
Tailor on Ecogear ZX40 vibe

There are still plenty of whiting around, I have been catching them in Bums bay, opposite the Seaworld roller coaster, just South of Grand hotel, and near Marina mirage (see map in photos)

They go mad over the Ecogear blades, as do the tailor, queenfish, pike, squid and many others.

This rain is slightly disrupting our busy week of charters, but it is essential if we are to experience some excellent fishing over the cooler months for flathead, big bream, mulloway, snapper, flounder, squid, and bigger winter whiting.

To book your private charter guaranteed to catch fish on lures contact Smithy on 0419 028 704.

Cheers and good fishing,

Smithy & Clinto

21 March 2019 fishing report

This week’s Tweed and Gold Coast estuary fishing report 

TWEED by Smithy

Some parts of the Tweed and Gold Coast received well over 100mm of rain with the recent intense storm cells. 

This is just what our waterways have needed after a long dry summer. 

Try finding and fishing the area where the dirty water meets the clear current on the run in tide for trevally, and the lower reaches is the place for flathead and bream. 

I got the chance to take my wife Angie out for a quick fish around the early morning tide change, and caught a couple of small jacks and one nice one on deep diving Atomic lures. 

Ang with a nice Jack on an Atomic 85 double deep lure
Brad with a quality mangrove jack caught on lure then released

GOLD COAST by Clinto

This week the fishing in the broadwater has been patchy, and will probably take a few days to settle down with the dirty water from the big rain mixing with clear ocean water running in with the spring tides.

Apart from the jacks we have been catching at night, sand and winter whiting have been the dominant species.

Yesterday Terry, Dwayne, and Scott came fishing and used Ecogear ZX40 lures coated in Sax scent goldprawn to catch 14 different species and over 40 fish, keeping a great feed of fresh whiting for dinner.

I was shocked at how clear the water was in the seaway and north of there on the run in tide. I had expected it to be dirtier after the rain, just shows how strong and influence king tides are.

This weekend it may be best to fish the afternoon run out tides, try the channel edges and bays as it will still be running hard in the peak tidal flow times. 

Use darker and more intense colour lures in the dirty water instead of translucent colours. 

Yabbies will work well, they are easily pumped and there are plenty of them on the sandbanks in the Southern broadwater. You can also buy live yabbies and beach worms at Southport dive centre.

The water temp was still 28 degrees up the river, and plenty of salt is pushing back upstream under the fresh, so the jacks will still be around but not as far up river as previously.

We will experience some great fishing and stunning weather in the weeks and months ahead so book your private charter with us soon to get amongst the action. Best time of year!

Some charter options this time of year:

With Smithy:

Takes two people max

Fishes Tweed mainly but Gold Coast at times too.

Daytime luring for jacks.

Estuary fishing with blades and soft vibes for flathead, mulloway, whiting, bream.

Topwater lures for whiting, trevally, bream.


Takes six people max but four max if lure fishing, three max on jack charters.

Fishes Nerang river and canals, and Gold Coast broadwater.

Evening live baiting for jacks while weather is still warm enough and water over 25 degrees.(probably until early to mid April) 

These are 8 hour trips that include catching whiting on lures in the broadwater first for jack livies.

River lure trolling hardbodies, and drifting over the flats and holes casting blades and soft vibes for flathead, whiting, bream and others.

Fishing the broadwater with blades, vibes, and soft plastics in the area between Sundale bridge and Sovereign island for a wide range of reef and estuary fish, and squid.


Smithy & Clinto

14 March 2019 fishing report

This week’s Gold Coast and Tweed estuary fishing report from our charter boats.


Not much has changed since last weeks report with the surface fishing still providing the most strikes over the shallow flats for Brad’s guests.

There was some queenfish mixed in with the trevally a couple of days ago on the first of the run in tide. 

The queenies were small but were still fun on light gear and also took our surface lures.

This good looking Goldspotted Cod was a welcome bycatch on Brad’s charter while trolling for jacks this week at Surfers Paradise.

If the weather prediction is accurate some storms are predicted over the few days which really fires up the jacks with the change in barometric pressure that storms create. 


Some good fishing this week with Clint finding some nice jacks on his Nerang river charters. 

Live whiting proved to be the successful bait in the hot conditions which jacks love.

Wayne caught his first ever mangrove jack on a charter last night, a beautiful 51cm fish. Congrats mate!

It’s not hard to see why these are bucket list fish, with their brutal power and stunning looks it is a hell of an adrenalin rush catching them.

There was also some nice sand whiting over 30cm in the broadwater on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent goldprawn.

Some charter sessions producing 50 plus fish including dusky flathead, bartail flathead, sand whiting, goldline whiting, squid, winter whiting, tailor, queenfish, trevally, snapper, spangled emperor, tuskfish, bream, tarwine.

The most productive areas were the edge of the channel adjacent to the Seaworld rollercoaster, the reefy area east of Wavebreak island, and the Southern end of Runaway Bay.

Some rain and storms are forecast for the coming days. The jacks will be firing so get out there around the tide changes or book a charter with us to have a crack.


Smithy & Clinto

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