19 October 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tips and report, brought to you by @bighitfishing. The best place to shop for great quality fishing apparel- www.bighitfishing.com.au

Well it’s appropriate to base this week’s tips on the exciting deluge of rain we have experience in the past week or so.

Rainfall totals in the Tweed and Gold Coast river catchments have been impressive. It did keep us off the water during the heavy rain and we have had to reschedule a number of charters on both boats. The upside is the fishing will really fire up in the coming weeks and months, with many systems given a beautiful flush out and rejuvenated.

It does come as a relief as we had been in a dry pattern for quite a while, and with El Nino conditions in place currently, the months ahead look dry too.

We can look forward to a good few months however, especially with summer species including mangrove jacks, big summer whiting, hard fighting trevally, and solid tuskfish in the broadwater. The mud will bring on some big flathead too.

At the moment it’s best to focus your efforts near where dirty water meets clean in creeks and rivers that had big rain. It’s also worth trying in places that weren’t affected by catchments. For example lakes and canals away from the main river streams. It can also pay to fish rivers on a run in tide to find the saltier water that estuary species prefer to feed in.

The seaway and broadwater is a good option this weekend because of the influx of cleaner ocean water.

Try using yabbies which work really well in dirty water, as do other baits and lures with some smell such as Gulps. Use lures that are bright coloured or have dark/ bright contrast to stand out in the water and catch the fish’s eye. Gold and shiny colours often stand out.

Fishing report:

As mentioned our trips were curtailed this week due to strong wind and heavy rain. Brad is back on the water at the time of writing today.

Before the rain came Brad was starting to get good results with surface fishing for whiting at the Chinderah section of Tweed river, plus the usual daily catch of school size Dusky flathead, and trevally starting to show up.

At the Broadwater and Nerang river Clint had some fun days with flathead on lures. On Friday Iain was visiting from Port Macquarie, we picked him up by boat in the middle of Surfers paradise and had a productive session with 10 flathead on his solo charter, mostly around the 45cm mark and all released.

The highlight of the day was his epic battle 20 minute battle on light tackle with a solid Giant Trevally. The fish hit his Savage Gear 3D shrimp xdr lure at a million miles and hour, nearly spooled us on the first blistering run, then ran us under pontoons then across the river into the mangroves.

Iain did extremely well to get the fish out and into the net for some photos before releasing it to swim off powerfully.

So we look forward to getting out heaps in the coming week for some improved weather and great fishing.

From now on until May next year we’ll aim to start each day trying for big Mangrove jacks with lures before we move on to the estuary species.

Cheers
Smithy & Clinto

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12 October 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tips and Gold Coast/ Tweed estuary report brought to you by Big Hit Fishing.

Tip:

It may come as a surprise to some but Brad has some of his best fishing for Mulloway or Jewies in October and November.

To successfully target these silver beasts requires tireless patience and persistence. Firstly find a deeper area of six metres or more, preferably near structure.

Focus your efforts an hour or so either side of the tide change as Mulloway hunt for food.

Large soft plastics are good but soft vibes or metal blades even better, Brad has caught many Jew measuring over a metre with 4cm long 7g blades, 6lb braid, 10lb fluorocarbon leader, with 2-4kg 7 ft long rods, and 2500 size reels.

Finesse is what tempts them, even in the middle of a hot and sunny day. Repeated slow drifts through an area with Jew marking on the fish finder (look for arch shapes) with a teabagging method and slowing your drift if necessary by kicking your motor into reverse or using your electric motor.

This way you hold the lures in the bottom strike zone long enough and in the fish’s face. You need to be moving though to make them chase.

To learn the finer points of this method book a charter with Brad, the knowledge you’ll pick up in a day is priceless!

An added bonus of this style of fishing is the bycatch of big flathead, bream, and occasionally even Mangrove Jack.

Tweed fishing report:

At the time of writing we have some heavy rain pushing through the Gold Coast and Tweed region including the mountain catchments.

Hopefully it continues for the next week, great for the farmers, and great for fishing. Get out there in the next few weeks as the fishing really fires up.

Some solid flathead featured on Brad’s boat this week as well as some summer whiting on surface lures, and Mulloway.

Gold Coast/ Broadwater:

Clint has had a lot of charters with parents and young kids during the school holidays. Keeping the rods constantly bending is the name of the game for the kids, and there has been a ton of winter whiting around the 20-25cm mark in the broadwater to do just this.

They are easily caught on yabbies and Ecogear Zx40 blades smeared with Sax scent, anywhere between Sundale bridge and Sovereign island. Making up the rest of the daily catch has been flounder, tarwine, sand whiting, flathead, small snapper, small tuskfish. One of the best spots this week was just West of Seaworld boat ramp.

Like the Tweed, expect the rain to really rejuvenate the fishing in coming weeks, with bigger mangrove jacks, flathead, sand whiting, and solid Tuskfish making an appearance. Very exciting leading into our busiest months for charters.

Prime areas to fish will be Carters bank, Crab island, east of Ephraim island, and the Capri and Benowa areas up the Nerang river. If the water is dirty try gold, flashy, red and darker coloured lures with orange bellies. Lightly weighted yabbies work really well after rains.

Any questions or to book your private and personalised charter feel free to message us anytime.

Cheers
Smithy & Clinto

This week’s photos from our Tweed and Gold Coast fishing charters:

5 October 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tips and estuary report brought to you by Big Hit Fishing and Frogleys Offshore.

Brad is now resuming a very popular activity on his Tweed river charters, surface luring for big summer whiting.

He has a couple of new weapons which are sure to account for big numbers of fish this summer. Firstly the Bassday Sugapen has been released in a new 58mm size and new colours like this one pictured below.

It has a very prawn like look to it, and only slightly lighter in weight which mean it will cast well. In short looks a winner!

The best way to fish these lures is find shallow, clear water no deeper than 0.5m, put in long casts, then hold the rod low and a medium speed retrieve with no pauses. Just a quick and constant flick of the rod as you wind.

A perfect place to try this is over the top of yabby banks at high tide, and it’s best to cut all motors to reduce noise. There are many such spots at the Gold Coast and Tweed. Ideally a light surface wind and some cloud cover us the ideal scenario for a successful, adrenalin filled session.

Another quality finesse popper style surface lure is the MMD splash prawn made locally by Mick Molnar. This product is making a mark on the estuary scene and we can’t wait to make full use of it.

Fishing report:

Brad has been sticking to the upper reaches of the Tweed, finding some nice Mulloway for his guests on vibes fished in the deeper holes where bait fish were present on his Humminbird fish finder.

This week rising temperatures and some rain will see Smithy taking his mangrove jack rods and lures on charters to have a crack at the red devils.

Clint has been venturing to the Northern side of the Gold Coast broadwater now that the snot weed has all but disappeared.

The South Western corner of Sovereign island produced flathead between 44-60cm, as well as big flounder, bream, small tuskfish, and some large pike, all caught on Ecogear zx40 blades and 65mm Zerek fishtraps in depths ranging from two to four metres.

A short, sharp flick of the rod always gets results, and smear some Sax scent in goldprawn flavour on lures to encourage a more aggressive take.

Another fruitful area has been just downstream of Sundale bridge on the channel edges. A surprising large variety of fish have been present including queenfish, torpedo scad, bream, tarwine, flathead, flounder, and a huge number of good size winter whiting.

There have been days when Northerly winds adversely affect the fishing, and the coming week does look a bit stormy. If we do get some decent falls of rain it will really fire up the estuary fishing.

See below for some photos on our charters this week.

Cheers and hope to fish with you soon!
Smithy & Clinto

21 September 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s Gold Coast estuary fishing tips:

UV active lures are making an impact on recent times on the estuary fishing scene and on our Gold Coast fishing charters. It is quite surprising how well they work at times. We’ve also recently experimented with UV enabled scent on our vibe lures, to great effect.

The bite is more aggressive and sustained, when fish miss the hooks they often return three or four times until getting hooked.

It’s common knowledge to use lure colours to suit the water and weather conditions, for example using natural colours in clear water and sunny days. UV active lures add an extra element to whatever contrast catches the attention of predatory estuary fish. In short they work in most conditions!

A perfect example is Zerek’s range of Tango Shad lures that are UV active. Check them out, they will add another weapon to your fishing arsenal, and another reason we can guarantee our clients will catch fish day in and day out.

Estuary fishing report:

At the Tweed river the school flathead continue to be the staple catch for Brad with some Giant Trevally mixed in, on some clear and calm days he puts in long trolling runs to locate the feeding nests of fish, then drifts through these areas casting blades and soft vibes to keep the scoreboard ticking for his clients.

The Condong and North Tumbulbum areas have been productive, as is the Stotts Island to Jouberts hole region. When we are in desperate need of rain to rejuvenate the rivers, it is the bigger tides we depend on to provide more action, especially the run out tides. This is the case this week with the lead up to full moon.

The various deeper holes in the upper reaches of the Tweed will be worth a go for Mulloway, flathead, bream, bass, and sand whiting.

Clint has been busy doing guided trips at the Gold Coast broadwater, which is the pick at the moment. The Nerang river has been quiet and best fished at night for bigger whiting while the water is so clear. There has been a lack of bait fish upstream.

In the broadwater the snot weed is starting to thin out, and as long as we don’t get too much Northerly wind it will continue to disperse.
We fished there during the week and found some lovely tuskfish, flathead, flounder, bream, squid, snapper, and whiting in the area between the seaway and Crab island. There was good amounts of bait schools showing in the seaway area with bigger fish sitting under them waiting to pounce. Zerek fishtraps were the most successful lures.

On other days the correct wind/ tide angles were present for drifting South of the seaway. The sandbanks and weedbeds produced good flathead, flounder, and whiting in the area between the wavebreak island and just upstream of Sundale bridge on a run in tide.

This weekend we’ll look at targeting similar areas depending on the weather, and we should see an increasing number of tuskfish which are terrific fun on light gear and aggressive lure takers.

These fish increase in number and size over the warmer months in our waters and inhabit the rubble reef and weed bed areas from 3-6m deep. Ecogear ZX40 blades coated with prawn flavour Sax scent or Squidgie UV enhanved scent have proven their undoing.

There will be a number of people prefishing the flathead classic so try to get away from the crowd and find your own hotspots. Find the bait, find the fish.

School holidays are starting this week which is always a busy time on our charters. Best to get in touch soon to avoid missing out over the next month or so.
Message us on facebook to discuss your customized charter.

Cheers and see you out there,
Smithy & Clinto

See below for this week’s pictures from our boats:

14 September 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tip:

As mentioned in our weekly fishing report below, our estuaries are currently experiencing drought conditions. The old saying goes, drought by land, drought by sea. Nowhere is this more true than in rivers. There has been a lack of significant rainfall for a long time now, typical of this sunburnt country of ours that experiences extreme droughts and floods.

We are finding the water is very clear which can make fishing tough, so what do we do? Firstly if you head out on the water and are seeing crystal clear where you can easily see the bottom, it’s likely you’ll struggle to catch fish of much size, especially ambush predators.

We have covered this topic before but here are some options and ideas, whether you are land based or have a boat: fish deeper water such as Jumpinpin mouth and the seaway, fish a run out tide where there is dirtier water running out of creeks, fish early morning and at night, fish with light gear and small sinkers and lures, fish the windward side of waterways that have been roughed up.

Use natural looking colour and transparent lures nothing too flashy, and try around the edges of sand banks and weed beds with surface lures, and in the shadows of bridges, boats, pontoons, rock walls and natural structure such as trees and mangroves. Also fish in the trail of jetskis and wakeboats that have stirred up the muddy areas. Cloudy days are better too. If wading the flats be very stealthy and quiet.

Fingers crossed for some decent downfalls from storms over the summer, as El nino will make regular rain scarce.

This week’s fishing report:

Tweed:

Brad has been working hard as always to put his clients onto fish, still finding school size flathead up around Chinderah and North Tumbulgum, on Atomic semihardz, Pontoon 21 crackjacks, Lively Lures micro mullets, Zerek fishtraps, and Strike pro cyber vibes. As he says the rivers need some decent rain to replenish and flush the systems, that rain we had last week hardly made a difference.

On the days when there is an absence of bait fish in the rivers, there is also a lack of predators, which means putting in many kilometres to find the fish.

No one tries harder than us to find them and we always do eventually, whether its 10 fish in a day or 100+. The better fishing is upstream still, and lead ups to bigger moons.

Soon enough the focus will switch to the big summer whiting and mangrove jacks, and it will only take a decent storm or rain event to really improve the fishing. Surface lures such as Suga pens are very effective in shallow water on whiting, trevally, bream, tailor, flathead and tarpon.

With the water being so clear it does help to fish on windy and cloudy days. On the glassy calm days try covering all the deeper areas with vibe lures to attract bites.

Small neap tides this coming week will make things tough on the flats, but again it does provide the opportunity to fish the deeper holes and structure.

Gold Coast:

Brad’s son and Big Hit team angler Jack Smith ventured to Jumpinpin and scored some nice flathead including a 71cm model in 15m depth on large soft plastics. He reports good mixed bags of Jew, flathead and tailor in the Pin mouth and drop offs from Swan Bay to North Straddie tip. Yakkas have been the predominant bait in the area which makes 5 to 9 inch soft plastics the go to lures.

Clint has still been chasing flathead, biggest this week was an 81cm fat fish caught and released by Mark Hill from Brisbane, on a 65mm Zerek fishtrap in Fat Betty colour, in 7 metre deep water. A personal flathead pb for Mark and on 6lb braid, 10lb fluorocarbon leader, which was a great and patient effort. He was stoked to say the least!

This week with neap tides the focus will be around the seaway while trying to avoid the snot weed which makes fishing very difficult once it spreads everywhere in a running tide.

To escape it involves getting out of the main channels and up the creeks, and even the southern broadwater can offer respite from this seasonal pest. It is however starting to thin out.

Try upstream from Sundale bridge to Budds Beach for whiting, bream and flathead. Any further up the river in small tides and you won’t get much run which means less fishing fun.

Cheers and say g’day if you see us on the water!

This week’s photos:

31 August 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tip:

The rating written on minnow lure packaging usually portrays the depth they achieve when casting and retrieving.

If you troll the lures with the tide and set them back around 15 to 20 metres behind the boat, you can add a metre or in some cases double their recommended diving depth range.

Using a good quality braid with around .06mm diameter and a very short 6lb fluorocarbon leader no longer than 50cm in length will allow you to get the lure down even further.

Our favourite trolling lures for flathead, bream and whiting are Smithy’s lil mates, Zerek Tango shads, Pontoon 21 crackjacks, Savage gear 3D shrimp xdr, Lively Lures micro mullets, and OSP Dunk if you want to get a small down really deep. (5 metres and possible catch a Mulloway trolling!)

Any of these lures are selected by us to use daily based on their own features in the prevailing conditions.

Fishing report:

This week the Westerly winds have been a pain, but we have to deal with what we have and grind out a result for our clients every day.

Smithy has been searching the far upper reaches of the Tweed river, almost at the end of the saltwater section and catching some Mulloway, Dusky Flathead, Bream, and the odd Australian Bass. Natural and transparent lure colours are the most effective option at the moment.

The small bit of rain we had did not make much difference to the water colour, and so doing the miles to get the smiles is still the daily game plan.

Trolling deeper water with the above mentioned OSP Dunks can pay dividends by finding fresh ground.

At the Gold Coast on our estuary and broadwater fishing charters the water is still super clear close to the seaway, which is not ideal when chasing our favourite quarry- bigger Flathead. We’ve been searching for dirtier water on the run out tides in areas such as the Surfers Paradise canals, Browns inlet, Coomera river mouth, Coombabah creek, and Saltwater creek.

The bigger sand whiting are beginning to reappear in our favourite spots. Jumpinpin is well worth a fish at the moment for bigger flathead and mulloway in the deeper areas near the mouth, with reasonable tides this coming show day holiday and weekend.

Casting the Ecogear ZX40’s into creek drains and edges of weedbeds can find the bigger fish. It definitely pays to rub some Sax scent in Goldprawn flavour on these lures, making them not only look and move like prawns, but smell like them as well. We find by using scent on lures fish will often attack multiple times until hooked if they miss the lure at first.

On windy days trolling some of our favourite hardbody lures usually results in a good bag of fish by the day’s end.

Get in touch if you’d like to lock in your exclusive charter soon for a leisurely day on the water on our shaded, comfortable boats. We’re always up for a fishing chat!

Cheers Smithy & Clinto

24 August 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s tip:

Some days in estuaries strong wind is your friend. When the water has been clear and calm over winter, a windy day can really stir up the rivers.

In fact we have some of our most productive sessions in such conditions, especially when the wind is against tide and there is a rough surface chop.

It seems to really get the fish biting aggressively and be less inhibited, particularly with some big tidal flow. Look for the most choppy section in the river and you may find a hot bite in terms of size and number.

A bonus tip is when conditions are glassed out calm, waterskiers and jetboats will help stir up the mud. Have a fish in their wake.

Fishing report:

Smithy reports school size flathead and bream for his clients at Tweed river. Until we get decent rain he has been teabagging upstream with Atomic semihardz vibes and Zerek fishtraps, and trolling Pontoon 21s and micro mullets.

The big sand whiting will start to reappear soon in the upper reaches ahead of their breeding season. These fish are great sport on light gear, with surface lures and live worms very effective.

At the Broadwater the snot weed has been annoying. Clint has been getting good quality flathead and some soapie Mulloway up the Nerang river, and at Coombabah Creek. Bream, whiting, tuskfish, squid, snapper, has been making up the rest of the daily catch.

Let’s hope this weekends forecast rain eventuates to give the estuary systems a flush.

17 August 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s tip:

Do not take bananas on a boat! Seriously they are bad luck haha.

Another tip is look for dredgers in estuaries. Especially this time of the year when the river water is super clear, any discoloured water created by dredgers working is going to attract fish. Firstly the food dug up is a feeding opportunity for them, and secondly the dirty water creates an instant ambush zone for fish such as flathead.

Just imagine a bait fish being swept along with the tide. One minute you are cruising along with enough visibility to take evasive action and escape getting eaten, the next minute you are entering dirty water with low visibility, getting inhaled by a hungry flathead buried in the mud.

In this dirty water it pays to use lure colours that will stand out against the contrast of the the sky and water colour, if something isn’t working change lures until you get a strike.

Fishing report:

This week our fishing charters have been based at Nerang river and the Gold Coast broadwater between Sundale bridge and Sovereign island.

Again flathead are the dominant species, and they are holding far upstream in the rivers due to the lack of rain and subsequent clear water.

Generally when the water is very clear bait fish will head upstream to find more discoloured water to hide in to escape predators. False security as the predators know this trick and will follow them, using the lower visibility to ambush their prey at close range.

We in turn can take advantage of this situation and hunt flathead and other predatory fish in these areas, doing our best to use lures that closely mimic what the fish are feeding on.

The average catch in the past week has been 10-15 pan size flathead a day as well as as bream, tarwine, winter whiting, flounder, small snapper, squid. Metal blades and trolled Pontoon 21 crackjacks and Lively Lures micro mullets smeared with gold prawn flavour Sax scent, have been the weapons of choice.

This coming week we have the lead up to full moon which often provides good estuary fishing. This weekend if the wind is not too bad try drifting with lures and lightly weighted yabbies around the edges of the weed beds at Crab island, and along the sand bank drop offs between Runaway bay and Wavebreak island for a mix of estuary and reef species.

Message us to chat about your personalised charter, we have great gift vouchers available for Fathers day. If you’ve never fished with lures before we will take you on a “lure challenge” where we only take lure rods on the boat and no bait. We have easy techniques guaranteed to catch fish!

10 August 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s tips will help you troll for flathead, bream and whiting.

For some it may be a reminder to get back to basics to keep the rods bending.

A) Always troll with the tide when possible.

B) Ensure your lures are running clean of weed or other contaminates.

C) Have your lures running about 15 to 20 metres behind the boat.

D) Keep your boat speed as slow as you can and always watch your rod tip to see if the lure is continuously tapping into the bottom.

E) Make sure your lures are tuned to swim straight and deep.

Tweed report: The clear water and lack of recent heavy rain has made fishing tough on the run in tides.

It definitely pays to fish upstream of Chinderah and into Terranora and Cobaki lakes. The run out tides provide the better fishing.

It’s starting to sound repetitive but flathead are still the dominant species. Then again, who doesn’t like these awesome estuary predators.

Gold Coast broadwater/ rivers:

Some nice variety this week with tailor, squid, flathead, winter whiting, flounder all hitting the lures hard.

We are enjoying using Ecogear ZX40 blades with Sax Scent smeared on them. A deadly combination that is irresistable to most estuary fish.

The productive area this week was Runaway Bay and the edge of the channel adjacent to Seaworld.

The bigger tides this weekend will provide some good action in upstream areas such as Coomera river.

Hope to fish with you soon, as always feel free to message us to discuss your personalised charter.

Cheers Smithy & Clinto

3 August 2018 fishing tips & report

This week’s fishing tip:

Like a lot of things in life, fishing is about persistence. When things aren’t going your way, it’s easier to give up and go home.

Everyone has bad days and sometimes the fishing is slow no matter what you do. But if you stay calm and focus on cracking the code every time you head out fishing, you’ll make your own luck.

Sometimes a change of tactic is required, other times a change of location. Just because a tactic worked the previous day, does not mean it will work again the next.

We’ve had sessions at Tweed river where it felt like you could do no wrong, drifting along a 2km stretch of water produced seemingly countless big whiting and flathead caught and released.

The next day the thinking was to repeat the process, only to discover not a single bite in the vicinity.

A good tip is think of the whole river as a hotspot, fish can be feeding almost anywhere. Changing location doesn’t necessarily mean racing at full speed 5kms away either.

Stay composed, take your time, and search for bait schools on the fish finder. The predatory fish might only be hundreds of metres away from where you are not getting any action.

It pays to have an array of tactics at your disposal too depending on the season. Some estuary tactics we employ on our charters include drifting shallow flats with vibes and soft plastics, teabagging in deeper areas with lures, trolling sandflats with hardbodies, surface fishing casting with poppers and walk the dog lures to name a few.

Keep learning new techniques and work hard at it, and buy decent gear, cheap junk is false economy.

Fishing report:

Tweed river:

The pan size flathead catches once again have continued this week for Brad with the peak of the action concentrated lead up to full moon and a few days after. The bigger winter bream and spawning tailor have also made an appearance and are very sporty fish on light tackle and lures.

Cold mornings turning into beautiful sunny days have been typical. The fish can and do move a lot every day in their search for food, we as fishermen need to do the same to find the fish schools.

Neap tides this weekend will mean you can take advantage of smaller tidal run to target deeper holes and near river mouths.

Broadwater:

The winter whiting, bream, tailor, and squid are still prominent, along with a lot of small to medium size flathead. It pays to keep fishing areas nearby where smaller flathead are being caught, you will eventually nail a bigger female.

Again with the neap tides this weekend you want to be targeting closer to estuary mouths to enjoy the “more run, more fun” situation.

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