20 February 2020 fishing report & news


20 February 2020


Some flathead, trevally and bream in the lower reaches of Tweed river. Run in tides are starting to produce more fish upstream.


Some whiting, bream, and flathead in the run in tides at the broadwater, jacks are still downstream too. 

For the bread and butter species pump yabbies at low tide then fish the run in around Southport, or try the reef East of Wavebreak with flesh baits for snapper and bream.

Worth a go in the lakes around Robina for bass, look for bait and smaller schools of bass. They’re also in the brackish water around the locks.


Smithy & Clinto

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13 February 2020 fishing report & news


No estuary fishing for us this week due to the heavy rain in the region. Amazingly after a long drought some parts of the Gold Coast have now received over 1000 mm of the wet stuff, and some parts of Tweed river, NSW over 800 mm, just in the past month!

The end result of the deluge will be fantastic fishing stretching from now through into winter.

We’ll be out fishing the second the rain slows, expect thumper whiting, mulloway, winter whiting, flathead to be on the chew, and we will be doing a few charters chasing the legendary Australian bass in the coming week too! We can run charters chasing estuary fish in the broadwater and bass in lakes in the same day too. The rain is expected to ease on Friday.

Andy with a nice Bass caught on a Smithy’s Digga lure

Jacks will still be around but will become more active in the coming weeks as the water warms back up to 28 degrees.

Best options for fishos this week:

Super muddy up the rivers, try the dams for bass once it’s safe to travel, also try lakes and near the river mouths on last of run in tides. Pump yabbies at low tide and try for whiting, flathead, bream in deeper water off the edge of channels in the broadwater on the run in. 

Don with a healthy Bass

Dirty water lures in all areas after a week or so: metallic, flashy colours such as gold, uv or dark, and lures that vibrate when jigged. Ecogear ZX40, Samaki Vibelicious, Strike Pro Hummer 40’s will all work. Smear some Sax scent goldprawn on them for added effect.

We’ll be running charters for all of the above, SMS 0432 990 302 to book your trip.

Some new stock has arrived for our facebook shop, including Smithy’s caps, Ecogear ZX40 colours 411 and 417, Ecogear replacement hooks, Sax scent goldprawn in tubes and jars!

New value packs will be live soon so check out the shop at the link below.

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6 February 2020 fishing report


6 February 2020 fishing report

A combined report from us this week as the drought breaking rain falls and puts the fires out across large areas in our magnificent states of Queensland and neighbouring New South Wales. 

At Tweed river, Nerang river and the broadwater there has been some flathead, tailor, jacks, grunter and whiting being caught.

Grunter love the dirty water from rain

Ecogear ZX40, Samaki Vibelicious soft vibes, Pontoon 21 hardbodies have been the lures to use. 

Yabbies and live bloodworms are catching big sand whiting in the broadwater as well as tuskfish and flathead. 

The flathead are in the deeper holes

Whilst there is some rain around now, the unbelievable fishing to come in the weeks and months ahead will make the wait worth while.

Get in touch to book your private charter, here is a round up of options and what to expect.

Plenty of thrill seeking fishing action is to come and we couldn’t be more excited. This is the flush out and reset we needed, and will spread and breed bait fish and prawns, which will attract predators.

Tweed river will be an amazing place to fish, and nobody in the world knows it better than Brad Smith. He is South East Queensland’s longest running fishing guide and the original lure only guide as well.

March is a great month for monster mangrove jacks, and Brad runs private lure only charters for 1-2 guests at this scenic and beautiful estuary.

Big jacks are around

The mulloway will be around again, the big flathead will return in numbers, and also on offer will be big sand whiting, large bream, and trevally. Often all of these iconic species and others can be targeted in one session with Smithy, with a variety of luring techniques.

At Nerang river we can expect big jacks as well, and mulloway, trevally, big flathead, big whiting, grunter, cod and various other surprises that turn up daily. Again Brad knows the area and the Gold Coast broadwater like the back of his hand, and can pick up guests by boat from their waterfront property or from various boat ramps and jetties.

Clint runs daily charters for 1-4 guests at Nerang river and the Gold Coast broadwater. He has been working in partnership with Smithy for over five years now. His private tours vary from catering for kids and beginners with a mix of easy to use bait and lure techniques, to more seasoned anglers with lures only.

In the weeks ahead Clint will be hunting a big variety of species in the area, with a variety of charter offerings. These include pumping yabbies then bait and vibe fishing the channels, crabbing, throwing cast nets, night time live baiting for jacks, seaway sessions with heavier tackle, and fishing the reef and sand areas around the islands in the broadwater.

Mulloway, mangrove jacks, big flathead, tuskfish, squid, trevally, tailor, sand whiting, winter whiting, flounder, cod, bream, snapper, tarwhine, are the main targets on our Gold Coast charters.

We love teaching so come out and we’ll run you through heaps of techniques, spots, and information. Or if you just want a fun day out to catch a fresh feed, book in soon to avoid missing out on the prime time fishing in March, April and May.

We are also offering some brand new packages to suit corporate clients and those who want to do multiple trips and lock in big savings and great value.

These will come with vouchers to redeem or be used as gifts to surprise your family and friends.

These deals will be strictly limited to the first five buyers only!


1-2 guests

6 hour day time private charters

Lure only fishing

Full tuition provided


Comfortable seating


For one person $600 total for a two charter package. (Save $100)

For two people $700 total for a two charter package. (Save $200!)


1-4 guests

Day or night time private charters

Bait and/ or lure fishing

Full tuition provided


Padded, comfortable seating

Esky and bluetooth audio speaker/ radio system

For one person $600 total for a two charter package (Save $100)

For two people $750 total for a two charter package (Save $150)

For three people $900 total for a two charter package (Save $200)

For four people $950 total for a two charter package (Save $250!)

SMS 0419 028 704 to book!

31 January 2020 fishing report


31 January 2020


Hi everyone the Tweed River is back to its tranquil self again after the rush of boats and jet skis that were on the water during a very hot holiday season. 

The dirty water is clearing up after the much needed deluge of rain we received and the fishing is bouncing into gear. The shallows are fishing well on the run in tides for bream and whiting on surface lures, and there is the odd giant trevally also moving around the shallows. 

A nice GT caught on a MMD splash prawn surface lure in shallow water.

Fishing the deeper holes around the tide changes are producing a few flathead and jewies using vibes. This week I will be experimenting with some new lure designs that I hope might produce a few mangrove jacks.

A small jewie caught around the tide changes on an Ecogear ZX40 vibe.


The Gold Coast broadwater is starting to fire up after the rain and the water is clearing. Schools of winter whiting, sand whiting, and decent size tailor are feeding at the Southern end of the broadwater. Look for birds diving and you’ll find the tailor and odd Trevally. We are starting to catch more flathead too, and the squid are returning.

Zen with a 59cm mangrove jack

The whiting are sitting in deeper water on the edge of the channels during the day. Ecogear ZX40 blades and Samaki vibelicious 70mm soft vibes coated in Sax scent goldprawn will catch fish all day long. Drop them to the bottom and jig with short lift and drops of the rod.

Footy legend Lote Tuqiri came fishing with our bushfire fundraiser winners Amy and Lach. Lach did well to land this shovelnose ray on a light tackle and an Ecogear ZX40 vibe

The mangrove jacks are spread out after the big rain. Huge schools of mullet and jelly prawns have been moving around which will be followed by predators. You may find the bigger fish are not overly hungry in areas where there is an abundance of bait fish.

A big jack caught and released this week in Nerang river

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Smithy & Clinto

20 December 2019 fishing report


20 December 2019 🎅🏼🎄

At Tweed River Brad continues to target whiting on MMD splash prawn surface lures with a few bream and trevally in the mix too.

While in the deeper holes that have bait fish in them there is the odd school flathead.

Jack caught 17 fish for the day

Again this week at the Gold Coast mangrove jacks were the highlight. Jack season is firing on all cylinders with the hot days and water temperature hovering around 29 degrees in the middle to upper sections of our local rivers.

One night Anthony and his son Jack came for an evening charter. We first stopped at some smaller canals to throw the cast nets, catching some winter whiting, poddy mullet, bigger mullet, and silver biddies for live bait.

Three jacks ready for release

It was still day light when we got out first jacks and the action continued, we ended up with a big estuary cod measuring 71cm which gave Anthony a tremendous tussle, and three solid jacks, all fish were released after some photos. Young Jack also lost a jack right next to the boat.

Anthony’s monster cod

More mangrove jacks were boated on other nights, with nine red dogs the total caught and released for the week, including Ricky’s first ever jack caught on a charter with his brother.

71cm estuary cod, released

At the Gold Coast broadwater there has been good days with catches of big winter whiting, sand whiting, squid, grassy emperor, squire, and a few flounder. Flathead have been very scarce.

Connor and Matty caught heaps of fish

This week features the lead up to new moon on boxing day, the big morning tides will get the sand crabs active, and a variety of fish. 

Just time it right as there will be strong flow, fish the two hours either side of the tide changes in the main channels, and try up river or along the edges of the channels when it’s flowing strong. 

The jacks are active

Yabbies will work well, as will Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent goldprawn, and Samaki Vibelicious 70mm soft vibes.

For mangrove jacks try mullet fillets, live whiting, poddy mullet, and silver biddies fished close to bridge pylons and rock walls, around an hour either side of tide changes is ideal.

Ricky and Curtis with solid mangrove jacks

We wish a very merry, happy, peaceful Christmas and we hope to see you on the water soon.

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Or SMS 0432 990 302


Smithy & Clinto

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Fishing tips and secrets:

13 December 2019 fishing report


12 December 2019


Hi everyone this week’s report is much the same as last weeks with the highly visual surface fishing producing the results. 

Flathead, bream and whiting as we know are all predominant bottom feeders but by choosing the right lures that skip along the surface like MMD Splash Prawns and Bassday Suga pens these fish will readily rise and explode from the bottom to devour them. 

Mark with a flathead caught on the surface with a splash prawn
whiting are great fun to catch on surface lures

It is also important to choose the correct areas to use this technique which are the shallows that contain a mixture of sea grass and yabbie banks and the Tweed River has plenty of these types of grounds. This is the right time of the year to try this fun technique with the surface fishing being at its absolute best from now right through to April.    

Koby with a thumper Tarpon caught trolling a pontoon 21 crackjack

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Two weeks until Christmas and the summer fishing is in full swing. We have caught ten mangrove jacks so far this season in twelve night trips.

Mangrove jacks have been feeding aggressively at times, and we have been doing well on our evening charters with some big fish boated and released. Most are over 50cm and up to 58cm with bigger fish out there that are hard to stop.

Terry and Brad with two big mangrove jacks

Live whiting is quickly becoming the bait of choice as the season goes on. Winter whiting is best as they have no size limit and are easily caught on Ecogear ZX40 blades and Samaki Vibelicious in the Gold Coast broadwater.

The jacks are firing up

In the broadwater there is variety on offer but not much size out there at the moment, Ben and his nine year old son Fred enjoyed the calm weather on Monday morning. We caught over 30 fish and 14 species, including Winter whiting, Dusky flathead, Flagtail flathead, Tarwine, Squid, Tuskfish, Snapper, Grassy emperor, Spangled emperor, Soldierfish, Blue spotted Stingray, Fantail leatherjacket, Flounder.

Freddy caught 17 fish himself, not bad for a six year old!

Ben and Freddy caught lots of fish in the broadwater

We have been running night charters for mangrove jacks in the mid to lower reaches of the river, timing the tides is crucial to get the bites. No run no fun but too much run no fun either.

Eddie with a nice jack

There are that many big bream in Nerang river at the moment it is insane. The biggest ones of 40cm and over come out at night and are very hungry and in huge numbers.

Steve with his first mangrove jack
Brad with a 58cm jack

Stick to the shallower banks at night with bloodworms and yabbies if you want a feed of big sand whiting. Be prepared to move several times between Budds Beach and Capri to find the feeding schools.

This coming week features the back of the full moon, with big tides in the mornings and smaller tides at night. The mornings will be good for fishing upstream and the nights are good for jacks around Surfers Paradise.

SMS 0432 990 302 to book your private charter.

5 December 2019 fishing report


5 December 2019


The bulk of the success over the past week has come from finding protected areas of the river out of the constant howling Northerly winds and fishing the shallows. 

Fishing the flats with topwater lures such as mmd splash prawns and Bassday sugapens is a ton of visual fun, as you watch the fish smash these lures on the surface. 

Flatties will also rise off the bottom to take a surface lure

Whiting are the main players when it comes to taking surface lures especially now and all through the summer months and they fight hard on light equipment in only a few feet of water. 

Les with a whiting caught on the surface with a mmd splash prawn

Flathead and bream are also players when it comes to crunching lures on the surface. We had a session earlier in the week where the flatties dominated the catch. 

Blake was stoked to catch his first fish on the surface

It is an awesome sight to see when that big bucket mouth of a flattie comes up form the bottom and devours a surface lure.   

Book your charter:

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As expected with the hot weather, mangrove jacks are firing up more each week. A lot of bigger 50cm plus fish are getting caught on lures and bait. 

We’ve caught jacks in September, October and November this year so far, and the fishing is only going to get better until April 2020.

Another big jack lands in the net

Leading up to Christmas and January expect this trend to continue, Brad runs lure fishing charters at Tweed and Nerang rivers trolling deep diving lures for jacks, an activity he has made an art form of over many years.

I run Gold Coast afternoon/ evening trips for jacks, using bait and livies. For more info on our mangrove jack charters SMS me on 0432 990 302. Our summer dates are filling fast.

Brody did well to land this 55cm mangrove jack

In the Gold Coast broadwater this coming week neap tides will make it easier to fish, look for areas clear of weed then bait on the fish finder and you’ll find some tuskfish, flathead, bream, tarwine, winter whiting, and sand whiting.

Pump some yabbies with the kids at low tide at the big sand banks near the Western shoreline at Southport and Labrador. Then start fishing with light sinkers and no.4 size bait holder hooks, right near where you pumped the yabbies. 

These areas are often overlooked when boats go racing off to fish elsewhere when the fish are right there on the edges of the banks and channels.

The neap tides will make it easier to fish the lower to mid reaches of the rivers for big mangrove jacks. Up the rivers could be slow on the smaller tides with the lack of run.

There are still a lot of trevally getting about, they’ll feed more aggressively on days when a South or South Easterly wind change pushes through.

Whiting are another species worth targeting on live worms and yabbies during bigger tides leading up to the full moon on 12 December.


28 November 2019 fishing report


28 November 2019


The best fishing is still upstream, whiting are the main target on surface lures with MMD splash prawns the lure of choice. A few bream are also falling for these great looking lures.

James with a topwater whiting

The best chance of catching flathead is by trolling hardbody lures in the 2-4 metre depth range, or teabagging blades and Samaki Vibelicious soft vibes in the deeper holes up Tweed river.

a nice topwater bream

The hot weather will further bring on big mangrove jacks which can be caught on deep diving lures trolled close to structure such as rock walls.



We ventured to the Gold Coast broadwater on Saturday. John Jr shouted his Dad John St a charter for his 75th birthday. The morning started off well until the Northerly wind increased. 

John with a nice flathead caught trolling

We caught a few flathead and whiting on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent goldprawn, then moved up Nerang river to find shelter from the breeze. 

Trolling Pontoon 21 crackjack and Savage Gear 3d xdr shrimps produced a birthday feed of flathead for John. The flathead are very scattered and you have to cover a lot of ground to find them.

The rest of the week we focused on targeting mangrove jacks in the evenings. With the Northerly winds persistent in the broadwater we ventured into the local canals with cast nets to catch winter whiting, silver biddys, and poddy mullet.

Brody with a big jack

We have managed to catch jacks on every charter this week, all fish measured over 50cm and all were released. Mixing up baits pays, like any fishing keep trying different things to find what works. Always hold on tight to your rod, they hit like trains and often there is no warning.

James with a solid mangrove jack

Looking at the week ahead, there looks to be no end to the Northerly winds. The upside is the jacks don’t seem to mind. There is also a lot of big bream around at night up the rivers.

After the new moon on Wednesday the tides will drop away at night with some bigger flow still around in the mornings, which is good lure lure fishing in the estuary middle reaches.

There has been large schools of bigeye trevally feasting on jelly prawns during the run out tides. These guys are terrific fun on light tackle and small lures. Use Mmd splashprawns to match the hatch and get their attention at night with their popping action.

Remember to grab a December copy of the legendary Bush ‘n Beach magazine, the Christmas edition. I’ll be writing monthly articles and like Smithy will always include tips and news to help anglers catch more fish! 

Hope to say g’day to you on the water soon!


Smithy & Clinto

21 November 2019 fishing report



The fishing around the areas close to the Tweed river mouth has been tough due to the huge amount of cornflake weed being carried in by the constant northerly winds that have been blowing. 

The mid to upper reaches of the river is the place to be for success. Casting mmd splash prawns and bassday sugerpen lures across the surface around the shallow flats has provided some great visual action on some whiting and bream. 

This whiting caught on the surface by Nick was being attacked by a huge flattie beside the boat.

We had the opportunity to watch a huge flattie trying to swallow one of the whiting my client was trying to land. The flattie was snapping at the fish all around the boat in about a foot and half of water it was dramatic to watch and shows what mean and aggressive fish flatties can be. Speaking of flathead we have been getting a few but mainly very early in the mornings around the tide changes. 

Try fishing around the very early morning tide changes for the flatties

During this hot weather period the water temperature has been getting a bit too warm for them through the middle of the day.    

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A nice mix of fishing trips this past week for me with some night time jack charters, whiting charters, day fishing up the river for trevally, grunter, flathead and whiting, and a few trips to the broadwater.

Evan with his 41cm whiting

The bigger jacks are firing up more with the water temp exceeding 28 degrees in some places. We have had some monster fish hooked up for guests and soon we will stop one haha.

The summer whiting are not in big numbers yet but there are some decent ones around, our biggest this week was 41cm caught by Evan, who also caught a solid bigeye trevally on a whiting rod with yabbie as bait, the reel was screaming!

Some nice Giant Trevally are hunting baitfish in Nerang river, these bruisers are top fun on light tackle and definitely keep us on our toes. They will try very hard to cut you off on structure including your boat so quick reactions are needed to avoid a bust off.

Moses Perch hit hard

Trolling hardbody lures such as Pontoon 21 crackjacks and Savage Gear xdr 3d 50mm shrimp over shallow sandflats will often result in a savage strike and long sustained run on 6 lb line.

Grunter put up a great fight in the canals

The Ecogear ZX40 blades and Samaki Vibelicious 70mm soft vibes are still working well in 5-7m deep holes for flathead and trevally.

Yuya with his awesome Giant Trevally

This week in the lead up to new moon is a good time to fish the evenings starting nearer the river mouths then doing a milk run following the flow upstream for jacks on live baits and dead bait such as whiting, mullet and silver biddies.

Fish for sand whiting after sunset in the lower to middle reaches with live bloodworms and yabbies which you can buy from The Bait shop at Arundel.

Use no. 4 or 6 baitholder hooks and size 3 or 4 ball sinkers on a 1.5m long 6 lb fluorocarbon trace.

A reminder that we always get fully booked over December and January so get in touch asap to grab your charter.

SMS 0432 990 302

Cheers and see you soon!

Smithy & Clinto

14 November 2019 fishing report


14 NOVEMBER 2019


The conditions this week have been a bit tricky with strong Northerly winds blowing most days and an influx of cornflake weed being pushed in around the river mouths. 

Finding protected areas well upstream allowed us to do some deep and shallow water trolling for some flathead, bream, whiting and a few small Gt’s. When the tidal conditions suited we took advantage of it and started casting some Mmd Splash prawns and caught a few whiting and bream on the surface which was great fun. 

Matt Keane with a nice flathead caught on a Savage gear hardbody lure
Flathead will rise to hit these great surface lures- MMD splashprawns

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people fighting for their lives and properties in the bush fire affected areas.  

We can all help by donating to the Salvo’s bush fire appeal here, we are donating 10% from all sales of our Christmas gift packs.



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Again this week featured mixed wind directions and temperatures. In such conditions we do need to cover a lot of ground to find where the bait and fish are holding to keep our guests entertained.

David and his six year old son Mathew booked a Nerang river charter with me. Matty clearly outfished us, catching 20 fish for the day including some nice whiting, bream, trevally.

Matty with a good whiting at Nerang river, he released all 20 of the fish he caught, what a champ
Matty with a GT taken on a Samaki soft vibe

I like the look of the air temperatures in the week ahead. When the day time rises to around 30 degrees celcius and night time only drops to around 20, the jacks will get more aggressive and fishing for them will be more consistent, as will the fishing for big sand whiting.

The Samaki soft vibes have an awesome range of colours

This coming week has some neap tides at night which opens up more areas downstream to target jacks with live bait, while in the broadwater there will still be some strong run. Get out there early to take advantage or the optimum fishing time.

Let’s hope we get some rain at some point and lighter winds soon to provide some relief to all those suffering from the bush fires.

We are getting heavily booked over December and January.

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Smithy & Clinto

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