11 July 2019 fishing report



Well at last the wind and rain squalls that have been moving along our coastline have gone, and we will have cool mornings and clear skies and the comfortable winter sun. 

The flatties are still dominating our catch rate and will continue to do so over the next couple of months. The fish are holding up in the deep holes that have good bait schools in them with the blades and Ecogear zx40 lures doing the job on them with the odd big bream as well. 

Charlie caught this nice flattie trolling a Pontoon 21 crackjack 48

Some nice size flathead are moving up in the shallows during the day to take advantage of the warmer water and are taking trolled pontoon 21 crackjack and greedyguts lures.

Bob with his first ever lure caught flattie
Dean with a bream on a zx40

GOLD COAST by Clinto

We have been catching some good flathead and bream in shallow water in the middle to lower sections of the Nerang river and it’s canals.

Fernando with a flathead caught on ZX40

Drifting with Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax Scent goldprawn, especially colours 440 and 447, and trolling with Pontoon 21 crackjacks and greedy guts in Bloody Tiger prawn and Spanish Red colours, have been the most effective methods.

This usually ensures a fresh feed in the esky and plenty more released to keep growing and breeding.

Fernando and Karen came fishing on the weekend, after a slow start we found some flathead for them, and Fernando caught his first ever Jewfish, on a Zx40. A baby jew but a jew nevertheless.

Fernando with his first Jew, a little juvenile

Charlie from Canberra booked a midweek charter, on a stunning day and we caught a variety of fish on lures in the broadwater, everywhere from Cronin island to Sovereign island.

Charlie with one of a number of flounder

This coming week is lead up to full moon which should see more tailor and winter whiting activity. Focus efforts around the seaway and broadwater during the day, as the bigger tides are at night. 

There are heaps of arrow squid around, easily caught on Ecogear ZX40s and squid jigs, jewfish love a squid too so try them as livebait.

Also a reminder we now have the River to Reef Gold Coast, co written by Brad, available on our facebook page. 

Check out the shop tab near the top of the page to buy your book which is packed full of tips, info and gps marks 😉

We will soon also have available lure packs and lots more.


Smithy & Clinto

Smithy’s podcast with Doc Lures- Targeting Jewfish on lures

4 July 2019 fishing report



It has been good to receive some much needed rain to get the rivers, creeks and drains running which are a vital need for the health of our waterways. 

Smithy going to work, someone has to do it

Good quality bream are making their presence felt and are taking Pontoon 21 crackjack minnows around the shallow sea grassed areas, and blades in the deeper holes around the tide changes. 

Flathead are still the main target species and will continue to improve in both size and numbers over the few months. 

Flathead like this one are common at Tweed river right now

The rain last week will also help to encourage the jewies to come on the bite so I will be very focused on locating some of these great fighting fish around the tide changes in the deep holes.  

Little Jewie caught on an Atomic vibe

GOLD COAST by Clinto

I ventured out to the broadwater once this week with regular guests Scott, Tim, and Terry. 

Tides were a bit slow and the water was clear and calm at high tide, so we had to work hard to find fish. The night tides leading up to new moon have been a lot bigger, and this is when the fish could be feeding more actively.

Some squid, winter whiting and flathead came on the bite on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated with Sax scent goldprawn.

Terry and Tim with some squid and winter whiting from the Gold Coast broadwater

The rest of the week was dominated by Southerly winds which made fishing up Nerang river and the canals a more comfortable option.

Steve booked a charter for son Ted on his 8th birthday. Young Ted and Jack did well, and we found some solid sand whiting and flathead in the Benowa area.

Birthday boy Ted with a nice Nerang river whiting

On Wednesday Anthony and his son Jack who were visiting from Hong Kong, came for a fish. Nine  year old Jack is a very keen angler, and after a slow start we found some decent fish.

Jack did very well to land a thumper bream on a Pontoon 21 crackjack 48mm SP DR lure, plus a bunch of flathead and a solid sand whiting. Fresh fish for dinner!

Jack with his big bream

Other days on the water featured similar results with some big, fat sand whiting, bream, and school size flathead caught on Ecogear ZX40 blades and Savage Gear XDR 3D shrimp hardbodies.

Jack with a flathead caught on a Savage Gear lure

Best areas to fish were the Broadbeach waters canals, Benowa, and Carrara. Shallower water to 3m in depth held the most fish.

Once the wind drops this week it will be a good idea to search the broadwater for a variety of species including flathead, snapper, flounder, winter whiting, bream, tarwine, and squid. 

Especially with smaller tides, and after the big swell that has been pushing through the seaway and stirring the broadwater.

With tides dropping off, some areas that are worth a look will be along the North wall of the seaway where it stretches around into the broadwater, east of Carters bank in line with the channel markers, and either side of the channel on the Western side of Crab island.

Craig with a 58cm dusky flathead

Pump some yabbies at the sandbanks along Labrador and Biggera Waters, and use blades, vibes and plastics to get amongst all the above mentioned fish.

Cheers and tight lines,

Smithy & Clinto

28 June 2019 fishing report



Well everyone it is great to be receiving some much needed rain. 

The rain will get the creeks and drains running, washing food and nutrients into the rivers which will all go towards the success of a better winter fishing season. 

It is still the flathead show at present with good numbers of fish still holding in the shallower middle reaches of the river. 

PJ with one of many flathead caught on the day on a Tweed river charter with Brad

Some nice quality bream are starting to show in the deeper holes and will continue to increase in both size and numbers throughout July. 

This winter Bream fell for a trolled Pontoon 21 greedy guts lure
Another good bream caught on Ecogear ZX40 blade

GOLD COAST by Clinto

My first day back from a holiday in Greece and Dubai was a memorable one.

Jan was on a birthday charter with husband Bob and son Wayne, and scored some school size flathead in Nerang river on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent goldprawn.

Conditions we calm early on so we ventured to the broadwater first and fished around the Seaworld area, catching some winter whiting, flounder, flathead, cuttlefish.

After an hour the Southerly wind picked up which forced us upstream for shelter. The angles were good for drifting with the run in tide, and the flathead came on the bite in a narrow canal.

Not a 3 metre flattie but Jan landed a monster 87cm croc after a 10 minute fight, showing great patience to net the big girl on 2.7kg braid and 8lb fluorocarbon leader. Shimano 1-4kg Raider rod and Stradic 1000 reel handled the battle beautifully.

The fish first came up when hooked and had a look at the boat, giving us a glimpse of its massive head and girth, then produced a couple of big runs in the shallow water. 

She was finally netted and released in good health after some quick happy snaps.

See the video and pics below.

Jan’s monster flathead
Releasing the big girl to continue breeding

Once again my number one lure the Ecogear ZX40 colour 440 proved the stand out.

Big lizard

A happy day and they took home a feed of flathead and flounder.

On Tuesday Ken and his family from Singapore booked a charter. Once again rain and wind were a menace but we found good shelter in the back canals off the main river.

A fresh feed

Some nice sand whiting were feeding aggressively as well as school flathead and bream.

Coming home from a Nerang river charter

The weather looks to be improving later in the week just in time for school holidays, some good falls of rain were timely for a fantastic winter fishing season.

I’ll be looking to fish the broadwater when the wind drops, with the squid season running hot, and a huge variety of fish out there. 

When the tides get bigger we’ll be stalking the middle reaches, then the next neap phase is a good opportunity to hunt Jewfish.

The big flathead will be upstream feeding themselves up for breeding season.

Find any clear water and shallow weedbeds, and the squid will likely be there ready to grab squid jigs. In the deeper water they are suckers for Ecogear ZX40 lures. Wavebreak and Crab islands are great places to start.

Remember over winter to have a rod set up with a squid jig, and a tailor rod rigged with a metal slug or soft plastic.

Some other useful lures for general fishing in the broadwater are Berkley Gulps, and blades for drifting. 

For shallow trolling in 1-2m depth try Pontoon 21 crackjack 48mm SP DR, and small Atomic hardbodies. 

For 2-4m depth use

Lively Lures Micro mullets, Atomic double deeps, and Savage gear 3D shrimp xdr 5cm.

Over winter when the water is fairly clear use natural and translucent colours. If the water is rain affected and/or cloudy days and early mornings try UV colours or dark/ shiny colours.

In winter when the waters colder flathead take longer to wake up, later starts are best.

Drop in to Sporty’s warehouse at Bundall and the boys will hook you up with expert advice, and some great lures that catch a lot of fish.


Smithy & Clinto

20 June 2019 fishing report

This week’s Gold Coast and Tweed estuary fishing report

TWEED by Smithy

Well everyone how good has the weather pattern been for the last week with not enough wind to blow out a candle, and sunny warm and  clear winter days. 

The fishing has been very good with the flatties still dominating the scoreboard and are holding through the middle to upper reaches of the river. 

Dave with one of the many flathead caught on the day

I have done some exploratory runs down to the mouth and lower reaches of the river in search of the big bream and tailor that would normally be around by now without much success but they will come. 

Joe with his first Gt and although it is only a small one they still go hard on light gear.

When these fish start their spawning run late it is not a bad thing as it usually means an extended season and can see them come on thick through to the end of August.      

GOLD COAST by Clinto

I’ve just returned from a month long holiday in Greece and Dubai, it’s great to be back and as they say there is no place like home.

Before resuming charters at Gold Coast broadwater and Nerang river this weekend I’ll be heading out for a fun fish to give the boat a run and check where the fish are feeding. I cannot wait to get amongst them and get my guests rods bending.

This time last year produced good size flathead and some school jew. While the jew are not as big as in the seaway, they are a prized catch on light tackle.

This time of year can see some stunning weather, and on a week day it’s a great place to be on a boat fishing.

I’d also expect the squid to come on thicker, as well as big flounder, winter whiting, and tailor.

Be sure to carry a rod set up for tailor over the winter months, in the mornings they can turn up anywhere from the spit to sovereign island. When feeding voraciously they are not fussy and will hit just about anything that moves.

Keep a slug or soft plastic handy to cast and fast retrieve. Another easy way to target them is slow trolling 5cm hardbodies that dive to 2 metres. The tailor will rise to hit them.

School holidays are nearly upon us so get in touch to secure your charter over the busy period.

I will be getting in a limited supply of imported Ecogear packs, which should arrive by courier by the end of the week, ready to be express posted to you early next week.

The Ecogear lure colours are hand picked for the winter season to target flathead, jewfish, squid, bream and many others.

We try all colours and keep note of what works best in our local waters

There will be two pack options available, keep an eye on our facebook page for details.

Everything eats them. The UV colours slay the fish and colour 417 is deadly for Jew in deeper holes in rivers, especially on cloudy days and early mornings 😉


Smithy & Clinto

14 June 2019 fishing report

This week’s fishing report:

The weather at present is outstanding with cool starts but finishing with fantastic warm windless days. 

It sounds like a cracked record but the flatties are still dominating the catch rate in both the Nerang and Tweed river systems which is not a bad problem to have as an angler. 

Not be out done by his Dad young Izaac with one of the 11 fish he caught on the day.
Mat with one of the many flathead caught by trolling pontoon 21 crackjack lures in the Nerang river.

There has been a few whiting taking our lures but the size of the fish have not been big as have the bream which have been slow to start this season in both size and numbers. 

If we get some big seas running along our east coast shoreline the swell event will help to get our bream and tailor to enter our rivers, and ignite our winter season into full flight over the next two months.    

Smithy and Clinto’s tip of the week:

This week’s tip is for the anglers who don’t own a boat. 

When walking along the sandy edges of one of the Tweed and Gold Coast rivers with a lure you will often see where flathead have been lying in ambush on the high tides. 

Flathead are more than happy to move right up into the shallows to wait in ambush and as the tide falls they retreat back into deeper water and leave behind their imprint in the sand or mud. 

If you look at this photo carefully you will see around 11 marks left by 3 different sized flathead. I would definitely cast a lure around this area. 

When you spot flathead lays put in multiple casts in the area and more times than not you will catch the fish that left its trademark imprint.  

This is the imprint of a flathead around 55 cm long that was lying on a slightly muddy sand bank on high tide.

7 June 2019 fishing report

The middle reaches of both the Tweed and Nerang rivers are producing amazing numbers of flathead of all sizes at present with most days producing over 20 fish per trip.

Ethan with a cracker flathead caught while trolling at Tweed river
Go the girls, little Rosie with her first ever flathead

There have been some good numbers of bream attacking our lures as well in the same area but at this stage they have been small but the big bream are not far from entering our rivermouths.

Small giant trevally are still hanging around the deeper holes in the middle reaches and are hitting the lures around the first of the run in tides.

GT’s are still grabbing Ecogear ZX40 lures fished in deeper holes

Smithy and Clinto’s tip of the week:

Time and time again we see people trying to monster good sized fish to the boat such asbig flatties and jewies and put to much pressure on them.

This either pulls hooks or straightens them or simply busts the joiner knots between the braid and leaders.

The best success comes when good fish are hooked is to have a well set drag on your reel and a slow and steady approach while maintaining a constant even pressure.

There is nothing like catching a big fish on light line and small lures and the drawn out drama that goes with the experience.   


Smithy & Clinto

31 May 2019 fishing report

Well everyone there is no doubt that the days are getting shorter and the mornings are definitely getting cooler as we inch our way into winter.

The good news is that the weather is perfect through the day with warm and windless conditions and most importantly the flathead are becoming prolific.

Five year old Alfie with his first ever flathead

The flatties are in good concentrations in the warm shallow areas through the middle reaches of the Tweed and Gold Coast waterways and are taking both cast and trolled lures.

Piers and son Alfie caught over 20 flathead on their charter with Brad

There has been reports of both tailor and bream making their annual migration up our coastline which is very exciting as they will move into our rivers in mass proportions from now until August.  

24 May 2019 fishing report


Both areas are fishing very similar at present with the overcast days and reasonably light winds suiting fishing the deep holes for Jewies. 

A nice Jewie caught in a deep hole on an Ecogear ZX40 lure then released in perfect condition

Jewies are a real fan of inclement weather and bite well once you have found the deep holes that have an abundance of bait in them, and you focus your fishing around the tide changes. 

Trolling and casting lures over the shallow flats on the run in tides is where the best numbers of flathead can be found. 

Through the winter months the flatties will often move up out of deep water to feed in the shallower sun heated flats areas. 

Bourney with a real good Bream

There are a few big bream starting to appear but the size and numbers of this fish will increase during the months to come.      



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

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