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

7 March 2019 fishing report

Tweed river

G’day crew, what a summer it has been with the lowest amount of rainfall recorded and 46 days of over 30 degrees. March and April are two of my favourite months of the year for both good conditions and great fishing.

Our summer species the likes of whiting, mangrove jacks and trevally will still be on the bite with our more recognized winter species flathead, bream and mullaway starting to make their presence felt. 

Nothing like a nice Mangrove Jack on lure
Jack Pittman with his first Mulloway

The trevally are still marauding the unfortunate bait schools around the tide changes particularly on the last of the run out and first of the run in tides. 

The flatties are still holding in the deeper holes where the water is cooler on the bottom and the bream and whiting are still taking surface poppers over the shallow flats. 

Mangrove Jacks are favouring the very early morning and late afternoon tide changes through the middle reaches.  

Gold Coast broadwater

Clint has returned from a break and some boat maintenance.

Mixed results this week with anywhere from 10 fish a session to over 50. Monday was productive with Ken and his family visiting from Brisbane. 

We stuck to lures only for the charter and caught over 50 fish in the Southern broadwater, including some Sand whiting around the 30cm mark, winter whiting, flounder, and flathead.

Wednesday was a lovely day weatherwise. In the morning Barry came for a fish, catching a Maori cod in the seaway and we caught flathead, snapper, whiting.

In the afternoon Geoff and his grandson Liam from Newcastle were my guests. I picked them up from the beach near where they were staying at Seaworld resort.

We pumped some yabbies which kids love doing as much as fishing, and started to fish near Seaworld boat ramp to find cover from the NE wind.

Liam did really well catching and releasing 25 fish and 8 species on yabbies and blades, with baracuda, tailor, flounder, squire, bream, tarwine, trumpeter, and winter whiting all hooked.

This weekend it’s worth trying over the reef patch east of Wavebreak island for snapper, bream, and flathead, close to the tide changes. Look for fish on the sounder then stop and drop bait or lures amongst them. Soft plastics and soft vibes will work.

Also sand whiting are feeding along Labrador and Biggera waters, you’ll get bigger numbers fishing at sunset with yabbies and live bloodworms.


Smithy & Clinto

Ecogear ZX40 lures- The complete guide to catching heaps of estuary fish

Ecogear ZX40 blades are what I use a lot on my estuary charters. 

You can certainly catch fish on various other lures, but these things are just so damn deadly, everything hits them!

Before we start I would recommend taking some soft plastics and gulps on your boat too, as well as some hardbodies for trolling. You can read more about those and other lure techniques in my estuary fishing secrets ebook, but today we are focusing on the Ecogears.

To start with, this article is mainly geared towards boat anglers at the Gold Coast broadwater and rivers, as well as Tweed river, where Brad prefers to run his charters, which he has been operating for over 25 years now.

For the shore based fishos, you can still do very well with these lures. The main keys to success are fishing sandy areas along the edge of waterways and sandbanks, keep moving and covering the ground, and cast into the tide, retrieving the lure along the bottom with a flick, drop, wind, repeat action.

In the Gold Coast broadwater I fish anywhere between Ashmore up the Nerang river, and the Coomera river mouth.

These lures have caught over 25 different species on my boat, with the record being 21 species and over 100 fish in a day. They catch a lot of squid too.

So let’s start as if you’re heading out for the day, and putting the boat in at the ramp. We’ll presume it’s quite a nice day weatherwise, with a run out tide starting at 7am at the Seaway, and a 10-15 SE wind, partly cloudy.

One of the MOST IMPORTANT things is having the correct drift. We don’t use electric motors because we don’t feel we need to for our style of fishing, simple. Therefore we need to get in the rhythm of the river while working with the conditions we have on the day.

Ideally we want a drift speed of between 0.5 and 1 knot. Any slower and we are not making the lures bounce along the bottom quickly enough to force to fish to chase and grab or they miss out on a potential feed, fomo! Any quicker than 1 knot and it’s hard to hold bottom where the fish feed, ie. it is mostly out of their sight.

Another reason a moderate speed drift works well is that we are covering ground and finding fish. I never fail to find bites by locating some sort of activity on the sounder (bait/fish schools near the bottom) then dropping lures right amongst them. 

If you don’t get bites straight away keep drifting for another 200m or so, still no bites, move on another 200m and start again. If you start catching keep drifting until the bites stop, you can sometimes drift for 3 km straight and catch all along the way!!

Remember you don’t always have to rely on seeing big showings on the finder, flathead and whiting hold very close to the bottom and don’t show up much.

To achieve our ideal drift speed we usually need wind and tide both flowing in the same direction. You really have to think on the day: 

Where do I need to be right now to have the best drift based on wind and tide angles?

So we’ve put the boat in at Seaworld boat ramp, and heading out the broadwater. In this case the tide is starting to run out and the SE wind is blowing a gentle 10 knots. South of the seaway is going to be the place to be to drift with our Ecogear ZX40 blades. 

Starting below Sundale bridge we will slowly work our way along the edges of channels and sandbanks. Don’t rush, go slow and pay attention to your surroundings: Baitfish on the sounder, birds diving, current lines, dirtier water surrounded by clearer we love, it holds bait and in turn fish. Fish can be anywhere, keep an open mind.

We’ve spotted some activity on the souunder and a current line with discoloured water. It’s time to drop lures, using 2-4 kg 7 foot rods, 1000 or 2500 size reels spooled with 10 lb mono backing then 100m of 6 lb braid, with a metre of 10 lb fluorocarbon leader joined to the braid with an improved albright knot with 8 turns each way, never lets me down.

Daiwa J Braid Grand x8 or Shimano Kairiki SX8 do the job just fine. I personally love using a Shimano Raider rod with a Sienna reel, works for me and great value for money.

We’ve got our various colour ZX40’s tied on a number of rods. I have tried all the colours and narrowed down the ones that work best for me to six particular ones, which I sell in my Ecogear pro packs, along with Sax scent. 

If anyone tells you scent doesn’t work on lures they have no idea. Fish rely on smell to find food, and any small berley trail can only help. The biggest advantage I find with scent is when the fish miss the hooks they tend to come back and whack it again, sometimes repeatedly until they hook up.

Smear a small drop of scent all over the lures every 30 minutes or so. Don’t put too much though, or the hooks will stick to the lure.

The UV enabled colours in the range just happen to be most of my favourites too, no coincidence.

So back to our hypothetical day on the water. Early morning with cloud cover we’ll start with darker and flashy shades of blades and go to more natural and pale colours as the sun gets up and the clouds clear. 

Sometimes what should work doesn’t so keep trying different things, it changes during the day too. The idea is you want the lures to just catch the fish’s eye, but not stand out too much which makes them suspicious.

Everything eats prawns and shrimps, and these things mimic them in looks and action well. If you can add Sax scent in goldprawn flavour to make them smell like prawns too, why not!

So we’re having some luck on the blades catching small whiting, flounder, flathead. Just because they’re small don’t immediately dismiss the spot and race off somewhere else. 

All fish often feed in the same areas for a reason, there is food there. Often if you’re catching smaller models, biggers ones are nearby. Repeat the drift you just did but a few metres left or right of where you previously started. Bigger fish dominate the ideal feeding territory.

Fish will move too, you may be doing well for a while then nothing. Keep moving and find them again.

If the wind gets up and the drift gets too fast, move to an area where’s there more shelter eg. River bank or building. 

Same with the tides, if it’s a really big tide that starts to run too hard to drift, move out of the main flow to the edges of the broadwater, or up meandering rivers move to the inside of bends where it doesn’t flow as fast. 

The opposite is true when you start to run out of tidal run closer to changes, try the middle to outside of bends and channels to make the most of what’s left of the tide, then try the deeper holes during the tide changes.

Back to our day on the water, the tide has now changed and started to run back in. It’s still blowing SE so we now want to move location and start fishing the Northern side of the seaway to get our ideal drift angles. 

On a run in tide the water gets really clear, too clear at the times, so keep moving ahead and stay with the dirtier water.

You’ll find over the flats the fish activity coincides with tidal run. More run, more fun. So be patient until the tide kicks in again. By now as the day wears on there is a lot of boat and jetski traffic on the water. 

This doesn’t necessarily put the fish off, they are used to it, but the noise is not enjoyable for us fishermen, so find 6 knot zones to fish in.

We’ve had a good day, and kept just enough legal size fish for a feed tonight, and carefully released the rest to fight another day. When you get home and cleaned the boat and fish, be sure to retie leaders, replace hooks, and do any gear maintenance at the same time, ready for the next trip.


These lures are versatile, I fish with them in depths ranging from 1 to 12 metres deep.

The UV colours work great, 440 is my absolute go to colour unless the water is muddy.

You can buy replacement Ecogear hook sets, use split ring tweezers to change over the set.

Check your leader through the day, it often gets frayed so cut a bit off the end and retie.

Stick to mainly sandy areas, however the assist hooks snag less often than other hooks.

The best action is a very short, sharp lift of the rod, with barely any pause. 

Keep the same rhythm and leave the lure in the strike zone on the bottom, don’t wind in. It’s consistentcy that nails them.

Hold the rod at a 45 degree angle and straight towards the drift. Then drop the lure straight to the bottom watching the line carefully for the slighest pause and slack line showing you the lure has reached the bottom. 

Keep an eye on the sounder, if the water gets deeper let more line out to hold bottom.

If you get a bite but don’t hook up, keep flicking and they’ll often hit it again.

If you get snagged don’t lock up and snap it off, give it gentle flicks and if that doesn’t work drive up past where it’s snagged, give it flicks and it’ll often come free.

Top up the scent every 15-30 minutes. 

Cheers and tight lines!

21 February 2019 fishing report

This week’s fishing report

TWEED RIVER by Brad Smith

The weather at present has been good with light winds and a slight drop in the temperature. It will be interesting to see what happens towards the end of the week with the big low pressure system inching its way towards the east coast.

The flatties are starting to respond to well trolled lures along the drop offs and the deeper holes are producing a few on plastics and Ecogear ZX40s.

Trevally are still making random raids on the baitfish around the tide changes while bream and whiting are crunching surface lures over the shallow flats.


Clint has found some solid flathead around the 60cm mark for his clients around Paradise Point and Sovereign island, on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent goldprawn flavour, and soft vibes and Squidgy bug plastics in bloodworm colour.

There are still some squid, whiting, squire, flounder, tailor, trevally around too.

It will be very interesting as Brad said to see how Cyclone Oma progresses. Obviously we don’t want her coming too close to cause damage to infrastructure but it would be nice to get some rain out of the system.

Either way the wind and swell will be big, offshore fishing will not be an option. You’ll need to find sheltered, leeward areas in the estuaries to wet a line.

Perhaps stay home safe, watch some Netflix or do some fishing gear maintenance, and be ready to encounter some good fishing next week after the storm clears!

Smithy & Clinto

7 February 2019 fishing report and tips



Hello again everyone, a big mix of weather this week with dry and sunny conditions turning to some wind and rain. Luckily we always have plenty of sheltered options on our calm water charters.


Well isn’t it great to see a couple of drops of rain and a few more showers forecast for the rest of the week.

The early morning showers have cooled the water temperature down a fraction which has helped entice the flatties to feed a bit more freely in the deeper holes and on surface lures across the shallow flats, where bream and whiting are also patrolling.

The bigger tides this week has induced the baitfish to spawn which are being smashed by the local trevally especially around the tide changes.

The early morning tide changes this week also suit the Mangrove Jacks that are present in the heavily structured areas of the middle reaches.



As Smithy mentioned we are getting some welcome showers of rain this week, let’s hope it continues as we spare a thought for up North where some people have sadly lost everything in the floods. Let’s hope the rain eases there as soon as possible.

The Gold Coast broadwater continues to produce a variety on my favourite lures the Ecogear ZX40 blades which work so well in tandem with a smearing of Sax scent goldprawn or crab on them. Other go to lures are Zerek fishtraps, and Gulp shrimps rigged on 1/6oz jigheads.

With the neap tides we decided to fish the seaway a couple of times with live baits. We spent the morning gathering live whiting, pike, tailor, and squid all caught on Ecogear lures, while at the same time having a lot of light tackle fun with flathead, flounder, squire, tarwine, and trevally landed as well.

On one trip we got smoked by big kingfish three times on 50 lb braid/ 80 lb leader. Just when you think you have them under control they find extra gears! On another we caught some nice flathead on livies in the seaway.


Fishing near boat ramps and yabby banks.

Every weekend you’ll see anglers launching their boats then motoring at full speed 5kms away to start fishing.

We have often found great fishing to be had right near the ramps. In fact we have had full 6 hour sessions when we haven’t travelled further than 200m either side of a boat ramp and caught fish almost non stop the whole time, big flathead amongst them.

Try going slow when you first launch, look at the fish finder for bait schools and depth changes, and start fishing straight away. Boat ramps are a hive of activity which can and does stir the water up and attract the whole food chain.

The same goes for yabby banks, you’ll see people pumping yabbies then flying off miles away to start fishing, when the best fishing can be right there near the food source. Just the act of pumping yabbies begins a berley trail of dirty water which calls whiting and flathead in.

I’m going away to Northern NSW for a few days break next week after the hectic and busy past few months, so will be giving the weekly report and tips a break next week. I’ll be surface fishing for whiting while down there, hopefully get a feed. I will still try post some of Brad’s captures from Tweed River.

Cheers and chat soon,

31 January 2019 fishing report and tips




The waterways have been incredibly busy over the end of the school holidays and Australia day long weekend.

Brad has been staying upstream chasing whiting and trevally on surface lures with MMD splashprawns and Bassday Sugapens still his favourites.

He is also getting the odd mangrove jack near Chinderah. February and March are his favourite months for jacks as the bigger models begin to migrate downstream ahead of their permanent exodus at the end of summer to the open ocean. He has some dates available to target whiting and jacks in one day, book your trip soon by messaging us or sms.

When we eventually get desperately needed rain the jacks will school up in the mid to downstream areas, further improving the daily strike rate of well placed lures.


Clint has taken a few days off over the long weekend, before that he was still putting guests onto a large variety of fish in the broadwater, including tailor, barracuda, queenfish, moses perch, squid, flathead, whiting, squire, flounder, and tuskfish, with Ecogear ZX blades coated in Sax scent, and Zerek fishtraps being the lures of choice.

We are looking forward to quieter waterways now the holidays are over, the excess noise does deter the bigger fish.

This week with the smaller tides is a good opportunity to try the deeper water near the seaway, and Sundale up to Bundall bridge for mangrove jacks at night.

Let’s hope we get a big amount of rain of 100mm plus before summer is over, this will ensure some great estuary fishing over the cooler months.


Some lures we use that catch a lot of fish.

Thought we’d give some specifics on ones we use daily on our estuary charters at the Gold Coast and Tweed that have consistent strike rates. Especially for those anglers that go out there thinking there’s no fish left and come home with a donut.

First Ecogear ZX blades. These things are ridiculous fish catchers. Clint has just about everything that swims in rivers on them. Rig them on 4 or 6lb braid with a metre of 10lb fluorocarbon leader, drop to the bottom while drifting, and do continuous short, sharp flicks. The shorter the better. Rub some Sax scent on the 440 colour blade and they are weapons.

Secondly Zerek fishtrap in the 65mm size and Fat Betty colour. This soft vibe is as its name suggests, a fishtrap haha. It nails them.

Rig it on 6lb braid with a 12lb fluorocarbon leader and drop to the bottom in sandy areas, retrieve with slow 50cm lift and drops while drifting or casting and sooner enough you’ll be on.

Thirdly, slow troll Savage gear xdr shrimps in brown gold colour in depths from 1-3 metres, or pink Micro mullets in depths of 2-4m and you will catch fish. 6lb braid with 6lb fluoro leader does the job.

Lastly for jacks, big cod, and GT’s troll Atomic Shiner 85mm double deeps in Ghost Gill Brown colour in rocky areas 4-6 metres deep on 30lb braid and 50lb leader.

For a full on water demonstration on all of the above in one day, book a private charter with us and we’ll show you exactly how.

Cheers and good fishing
Smithy & Clinto

24 January 2019 fishing report and tips



Brad has been finding some hard fighting trevally for his guests. They have been turning up around the shallow weed beds around Chinderah at high tide. There are some decent ones and a real thrill on surface lures and light tackle.

Lures such as MMD splashprawns coated with Sax scent goldprawn imitates local bait very well.

Flathead are not around in numbers with the high water temperature and dry weather. Hopefully rain arrives at some stage, althought the ongoing glorious weather makes for pleasant days on the water.

Once again the best options at the moment are targeting whiting on surface lures on top of sand banks at high tide, trolling for jacks along deeper rock walls, livebaiting for them at night around structure, and teabagging the deeper holes with vibes for flathead and bream.


Clint has been getting some great results for his charter guests at the Gold Coast broadwater, catching and releasing over 100 fish some days, and up to 15 different species a day, and 22 different species this week.

The Nerang river estuary system is a light tackle, lure fishing mecca, with an abundance of various habitat. There were islands, weedbeds, huge yabby banks, shallow reef, deeper reef, rock walls, sandy channel edges, and man made structure including pontoons, and bridges.

Some nice flathead have been appearing in the dirty water in canals where dredgers have been operating. In the broadwater the big tides have stirred up some discoloured water. Find a patch of this water and bait on the sounder, drop some Ecogear ZX40 blades and Zerek fishtraps coated in Sax scent, and it won’t be long before you get a bite.

Brad has also done a few charters at the Gold Coast lately, see our facebook page for the latest photos and reports.

Species caught on our charters this week have included dusky flathead, bartail flathead, sand whiting, winter whiting, tarwine, bream, flounder, snapper, spangled emperor, grassy emperor, tuskfish, barracuda, pike, queenfish, squid, cobia, mangrove jack, tealeaf trevally, whiptail, trumpeter, leatherjacket, lizardfish.

Most productive areas this week were the mouth to Bums Bay, Lands End area, Runaway Bay, the hole across from Seaworld, and the hole next to Seaworld.


Fishing big tides. We are currently experiencing king tides up there with the biggest of the year. They can be tricky to fish with a lot of water spread around at high tide, but let’s explore a few options.

The main channels and river mouth run hard and clear when the tide flow is at it’s peak, they are best fished an hour either side of the tide changes.

When the flow is fast try moving to the edge of the channels away from the main stream. It is here fish will be gathering to comfortably get a feed.

Another option is heading far up rivers to areas that don’t normally get much rain, this is where some baitfish and jelly prawns will be found, and in turn predators following them. The run out fishes better with less water around, compacting fish schools more.

Lastly try pumping yabbies just after low tide, and flick them and live worms unweighted as the run in tide water quickly covers the yabby banks. Whiting, flathead, and bream will be right in the shallows waiting to access the banks to forage.

Surface lures such as MMD splashprawns, and Bassday Sugapens will work well too in the clear, shallow water. The big sandbanks between Southport and Grand Hotel are all great spots that attract plenty of fish.

This coming Australia day long weekend will be one of the busiest of the year, so get out there as early as you can, or fish in the evening. This is when the bigger whiting will be active and in bigger numbers.

Cheers everyone and we’ll chat next week,
Smithy & Clinto

18 January 2019 fishing report and tips

This week’s Gold Coast and Tweed estuary Big Hit fishing report 


Brad has been putting his guests onto some solid whiting, bream, trevally, queenfish, and flathead using surface lures, with the MMD splash prawns continuing to produce great results. These little lures have an amazing action and realistic look, and have been catching their fair share of mangrove jacks.

The Bassday Sugapens are the other gun surface lure essential for a successful session in shallow water.

The Tweed continues to produce the odd big flathead too in the deeper holes where it’s a bit cooleri this hot weather.

February is Brad’s favourite month for big mangrove jacks, get in touch to book your charter to lock horns with these estuary thugs, there is nothing like them for an adrenalin rush.

Gold Coast:

Early starts have been a must with the holiday water traffic, there are some good fish around though and lots of variety.

Clint has been getting between 20 and 70 fish a day on Ecogear ZX 40 lures covered in Sax Scent in Goldprawn and Crab flavours. Zerek fishtraps are also a lethal weapon in the broadwater.

Species caught this week included snapper, bream, tarwhine, trumpeter, dusky flathead, bartail flathead, sand whiting, winter whiting, goldline whiting, spangled emperor, grassy emperor, estuary cod, tealeaf trevally, barracuda, pike, whiptail, tuskfish, and still lots of squid.

Best fishing areas in the broadwater have been Lands end, Carters bank, the seaway area South East of Wavebreak island north wall, and the northern end of Crab island. In the Nerang river there are some big fish in the council chambers to Cascade gardens area. Stick to any discoloured or dirtier water like glue, it will hold fish.

We are building up to some massive king tides the next few days, which can make fishing difficult due to strong tidal flow and clear water near river mouths. Try up the canals and lakes, and on top of sandbanks not normally covered by water. For mangrove jacks try the bridges further upstream at night around the tide changes.


How to use Ecogear ZX40 lures, by Clint.

I have been using these versatile and extremely effective lures for a while now.

Brad not as much yet but I’m going to give him some of my favourite colours to start using at Tweed. He does already get great results there on Strike Pro cyber vibes, Zerek fishtraps and Atomic semi hardz.

To start off with you’ll need a 2-4kg rod and 1000 or 2500 size reel, or similar. The Shimano range does the job just fine, I really enjoy using a Shimano raider rod paired with a Shimano sienna 1000 reel, spooled with 6 lb braid, and 10 lb FC Rock fluorocarbon leader.

We can show you the exact method that slays big numbers of fish and squid on a charter with us, but basically you want to fish when the tide is running, find a sandy area between 2 and 8 metres deep, and look for evidence of bait fish on the fish finder.

Try to do long drifts of up to 2kms in a straight line, this is key to success as fish will follow for a while before deciding to strike. In the deeper holes try closer to the tide changes for slower drifts to ensure you reach the bottom.

Teabagging these lures involves dropping them straight to the bottom and keeping them there, keeping the line at a 45 degree angle, and doing short, sharp, continuous lift and drops. Keep it in their face and the bites will come!

Try it, it’s a shit load of fun, catching everything from little whiting up to big flathead and mulloway.

Get in touch to book your private charter soon, there will be some big fish around in February!

Cheers and chat next week 🙂

Smithy & Clinto

10 January 2019 fishing report and tips

This week’s Gold Coast and Tweed estuary fishing report:


The shallow parts of the Tweed River is still producing some flathead, bream and whiting on surface lures with bassday sugapens and mmd splash prawns being the choice of lures.

There are a few flathead in the deeper holes with soft plastics and vibes slowly worked across the bottom being the best technique.

Keep an eye out for any birds and surface activity around the tide changes as there has been a mixture of giant, big eye and tealeaf trevally on the prowl.

Gold Coast

Clint has been sticking to the broadwater for a wide range of species on Ecogear ZX40 blades coated in Sax scent, and pumping yabbies with kids on charters. The deeper water is best with the clear and calm weather.

This coming week should see quality improve with less traffic and noise on the water. 

The best options are chasing jacks late afternoon/ evening or early morning, and bigger numbers and sizes of sand whiting in the Nerang river at night.

© Copyright Brad Smith Fishing Charters Site Built by Tacklingfish.com