15 August 2019 fishing report



*Brad’s boat has had a late cancellation for this Sunday, message us asap to grab the opportunity with fish the peaceful Tweed river with him chasing mulloway, flathead and more on lures.

Well what a cold and windy period we have been through earlier in the week with the area getting some of the arctic blast in our Southern states. 

The fishing and the conditions were very tough with wind as well as water temperature and barometer drops. The great news is that as from today and right through until next week the weather is looking fantastic with the water temperature and the barometer already starting to rise. 

Young Kane was stoked catching his first ever flathead which took a trolled Pontoon 21 crackjack in shallow water

The wind made conditions very hard to do much deep water jigging earlier in the week so trolling a combination of deep and shallow running lures around the mid to upper reaches of the river was the way to go. Some flatties, bream and the odd whiting was caught on the troll with the majority of the fish favouring the shallow warmer stretches of the river. 

John caught this flattie trolling in shallow water with an Ecogear SX 48 minnow

Now that the weather has come good I will be able to mix it up with some deep water jigging for some jewies around the tide changes as there are good schools of baitfish showing on the sounder in the deep holes. Deep water jigging under these bait schools should also produce some flatties as well and hopefully some nice bream and the odd tailor. 

I also intend to start doing some surface fishing for some bream and maybe a couple of early season whiting of the shallows. 

I have noticed that the commercial crabbers have been doing well all week which was a surprise given the water temperature drop so it might be worth taking a pot with you and see if you can nail a nice mud while you are fishing. 


A cold snap earlier in the week made it a challenge to find actively feeding fish early in the mornings.

Typical winter days warm up nicely here with light winds as the Westerlies drop. The fish have been coming on the bite as the week goes on, especially as the barometer rises again.

I’m finding a lot more bait fish are now present in the broadwater everywhere from the spit to Ephraim island, resulting in catches of big flounder, dusky flathead, bartail flathead, sand whiting, winter whiting, squire, tarwine, bream, grassy sweetlip, and a few squid.

Shannon with a legal sized broadwater flathead

Simply look for bait on the fish finder and drift with it, changing lure colours until you crack the code on the day.

The mid size tides have made it possible to fish the deeper areas, which helps when the water is clear. On the run out tide there has been some slightly discoloured water running along the inside of South Stradbroke island.

Shannon came fishing on Wednesday along with Ryan, Cam, and Kadin, and what a lovely day weather wise, with about 30 fish caught and loads of laughs.

Kadin with a pan size flathead caught near South Stradbroke island on an Ecogear ZX40

This helps predators such as flathead ambush their prey at close range, and it’s in these areas you’ll find nest of fish feeding, ideally with a water temperature of around 18 degrees.

If you’re keen on chasing Tarpon they’re still around, you’ll find then near the seaway and along the main channel running North.

I’ve left the Nerang river alone this week to give it a break as it has been slow, and taken advantage of the good weather to fish the broadwater. Week days have been very pleasant out there. 

Best lures this week: Ecogear ZX40 in colours 415 and 440 with Sax scent goldprawn smeared on them, Gulp Crabby in camo colours. Yabbies are catching plenty too.

We have some stock just arrived including some newly released Ecogear SX48 colours, available in our ultimate pro pack:


Browse our facebook shop for go to lure packs and the River to Reef Gold Coast book:


Till next week!


Smithy & Clinto

8 August 2019 fishing report


8 August 2019


The on going great winter weather continues with cool clean morning starts and warm windless days. 

Not a lot has changed from last weeks report and the flathead are still dominating the catch rate. Being in the right spot around the tide changes is the time that really triggers their feeding instinct. A pattern that is not uncommon for all our species. 

Another stunning day on the Tweed River, NSW, with Mt Warning as the backdrop. Thanks Jason for taking the pic.

The deeper holes in the rivers are producing the odd nice size tailor and very small school jew but these little guys still go well on light line. The slight increase in water temperature has also allowed us to have a bit of fun chasing some bream on surface lures on Bassday sugapens and MMD splash prawns. 

Pat took this photo of Nick with a nice flathead caught on lure

The water is very clear in the river at present so very natural coloured lures are working the best with Ecogear SX48’s in the 303 colour and Pontoon 21 crackjacks in the threadfin colour producing the best results. 

Jen caught some mackerel trolling Ecogear SX48 lures on a charter with Brad at Gold Coast broadwater

You can buy all our go to lures via our facebook store, see below for the link.


Neap tides this week meant less run less fun. I had to cover a lot of kilometres to find fish for my guests on our estuary fishing charters. Typical beautiful winter weather has made for some very pleasant days out on the Gold Coast broadwater.

Flathead tended to start feeding later in the day, and the large schools of winter whiting have moved out to the open ocean to find food.

Little Mulloway on Ecogear ZX40

There has been a distinct lack of bait fish in the ultra clear water, apart from white bait. As the old saying goes “match the hatch” and try Strike Pro blades, Zerek fishtraps in Olive Guppy colour. 

Ecogear ZX40 blades in colour 440 and 411 have still been working well (everything eats prawns) and throwing out a small Gulp in peppered prawn colour on 1/6 oz jighead and while drifting works a treat for flathead.

Ecogear ZX40 lures shown under the light of a UV torch

There has been a few nice flathead, bream, sand whiting in the canals,

 and the odd small mulloway up the river, while at the broadwater flathead can be found at the Aldershots, on the eastern side of Crab island, Anglers Paradise, and upriver from TSS on the western side.

The rest of the catch in the broadwater has consisted of flounder, squid, and winter whiting. Water temperature is hovering around 19.5 degrees. After this next cold snap it could be an early start to mangrove jack season. Let’s hope we get early spring rain to give the creeks and river systems a desperately needed flush out.

Danie and Gert caught some winter whiting, squid, flounder, flathead on a broadwater trip

This coming week with the continuation of small daytime tides leading up to full moon on Thursday, when the wind allows try the deeper water west of Wavebreak island and down the sides of the channel towards Crab island. 

Jewie on ZX40 blade

Also worth a cast for flathead in shallow water where they are sunning themselves and feeding. Good places are the edges of mangroves and on top of shallow sandbank, then move to the channels as the tide recedes.

Look for signs of activity such as patches of bait and arch shapes for bigger fish on the fish finder, if the tv is blank keep moving slowly. Don’t drive over fish to find fish.

Yabbies will work well on lightly weighted traces with no.4 Mustad baitholder hooks.

If you’d like to book a private charter with us to experience this beautiful time of year on our local waterways SMS 0432 990 302 to discuss.

A reminder that our facebook shop is up and running. Keep an eye out for more products and upcoming specials.

Facebook shop:



Smithy & Clinto

1 August 2019 fishing report


1 August 2019


Well everyone this amazing run of great weather continues to flow as are some consistent catches on my Tweed river charters.

Some of the deep holes in the river have an abundance of bait holding in them at present which is perfect for deep water jigging with vibes. The vibes are a perfect match for these baitfish which are small fish the likes of juvenile herring. 

You can see how vibes work so well as they match the baitfish in the river at present. We have a new colour vibe arriving to match the bait to perfection.

Ecogear VX40 vibes and Strike Pro cyber vibes are doing the trick on the flathead, bream and small jew feeding on the bait in these holes. Trolling the edges of the channels on the run out tide with Pontoon 21 crackjacks and Ecogear SX48 minnows are producing flathead and the odd thumper tailor. 

Richard with a cracker flattie caught trolling an Ecogear SX48 minnow.
There is the odd good tailor around like this one caught by Dan

GOLD COAST by Clinto

Fresh starts and sunny days have dominated this week on our Gold Coast estuary charters, with some rain on the horizon in coming days. There won’t be much though and cloudy days can provide good fishing, the fish seem to feed more aggressively in such conditions.

Robyn caught this nice flathead in the canals on an Ecogear ZX40 blade colour 440

This coming week sees some very large night time tides around the dark new moon, too much run really for fish to feed comfortably. All this should mean some productive day time fishing!

The water generally is very clear at the moment, and the Nerang river is lacking bait. I’d suggest the best areas to chase flathead are around Rat Island, the Aldershots, Tipplers Passage, and the bedrooms. Take advantage of the absence of snot weed before it starts blooming in Spring.

If you’re chasing squid there are still plenty around Seaworld, Lands End, and Currigee. The winter whiting are getting bigger and thicker too.

We have still been catching some solid sand whiting up the river on bait, a few 45-55cm flathead, plus some bigger bream.

Steve with a river flathead caught on a Pontoon 21 crackjack lure in thread fin shad colour

A reminder that we now have more products available on our facebook shop:


We only sell the best, all gear we use ourselves daily on charters! All lure packs come with 30+ pages of fishing tips and secrets.

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


25 July 2019 fishing report



It has been a week of great weather and a massive work load finding flatties for our guests, and helping train visitors from the United Kingdom and Sweden, here to compete in the World Hobie Bream tournament on the Gold Coast. 

Richard was stoked with his first flattie caught trolling a pontoon 21 in threadfin colour.

The flatties are still fishing well in the deep holes on blades and are taking our trolled lures over the shallow warmer water. 

We have been training our bream tournament anglers on how to fish rockwalls and jetties but the most fun and best results came from cranking shallow running lures over and around the seagrass beds. 

Mike with a solid 37cm bream from Tweed river

We also caught bream on surface lures in the same area which is always great visual fun.

GOLD COAST by Clinto

On our Gold Coast broadwater charters we have found the fish are moving around a lot searching for food, which has forced us to cover a lot of kms to find them some days.

They may be in one area one day and gone the next. As always if you don’t spot activity on the fish finder keep moving.

Inevitably the bites will come if you find patches of bait.

A nice broadwater Tuskfish caught on Ecogear ZX40

The water is very clear at the moment so it may pay to fish areas like the Aldershots and Tipplers channel to find bigger and more flathead. They’ll be there in the more discoloured water ambushing baitfish to feed themselves up before breeding season

There have been a lot of 40-45cm flathead in the Currigee area at South Stradbroke island, as well as big winter whiting up to 28cm, flounder, squid, bream, tarwine, and a few Tuskfish.

Harry from Florida, USA had a ball catching big winter whiting

The Nerang river is getting harder to find numbers of fish due to lack of bait, but we did manage some good whiting, flathead, and a nice Mulloway caught by Rebecca on a charter with James.

Rebecca with her first ever Mulloway caught on an Ecogear ZX40 lure and released after a quick pic

This weekend sees the good weather continue, the best time to fish the broadwater at the moment is between two hours before low tide and two hours after.

Use natural and transparent lures, for a reaction strike from fish. Flashy lures stand out too much and fish will hesistate.

On slow days trolling over long distances works well to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

We are expanding our facebook shop so keep an eye on it for updates, with packs containing our go to lures, and the River to Reef Gold Coast book:


To book your private charter, guaranteed to catch fish on lures, call Smithy on 0419 028 704

18 July 2019 fishing report



G’day everyone well winter is certainly upon us with Coolangatte Airport registering 0 degrees early Monday so dress warm on the water. 

The good news is that after the chilly early morning starts the days warm up, and the fish are on the bite. 

Little Jewfish caught on Ecogear ZX40

The deep holes are producing some nice sized bream and small jew on the zx40 and strike pro vibes providing you find the holes that are holding bait. 

There is always a chance of catching a nice whiting in winter like this one caught by Dave

We have also been catching a few flatties in the deep holes but the best results have been coming from trolling pontoon 21 crackjack and greedyguts lures in the warmer shallower water around the top of the tide.

GOLD COAST by Clinto

This week the chilly weather has not stopped the fish biting, with sessions at Nerang river producing 20 plus Sand whiting at times, as well as school size flathead and the odd 50-60cm fish.

Alexander with a pair of 50cm flathead caught on a charter with Dad Alaeddin

The whiting have been quite big and fat, which goes to show how well fed they are locally! Best bait for them if you can’t get bloodworms is servo prawns. 

Use a light leader, no.4 size Mustad baitholder hook, a light sinker just enough to hold bottom. Break the head off the prawn then slide the hook through the tail and carefully through the body then out the other end. Slide the prawn up the leader until it sitting straight and streamlined on the hook. Then drift in areas where there is some tidal flow. 

Terry and Raylene with dinner from the Nerang river

The broadwater has been a bit quiet around the full moon and clear water. The bigger tides have been at night, which could be when the fish are feeding more aggressively. 

There are bream and tarpon at the seaway but the better eating species such as flathead are best targetted at Southport, Lands End, Wavebreak Island, and Paradise Point.

The Tarpon are terrific sportfish and have been busting up on baitballs every day this week, mostly near the canyon off the Northern wall of Wavebreak island.

A big Arrow squid caught in the Gold Coast broadwater on an Ecogear ZX40 colour 440

The squid are still plentiful on the North Western side of Wavebreak island, Lands End, and South Currigee.

We will have some lure packs back in stock very soon, watch our facebook shop for updates as it will sell out quick.


Smithy & Clinto

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

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