1 August 2019 fishing report

THIS WEEK’S GOLD COAST AND TWEED ESTUARY FISHING REPORT

1 August 2019

TWEED RIVER by Smithy

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:

https://m.facebook.com/bradsmithfishingcharters/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!

Smithy

25 July 2019 fishing report

THIS WEEK’S GOLD COAST AND TWEED ESTUARY FISHING REPORT

TWEED RIVER by Smithy

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:

https://m.facebook.com/bradsmithfishingcharters/shop/?ref=bookmarks&mt_nav=0

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

28 June 2019 fishing report

THIS WEEK’S GOLD COAST AND TWEED ESTUARY FISHING REPORT

TWEED RIVER by Smithy

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.

Cheers

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 😉

Cheers

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.   

Cheers

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.  

3 January 2019 fishing report and tips

THIS WEEK’S ESTUARY REPORT AND TIPS FROM OUR CHARTERS

TIPS

How to catch winter whiting

Winter or diver whiting are in abundance in the Gold Coast broadwater all year round. They are easily caught on small blades and fresh bait such as yabbies, worms or thinly sliced fresh squid.

They have no size limit and bag limit of 50 per person, and are delicious on the plate, and a great live bait for mangrove jacks. They are heaps of fun to catch, putting up quite a fight for their size.

Winter whiting feed voraciously any time of day when the tide is running. Some of the best areas to catch them are either side of Carters bank, all around Crab island, Ephraim island, and through the entire area between Seaworld and Sundale bridge in depths ranging from 0.5m to 7 metres.

Like their bigger cousins the sand whiting they move constantly to graze, so keep moving until you find the big schools. Best way to fish is to drift, this makes them chase and bite your lure or bait more aggressively.

There are literally thousands of them in the broadwater. On our jack charters we’ll go out and catch 30 of them in the morning then go fish for red devils. They often school along side snapper and sand whiting. Get out there and catch some!

GOLD COAST ESTUARY REPORT

Crazy busy on the water over the past week with the holiday traffic, it pays to get out there early or late afternoon.

The water has been rapidly warming, it has been getting up over 30 degrees up the rivers, and a more stable 24 degrees in the broadwater depending on the tide.

We have been catching nice tuskfish, sand whiting, winter whiting, spangled emperor, grassy emperor, flounder, bream, tarwine, and over 30 squid in the past week.

Best lures have been Ecogear ZX40’s, Zerek fishtraps, and best baits yabbies and fresh squid.

The tides are increasing in the coming days, with some good tides for fishing the broadwater as well as jacks up the rivers.


TWEED

Brad has been getting some big flathead despite the hot conditions, with bigger lures tempting them. The surface lures such as MMD Splashprawns have been accounting for whiting, queenfish, trevally and flathead.

The best areas to fish will be upstream of Chinderah, and the deeper holes where the water is a bit cooler and darker.

Cheers and we wish you a successful and happy new year!
Smithy & Clinto

7 December 2018 fishing tips and report

THIS WEEK’S FISHING TIPS AND REPORT

TIPS:

To successfully target mangrove jacks requires strong, good quality tackle. You might get lucky once in a while on light gear, but most of the time a good old fashioned smoking is the end result.

Trolling for mangrove jacks is far from easy, it is effective however. You’ll need baitcast reels that can handle their brute power, such as Shimano Curados and Quantum Smokes.

Rods in the 6-10 kg and 6 ft length will do the job coupled with the above reels, and quality braid no less than 30 lb breaking strength will be needed to stop the bigger models.

For live baiting for jacks, spinning reels up to 8000 size and leader up to and above 80lb are sometimes needed to land those 60cm and above fish. A nearly locked drag and some urgent pumping and winding just might prevent a violent and quick bust up. Be ready, they hit when you least expect it.

ESTUARY FISHING REPORT:

TWEED:

Brad has been having some good days catching whiting and bream on surface lures. His two favourites are the MMD splash prawns and Bassday Sugapens.

He has also been finding some bass, flathead, and trevally in the deeper sections of the upper Tweed river for his clients.

GOLD COAST:

Clint went searching the deeper water in the broadwater during the neap tides, finding some fresh ground around the 6-7m mark just South of Crab Island.

Regular guest Terry and his brother in law Jeff had a good day using Ecogear ZX40 blades, with 14 different species and more than 50 fish caught on the day. They kept a few for dinner and released heaps. The silver coloured ZX was a stand out.

Gregg and his family were visiting from Sydney and caught some nice Tuskfish, flathead, and whiting.

Other lures such as Zerek fishtraps and Berkley Gulp shrimps have also done the job for us this week.

The next few days features the lead up to new moon, a good time to be going for mangrove jacks. Just remember you need to be fishing close to structure to get a strike or two.

We will be very busy in January which ends up fully booked every year, so get in touch now to avoid missing out. We also have nice gift vouchers, there is still time to mail you one in time for Christmas Day.

Till next week legends!

Cheers
Smithy & Clinto

9 November 2018 fishing tips and report

This week’s Gold Coast and Tweed estuary fishing report and tips from our charter boats, with Big Hit Fishing.

This week’s tips:

Northerly winds and barometer drops. These can make fishing tough but a change of focus can result in big rewards.

While fishing for flathead can slow down, try chasing mangrove jacks and big whiting. The hot weather really gets the jacks going.

The besy way to target them is in the evening and into the night on lures, or live baits and dead baits. They can be caught through the day however, if you put in the hours and find your own special spots that produce.

Some good areas are around structure such as rock walls, pontoons, boats, wrecks, mangroves, trees, and where there is good tidal flow in rivers and creeks. Even the smallest creeks hold jacks, as do lakes.

Casting and trolling large soft plastics, soft vibes, hard bodies, and surface lures all work well. You have to get in close to the structure though so practice your casting! Red lures imitating baby jacks, white lures imitating mullet or whiting, and natural colours in clear water will give you a good chance.

Our local Tweed, Coomera and Nerang rivers are all home to big fish. Don’t go too light on gear or you will get busted up in seconds. Using a bimini twist is a good idea as a shock absorber, and upgrade your hooks, Jacks have no trouble straightening cheap ones.

Whiting are ravenously feeding to fatten up for spawning, get out there with surface lures and a non stop walk the dog retrieve for best results. Bassday Sugapens and MMD splash prawns will both catch heaps of good fish for us this summer.

If you’d like some pointers book a trip with us and we’ll run you through some effective techniques.

Fishing report:

Tweed river:

The Northerly winds and barometer crashes have been a pest but Brad has worked his guts out to put clients onto some great whiting on surface lures around Chinderah.

See pics below of some nice fish on Sugapens and MMD splash prawns, Ben Cole had a fun session with Brad.


The odd Mulloway, flathead, and a Mangrove jack the season opener, has made up the rest of the catch.

We’ll see a welcome cool change come through over the next few days, and SE winds. Get out there over the weekend and get amongst some quality estuary fish. The jacks might slow down temporarily but fish still have to eat.

Gold Coast:

Clint on Southwind has been doing some charters for families, as well as one or two fishos at a time. Again the Northerlies have made it tough, but we have been working our arses off to get a result for our guests.

Giant Trevally On 6lb gear have made for some adrenalin filled sessions in the Nerang river, as well as some Mulloway, flathead, bream, whiting on vibes, Ecogear ZX40 blades, and hardbodies.

In the Broadwater all around Crab island we have found some nice Tuskfish, as well as squid, flounder, winter whiting, sand whiting, dusky flathead, and bartail flathead all on lures.

Smearing some Sax scent on your lures every 30 minutes or so definitely improves the catch rate and size.

With the bigger new moon tides this week we’ll be heading upstream, and having a go for big jacks in the Surfers paradise area during the hour each side of the tide changes.

December and January charters will book out so get in touch to secure your spot.

Till next week, cheers and happy fishing!
Smithy & Clinto

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