Dave had a great day on the Nerang River with the author, catching plenty of whiting and flathead.

Luring monster flathead tips

Hi everyone, this month we’ve seen a big spike in winter species in the Gold Coast Broadwater.

Large numbers of flathead, tailor, squid, flounder, bream, squire, winter whiting and other species can all be caught on lures, which makes the next three months my favourite period of the year for fishing.

The amazing run of sand whiting locally has been seemingly endless and will continue throughout the colder months.

The months of June to December are great for using lures in the Broadwater – something we’ve been very much looking forward to.

As always, the go-to lures that catch a lot of fish and squid consistently on our charters will be Ecogear ZXs and Ecogear Dartmax squid jigs, Samaki Vibelicious, MMD soft vibes, Samaki Redic hard-bodies, Rapala CrushCity soft plastics and Z-Man soft plastics.

Damo and his son Levi took home a great feed of school-sized flathead for dinner.


On top of that, there are some exciting new lures from Fish Craft that I mentioned last month, including Dr Prawn and Dr Flex.  We are spoilt for choice these days.

Even anglers chasing purely monster flathead are catered for, with big lures such as the amazing soft glide from My Lure Box.

The Gold Coast Broadwater is a top flathead fishery, and some of my favourite areas to hunt them are Curlew Island, South Stradbroke’s southern end, Runaway Bay and Crab Island.

Whether fishing shallow or deeper, there’s plenty of exciting fishing on offer.

My absolute number one tactic when looking for flathead is finding bait.

By bait, I mean baitfish or prawns.

Brian, the 92-year-old legend, caught his first ever fish on a lure when on a charter with Brad Smith.


Crab Island can be as good as anywhere for flathead.

However, if there’s no bait about, the fish won’t hang around in numbers – this goes for any location.

All day long I will keep an eye on my fish finder, whether I’m drifting and fishing or moving between spots.

I keep the sensitivity turned up high so as not to miss any bait balls – at least 16 on a scale of 20 ensures the bait pops out on the screen among all the noise and cavitation.

What I like to see most within a small area is four to six bait balls in a row, we will catch flathead almost inevitably in this situation.

Throughout the day, I constantly look and listen out for terns.

These little sea birds are the best bait hunters and will alert you to the location of bait, followed by flathead.

Wherever you see them diving into the water to catch baitfish is exactly where you should be fishing, casting lures in the vicinity and watching the fish finder to locate more bait.

Damo from Insalt had a day on the Broadwater catching flathead with his rods and Fish Craft Dr Prawn lures.


You can also listen for terns, when they find big schools of bait, they chirp very excitedly.

I have made it a habit to listen for their loud chirping all around me when fishing, even up to and over 1km away.

Once I have located bait and flathead, I will drift and fish the area thoroughly, or if the bite is very good, spot lock with my Minn Kota.

If we’re not catching fish within five minutes, we’ll always keep moving to find them, usually short distances at a time.

The best time to chase flathead is during a run-out tide.

If you can drift parallel to where shallow bank edges meet drop-offs, you’ll have some of the best flathead sessions.

Over the next few months, I’ll share more tips and locations to target winter species.

This month at the Tweed River will see a massive run of flathead, big bream, jewfish and possibly tailor, as Brad gears up to target many quality fish using lures.

To book on a charter with myself or Brad, or if you have any fishing related questions, visit goldcoastrivercharters.com, SMS 0432 990 302 or email fishingwithclint@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook at Brad Smith Fishing Charters.

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