Full of surprises
  |  First Published: November 2004

Fishing is full of surprises. I know I often go on about this but the ocean’s creatures turn up in some of the strangest places sometimes. I find this intriguing and exciting and just another reason why I love fishing so much.

Just the other day, my four sons and I were out having a quick before-school fish in our little 4.3-metre tinny. We had already caught a few salmon and were happily trolling about 50 metres off the rocks below the Terrigal Skillion when up popped two killer whales between us and the shore!

To see these beautiful creatures moving along the rock face not 20 metres from shore while their tall dorsal fins sliced through the surface was an unforgettable sight. I think they must have been looking for salmon or a stray seal.

We followed them north for a good 40 minutes during which they were often only 150 metres off Terrigal and Wamberal beaches.

Scotty Thorington of Haven Fishing Charters (phone 0419 440 869) reports great hauls of snapper from 40 metres out to 80 metres, although some days it's almost impossible to fish as the current is pouring hard from the north.

A few striped marlin usually show up in November along the shelf. Around the shallow reefs and headlands kingies, tailor and a few bonito respond well to pillies on floater rigs as well as trolled minnows and plastic squids.

Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Water jewies start to hit top gear with the monster flathead hot on their heels. Big kingies are still around though they should taper off later this month.

Tailor and bream become more prolific as more baitfish move into these areas. The techniques, baits and rigs shown in my Jewfish Secrets DVD should bring results. Expect to see big flathead as by-catch.

This is a good time to start throwing lures around as the bream and flathead become more aggressive and active as the water warms. Chuck from Baits 'R' Us at The Entrance (phone 4334 3219) reports good action as the lake comes alive with fish, prawns and crabs. The mouth is open and you will find flathead and whiting. The entrance to Wyong and Chittaway creeks be a good location to set some crab traps.

The sand flats are starting to produce on soft plastics and fly. Try killer tomato Squidgy Fish with a 5g jig head for flatties. Most prawners will be working the run-out tides from November 2 to 16. With the warmer weather the areas around Toukley and Budgewoi come alive as well.

On the beaches the salmon should go and the tailor should come, while big jewies will start to move in as well. There’ll also be flathead and whiting, of course.

I always expect the unexpected and for this reason I always ensure I have a big bait out, regardless of where I'm fishing. In the estuaries I always make sure that the first legal fish that comes to the boat ends up with a big hook in its back and is turfed back in. There might be a monster jewie cruising right past and if you have nothing but tiny baits to offer, there's every chance you won't even know it’s swum past.

November sees the jewies hit top gear in the lower estuaries and along the beaches.

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