Whiting Fishing Tips – How To Catch Whiting

Whiting Fishing Tips

Whiting Fishing Tips – How to Catch Whiting

“If God told me that I was only allowed to chase three fish species for the rest of my fishing days, Whiting would definitely be in that three.”

Whiting truly are for everyone. If ever there was a ‘people’s fish’ the Whiting would be it. It has launched the angling careers of many a 3 year old. It’s the classic summer holiday fish. It has dedicated lifers who target nothing else. Dyed in the wool Marlin hunters can’t help themselves but beam with joy with a 45cm elbow slapper in their hands. Great chefs have launched careers on their delicate flavour. For most of us, it’s a special, a weekend target or the prize table fair from the day’s mixed bag.

Let’s revisit this old chestnut in some detail. We’ll look at Whiting fishing rigs, Whiting locations, the best lures for targeting Whiting, great Whiting kit and some good old Whiting fishing tips. First, we should have a look at where they live. They certainly get about, but target zones, i.e. the places we catch them, are a little narrower than there distribution.

The Whiting most Australians are familiar with are the Sand Whiting and the famous King George Whiting. Their distribution around Australia is more far reaching than most anglers would probably realise. Sand Whiting can be found as far South as just below the Victoria NSW boarder. In the North, their distribution reaches the tip of Cape York. The likelihood of catching Sand Whiting at these extremes is far less likely however and the target zone starts between Cains and Townsville and stretches all the way down to the far South coast of NSW.

The King George Whiting is fond of the cooler waters. It’s found as far north as southern NSW, all the way around the bite up to just south of Geraldton on the Western Australian coast. It is also found at the top of Tasmania. The target zone would commence at the Victorian NSW boarder, Stretch to Port Phillip, the recommence in on the South Australian coast where King George Whiting can grow beyond 50cm. The bottom end of Western Australia, Albany to Mandurah is also a target Zone.

Whiting congregate in the summer for spawning, hence the term ‘Summer Whiting’. The summer is probably the best time to target Whiting but they are available all year round. Now we’re in the depths of an Aussie winter, it’s probably a good time to restock some of your Whiting Kit. Throughout this article I will refer to fishing rods and reels and assorted kit that are perfect for Whiting. Check the links at the bottom of the article for a range of rods, reels lures and assorted tackle, brilliantly priced to get you kitted out for ‘Summer Whiting’.

The best places to find Whiting?

Beach Fishing TipsWhiting reside in the salt water inshore grounds and are prolific on our beaches. While Whiting can be caught some distance up river, the start of the brackish will generally put the brakes on the Whiting bite. Structure is critical, not the man made pylons and racks that attract Bream, but the holes, hollows, drop offs and subtle undulations of the sea bed. The edges of weed beds, sand and mud banks are perfect locations. Whiting live in the shallows and will forage the sea bed in waters a few inches to 6 meters deep (up to 12 meters for King George), they’re looking for worms, yabbies, pipis and other invertebrates uncovered by wave and current action. They will also take small bait fish. KG Whiting love fresh Squid. Beach gutters, deep and shallow, are brilliant for Whiting. Light wave action is perfect.


The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rods and Reels

A general purpose 7-8 foot rod and 3000 reel combination will see you covered for most Whiting scenarios, a hand-line will suffice for that matter, they’re not a complicated fish. But you can, and maybe should, create a Whiting arsenal that sees you equipped for all locations, conditions, techniques and styles. Essentially, it comprises of 3 rods and 3 reels.

Outfit 1

A 7 foot full graphite spin rod, lightweight, rated 2 to 4kg. Strap on a spin reel to balance, size 1000 to 2500. This is the rod you will be using most of the time. It covers all of your closed water applications from land based to the boat and Kayak. Use mono or braid for casting fishing flesh and live baits or for casting lures. This rig is ideal for the beach also, weather permitting. Whiting can literally be just centimetres from the edge, in less than a foot of water. They comb the wash looking for food, as it slides up and down the beach. Why hold on to a 12 footer if it’s just not necessary. The key feature of the rod is a sensitive tip.

Outfit 2

A 10 to 12 foot full graphite spin rod, lightweight, suitable for a spin reel 3000 to 5000. Again, the tip should be sensitive but strong enough to handle the rigors of more powerful casting. This outfit is primarily for the beach. You will be using mono or braid with flesh and live baits. Essentially, the length is for casting purposes. This combo will also be useful for fishing wider rivers, where the drop off is some distance from a gently sloping river bank. When the tide is in, it can be difficult to reach the strike zone with a smaller rod.

Outfit 3

Outfit 3 is a dedicated beach rod. It’s graphite, 12 to 13 foot and can be spin or Alvey style. For the spin rod, strap a 6000 or 8000 reel to the rod. Yes, this sounds heavy for a humble Whiting. The reason is simple however. Just because the weather is acting up a little and the wave action is a little more aggressive, doesn’t mean there isn’t good Whiting to be had. If you need weight to hold your position or get over a sure break to a distant gutter, weight and strength is the answer. Don’t feel too nervous about upping your mono rating. It’s a lot better than casting with light line, only to hear your line snap under the pressure of the cast. If you have to beat the wind and hold the bottom, weight is the only answer.

Tips for Whiting Rod and Reel Selection

  • Be cautious of being too brand loyal. Understand your budget then look at specs and ratings. There are so many excellent manufactures competing for your dollar. Stubbornly sticking to a brand might see you miss the best tool for the job at a better price.
  • Quality finesse outfits are usually more expensive and often suffer in the hands of children, newbies and careless anglers. For the kids and the ‘rough’ anglers look for an outfit that is a little more robust.
  • Most general purpose rods are a little less sensitive in the tip. This is for obvious reasons, they’re pointed at all sorts of fish. Consider the outfits listed above and purchase, ‘built for purpose’ equipment. A sensitive tip can make all the difference when hunting Whiting.


The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rigs and terminal tackle

For outfit 1, spool up with mono to 6 pound if you’re casting flesh and live baits. Of course you can fish lighter still, depends on how brave you are feeling. For drifting in your boat or kayak, it might be wiser to fish a little heavier. Fluoro leader to 6 pound is ideal, the hot tip is to get a leader as soft as possible. Use a long shank hook, size 4 to 8 and always go for the top brands. They are perfect for baiting live worms, yabbies and pipis and the long shank is easier to remove from the long snout of a Whiting. Run a long leader up to a swivel, and weight for conditions. A ball sinker is best. Simple is always the first option but a variation might be a paternoster rig for drifting or twin hooks on twin leaders for double hook-ups when casting into schools. If using a paternoster, ensure your bait hangs below the sinker.

When casting lures choose braid 2 to 6 pounds. A leader to 6 pound is ideal. A leader length just over a meter is generally advisable for best action and casting balance.

For outfit 2, spool up with 9 to 12 pound line. Feel free to up that to 15 but keep in mind lighter is usually best, depending on conditions. The rig and hook are the same as in outfit one, however a larger ball sinker is likely required but should only be heavy enough to match conditions and casting requirements. Again, a long leader is suggested for inviting more bites but not too long as casting will likely be compromised.

For Outfit 3, Line rating will be determined by the rating of your chosen rod. The first rule is balance. The second is, as light as conditions allow. You are using this rod because the sea and wind conditions are acting up. It’s likely you are using significant led to cast and hold the bottom. You will need a line rating that will handle the pressure of a hard cast.   Again the rig is the same as the first two outfits, with the exception being that you may wish to shorten the leader, for better casting. A larger swivel is also recommended for outfit 3.


The Best Whiting Lures

Best Whiting Lures

Whiting will take soft plastics, including grubs and fish tails. Surface lures however like poppers and stick baits have been a revelation for Whiting lure fishing. Casting lures at Whiting is still not widely practiced but there is an ever increasing band of Whiting anglers spreading the word and preaching about its effectiveness.  Braid is pretty well essential. Jerking, blooping or ‘walking the dog’ encourage attack from below. Working out speeds is often based on experiment for each session. Adding pauses to the retrieve is often very effective and erratic retrieves, often a default when experimenting, can entice plenty of interest.

The Best Baits for Whiting

Without a doubt the best baits for Whiting are live blood and sand worms, yabbies otherwise known as saltwater nippers and pipis. King George Whiting are very fond of fresh squid flesh. If you don’t have access to live baits the next best thing would be fresh peeled prawns. Using live baits however, is the key to getting big Whiting. There is nothing better.

Whiting Fishing Tips

  • Keep the bait below the sinker. Even when drifting I would rarely, if ever, use a paternoster rig. This is particularly pertinent to King George Whiting.
  • When fishing the beach and a Whiting shows interest in your bait, back slowly up the beach without striking. The fish will take the bait and you can gently lean back and set the hooks.
  • As with many fish, dawn and dusk seem to be the best times to increase your catch. I would argue that using live bait is more important. With Live baits quality fish in big numbers are possible throughout the day.
  • Look for current and wave action when searching for Whiting. It’s this action that reveals their prey.
  • Saltwater nippers catch the biggest Whiting. Once during a beach session, I fished the same gutter, using, more or less, the same rig as a much older guy standing next to me. The gutter was only about 150 meters long and the tide was receding. I had live sand worms and was catching good fish. He was using yabbies and catching the biggest Whiting I had seen in my life.
  • Avoid striking heavily when a Whiting bite, it’s easy to pull hooks, particularly if you’re fishing with braid.
  • Longer leaders work best with Whiting. It allows live baits to move more naturally for longer, and encourages a more aggressive bite.
  • When fishing the beach, if the tide is receding, fish the front of the gutter. Fish the back of the gutter on an incoming tide.

Whiting put up a fight that defies their diminutive size. This is why they are so much fun and so loved by Australian anglers. Fishing for Whiting can be as relaxing or as intensely active as you choose. From the collection of bait, to catch and fillet, a Whiting expedition is always very rewarding. There’s a 40 cm plus Whiting out there with your name on it. For the South Aussie Anglers there’s a King George over 50cm shaping for a fight. Check the links below, stock up on your Whiting kit, bag out, and then feed the family with some of the most amazing tasting fish the ocean has to offer.


Fishing Tips – Fishing Lures For Jewfish (Mulloway) Article

Fishing Tips – Fishing Lures For Jewfish (Mulloway)


On the back of a cracker season for Jewfish on the far North Coast of NSW Australia. I thought I may be able to impart with some observations, that may be handy for those about to embark on chasing Mulloway using hard body fishing lures. It took me some time to land my first Jewfish which fell to a soft plastic fishing lure at dead low tide off the far north coast rocks of NSW in what I have come to understand is {for this spot at least} perfect water. It should be noted that capture was on a new moon in August in the middle of a bright sunny day soon after lunch under clear blue skies.

Fishing Tips: Conditions for catching a Jewfish:

There is a great deal of mythology surrounding Mulloway, and a great deal written about them and spoken about them amongst fisherman. Full moon, high tide, low pressure systems, night time, dawn or dusk, foul seas, cold foul weather, dirty water the list goes on. Having landed a couple from the stones now, I have come to think of my own criteria, that is not exclusive, but a series of boxes I tick when looking at the places I may be able to fish. This may change from place to place, the fish and the bait fish may behave differently in your neighbourhood for any number of reasons, to how they behave in mine. Proximity of rivers or estuary , depth of water , structure and migration pattern of fish, bait with water temperature may be some of the things in play that differ from place to place. What is important is to keep at it, and take note of the times that you or someone you know has landed fish and what was going on with the wind, moon, tide, sea temp, season, baitfish etc. You will soon have your own personal set of boxes to tick that are more pertinent to the place and methodology you chose to fish.

My personal opinion on why this year (2007) has been a better year locally for me, is that there have been many more days with fishable low pressure systems and manageable swells.

My perfect criteria now is a manageable swell, that gives coverage for the fish, an outer sand bank or reef that breaks into a deeper hole spreading white suds across it with structure in that critical space I can spread my lures. I like to fish low tide for less water more fish and the ability to be lower on the water. I rarely fish late into the night these days as I often fish solo, and I am getting older, but I can see the benefits of doing so for sure, just remember safety first. I rarely catch fish on the tail end of the waning moon but if the water is perfect I will definitely not lose hope.

Fishing Gear:

I started with an Alvey Fishing Reel 650s on 7144 Snyder Glass blank Fishing Rod, the old translucent orange brown model which, although I have moved on to other Fishing rods, if I could take one rod to heaven, would probably be it.

I now fish with solid threadline Fishing reels, My current Fishing Reel being the Shimano Stella 10000 and custom graphite rods 10-11ft. Built for me personally

by Rohit Lal of King Rods . I have 10 and an 11 ft Longtail H rated at -6 0unce cast 40lb. Which after nearly 2 yrs testing Rohit is contemplating making this fishing rod as standard available build.

I also started with mono fishing line at a lighter breaking strain of 20lbs on the Alvey Fishing Reels. Eventually I became tired of damaging fish and losing them only to see them float away as shark food and made the decision I was going to fish heavy. Changing up to reliable cheap Monofilament fishing line in various brands, which included brands such as Penn & Suffix in around 40lb breaking strain for pain free dismissal of any damaged line like the first 30 ft or so after a bumpy landing and I use 40- 60lb Jinkai Leader or Ande Leader material for a trace. With braid I fish even heavier line for extra assurance with abrasion resistance and longevity although my drag settings have never really changed from the 20lb mono, I am now usually fishing 50lb nylon coated tuff line xp. Again this is a choice set by expense and the harsh nature of the area in which I fish, I would be happy to fish for the same sized fish with 15lb elsewhere.

The AVERAGE size of Mulloway I target being 12- 20 kg’s although the last 2 years has seen a major increase in smaller fish, 5- 8kg model schoolies.

The Fishing Lure.

Well what a journey that has been. I have tried many lures and have had some degree of success with many of them, including locally made boutique models, modified no name bibbed lures. Changing split rings trebles etc. to VMC or Owner treble hooks. But have come to settle on a couple of must haves as a personal choice, these are Halco Laser Pro Fishing Lure in the 190 DD 2 metre diver. I have a couple of favourite colours although I have seen all colours work at one time or another and Rapala X-raps which seem to work in any colour to at least attract the tailor, they are bar none the most efficient tailor lure I have encountered. The X-raps have only been a recent addition to the arsenal but have taken a couple of nice fish and have a casting advantage. Also quickly caught the tailor that have accounted for some great fish, when I have decided I have had enough of spinning and changed up to bait.

But the Halco Laser Pro Fishing Lure 190 DD size remains my personal go to lure. It has an almost indestructible bib system, this is not the case with many other manufacturers, who make lures that may cast better and swim well, but cannot be trusted after a couple of bumps against rock, leading to bibs breaking trebles snapping out of there placement etc. The Halco 190 2m also has a free moving weight inside consisting of small bearings which serve both as a rattle and to take the weight to the tail when being cast. I tie these to a 2ft or so trace with a swivel and this seems to help the lure rifle freely after a cast gaining better distance and less fouling. Very important to, when you stop winding they float.


Firstly, as I mentioned in the beginning my early fish were taken on soft plastic fishing lures, this progression has served me well for a number of reasons, not least of which is to understand the bottom, the current, the movement and speed of the lure and the strike zones of the fish. And all this at the bargain price of $2 or so for every lure lost to a snag as I went through this learning curve. I still make sure I have a small arsenal of 6 inch shads in a lighter and darker colour, brands Like: Storm Soft Plastic fishing lures  like or Squidgies have all caught many fish for me. The major difference with hard body fishing lures is the ability to get a much straighter line in retrieve if you wish to and in the right conditions at a relatively slow speed. Whereas  soft plastic lures will be much more effected by the running currents. That may sweep them sideways at such a speed.

Try to quickly get an understanding of the way the wind and the current are working. Although standing still and repetitively lobbing into the same hole may account for passing fish, moving and poking around the entire available environment will account for allot more. A perfect day, the wind will be blowing your lure on a cast in the same direction as the current, making the bib work harder therefore deeper and slower on the retrieve. Distance out to sea is not a number one priority.

But you’re not quite ready to cast yet. Make sure you have worked out a couple of things, particularly if you are alone. If you do get a fish first cast, and believe me this happens, and mostly when you aren’t ready for it. Do you know where you want to steer it to be landed? Is the gaff ready etc.?

Speed &  Steering:

I have often been asked what type of action I put into the lure, the best action for sure with the above mentioned criteria working in your favour is low and slow. However to be honest I try everything, pulse, fast, a couple of speed throughs then a slow drive by, stop/start, the whole gambit. The action to steer the hard body fishing lures as apposed to soft plastic lures is more sustained and exaggerated placement of the rod tip. The difference between tip down and being low on the water can be critical in gaining depth or avoiding structure. The same with the point from which you tow the lure keeping it away from the ledge, but this all quickly becomes second nature.

I have learned if I am to push lures as close as I can to submerged structure, it became prudent to fish with a soft drag setting and stop at the first bump, this way I avoid burying lures into snags as often. A quick hand to the spool will sink the hook if it runs.

Most jewfish will only have a couple of good runs in them but with a little swell and current that big paddle tail and wide body can make for an interesting time getting them to somewhere they can be landed. For this reason if a good-sized fish heads for open water its often best to let it, and wear it down away from danger and structure.

Having said that, even fishing as heavy as I do, I have just been absolutely mugged by some fish?

I haven’t begun to cover many aspects of hard body lure fishing for Jew fish such as break wall fishing, there are many great articles already in existence about this and my preference for the relative solitude of surf ledges leads me away from that being a particular area of my expertise, although I have done it and know many who do it with great success and many of the same principals apply.

Good luck and remember the two most important principals are stick with it and make it home safe!

McNulty .aka “happy “

Edited by Fishing Tackle Shop Ocean Storm Fishing Tackle.