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How To Catch Whiting – FAQ’s

When is King George Whiting season?

A: Traditionally it is considered December to April. You can catch King George whiting all year round in our local waters within Western Port Bay and Port Phillip Bay, but as the months get colder you can find these quality fish in different parts of the bays and in certain areas you’ll find good quality whiting around the 40cm mark, even in these colder months.

What is the minimum legal size of a King George Whiting you can keep?

A: 27cm

What is the bag limit?

A: 20 per angler

Can I fillet my fish on the boat?

A: These fish can’t be filleted in or on Victorian waters. They must be kept whole or in carcass form until you’re away from the water. It’s okay to fillet your fish on the cleaning tables at the boat ramp.

Is a King George Whiting the same as Whiting?

A: Yes. There are also Grass Whiting and Sand Whiting, however, we do not target these fish. Grass Whiting is not pleasant to eat and Sand Whiting is found higher up the coast of Australia.

What is the scientific name of a King George Whiting?

A: Sillaginodes punctata

How To Catch Whiting (King George Whiting) Fishing Tips

Without doubt one of my favourite species to catch as a Charter Boat Operator. They are fun to catch, taste great and we normally catch a good bag of them. In my opinion. This is one of the best eating fish we have, bar flathead of course.

How To Catch Whiting

How to Catch Whiting – Location, location, location

You will find them on the sand patches where there is some weed or reef to hide in and around the edges of banks. They feed on top of mudflats with the right tides or in darkness and in the deep channels. 

If you’re fishing in Port Phillip bay, stay away from very weedy areas as you will not catch whiting there. It is best to be on the sandy areas or casting into the sand patches. Tidal flow is extremely important and as we say, “if there’s flow, they will go”. A good indicator is if you’re catching toad fish and leather jackets, you’re probably in the wrong area. Another reason why you might not catch whiting is that you’re fishing in water that is to clear as whiting love to feed in the dirty water. When you come aboard a whiting charter, we will help you learn how to catch whiting, when and where to fish.

In Western Port bay, in the dark hours of the night you’ll find whiting right up along the mud banks and coming off the mudflats as we approach sunrise. Whiting move up and down the edges of the channels and at times you can be fishing in just 3 metres of water which is great fun. I prefer to fish in depths ranging from 3 to 8 metres but there are times when going a little deeper can be of benefit too. The beauty of fishing in Western Port bay is that there is such a wide variety of great fishing areas to choose from.

How to Catch Whiting – Baits

We use the same baits whether fishing Western Port or Port Phillip Bay. We use pipis or mussel and a squid strip as a combination. I thread the muscle or pipi first and then a long skinny piece of calamari or squid that will hold the muscle or pipi on the hook so that it doesn’t come off easily. It is important that you do not wrap your squid piece around the hook, so it does not spin but glides through the water. Spinning baits will not catch fish. I will not use pipi without the black lining in them and we do not cut pipis in half on our charters.

The natural feed for whiting are worms, bass yabbies, prawns and small crustaceans.

How to Catch Whiting – Burley

In Port Phillip and Western Port bays we use burley. This method is extremely important as sometimes you need to stir them up to bite so that you keep the fish in your area, otherwise they will move on. With so many boats around these days, you want the fish to stay with you and not move on to other boats that are using burley. We have found that if you’re not using burley, you will lose the whiting. There are many different burley containers (cages) that you can use. I have both a stainless steel and a plastic one. Each of them have lead in the bottom so they sink down to the floor of the bay and not float in the current. We may use 2 at a time, one each side of the boat.

The burley we typically use are pipis, pilchards and pellets all smashed up with a small handle.

How to Catch Whiting – Pro Tips

– If the whiting have stopped biting, sometimes a small move is all you need.

– Never stay in one spot too long. If you’re are not catching anything, move on.

– Use burley to keep the fish in your area, but also stir them to start feeding

– Find good edges of rubble, weed and sand.

Thanks for reading our How to Catch Whiting article. We hope you enjoyed it.
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Fishing data obtained from Victorian Fishing Authority