BEST BAITS: Worms, sea, blood, wriggler. yabbies, pippies, prawns, small black soldier crabs.
The whiting likes to search the sea bottom for tasty morsels on the shallower, cleaner banks, where the tide is not running so fast.
Angling for whiting is made more interesting because their method of bite is not always consistent, and has to be assessed on the day. Whiting are shy of a lot of weight directly on the bait so a trace is used, about 40 cm long, but in some instances up to 1 m.
To keep the bait just on the bottom, a small 00 ball sinker is used on top of the bait. But in bright sunshine fishing, it has been found that a substitute of 50 mm or 80 mm of red plastic tube on the trace will give colour attraction and increase bites. Any further weight necessary, which should rarely be heavier than a No. 1 ball, is placed above a small No. 8 swivel or ring used as a sinker stop.
The usual method to lure whiting is by creating bait movement by a slow retrieve with the reel. When the initial nibbling type of bite is felt, the bait movement is continued until the weight of the fish bends the rod.
To set the hooks increase speed of winding, at the same time leaning on the upright rod. Do not try to strike a fish by jerking the rod.
At times when whiting prefer to rush a stationary bait, a little slack line left between the reel and the bait, will help give the angler time to position himself to hook his fish. Even if it bites wildly, do not let this make your actions frantic and wild. Still do not strike, just turn, wind and lean.
When fishing from a beach lift your fish to bring it ashore, as whiting are adept at throwing a hook if allowed to tumble in a breaking shore wave. Whiting dislike very clear water, so are best sought on an ebbing tide, when water is discoloured in most areas.
Any ripples or turbulence at meeting tides is worth investigating as it clouds the water, and stirs the sand, unearthing food particles.
They can be in water as shallow as 45 cm, particularly over a bait bank on the early ebb tide. If fishing areas with weed look for clear patches of sand which form amid these places.
When wading, a shoulder-bag saves unnecessary movement to and from the water, which disturbs the fish. With compartments for bait and fish caught, the bag makes the angler better equipped to search for fish.
Yabbies are a good all round bait, but wriggler, rock and bloodworms are excellent bait. Eugarie and surf worms seldom bring best results in stillwater estuaries, but are regarded highly for whiting fishing from surf beaches. A fine pointed French hook size 2 is used with yabbie bait, a size 3 with worm bait. These are areas where the unpredictable whiting is successfully fished with an anchored bait in a fast running tide. This departs from every principle of good fishing, but if you find these conditions you may have to adapt yourself. This fish cannot be easily recognized by its biting habits.
WHITING SURF ANGLING:
Whiting work up into the shallow corner of V shaped gutters, and again a rig with a trace is favoured. When using any trace in surf fishing, always rewind a few turns immediately the cast lands, to lay the trace out so that it will not become tangled.
Whitting are often located close to the southern side of a rocky headland.