Often it’s the case that the further north you go, the bigger things get. This is true for most fish, however in the world of whiting, it’s quite the opposite. King George whiting live in most of our southern waters, including parts of Tasmania, and can be found as far north as about Gippsland in the east, and Perth in the west. Sporting brown speckles and an greenish back, they look a bit different to the trumpeter and sand whiting more common further north. They also tend to grow a fair bit larger than their northern counterparts, occasionally reaching 75cm or so. Usually however, a fish of 50cm and 1kg is considered a reasonable catch in most waters.
Catching them is not rocket science either, but as with everything, a few key bits of information will make a lot of difference to your catches.
Most of the time, KGs need some form of bottom structure, and prefer not to venture too shallow, with about 3m being considered shallow. KGs and southern calamari tend to hang out in the same areas, so anywhere you would fish for squid will probably house whiting as well.
Generally, paternoster rigs are used for KGs, with long light rods helping to keep these soft-mouthed suckers pinned. Berley is another tool for KGs, and simple berley mixtures can help bring whiting to you, however it can also bring undesirable species such as rays and leatherjackets in. The use of a cage such as Neptune’s Lead Burley Pot Small is a great piece of kit if you want to berley, and will ensure that the berley gets down to where it needs to be.
Preferred baits are varied, and many anglers have favourite bats and don’t use anything else, however squid pieces, pilchard pieces, mussels and pipis are all trusted KG baits. Small circle hooks are fantastic for whiting fishing, and size 4 Mustad Demon Light Gauge Circle Hooks are excellent tools for KGs.
Once your rigs are in the water and you’re waiting for a bite, most anglers tend to set their rods in a holder while they wait for a bite. The Berkley Quick Set Boat Rod Holder is a great, affordable means of keeping your rod fishing while you tend to other lines, or simply sit and relax!
Fishing for King George whiting is a popular pastime in large populations centres like Port Phillip Bay, Western Port, Gippsland, Perth, Adelaide and Augusta, but realistically it can be done just about anywhere within their range. It’s a great way to gather a feed, and you’ll never have so much fun bait fishing!
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