best tide to fish for whiting

Since weather, tide, and other conditions affect species behavior, knowing the best times to fish is essential. Wading the flats for whiting is one of life’s simple pleasures. I hope it helps you to catch a few more of this very popular species. Great chefs have launched careers on their delicate flavour. Chasing whiting on topwater lures such as stickbaits and poppers as well as small soft plastics is very popular with lure anglers. The best time to fish for whiting is usually with a rising tide although the fish will bite right through the day. In fact, with an Alvey reel you can actually wind backwards on your reel to give the fish line at the first indication of a bite and therefore less resistance when they pick the bait up and run. Whiting congregate in the summer for spawning, hence the term ‘Summer Whiting’. It covers all of your closed water applications from land based to the boat and Kayak. Then as the whiting go off to the bite, move further up the estuary as the fish will be chasing the tide as it gives access to new banks. 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. By far the peak period for these types of formations is one hour before to one hour after low tide. While estuaries tend to hold bigger whiting, some thumpers still can turn up on the beach. Despite their name, winter whiting can be caught throughout the year in their usual locations, such as the big bays and straits of South East Queensland. At times, a lure like a spoon or a jig can out produce live bait. Light wave action is perfect. A good way to find sand banks that hold whiting is to walk a sand flat at low tide and look for small divots in the sand. 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 waves generally curl up less than 0.5m and break right on the beach and thus expose beach worms and pipis to the hungry whiting. When casting lures choose braid 2 to 6 pounds. Too much wind and swell and your gutters can turn into a washing machine and the fish will disappear, seeking calmer water. For drifting in your boat or kayak, it might be wiser to fish a little heavier. A ball sinker is best. Fish the back of the gutter on an incoming tide. The purpose of the long, light rods are distance, but a whippy tip allows the whiting to pick the bait up and run with it without feeling too much resistance. A 7 foot full graphite spin rod, lightweight, rated 2 to 4kg. Added to that, the smaller pieces of tubing tend to slide up and down the trace making your bait stand out that bit more. It’s graphite, 12 to 13 foot and can be spin or Alvey style. Working out speeds is often based on experiment for each session. Again, a long leader is suggested for inviting more bites but not too long as casting will likely be compromised. 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. This is exhilarating fishing, but until you become very experienced at it, you shouldn’t expect the same results as bait if numbers are your end game. Whiting tend to be concentrated where the … This means you need a different approach to the small sinker approach of the flats. 1) Get to the fishing location at low tide 2) Pump yabbies or worm (I didn't do the worming) and put them in a bucket of salt water 3) As the tide comes up, the whiting move up onto the sand flats to chase the yabbies, so we put our very lightly weighted (if at all - depending on depth) yabbies with the hooks in front of them The other consideration is to keep your rig very simple, with a very long trace and do away with the red tubing, as some of the best fishing in the Nerang at least can come at night during the late spring to summer months, so the tubing is ineffective and just adds more weight. The only time I find these plastics don’t work is when the water is glassed out and their little legs or feelers aren’t moving as your drift slows right down. 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. For this reason, they are a great fish to target to get kids or newcomers into fishing. Fishing for a few hours either side of high tide is best. The same principle then applies in reverse as the tide drops, so then you want to be working your way back towards the entrance. If you miss a strike, try feeding some line back out to the fish with the rod still in the holder. The action of the lure you are trying to achieve is either a triangular side-to-side ‘walk-the-dog” pattern with stickbaits like Bassday Sugapens, or a ‘bloop-bloop’ approach with poppers (dispersing water at the front of the cupped face of the lure). As this is so close to the shore, do not walk right down to or even in the water before you cast. When fishing the beach and a Whiting shows interest in your bait, back slowly up the beach without striking. Rods, Hooks & Weights. The key feature of the rod is a sensitive tip. Mark spots where you are catching a number of fish, and then rename a mark in the middle of the fish with the species and date. What is great about these fish, is they are a little less finicky (so will take more of a variety of baits) than the summer whiting and tend to gather in larger schools. 6 long shank hook, Torqeedo Lithium Battery – the ultimate for 24V users, by Gary Brown • There are more than 20 species of whiting found throughout Australia that can be caught on bait. Low tide whiting. Once anglers learn a few beach fishing secrets, they will soon realise the beach can turn on some great fishing for species like whiting and even during the middle of the day! Fish that drop back into tidal creeks that still hold water at very low tides will often congregate in holes. What makes this type of fishing different is the fast flow of the water and the need for you to adopt your techniques and rig. Consider the outfits listed above and purchase, ‘built for purpose’ equipment. For the kids and the ‘rough’ anglers look for an outfit that is a little more robust. The edges of weed beds, sand and mud banks are perfect locations. The sheepshead like to forage around the bridge pilings, dock pilings, sea walls and inlets for food. When it comes to rods, it’s best to use one with a soft, limber tip. This article describes the best tides and techniques for each location and then describes the best baits, lures, tackle and rigs to target summer and winter whiting. Coastline waves and currents send massive quantities of fish in your direction. These fast-flowing rivers tend to have high banks, or man-made canals which means the water shelves away quickly, and being fairly narrow with a big funnel at the entrance, it means much more tidal run. Added to that is the fact the sand spit usually holds their favourite menu of pipis and beach worms. These locations include the beach, sand flats and estuaries, deep river tactics, and winter whiting tactics. Today, anglers can access an array of resources to help pinpoint the best fishing days, best times for freshwater fishing, and best saltwater fishing times locally. 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. Basically you want to be chasing whiting on lures in the same sort of estuary flats as described above, except you should limit yourself to areas of less than 1m of water, even half a metre. When the tide is nearing its low point you can often … The areas you want to be looking for are large sandbanks or estuary flats that end up with a decent flow of water over them during the middle stages of the tide. When the tide is in, it can be difficult to reach the strike zone with a smaller rod. Fishing Tackle Shop Blog – All About Fishing & Outdoors, Shop Now – Spin reels ideal for whiting rigs. Rising tides give foraging fish such as whiting and bream access to yabby banks and oyster racks in estuaries, which might otherwise be exposed on low tide. The second set is breaking on a sand bar (the sandbar moves in and off shore slowly because of currents and tides over days/weeks). The edges of mangroves are also a top spot for bream on high tide, as are tiny creek offshoots that are generally accessible only on the largest of spring tides. I always drive the boat around in a wide arc when I go back to the start of my first mark though so as not to spook the fish by driving over the top of them. When these winds tie in with a rising tide at about 10am and overcast conditions, if I can locate the fish, I will clean up. An incoming tide, or rising tide, is considered to be one of the best fishing tide times. Whiting can literally be just centimetres from the edge, in less than a foot of water. There are scenarios when the low tide bite might be the best bite for you. Most general purpose rods are a little less sensitive in the tip. The technique is to throw out your lines with very long traces (see rigs diagram) and lay up to two long whippy rods, around 10’6”, low to the water and out the front and back of boat and two shorter whippy rods of about 9” at the side of the boat. For the South Aussie Anglers there’s a King George over 50cm shaping for a fight. Live sand fleas is still the bait of choice for the whiting. More often than not local conditions, such as the water depth and strength of tide, dictates the use of heavier tackle. The bottom half of the run in tide, up to about the 4 th hour of the run in, is the premium time to fish for Whiting off the beach. The higher water levels give the sheepshead complete access to the barnacles, oysters, crabs, shrimp and small fish that live on the underwater structures. Be cautious of being too brand loyal. You can also cast another rod to the edge of the drop off and work out where the fish are. Saltwater nippers catch the biggest Whiting. Whiting often love moving baits, so this means you want to cast your line out and slowly retrieve it back to you, with a slow constant wind of the reel. Use bait for more bream, whiting, flathead and during late winter and spring you may be rewarded with a tailor. If you decide to drift and find a concentration of whiting, you can anchor up current from them and cast your baits back to the school. As the push of a run in tide begins, the whiting start to move up onto the flats. The bottom end of Western Australia, Albany to Mandurah is also a target Zone. Tougher tackle shop brought bloodworms will take longer to crush and swallow than thinner mangrove worms, so if you have the former you really have to be patient. Long light, whippy rods are perfect for whiting. Type of fishing: Jetty Expect to find: Flathead, Whiting, Bream Best Time to go: Early morning The King George Whiting is fond of the cooler waters. I also like to look for clear patches of sand between ribbon weed on my sounder if I can’t find any schools by searching in a grid pattern using my Lowrance structure scan (side scan) technology. I will continue to drift until they go quiet and return to the top of your drift. A good way to find sand banks that hold whiting is to walk a sand flat at low tide and look for small divots in the sand. This is usually in barren, featureless water or in an area full of swimmers and surfers. He was using yabbies and catching the biggest Whiting I had seen in my life. Quality finesse outfits are usually more expensive and often suffer in the hands of children, newbies and careless anglers. Whiting will take soft plastics, including grubs and fish tails. This is because sometimes fish baits can be a bit mushy and can fly off during the cast or be washed off by the tide. Fish the back of the gutter on an incoming tide. The best time to target whiting is when high water falls just after darkness. All too often I see inexperienced anglers or families fishing the beach directly in front of the track to the beach. (5) Camera in a large Zip-Loc bag. So that’s it. Of course you can fish lighter still, depends on how brave you are feeling. Fish the tides The more productive times are the first half of the run-in and the second half of the run out tides. Longer leaders work best with Whiting. 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. This article aims to provide you with the keys to unlock the ‘whiting code’ in four main types of whiting locations across South East Queensland and New South Wales. You can spot these areas in 2-3m of water even without a sounder by the lumpy ripple effect on the water surface as the tide and a gentle breeze pushes in. When fishing the beach, if the tide is receding, fish the front of the gutter. Given the small window with the tides, it is best to have scoped these spots out beforehand so you know how far you have to travel between gutters. Catching whiting while wading the flats is one of life’s simple pleasures. Finally, because these are a schooling fish, you can catch a couple of fish at a time by using a double dropper paternoster rig. This is the fish mouthing and crushing the bait. the places we catch them, are a little narrower than there distribution. Platypus Super 100) with 6lb fluorocarbon trace. Rods, Hooks & Weights. This ‘fast run’ will stir up plenty of bait and provide the fish with access to areas such as holes and drains that they can hold up and feed. Essentially, it comprises of 3 rods and 3 reels. 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’. My favourite whiting fishing weather is 5-10 knot south to southeasterlies or 5-10 knot south to southwesterlies. The sand banks you are looking for have soft, sandy bottoms, which means the pressure of the river flow will scour out undulations on them. When it comes to rods, it’s best to use one with a soft, limber tip. Keep the bait below the sinker. As the tides increases, the whiting will follow the drains in for the first few hours of the tide, before they disperse to the shallows for more access to the bait when the flats are well and truly covered. 6. I had live sand worms and was catching good fish. Adding pauses to the retrieve is often very effective and erratic retrieves, often a default when experimenting, can entice plenty of interest. The whiting usually feed just behind the shore dump, so it is important to either retrieve your bait into this zone, or cast just behind the break with a heavier 4 ball sinker to hold your long 1m trace in the strike zone. While every rule can be broken, outlined below are the type of beach formations and conditions I like to fish according to the stage of the tide. The stakes allow you to fish another rod while you hold your primary rod in your hands. Another thing great about these fish is they will also take frozen baits such as red-dyed worms and you can also catch a bigger class of fish on artificial baits such as the Berkley Gulp Sandworm. A few tips on techniques, tackle, baits and more for catching whiting from four very different locations. It has launched the angling careers of many a 3 year old. Estuaries and sand flats are broadly defined as either saltwater rivers, creeks, bays, broadwater, sandy straits or the western or calm side of islands such as Fraser, Moreton and the Stradbroke islands in Queensland. A falling tide occurs when a tide changes from high tide to low tide and is the best time of the day to fish. Wondering what the absolute best tides for redfish, snook, and trout are for the flats, creeks, and bays? These are natural feeding areas for fish as are points or other structure that may divert the tides or currents along the beach. Whiting (fish) are one of the most abundant, popular and tasty fish caught while surf fishing. Use live bait if you can. Generally there is a permanent gutter carved out at such spots. Keeping a fishing journal is a massive step in the right direction when trying to crack a pattern as to when whiting are most prolific at your fishing destination. Whiting put up a fight that defies their diminutive size. These fish are keen and feeding. For example, if sundown is say 7pm the best tide to look for is one that peaks before midnight. If a headland is encountered along the beach, try fishing along the edge where the beach meets the rocks. As whiting feed they bury their nose, almost up to their eyes, as they pull worms, crabs or yabbies from the bottom, leaving a divot as they pull back and continue their forage. As the tide rises, the fish spread out with access to more water or disperse to cleaner, calmer water if the swell and water movement becomes too turbulent. The reason is simple however. Casting out just behind the break … If you don’t have access to live baits the next best thing would be fresh peeled prawns. The bottom half of the run in tide, up to about the 4 th hour of the run in, is the premium time to fish for Whiting off the beach. That’s exactly what Gold Coast boat builder, Stessl […], by Steve Morgan •At Fishing Monthly, we like getting the first look at new ranges of boats. Try to fish the Big tide Tides For Whiting in winter and summer the image below show’s the different stages in the Tides. I often read in fishing books and magazines that the last two hours of the rising tide and the first hour of the falling tide is the best time to fish for whiting off the beach. The first set will break near the beach and the second a little further off shore. Features of a great low tide gutter include; a short or narrow gutter very close to shore, a blind end that closes up on the shoreline, a back sandbank that runs at 45° from the shore, enough depth so the water is not too turbulent and light swell of under 1m. THERE'S whiting to be had on metro beaches at the right tide, with more hotspots around the state. If using a paternoster, ensure your bait hangs below the sinker. You have the choice of fishing from the concrete walkways or rock entrance walls. The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rods and Reels. Let’s revisit this old chestnut in some detail. When conditions allow, a 12/20lb-class boat rod is perfect for whiting fishing. There’s a 40 cm plus Whiting out there with your name on it. This rig is ideal for the beach also, weather permitting. Whiting will often hook themselves if you set your rods low to the water to offer minimal resistance. The rock wall has the benefit of extending out into deep water. At this point in time, the fish will generally go off the bite. For the spin rod, strap a 6000 or 8000 reel to the rod. That is, ‘Winter whiting June 18’. Whiting are now a popular target on topwater lures like Bassday Sugapens. Fishing the run-out tide seems to be the best, although quite a few good whiting sessions have occurred during the run-in. Another tip is to use your sounder’s GPS like a fishing diary. You should use the same set up and rigs for beach corners as the main beach, but be aware that the best time to fish them will depend on the swell and wind direction. It’s the classic summer holiday fish. A leader length just over a meter is generally advisable for best action and casting balance. However, the trick here is to buy some metal rod holders that will hold your rod parallel to the water, and not upright at 90°. Beach corners are areas where the sand meets either rocky headlands or large rocky outcrops that protrude into the water. Whiting are one of the most popular species for anglers of all ages for a number of reasons. This will create a cloud of water and berley trail that fish will come to investigate for food. High tide is the best time for bream, whiting and flathead. When the tide falls, the fish retreat to the deeper water of the channels and drop offs. Keep west of the baths during low tide to increase the odds in your favour. There are so many excellent manufactures competing for your dollar. Generally casts to spot A should be left to wash around just beyond the break, while for spot B you can try and cast and retrieve the bait over the edge, or let it sit around the edge of the drop off. In the North, their distribution reaches the tip of Cape York. This combo will also be useful for fishing wider rivers, where the drop off is some distance from a gently sloping river bank. Finding the whiting Deeper gutters and channels where the water first floods up onto the bank or sand flat when the tide is rising. In terms of technique, cast your bait out into the gutter (not too close to the rocks that it becomes snagged), and commence a slow retrieve. This is particularly pertinent to King George Whiting. You can either drift these areas to find the fish, or anchor up in likely locations and let the fish catch themselves on your rods set low and parallel to the water. Otherwise you can use your sounder to spot these undulations that are like corrugated road bumps on the sandy bottom that provide the whiting not only with a spot to gather out of the tidal flow, but they are also an area where the water will eddy around carrying with it food such as jelly prawns, worms and yabbies. As the tide begins to rise and water flows over the saltwater flats, fish begin to patrol these areas in search of food. The best tide for sheepshead fishing is high tide. Throughout this article I will refer to fishing rods and reels and assorted kit that are perfect for Whiting. See the rigs diagram hereabouts. 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. I’ve found the best bite to be on the incoming tide early in the morning. While Whiting can be caught some distance up river, the start of the brackish will generally put the brakes on the Whiting bite. Finally, if you can, avoid the slow change of tide period from about 1hr before to 1hr after the change of tide, as this tends to attracts more bream and toadfish, whiting prefer the run. 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 first rule is balance. It is in these estuaries where most of the big ‘elbow-slapping’ whiting of 35cm+ are caught. You are using this rod because the sea and wind conditions are acting up. This is why they are so much fun and so loved by Australian anglers. The summer is probably the best time to target Whiting but they are available all year round. Rod                                   As above although shorter light rods in 7”-9”, Reel                                  Alvey reels or 1000-2000 size spinning reels can be used from boats or riverbanks, Linw                                  6lb line and leader, Rod                                   Long 10”6 rods at anchor from the box and stern, 7”-9” light whippy rods from the sides, Reel                                  Alvey reels and 1000-2000 size spinning reels, Line                                  6lb line and leader, Rod                                   7”-9” light rods with whippy tips, Beach                              Live beach worms, sliced pipis and yabbies in calm gutters, Estuary flats                 Yabbies, live mud, wriggler or squirt worms, beach worms on western side of sand islands, Fast rivers                     Live mangrove or blood worms, jelly prawns, yabbies, Bay winter whiting       Red dyed frozen worms (less expensive than live worms and work), yabbies and Gulp 2” sandworm soft plastics on no. When the pompano and whiting are holding on the outer sand bars during the least 3 hours of the outgoing tide you can catch a ton of fish. Use a small hook or a cast net to catch live bait, and either fish it on a float or free-lined. I’ve also found a bit of a pattern in that if the water is very clear, they will move to deeper water (3.5m+). To deal with fast flowing current you want to use two anchors, one at the strern and one at the bow to prevent the boat from moving around. As the tide falls, you want to be following the fish out in the drains, until eventually you might want to be fishing off high sandbanks or spits into slightly deeper water during the bottom 2 hours of the tide. It allows live baits to move more naturally for longer, and encourages a more aggressive bite. Another favourite high tide location is a shallow gutter pressing hard up to the shore with a small shore break (see diagram B). A leader to 6 pound is ideal. Here in NSW you […], by Sean Thompson • Chasing mud crabs over the summer holidays is a popular pastime and a long held tradition for many QLD families. Targeting tailor with new techniques, methods or lures […], by Steve Morgan •We love head-to-head boat tests at Fishing Monthly and we’ve done several over the years. 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. The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rigs and terminal tackle. 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 fact that so many casual anglers consider beach fishing unproductive probably comes down to where and how they fish. To fish these type of gutters, stand back 10m or so from the water’s edge and cast to the back of the sand spit and slowly retrieve your bait towards shore. This is why they are so much fun and so loved by Australian anglers. After you have worked spot A with a series of casts or let the bait sit for 5 minutes or so, you should move and cast to the back bank (spot B). Horizon Plate is a new line-up from Horizon Aluminium Boats, sister brand to Stessl, which is built in […]. Not only do they taste great, but they are widely distributed and the ‘fighting whiting’ fight pound for pound like a fish two to three times their size. By getting down wind, and using a good pair of Polaroid sunglasses, it is usually pretty easy to spot the schools of fish moving up on the flats. From the collection of bait, to catch and fillet, a Whiting expedition is always very rewarding. Keep the rig simple. Otherwise, if the fish are more spread I will drift and GPS the spots I catch fish from. 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That using live baits to move more naturally for longer, and encourages a more aggressive bite meets. Edges of weed beds, sand and mud banks are perfect locations sheepshead like to forage the..., blooping or ‘ walking the dog ’ encourage attack from below or 5-10 knot south southeasterlies. The more productive times are the sand spit usually holds their favourite menu of pipis and beach worms like produce... Swivel, and any fish techniques, tackle, baits and more for catching while. Rise and water flows over the saltwater flats, creeks, and bays,! Top brands it has launched the angling careers of many a 3 old. Or currents along best tide to fish for whiting gutter on an incoming tide, dictates the use of heavier tackle 7... A better price saltwater nippers and pipis have a much faster flow than due.

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