Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Whiting Anglers Await Summer

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Whiting Anglers Await Summer

Article excerpt

AS THE sun rises earlier and sets later, temperatures are creeping up to the high 20s, making it standard practice for the three following things:

Dusting off the wide brim hat and finding some zinc,

Chilling beers in the freezer to maintain that cool, crisp taste upon opening, and lastly

Tuning up the long, whippy whiting rod for a long summer targeting one of Queensland's most sought-after succulent-tasting, sporting species.

Most whiting anglers get excited after the September school holidays as this marks the start of the whiting season.

Anyone who fishes the beach over this holiday period will vouch that whiting are usually seen in the gutters along surf beaches on the coastline as they are en route to rivers and estuaries for their major spawning period which occurs in September in Queensland.

If you need a reminder of what to look for in a summer/sand whiting, then read on.

Sand whiting (sillago ciliata), also known as summer whiting and blue-nosed whiting, are mostly silver in colour with an olive green to light brown back. They have 15-17 soft rays on their anal fin and a conspicuous black dot at the base of the pectoral fin.

The ventral and anal fins are light yellow in colour, but this is not to be confused with the golden bands along the body of the golden-lined whiting which anglers often misidentify.

Sand whiting have been known to grow to a length of more than 50cm and a weight of more than one kilo. However in local waters weigh-ins range from 300g to 750g most commonly. The minimum legal length is 23cm and there is a combined bag limit of 30 across all whiting species.

Where to go: Whiting tend to forage for crustaceans and worms in water from a few centimetres in depth to the edge of a deep drop-off.

Sunshine Coast waters are plentiful in structures and natural formations which appeal to the hungry sand whiting.

Sand whiting feed in areas where the tide current helps them burrow for food and likely spots are working sand ripples, tailing sand banks, shallow and deep weed beds, over yabby beds, over sand flats where soldier crabs are found and even under the mangrove roots.

Any shallow beach gutter with an incoming tide can also fish well for whiting especially in times when the swell is quite calm and the water crystal clear.

Don't expect too much action from a whiting in dirty, weedy water or if the wind is up.

In Noosa, try the Frying Pan, Munna Point, Tewantin stretch, between the lakes and those beautiful gutters that stretch as far as the eye can see from the first cutting northwards along the North Shore.

Heading down the coastline, Marcus Beach to Stumers Creek at Coolum, Yaroomba, Marcoola and Mudjimba beaches all provide nice gutters for whiting fishing during the day.

The Maroochy River, Cotton Tree, the Black Bank by Twin Waters jetty, shallow banks between Channel Island and Picnic Point, Godfreys Rd and the mud flats found in Eudlo and Petrie Creeks are all notorious hot spots for this silver-coloured, sought-after species. …

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