Give garden worms a go to catch a feed of whiting
  |  First Published: May 2016

The whiting of Moreton Bay are tasty, plentiful, easily caught and much sought after. I’ve fished for these hard fighting little scrappers since I was a lad. All I needed to fish off the beach at Victoria Point was a hand line (line on a Coke bottle) and some garden worms, and I’d come home with a feed for my three siblings and parents.

When Denise and I decided to organise a feed of whiting off the northern end of Peel Island recently, I cheekily dug a few worms from the dear lady’s best garden bed. These worms were very lively, and just the right size to attract a fish (so I thought), and were slipped into the rear hatch of the Galey in a small bucket. They were still there (live and kicking) when I stopped to buy some squid on the way to the Raby Bay ramp. Twenty minutes after launch we were onto whiting and Denise laughed as I picked through the mess of straw and soil the worms were in and threaded one of the lively little fellows onto a hook. She soon stopped laughing when I latched straight onto the best fish for the morning almost as soon as the slack went out of the 3kg mono.

Making a long session of fishing short, I can safely say that garden worms will catch whiting. I’m not saying that they will out-fish bloodworms, but they will catch fish. My suggestion is to catch a few on squid or marine worms for a start then switch to garden worms to test them out.

I picked up some clues in that session. I caught all the larger fish by casting in the direction the boat was heading, the same as if working a plastic. It’s easy to drift for whiting and just leave the rod sit, or jig a hand line up and down under the boat as it moves along but by casting ahead, and working the bait vigorously back towards me I certainly caught the larger fish of those we kept.

Second clue is that if you are heading out for whiting don’t go overboard with the lightness of the line. Whiting are not the least bit wary or line shy and fight so stubbornly when hooked, that ultra light line soon becomes somewhat degraded or kinked from the incessant strain. Use 3kg to get the job done, and this will also take care of a lizard if one comes along.

So there you have it. Give the garden worms a go next time you are out fishing for whiting. It is best to pack them into a quantity of bran from a produce outlet to minimise the mess and make it easier to find them, rather than having them in soil. Like most livies, no one wants to go next!

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