Whiting on the chew
  |  First Published: March 2006

The water in the estuaries on the South Coast is at its warmest now and one fish that really bites well over this period is the hard-fighting, exciting whiting.

With light gear this fish really pulls well and is probably one of the best eating fish available to the estuary angler.

A good way to get these fish is on the nights when the prawns are on the move. By catching fresh prawns on the top half of the run-out tide and then using live prawns for bait on the bottom half of the run, some action-packed fishing can be had along with the makings of some fantastic meals.

On good nights you are kept busy using just one fishing rod. Fish in one to two metres of water with a light running ball sinker and be prepared to move to find the bulk of the fish.

Often the bigger the prawn you use, the bigger the whiting you’ll catch.

Bream and flathead are regular by-catches while targeting the whiting.

The flathead in the estuaries have slowed down, more than likely due to the flogging they encountered over the Summer.

As usual, the last of the run-out tide fishes best for flathead, particularly when it coincides with early morning or towards dusk.

Bass have still been biting well but it pays to chop and change your lures at this time of year because the fish have seen a lot of hardware over the Summer.

The fishing on and over the continental shelf has been great with albacore, yellowfin tuna to around 12kg with the odd bigger fish to 30kg and striped marlin.

Once found, the marlin have been responding well to slowly trolled livies. This ensures a good hook-up and has the additional bonus of not burning up as much fuel as trolling at higher speeds.

Schools of striped tuna are present inshore of the shelf.

Kingfish are still plentiful anywhere from North Head through to Mowarry Point with all the different techniques, from live-baiting through to jigging, catching fish.

The inshore reefs have been fishing well for all the regular species including morwong, snapper and leatherjackets with the sand and gravel areas providing good catches of sand and tiger flathead.

The beach fishing has been good with consistent catches of salmon, tailor, bream and whiting with lures and pilchards working well for the salmon and tailor and beach worms working well for the bream and whiting.

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