Regarded as one of the best table fish in Australia, and rightly so, King George whiting has the crown. The white flesh is delicate and mild in flavour, and the fillets freeze exceptionally well. One of the most popularly targets fish in temperate Australia, in South Australia, King George is the #1 recreational target, surpassing all other finfish species.
Jamie Crawford from Seamaster Port Lincoln shares his tips on catching King George whiting.
Catching King George Whiting in South Australia
Our fishery here in SA is quite different from other parts in Oz. With a year-round fishery, our effort focuses on school fish. We see good numbers of whiting in the 30 – 35cm range. Our peak months (for numbers) are May to July. Often caught in lower numbers around areas of reef and hard bottom, there are plenty of good fish over 40cm, and the occasional fish over 50cm.
Most of our fishing for King George in SA focuses on shallow water grounds. Here we see good numbers of school sized fish. During the peak winter months, we like prospecting around the fringes of our bays and in Gulf waters where the depth is around 4 to 8m deep. We target areas of scattered sand holes amongst seagrass meadows. Light eel grass is perfect whiting habitat, and so too berry weed in the cooler months.
It’s hard to use your electronics to identify individual whiting on the sounder. Instead try to interpret the readings to select the right bottom, as KG whiting are quite specific on the grounds they hold over. In shallow areas – with the sun high overhead – it’s quite easy to identify likely ground. But if you can see the bottom easily, chances are the whiting will be slow to feed. It’s always best to fish these grounds when the water is a bit stirred up, or take advantage of the low light periods of the day. Good tidal flow is always your friend when targeting King George whiting too.
What tackle to use
Having a lightweight and sensitive outfit is another important part of the equation. A 6’6” to 7’0” rod rated at 2-5kg is ideal for targeting King George, matched with a 2500 sized threadline reel and 10lb braid. Sometimes whiting bite very lightly. Having that sensitive rod will assist in feeling the sucking bites KG’s are renowned for.
Rigs are quite simple for targeting KG whiting. Peternoster style rigs with two hooks above a sinker are effective. Hook size and pattern can vary depending on the size of fish and size of bait being used. A size 4 or 6 Long Shank, O’Shaughnessey or Shiner are all affective patterns on King George.
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Contact us today. Feel free to come in and speak with our knowledgeable staff on selecting the best rod, reel and terminal tackle for targeting King George in your area,