Best Baits and Burley for Whiting Fishing
Most whiting anglers will tell you that the most effective bait for them is mussels or pipis and that nothing else if effective. Although mussels are undoubtable one of the best whiting baits it really comes down to what food is available in the area that you are fishing. For example if you are fishing up on the shallow flats, where bass yabbies’ (nippers) are prominent, then it stands to reason to use bass yabbies. The reality is that whiting will grab a variety of baits from sandworms, most molluscs to squid.
A lot of dedicated whiting anglers will take the time to prepare their baits the day before heading out on the water, by shelling mussels, pipis etc. Additionally if you are using frozen baits it is also a good idea to defrost the bait the day prior and place them in a suitable container ready for use. Any discarded shells should be kept and used for burley.
Whiting love a large variety of marine worms, such as beach, sand tube and blubber worms. You will get the best outcome if your worms are live. Obviously if you can pump your own then your chance will be much higher of bagging out. The next best option is to visit your local tackle shop and see if they have any live ones available.
Cephalopods, such as squid, octopus or cuttlefish also make really good whiting baits. Again the fresher the better. It is best to cut the white flesh into thin strips and if you can, soften with a light mallet, so they are nice and tender. A good tip is to do this at home, especially if you are fishing from a boat or kayak as the noise of tenderising the squid can spook the fish. Another tip, if you are on a boat, you can use a glass bottle to roll out the squid this will tenderise it, in a silent manner and still help to break up the fibers prior to baiting your hook.
Pilchards are not widely used for whiting fishing but can be a good source of bait if prepared in the right manner. Fillet them by cutting them into strips, ensure that the skin is kept intact, as this will help the bait stay on the hook. Pilchards due to their softness are probably best suited to slower flowing water like Port Phillip Bay.
Whiting react well to a decent burley trail, burley will bring the fish to you, if you are landbased or fishing from a boat, additionally, it will put the fish in a biting mood. When fishing a slack tide the best form of burley is to toss out empty shell fish, such as mussels. The down side of this type of burley is, that when fishing for whiting if you have not caught a fish within 10 minutes it is usually time to move locations. Constantly moving can mean leaving your burley behind. A good tip is to mark this spot on your sounder and possibly return the location later in the day. Some old time anglers use frozen peas in their burley with great results.
The positive of using a burley cage or pot is that you can just pull up anchor and your burley will come with you. Fill your burley pot with lots of crushed mussels or pipi shells, again it is best to crush these at home, or even better at the boat ramp, so you reduce the noise factor. Keep your burly bucket slightly off the bottom so it doesn’t drag on the bottom and spook the fish. Whiting vomit their lunch up when they are hooked, this process can help to attract other whiting. This is why it is a good idea to cast directly back to where you landed that last fish. Obviously if you are anchored up your boat will tend to move around in direction, so it is a good practice to scope out some landmarks, so that you can cast back to the same spot. It is a good idea to keep the fish in the water for as long as you can in order to ensure that the whiting vomits its dinner and attracts other fish.
No matter how good your burley is you need the right tackle, and the best way to ensure you get to your bag limit is to get your hands on Hook in Mouth Tackle’s Super UV Whiting DIY Hooks. They are made with special material that contains Atomic Glow, these flasher rigs will attract large amounts of fish.
Each pack contains 10 hooks, you get two of each colour.
Yellow, Pink, Lumo, Red, Orange