Fishing for Whiting via a Boat (Strategies)


Fishing for Whiting via a Boat (Strategies)

Whiting – Boat Based Strategies


One distinct advantage that the boat angler has over any other style of fishing for whiting is the ability to move and cover ground quickly. Obviously, this enhances your chances of having a successful day on the water. Expert whiting anglers consistently are on the lookout for new areas to fish. Often you will find these anglers using their sounders to mark ground, as prospective areas to fish. Once they have marked up these spots and recorded their location, the angler can return to them at any time. The angler can then anchor up at each spot until they find the fish.

Some anglers rather not put in the work to find the fish, instead they find other boats and anchor up in close proximity. A cluster of boats usually means that whiting are on the bite or have been on the bite. I am not suggesting you adopt this strategy, because for some anglers this can cause some tension. However, if you are going to do this regardless, at least do it with a little discretion and respect for other anglers fishing the area. Try cutting your engine up current and drift into the zone quietly then when you are in the desired spot then drop your anchor.  

When you come across a good producing spot make sure you mark it on the GPS and if you can record the state of the tide and depth of the water. You will find whiting in and around broken ground, areas of weed and reef that has patches of sand or shell. They can be found in water as shallow as only a meter deep and right to the depths of 10 meters or more. Having said that, predominantly most whiting fishing takes place between two to five meters deep. On a nice calm day you will be able to see the bottom clearly, which makes for good prospecting conditions.  

When prospecting you should be looking for the lighter green patches among the darker patches in the water. You need to cast your bait directly in the sandy area as the darker patches will contain sea-grass or reef, eventually your bait get covered in weed or you may become snagged on the reef. Additionally by casting in the darker areas you will most likely end up catching unwanted species.

Fish from the back of the boat, and ensure your boat has a good rack of rod holders. The amount of rods the angler will use will be determined by the angler’s choice of hook pattern. If you are fishing with circle hooks you can fish a few extra rods as the circle hooks will hook the fish with no intervention required by the angler. If you are fishing with hooks like a long shank or bait holder then, you might want to only fish one rod so you can strike the fish.

If you don’t have the luxury of GPS to mark a hot spot then learn to use land marks to help you relocate a nice honey hole. Take a note book out with you on your next trip, where you can record your land marks. Look for the nearest distinct feature from the position you are fishing, it could be navigation pole or channel marker or something of that nature. Once you have found your first marker look past it toward the land and see if you can locate something fixed behind it, like a house or a tree, etc. To put it altogether, begin searching at right angles and see if you can find another fixed object this should set you up at a 90 degree alignment angles, so you can return to the same spot next time. In your note book record these landmarks along with the time of day, depth of water, state of the tide, the moon phase and the stage of the monthly tidal cycle.

As discussed earlier, if you are approaching a sand patch, do it in a stealthy manner, don’t power into your chosen spot, kill the engine prior to reaching your destination and drift into the location and drop your anchor and berley in a cautious manner.

Two anchor method: Once you have you located your spot that you wish to fish, it is time to position your boat, drive your boat upwind from your spot by a few boat lengths and then lower the anchor from the bow, and you will need to ensure that your anchor flukes have gripped on to something. If not repeat the process over the same ground until the anchor takes hold. Let out your anchor line until the boat is near the spot you want to fish.  Lay your second anchor slightly downwind of the spot so that the boat can be hauled up on the main anchor rope tightening the stern anchor rope which will become tight.  Your boat will tend to swing in an arch up until the stern anchor is down and the slack taken out of the anchor line. This is why the stern anchor is not laid down until the boat is in the precise location in the arc of the swing.

Using a sea anchor to keep the boat in a beneficial situation for fishing when the wind is significantly opposite to the tide. In fast moving water or when the course of the tide is opposite or form a considerably different direction to the wind, causing the lines to go under the boat, a sea anchor may be deployed from the stern so the boat lays back with the current. This method allows the angler o manage these problematic circumstances of wind against tide more easily.

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