King George Whiting

King George

Other names

Sillagnodes punctate, spotted whiting, KGW and KG.

Description

The king george whiting has the typical whiting down-turned mouth and elongated body but can be distinguished from other species by its brown/bronze colouring and dark brown to red spots and dashes along its body. These fish can grow up to about 60cm and more than 2kg, although most are caught at about half this size.

WA Distribution

Found from around Dongara in the north to the southern Western Australian border in the south. They are usually found in shallow inshore waters less than 10m deep in areas of broken reef habitat on sandy patches adjacent to seagrass beds or reef. Although larger fish will tend to inhabit deeper waters further offshore around coral formations.

Rigs and Techniques

A light, 5-8kg bait-casting rod will do nicely for king george whiting with 4-8kg mono or braided line. It is largely accepted that fishing with bait is the best way to catch king george whiting. The best baits are squid, sand or blood worms, prawns and whitebait threaded onto a long shank hook. Berley can be effective when fishing for king george, however this will attract a lot of scavengers which makes it hard to get your bait to the bottom.

You may want to use a small sinker to drop you bait onto the bottom and you may need to give a light tug on the line occasionally to ensure your bait is still on the bottom. Whiting are fussy feeders and they don’t bite hard (which is why many king George fishermen use the more sensitive gelspun line) so if you feel the fish ‘suck in’ the bait they may spit it back out again and you will benefit from giving them a little line so they can have another go at it. Once the bait has been taken though it will only take a firm upwards movement to set the hook.