Catching King Whiting

Catching King George Whiting: Tips For Consistent Success!

Respected fishing communicator Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling from Spooled magazine shares some of his top tips for finding and catching the acknowledged monarch of the whiting clan: the mighty King George.

@starlos_fishtopia @spooledmagazine 

Found right around the southern coastline of mainland Australia — from Eden in NSW to at least Jurien Bay in WA, as well as the northern half of Tasmania — King George whiting are far and away the largest members of the extensive whiting clan. These sought-after, hard-fighting and delicious fish have been known to occasionally top 60 cm in length and weigh as much as a couple of kilos, although any whiting over 50 cm is a real prize in most waters.

King George whiting range from the shoreline out to deeper reefs in at least 60 m of water, but are most often targeted in areas between two and eight metres in depth that feature a sandy or gravelly bottom strata punctuated by patches or bands of seagrass, kelp and rocky outcrops. 

Here are my top tips and tackle choices for targeting the King of the whiting:

Top Tips


Anchor yourself and your bait. Pick a spot, anchor the boat and cast your baits down-current, rigged with sufficient sinker weight to hold bottom.


Keep moving until you find the fish. Don’t give any one spot more than 15 or 20 minutes if you’re not getting bites. Whiting are mobile, and so should you be!


Use fresh bait. Whiting love strips of squid, octopus or cuttlefish, pipis (cockles) and sometimes crabs and prawns, but fresh bait is almost always better than frozen.


Seize the moment! Hot bite periods on whiting can be short and sharp. Be ready to take advantage of them, rather than wasting time re-rigging and untangling.


Fish for the future. Take only what you need and can use, and abide by all the limits and rules in your jurisdiction — in fact, think about setting your own even stricter limits!

Most anglers target King George whiting on light to medium spinning (threadline) gear, consisting of a 2 to 2.5 m rod with a reasonably light, sensitive tip, matched with a 2000 to 4000 size spin or ‘eggbeater’ reel spooled with 3 to 6 kg line (monofilament or braid).

Long-shanked No. 4 to No. 1 hooks are best, and you should carry a range of sinkers and swivels to build rigs suited to the various conditions encountered.

Oh, and always pack some extra Ridgeline clothing and a jacket, even on warm days… The weather can change fast in King George country!

Tight Lines.

Steve Starlo's Wife with her latest King Whiting Catch in Ridgeline rain jacket
Steve Starlo with his latest King Whiting Catch in Ridgeline Infinity rain jacket
Up close with a King Whiting Fish
Steve Starlo's Wife with her latest King Whiting Catch in Ridgeline rain jacket