Karl Attenborough Sandflats Fishing

Karl Attenborough

Youtuber, Sandflats Fishing Gun

Karl has been fishing the sandflats of the NSW Mid-North Coast for over 25 years. In that time he’s notched up a genuine metre plus flathead, plus countless thumper bream, whiting and school jew. Karl’s Youtube channel is dedicated to helping aspiring flats anglers master the bread and butter species..

Karl’s Top Tips For Topwater Whiting

  • Whiting are everywhere and are more aggressive when hitting topwater lures than most people expect. Don’t be afraid to fish very shallow, Karl frequently catches his fish in one foot or less of water.
  • The wind is a whiting flats fisherman’s best friend. Wind ripples the surface and stirs food making, making the fish more active and aggressive. A wind at your back allows for longer casts, which increase the chances of tangling with whiting. Wind and tide moving in the same direction is something that Karl actively looks for.
  • Karl has enjoyed good success on NSW Mid North Coast whiting during the week of the full moon on the lower rides, but has also done well on the neaps. Whiting have a definite preference for periods of flow, and are less affected by lunar cycles, weather patterns, tides or other factors that often influence fish. A north-easter is often a good wind for whiting fishing on the Mid North Coast.
  • Have a “Plan B” or even a “Plan C” for when the whiting are quiet. Karl will often switch and chase flathead if the whiting aren’t playing. Quiet days are the perfect opportunity to explore your surroundings, look for likely fish holding areas or work on understanding the system you’re fishing.
  • If you see a flathead swipe at your topwater lure and miss, switch to a crankbait and you’ll probably hook it in the next cast or two.

Karl’s Whiting Tackle Suggestions

  • Light rods in the 13kg line class with 1000 size spinning reels are a good choice. Braided mainline of around PE 0.4 to 0.8 is a must-have and Karl prefers a 12lb mono leader to fluorocarbon, finding it results in less hooks being pulled and better action in topwater lures.

Karl’s Best Topwater Whiting Fishing Lures

  • The Bassday Sugar Pen in 95mm size is Karl’s clear favourite for whiting fishing. Don’t be put off by the relatively large size of this lure, whiting take it aggressively, even more so than the more commonly used 70mm Sugar Pen. This lure can be worked “walk-the-dog” style, slow rolled or twitched back. Don’t be afraid to pause the retrieve, contrary to popular belief, whiting will actively hit a stationary lure. Karl likes to switch out the rear treble of his Sugar Pens, using the Atomic Trick Bits, size 10 (with or without skirts) and switches the front treble to size 10. This setup gives similar hook set rates as the out-of-the-packet trebles, but results in fewer fish throwing the hooks.
  • Kaj Busch’s Stiffy Poppers were very effective whiting lures (and still are) but are no longer in production. With these and other “blooper” style poppers Karl finds a shorter leader of 1m or less gives a better action.
  • The recently released Bassday Backfire has become one of Karl’s favourites and is a good replacement for the Stiffy Popper. It’s a great lure for glassed out days, can be cast a very long way, throws water well ahead of the lure and makes a nice sound.

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  1. Shaun

    Hey Karl,
    Love your videos and as a long distance truck driver I love podcasts to pass the time. Greg is onto a winner with this one. It has really fired me up about fishing lures again. I was hooked on the bream lure craze of 25 odd years ago but have gradually drifted back to baits and big plastics as my boats have increased in size.
    I had forgotten how much fun in it was to catch fish on light line and small lures. I have a few non boat trips with the family planned and have decided to take one light rod and a few of your choice lure selections.
    Thanks again for rekindling the memories of my childhood and teens.

  2. Karl Attenborough

    Thanks Shaun for your support.


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