Tassie Fishing Young Gun
Jarvis is a northern Tasmania based lure fisho who writes occasionally for Tasmanian Fishing News and fishes the odd bream series tournament in Tassie. But mostly he just quietly goes about the business of catching tons of quality bream, trout, bluefin tuna and…… King George Whiting on lures!
Jarvis’s Top Tips For King George Whiting
- King George whiting are more aggressive than most anglers realise. It’s not uncommon for them to turn up in northern Tasmanian anglers bags whilst targeting blue spot flathead or other species using quite large paddle-tailed plastics.
- Depths of 2.5 to 6m tend to fish best. Masses of 40-50cm whiting can be found in the Port Sorell system during late spring and early summer, with bigger 60cm fish out along the coastal areas but in smaller numbers. As the summer progresses the smaller fish will start to disperse through the system and can be found from well upriver to the coastal areas around the river mouths.
- In coastal areas, look for areas with plenty of seagrass interspersed with patches of sand. In the river it’s best to focus on the weed edges along the margins of the river channel.
- The last couple of hours of the runout tide often fish best inside the port, but you can catch fish on any tide and any time of day in that area. Down towards the river mouth and in the coastal areas the best times are around the top of the tide when there’s more water over the weed beds.
- Sunny conditions make it easier to see sand patches, but whiting can be caught under most conditions, wind and cloud cover don’t seem to matter too much.
- If the fishing is tough but you know you’re in a place where whiting should be, try switching lures and trying a vibe, blade or other lure style – it’s surprising what can work at times. Otherwise, persistence is key and it can pay to grind it out and keep fishing as often things can turn around quickly.
Jarvis’s KG Whiting Fishing Tackle
- A 7’ rod in the 2-4kg or 2-5kg line class is perfect, coupled with a 2500 size spin reel loaded with 8-10lb braided line and a 14lb fluorocarbon leader is perfect.
Jarvis’s Top King George Whiting Lures
- A Berkely 6” Sandworm in Camo, Green Pumpkin or other natural colour, cut down to 4.5 or 5” and rigged on a 1/6oz, 1/0 hook size jig head is perfect when you’re drifting through the estuary making casts. There is generally a lot of current in Port Sorell, so use the electric motor to track into the current at a very slow pace and make casts into the current and ahead of the boat along the channel edge. Let the lure sink to the bottom, then retrieve it with a “hop and drop” retrieve or mix it up with a few different retrieves.
- An 80mm Squidgies Fish in Green Grunter colour on a 1/4 oz 2/0 jig head is great when you’re targeting the larger fish down around the mouth of the system or the coastal areas. This weight gets the lure to the bottom quickly and enables the angler to cover water fairly quickly and helps secure a quality bluespot flathead bycatch. Once you’ve found a decent depth of water, make casts into the sand holes and “hop and drop” the lure from one end of the sand hole to the other. If you get a bite, hit spotlock and work the hole for a while, if you don’t get a bite after a few casts move to the next sand hole.
- The 6” Berkley Gulp Squid Vicious seems an unlikely offering for KG whiting, but they are deadly on this species. Rigged on a 1/4oz 2/0 or 3/0 jig head, they are fished in exactly the same way as the Squidgies fish. Jarvis switches between the two lures until he finds what’s working on the day.