Social Media Fishing Personality
A prolific fisher of the coastline between Geraldton and Exmouth, Ben has previously helped our listeners with WA mangrove jack and tailor. This episode he returns with some tips for targeting the humble whiting in the shallows of Shark Bay’s many beaches.
Ben’s Shark Bay Whiting Fishing Tips
- Whiting are extremely prolific along Shark Bay’s beaches, but due to the number of predators they are typically only found within a metre or two of the waters edge. They frequent shallow channels that run parallel to the beach and are only 30-50cm in depth.
- The southern end of Shark Bay has plenty of seagrass beds that in the eastern states might harbour whiting, but at Shark Bay they don’t venture far enough from the waters edge to be in seagrass.
- Beaches at the northern end of Shark Bay have more coral reef structure and whiting are typically found in higher concentrations in those shallow channels that contain occasional rocks or hard structure that provide refuge. Casting over and around isolated rocks in shallow sandy channels is often productive.
- Ben likes the high tides, but it’s possible to fish the falling tide by following the water down and fishing the series of channels that run parallel to the beach.
- If the wind blows from the east, fish the western shore. If the wind blows from the south, fish a northern shore. If the wind blows from the west, choose an eastern shore and if the wind blows from the north, go to the pub.
- Still, sunny days are the most challenging for Shark Bay whiting fishing. A decent breeze that ripples the water tends to result in whiting being more aggressive, especially if it stirs the sediments and dirties the water a little. Overcast days fish best.
- Whiting are schooling fish and are very mobile. Locating them is the trick, so keep moving and persevering until you locate fish that are willing to take a lure.
Ben’s Whiting Fishing Tackle
- A 7’, 2-4kg Volatile spin rod with 1000 size Shimano Stradic reel, 4lb braid and a 15lb Black Magic fluorocarbon leader is all that’s needed to take whiting on lures. Ben will drop leader size to 8lb if the fish are shy, but prefers to use the heavier leader for protection from large flathead and the bycatch of numerous predators that sometimes swoop in and snatch a lure intended for whiting.
Ben’s Top Whiting Fishing Lures
- The Ecogear ZX30 is a small metal blade with trailing feelers and assist hooks that can be deadly on whiting. Ben likes to cast it into the channels and retrieve with gentle rod lifts just sufficient that he can feel the lure vibrate, winding enough as he drops the rod that the lure continues to move. Or he’ll slow roll it back through a school of whiting, maintaining constant speed throughout the retrieve.
- The Jackson Ebi Panic is a 70mm prawn shaped surface popper that was designed for Australia’s southern estuaries and comes fitted with rear assist hooks and a belly treble. Wind a few turns, twitch and then pause for half a second, repeat this back to the rod tip. Whiting tend to take the lure on the pause.
- The Berkley Gulp 6” Sandworm is deadly on whiting and is more like bait fishing than lure fishing. Ben prefers to use the other lure styles, finding the Gulp so effective that it’s almost unfair to use it! This lure can be cast into the channel and retrieve it back extremely slowly at constant speed. Due to the scents built into the lure, fish will even take it left stationary on the bottom.
Tackleworld is Australia’s best known tackle buying group, with family owned stores run by knowledgeable and passionate staff.
Penn Australia and New Zealand provide Aussie fishers with the rods and reels that Ben uses for mangrove jack fishing.
Black Magic are Ben’s favourite brand of terminals and their fluorocarbon leaders are tough and perfect for mangrove jack fishing.
Abu Garcia are manufactures of a range of quality fishing tackle, including the rods that Ben prefers for targeting jacks in the creeks.