Keen Angler, Fisheries Manager
Apart from being obsessed with topwater whiting fishing on lures David is a former Director of Fisheries in both South Australia and the Northern Territory and is a passionate recreational angler who has fished all over the world. His business is the leading producer of the fish tags that are used in recreational fishing tagging programs across the globe.
David’s Top Tips For Yellowfin Whiting Fishing
- Yellowfin whiting fishing is a shallow sand flats pursuit in the Gulf of St Vincent. Look for them where there are expanses of shallow sand flats with small contours and depressions the fish can work along. Often they’re found between the weed beds and shoreline at low tide and anglers can wade out to the weed before making casts back towards shore.
- David likes to start fishing round the bottom of the tide and work back up as the water rises. However, in areas where a lot of weed has been released and is floating on the surface it can be better to fish the falling tide as it doesn’t carry as much weed. Knee deep water (or less) is most productive.
- Calm, sunny days are the toughest for whiting on lures and David finds winds of around 20 knots produce the best results, but winds over 25 knots become unproductive. Position yourself with the wind at your back to maximise both casting distance and lure action.
- Mid-October is the best time to start targeting surface whiting in South Australia, prior to that the water is to cold and they tend to no feed on the surface.
- A key to success with surface whiting is to keep the lure moving, not to pause as is done with many other species.
- David is a fan of replacing the treble hooks with assist hooks. On the smaller (45-65 mm) walk the dog styles he removes the front hook and replaces the rear with a decoy assist. On larger (95mm) lures he leaves the front treble but still replaces the rear one with an assist hook.
David’s Tackle For Whiting Fishing
- David likes ultra-light, finesse gear for this style of fishing. He uses a 1-3 kg Samaki Zing Extreme spin today coupled with a 2500 size Shimano Stradic Ci4 reel, 6lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon leader.
- Whiting tend to feed in clickers (salt water yabbies) on the flats and a touch of red on assist hooks can help make them look like a clicker claw. David reckons when hunting clickers the whiting tend to take the claws off to neutralise them, then eat the rest of the animal. He hypothesises that they may actually attack the hooks on the lures, mistaking them for the claws.
- Many anglers find that some UV spray on the hooks helps increase the bites, David has a theory that it mimics the light emitted by mantis shrimps when they click their claws.
David’s Yellowfin Whiting Lures
- The 65mm Lucky Craft Sammy was the lure that brought David’s initial success on surface whiting. He prefers the translucent varieties that have a touch of yellow in them.
- The 60mm Gladiator Konami is David’s lure of choice these days, but the Bassday Sugapen can also be effective and often the 90mm size is even more productive than the smaller sizes.
Hallprint Fish Tags was David’s fathers printing business, which started producing fish tags in the ‘80’s when David was a fisheries scientist and couldn’t source a suitable product. David has been running the business for over 20 years now and the company produces around half of the fish tags used globally each year. David is particularly proud that his fathers obsession with developing a better quality tag has led to a product that is still being recovered and readable almost 30 years after some fish were originally released.