Fishing For Sillago / Whiting (Sillaginidae Family Species)

An article by Ultimate Fishing(FishingTackleLures.com.au)

Fishing For Sillago / Whiting (Sillaginidae Family Species)

Whiting and associated species are a true world fish species. Fish from the Sillaginidae family are very commonly caught throughout coastal regions of Japan, South Korea, China, the Philippines, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, The UAE, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

While they are not all the same species, they do all come from the family Sillaginidae, and local names are either Sillago or Whiting. Regardless the species of Sillaginidae, they all exhibit the same characteristics in terms of angling style, and popularity for their taste when cooked.

For the purposes of this article, prepared in Australia, we will use the local name “Whiting”. Here we will detail where to find whiting, and also the techniques required to catch them recreationally.

Whiting behaviour is one of the harder traits among fish to understand due to the fact that their behaviour varies significantly depending on the environments that they reside in. For example, in urbanised that has waterways criss-crossing all over the place, the adult whiting often select to hunt for prey in the waterways that are rarely disturbed by humans and this obviously depends on the popularity of the fishing spot regardless of the time that you are fishing. Thus, trying to catch a Whiting in places that are crowded can become intensely frustrating.

On the other hand in places where there is less human activity and have deeper water levels whiting are constantly feeding from morning to dawn, which makes the best time to fish for these delicious favourites in the morning or in the evening when they are actively feeding. Although the Whiting are usually caught in warm seasons, on occasions they are caught during the colder seasons, however during cooler seasons their preferred habitats are further downstream in estuaries. When it gets warmer the Whiting starts shifting positions and eventually they are found throughout not only the estuaries but around bays and inlets.

However, younger whiting are easier to catch as they do not avoid human activity as much as older whiting. Another factor that one needs to know when fishing for whiting is the fact that waters with proximity to sandbanks are often targeted by Whiting that are on the hunt during rising tides and this is because as water covers sand that was previously drying, bass yabbies, shrimp, crayfish, young crabs as well as sand-worms move upward towards the water as they look for food.

The whiting which are well aware of this routine take these habits as an opportunity to find easy and consistent food.

Catching Whiting Using Fishing Lures

Fishing For Sillago / Whiting (Sillaginidae Family Species)

In most circumstances, the Whiting can also be caught using fishing lures, provided the lures bear a resemblance to what is in their regular diet. While whiting are usually bottom feeding, they are also known for spending some time looking for shrimp higher up in the water column, on days like this anglers can use soft plastic or small hard body lures at varying depths.

90% of the time however, they will be bottom feeding, so small soft plastic grub lures in white, semi transparent silver glitter or luminous resemble shrimp well, and are proven to be most effective in catching Whiting.

The trick is to bounce the lures steadily along the river bed prior to raising them up about half a meter into the water column, do this repeatedly to mimic a shrimps movements. Always ensure the lures rise from the river bed is no more than 2 feet (60cm) from the substrate, if the lures jump too far upwards, whiting will loose interest and believe the bait is too difficult to catch, in order to entice the Whiting into attack mode, a slow moving lure with small sudden upward flicks is best.

Regardless of the fishing lure you decide to use, most seasoned anglers always recommend predominantly basic lures in white, pink and transparent (with silver glitter), combinations of these two colours are even better.