In the past catching whiting for me has been more of a pastime than an actual passion. I would simple thread my blood worm onto my long shank and wait for a feed. This break I decided to give the surface lures a go to see what all the fuss is about. I have to say the excitement is real. I now spend 2 to 3 afternoons a week chasing these aggressive fish, and put them all back because I have found a new appreciation for catching them as sport.
The lure that did the most damage over the Summer was the BassDay, Sugarpen 70mm stickbait. Anything in a clearish colour worked particularly well. However, my favourite colour would have to be ‘MB-16’ because it does a great imitation on a yabby.
My first cast of produced a fish only about 100mm itself, from that moment on I was hooked. Whiting stalk the lures, rush them from the rear creating a bowel wave in the knee deep water, and then smack the lure with a lot more force than expected. I use a 1-3lb Trapara rod made by Majorcraft which made the experience so much more enjoyable. I matched that with 6lb Unitika flurocarbon, which worked perfectly. I have developed a stance on the flurocarbon vs. monofilament debate after my time chasing the whiting. Yes, I agree that the mono does not sink like the fluro. However, when working the lure you must maintain a constant pace or the whiting lose interest. Also, the sugar pen sinks in the tail anyways. This is why I believe that it makes no difference.
I initially used the original trebles on the sugarpen. i missed a few too many hook ups on the whiting, however, changed back to these trebles when chasing other species. I replaced the belly treble with Gamakatsu treble 17’s in size 14 and i used the atomic trick bits smallest assist hook on the rear. Not only did I have more success with my hook ups, but I got a little more action out of the lure.
I mainly fished for the whiting on the flats at high tide when the fish had access to the yabby grounds. However, each place is different. Places that are shallow and flat already fished better on the lower tides because fish were forced to congregate in areas that they were still feeding. My first 10 whiting that I landed were all only just up to a legal size. I eventually broke the curse by casting in deeper water (1.5m) and working it back into the shallows.