King George Whiting (KGW) is a good quality eating fish and best caught during the months of summer and autumn but can be caught year round. Being a bottom dweller fish are often spotted around sandy bottoms and reefs.
KGW is a long slender fish, silvery bronze in appearance with noticeable brown spots along the body. Once caught these fish are often covered in a slime coating but are relatively easy to handle as they don’t have sharp fins.
King George Whiting are best caught wherever food sources are plentiful. Along marine coastlines and estuaries look for sandy patches, weedy bottoms, and low lying reefs. These fish can also be found amongst rocky bottoms and sandy channels.
King George Whiting are distributed throughout Victorian waters and land-based fishing opportunities are available throughout Port Phillip and Corio Bay.
Best time of the day and tide
When it comes to fishing for KGW the most productive time of the day would be early mornings or late afternoons. But these fish are visual feeders and can be caught throughout the day.
Time your fishing with the run out tide approximately 2 hours after high tide. Generally, within this window, KGW will get on the bite. If tide timing lines up perfectly with dawn or dusk this would be the ideal situation you would want to find yourself in.
What set-up should you use?
Fishing for King George Whiting requires a lightly weighted set-up as bites can often go unnoticed and are very subtle.
Graphite rods with cork grips ranging from 7′ to 8’6” weighted at 2-5 kg work well. Pair this up with a suitable spinning reel spooled with either 2-4 kg mono or braid fishing line.
King George whiting can be fished both with bait and lures but from experience I’ve had more opportunities with baited rigs. Keep in mind these fish do have very small mouths and are often seen sucking up their food.
Bait fishing at times can be the most productive with KGW and the two most recommended rigs to use is either a running sinker rig or a paternoster rig. If strong currents are present opt for a paternoster rig with a heavier sinker to hold bottom.
Since KGW has a very small mouth and sucks up their food. It’s best to use a long shank hook size ranging from 2 to 6. Bait such as Pipis, sandworms, yabbies, Mussels and tenderized squid work well with these guys.
Don’t knock off lures either as they can work just as well as bait if used correctly. The best option, in my opinion, would be to go with soft plastics. Anything that resembles sand worms and crustaceans.
Work along the bottom with a slow retrieve and jerks to attract attention. KGW is a schooling fish and does feed on the bottom. If they’re there you should get a hook up sooner rather than later.
Legal Catch Limits and Size
Size and catch limits are essential within Victorian waters. It’s best to follow these guidelines to ensure we can keep catching these guys into the future. A minimum size limit of 27 cm and a catch limit of 20 per person is allowed in Victoria but please regularly check your state regulations as these may vary.