Fraser Island is one of Australia’s most popular fishing spots, famed for the variety of fish found along its shores. Whiting, in particular, is a popular fish for seasoned and beginner anglers, and it’s found all over the island. What’s the best way to catch them?
You can catch whiting on Fraser Island throughout the year, although the best time to catch them is between July and March. Beach fishing for whiting among the surf gutters is particularly rewarding, especially during dawn and dusk. Use fresh bait and the natural waves to your advantage.
In the rest of this article, I’ll give you a list of tips to use when fishing for whiting on Fraser Island. These tips will cover the best time of the year to find whiting, tricks for spotting and catching whiting, and much more. Let’s dive in!
1. Fish For Whiting Between July And March
Although whiting can be found pretty much anywhere on the island, the biggest specimens are generally found between July and March. This part of the year is known as the whiting season on Fraser Island. You will find large schools of whiting just off the shore and much bigger fish on the beaches.
Although this part of the year is the best for catching whiting, they’re found throughout the year on Fraser Island. Even if you can’t make it during this time, you can catch whiting at any time of the year.
Note: 1 August to 29 September is the closed fishing season on Fraser Island. This applies to the area of 400 m north of Waddy Point and 400 m south of Indian Head.
2. Go Fishing At Dawn Or Dusk
If you’ve ever been fishing before, you’ve likely heard this repeated several times. Regardless of the species of fish, you’re targeting, many experienced anglers will tell you the same thing: Go fishing at dawn or dusk.
There’s a reason for this practice. Many fish hunt for food in shallower waters in the early mornings and late evenings. This is the best time to land a catch because the fish practically come to you on their own.
Harsh sunlight makes for a poor hunting ground since predators can easily be seen by their prey. Most fish like to hunt in softer, lower light—bright enough for them to see their prey but also dark enough that they can sneak up on them.
Another benefit to fishing for whiting at dawn or dusk is that it’s relatively peaceful. Few people are willing to wake up before the Sun rises or wait until sunset to go fishing, so you’ll have more space and quiet to fish in peace.
3. Look For Sea Gutters On The Beach
Many first-time anglers think the only way to catch fish is to rent a boat, go out into the open sea, and look for fish in deeper waters. However, whiting is one species you can find just by walking along the beach on Fraser Island!
Generally, most fishing on the island is done off the eastern coast, in deeper waters. However, the western coast of Fraser Island, in Hervey Bay, is a treasure trove of whiting. The trick to finding the best beach fishing spots is to look for sea gutters. Right in front of Cathedrals On Fraser, there is a nice gutter where you can catch Whitting and Flathead.
What Are Gutters?
Gutters are a slightly deep portion of the beach between the outer bank (back bank) and the inner bank just before the shore. These gutters and banks break up the force of water waves and siphon off excess water from the beach. Many fish move into these gutters for protection from bigger predators or to hunt for prey species.
How To Spot a Gutter
A gutter will appear as a darker blue or green part of the water between two sets of waves – one right in front of you and one further out. The outer wave is broken by a sandbank and then reforms over the gutter, breaking up again as it reaches the shore.
If you see a part of the beach that consists of sand followed by blue waters and then sand again, the blue layer in between is a gutter.
Fishing For Whiting In Gutters
Whiting often come into gutters to look for food, which is your chance to catch them. Just cast your line out into the gutter and wait. When you feel tugging on your line, reel it in steadily until you have the fish in front of you.
Make sure you don’t try to suddenly pull in your line too quickly. This could cause the hook to let go, letting your catch go.
4. Use Fresh Bait Like Yabbies, Pipis, or Worms
Whiting can be caught with soft plastic lures, but their preferred bait is fresh meat. Yabbies, pipis, or worms are the ideal type of bait for whiting, and they can be found in tackle shops or on the beach itself.
Pumping for yabbies on the beach is your best option. You can easily use a yabby pump to find some along the beach. Here’s a YouTube video to show you how to pump for yabbies on Fraser Island.
Whiting love fresh bait, so you’re sure to catch some with your freshly pumped yabbies!
5. Use the Waves To Reel In Your Catch
This is where many new anglers make mistakes. You may do everything else right fishing at the right time, in the right season, with the correct equipment—but you get impatient while reeling in your catch.
Most whiting caught on Fraser Island are found in gutters. So there’s one additional resource you can exploit to help you make a clean catch: The waves.
Most waves reform over gutters but with less force than the initial wave hitting the outer sand bank. This second wave provides a natural push towards the shore that can be used to pull your catch in.
When you feel a pull on your line, start reeling it steadily. Don’t tug at it too quickly. Use the natural motion of the waves to your advantage and time your reeling with the wave pushing in towards the shore. The wave then pushes your whiting towards you, your baited line prevents the fish from moving away.
You don’t need fancy equipment, an expensive rental boat, and loads of time to catch whiting on Fraser Island. Following some simple tips will help you catch whiting even if it’s your first time.
- Use fresh bait.
- Time your fishing trip to coincide with the whiting season.
- Fish during feeding times at dusk and dawn.
- Use the waves’ natural motion to help reel in your catch.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your whiting fishing trip to Fraser Island!
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