Summer whiting tactics by Jarrod Day

King George whiting tick all the boxes - they put up a fair battle on light tackle and on the table they're an absolutely delicious treat. Caught right around the state, Western Port's whiting are particularly popular due to their sheer population throughout the summer months and they're still are a viable option, year round.
Going by various nicknames, whiting are predominantly a summer time assailant. This tends to coincide with the end of snapper season, which allows anglers to switch species and target something else for the rest of the summer months. Despite their abundance, whiting can be a challenge to catch and have specific traits when being fought that can easily be overcome with a few simple techniques.
There are a few different rigs that can be used on whiting and it's the fish that will dictate which is to be used on the given day. Whiting are notorious for feeding differently and in different water depths - to be successful in catching them, you need to adapt too. In shallow water to 5m, they can bite quite timidly. It's easy to mistake a leatherjacket bite for a whiting bite. A timid bite can also arise during days when the sun is out, making the fish more visible and vulnerable to predatory species.
In these situations, you need to be in tune with the bite and rig up to feel the bite the right way, so you can still get a solid hook-up. The ideal rig in these situations is the extended paternoster rig, which keeps the bait closer to the sea floor rather than suspended higher like a typical twin dropper paternoster rig. This rig tied from 8-10lb fluorocarbon will suit being fished over heavy weed or reef, with good abrasion resistance, and reduce the possibility of being busted off mid-fight. A sharp longshank hook is ideal.
Longshank hooks require the angler to set the hook by striking, which is the required technique for finicky fish. Try a hook that is offset and super sharp, almost acting as a circle hook on the initial bite. With a small and gentle strike, the hook can easily be set.
In deeper water situations where whiting are more aggressive, a twin dropper paternoster rig is more suited...