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BabySharkDooDooDoo

Whiting in Port Stephens in Winter

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Posted (edited)

Hello!

Regular raiders reader, first time poster 😊

We've started to do a bit more fishing as the kids are older and keen (yay!). This is the first time fishing in winter, and different types of fish we've been pulling up in our regular spots has been a lot of fun! I had no idea trevally come into the bay, caught a 50cm off shore. Plenty of Flathead about also.

Anyhow, the main reason for this post is how tips on catching whiting in the bay. My kids love eating whiting. We caught them in summer, but have not caught any this winter even though they are meant to be around... I guess that's why they're called winter whiting! I've been using prawn, nippers, and using more soft plastics recently. I'm far from a fishing expert and not fussy on my fish, but I'm fearing my kids are losing interest in fishing as dinner isn't whiting 😂. I know whiting for most people is a by-catch, but if I don't catch whiting soon that'll probably be the end of fishing days for me! So any tips on targeting whiting in Winter in Port Stephens off land would be appreciated. Thanks! 

Edited by BabySharkDooDooDoo

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If you want to keep the kids interested try some small prawn imitation stickbaits in the shallows, they'll love seeing surface strikes. In winter the whiting will be right up in the shallows. My brother recently got some decent whiting and a couple of flatties on the flats on the eastern side of singing bridge at tea gardens. Got them on the below lure in about 30cm of water. Even the small ones go hard and I'm sure the kids will love it.

Just make sure you use some really like flurocarbon leader, 4lb or so 👌

Screenshot_20190711-094805_Messages.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, wcurrall said:

If you want to keep the kids interested try some small prawn imitation stickbaits in the shallows, they'll love seeing surface strikes. In winter the whiting will be right up in the shallows. My brother recently got some decent whiting and a couple of flatties on the flats on the eastern side of singing bridge at tea gardens. Got them on the below lure in about 30cm of water. Even the small ones go hard and I'm sure the kids will love it.

Just make sure you use some really like flurocarbon leader, 4lb or so 👌

Screenshot_20190711-094805_Messages.jpg

Great, thanks so much! Even better that there's no need to rebait over and over again with the kids. I've never used stick baits before but will definitely now. What size and type? Thanks again 😊

Edited by BabySharkDooDooDoo

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1 hour ago, BabySharkDooDooDoo said:

Great, thanks so much! Even better that there's no need to rebait over and over again with the kids. I've never used stick baits before but will definitely now. What size and type? Thanks again 😊

I'm pretty sure it was a 50mm prawn imitation. Not sure of the brand sorry

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28 minutes ago, wcurrall said:

I'm pretty sure it was a 50mm prawn imitation. Not sure of the brand sorry

Should be easy enough to track down. Thanks

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Live beach and blood worms are def the go for the 'ting in winter- the best places to fish are up the flats and around the beaches like Fingal Beach in front of the caravan park , One Mile Beach, and Anna Bay Beach.

 

Swing past and talk to the blokes at the local tackle shop in Salamander or Nelson Bay they know where the fish are biting and maybe join the Local port Stephens Fisho's group on face book there a lot of good info from the locals there on what is biting where.

 

Good luck mate

 

Tight lines

Anthony

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Posted (edited)

The lure pictured above is a Bassday Sugapen.

The best size for whiting is the 70mm model and the clear bodies with lightly painted highlights (as in the pic) seem to work best.

Before you go shelling out around $25 for one of these, I'd be setting the kids up with a yabby pump and teaching them to gather their own bait on the sandflats. The pump will pay for itself 100 fold in the long run. I'm still using one I bought 40 years ago. On the rising tide they can pump enough bait and fish the same flat. 

Edited by Green Hornet
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2 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

The lure pictured above is a Bassday Sugapen.

The best size for whiting is the 70mm model and the clear bodies with lightly painted highlights (as in the pic) seem to work best.

Before you go shelling out around $25 for one of these, I'd be setting the kids up with a yabby pump and teaching them to gather their own bait on the sandflats. The pump will pay for itself 100 fold in the long run. I'm still using one I bought 40 years ago. On the rising tide they can pump enough bait and fish the same flat. 

My kids preferred pumping the nippers to fishing.   So good when you can fish and they supply the bait.

One rule I have is kids and fishing is sunglasses especially if using lures with trebles. 

 

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Worms for Whiting for sure, Prawns and stuff are OK as a "general purpose" bait, but targeting Whiting use worms, I find Nippers to be best at night during winter, don't know why, but big Whiting love Nippers up on sand flats at night.

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1 hour ago, Green Hornet said:

The lure pictured above is a Bassday Sugapen.

The best size for whiting is the 70mm model and the clear bodies with lightly painted highlights (as in the pic) seem to work best.

Before you go shelling out around $25 for one of these, I'd be setting the kids up with a yabby pump and teaching them to gather their own bait on the sandflats. The pump will pay for itself 100 fold in the long run. I'm still using one I bought 40 years ago. On the rising tide they can pump enough bait and fish the same flat. 

Hello Green hornet,

Yes, we have a yabby pump our own. The kids enjoy the yabby hunt just as much (if not more) than fishing. I have to admit I've been a bit lazy pumping yabbies, the kids are a bit too little still to pump properly so they pick them up while I get the work out! And unfortunately, hubby is just not into fishing or pumping yabbies (booo!). So another good reason to try sticks. Thanks for the id on the lure. 

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2 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

The lure pictured above is a Bassday Sugapen.

The best size for whiting is the 70mm model and the clear bodies with lightly painted highlights (as in the pic) seem to work best.

Before you go shelling out around $25 for one of these, I'd be setting the kids up with a yabby pump and teaching them to gather their own bait on the sandflats. The pump will pay for itself 100 fold in the long run. I'm still using one I bought 40 years ago. On the rising tide they can pump enough bait and fish the same flat. 

Agree with this 100% my grandkids love "Nippering" as they call it, and call them "Snippers" then fish the same spot as the tide covers the place you just pumped, kind of natural burley, we do this all the time during summer.

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2 hours ago, reelaxation said:

Live beach and blood worms are def the go for the 'ting in winter- the best places to fish are up the flats and around the beaches like Fingal Beach in front of the caravan park , One Mile Beach, and Anna Bay Beach.

 

Swing past and talk to the blokes at the local tackle shop in Salamander or Nelson Bay they know where the fish are biting and maybe join the Local port Stephens Fisho's group on face book there a lot of good info from the locals there on what is biting where.

 

Good luck mate

 

Tight lines

Anthony

Thanks heaps for the tips Anthony.

I should try and venture off to that side of the Bay. I'm Soldiers point way, so Fingal seems so far away😂 but will give it go since we're on school holidays. The northwesterly has been wild lately, is there anywhere that's protected from these gale force winds? 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, noelm said:

Worms for Whiting for sure, Prawns and stuff are OK as a "general purpose" bait, but targeting Whiting use worms, I find Nippers to be best at night during winter, don't know why, but big Whiting love Nippers up on sand flats at night.

Good tip, thanks Noelm. Funny about nippers at night! Any tips for catching beachworms? We've found them too tricky to pull up. 

Edited by BabySharkDooDooDoo

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Catching beachworms is an art, I get a few, but they are tricky, you can buy them live at decent bait shops, and small packets of frozen ones, I find the ones preserved in Metho to be next to useless, kids worming in the summer is as much fun as fishing and pumping Nippers. For worms, a low tide, a flat section of beach without too much shell grit and a bag of fish frames on a string, plus a small "hand bait" I like a bit of Squid for the hand bait, plastic worm pliers are probably best for a learner, but, bare fingers are best once you get the hang of it.

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Posted (edited)

The tackle shop in Magnus St Nelson Bay sometimes sells live tube worms and the one near the Shell at Salamander sells preserved beach worms (I think he calls them “metho worms”) and they should last a little longer but I’d probably choose frozen worms over me tho worms. IMO worms are the best bait for whiting, followed by live nippers. You can pump nippers at Corlette, just in front of the reserve where Foreshore Drive meets Sandy Point Rd. Should also be able to get them up near Taylor’s Beach. Both areas would also be worth a fish over the same flats as the tide rises. Use size 6 or 4 long shank hooks, a short length of red tubing or a red bead, 4lb leader and a 00 or 0 ball sinker, no heavier. You might get out of the wind at Taylor’s Beach but I just drove past the yabby grounds at Corlette and it didn’t look too bad. You’re more likely to get the “winter whiting” (red spot/trumpeter whiting) not sand whiting at this time of year, although I know some big sand whiting are caught in winter in deep holes in places like the George’s River in Sydney, so anything’s a possibility.

How old are the kids? Are they old enough to fish from a jetty or a estuary breakwall safely? If so, try the Salamander Shores (now Bannisters) jetty or the long wall at The Anchorage. The bream have started running now but there’s still a chance of whiting. My son does alright on leather jackets at The Anchorage using small pieces of cooked prawn and a tiny ball sinker running straight to the hook. Kids usually like catching jackets, too and their not bad to eat either. If you’re using cooked prawns you can also eat the bait. 😉

Edited by Berleyguts
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Firstly, welcome to fishraider! 

You won’t find many sand whiting this time of year within the bay mainly on the ocean beaches! 

Pumping nippers at corlette, Taylor’s beach or at soldiers point is certainly an option and a free way to collect bait. 

As baz said, you can fish the same areas on a full tide. The main whiting you will catch is trumpeter whiting which have no legal size limit and are plentiful throughout the bay! 

Wanda headland, corlette, Taylor’s beach or any of the beaches at soldiers will produce these whiting. 

Just use a running size 2 sinker, then a swivel, a 30cm trace and a long shank hook. Cast out and then every now and then wind in half a meter. This will entice the bite. You should find plenty in those areas! 

Cheers scratchie!!! 

P.s cooked prawns work fine just cut them in small pieces. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the great tips Berleyguts and Scratchie!  

Our kids are 8 and 6, and can swim if they fall off the jetty! Soldiers point and Wanda head are our regular go to, since it's just at the door step or just down the road.  Roy Wood sounds promising especially if it's out of the wind. My kids actually prefer the smaller whiting, I fry them up whole and they love eating the fins and tails! 

Yes, have nibbled on a cooked prawn while waiting for a fish 😂. As mentioned by Noelm as prawns being the "general purpuse" bait, I think that's where I've been going wrong by my kids standards of catching the wrong fish! Over the last few weeks we've caught snapper,  bream, shovel nose, trevally, and plenty of Flathead on cooked prawns off land, but not one whiting! And we also need to venture out of Salamander/Soldiers point maybe with some worms or try the stick lures. Thanks! 

Edited by BabySharkDooDooDoo
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A quick search of the weather and wind direction then a look on google maps should indicate areas that could be out of the wind.

Ive only ever caught Whiting on live worms or pippies - they will take both so you could also try digging for pippies around the open beaches on a dropping tide.

 

Hope this helps

 

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