Fishing for sand, summer or yellowfin whiting from the surf is a great way to enjoy trips to the beach while also gathering a feed to take home. Being a shore-based activity, it’s relatively inexpensive, and if you know how, the bait can be gathered right at your feet. Any kids looking to get into fishing will take to whiting fishing in the surf readily, because the action is usually fairly constant, and whiting are quite forgiving of sloppy presentation.
Choosing an area to fish is best done at low tide, when gutters become exposed and whiting are tucked inside these zones enjoying the calm water as they forage for food items.
A ‘gutter’ is by a small gutter-like channel formed close to the shore. Usually calm and only a few feet deep, this is where whiting will do most of their feeding in surf zones. For this reason, long casts are not necessary, and in this way they are very accessible for kids who might not have their casting skills down to a fine art.
The best bait is always a contentious issue, but in most areas along the east coast of Australia, beach worms, pipis and yabbies are both easily attainable and effective. Often, these can be collected from the same beach you choose to fish on, or bought from a bait shop nearby. Whiting will also take pieces of Berkley Saltwater Gulp! Sandworm soft plastics in absence of bait, so there are plenty of options.
Gear can be kept simple, with surf rods such as the Gary Howard Swallowtail 12’ 3-6kg 2 piece Mid Mount or Breambo 3W 10’6” 2-3kg 2 Piece Low Mount perfect for whiting. Anglers often choose to fish these with side-cast style reels, and the Alvey Adventurer 55G easy to use and will stand up to the harsh treatment from kids and saltwater.
As far as rigs go, keeping it simple is the key. A sliding ball sinker rig made up of a Gamakatsu Worm Hook and a small ball sinker should be enough. Some anglers like to add red tubing or beads to their rigs for extra attraction, and the STM Red Tubing & Beads is perfect for this.
Once a bite is detected, it’s just a simple matter of waiting for the soft rod tip to load up and applying pressure, making sure to keep the rod bent so the small hook stays in the fish’s mouth.
Very little equipment is needed for this simple style of fishing, so why not take the opportunity to breath in some fresh, ocean air with the sand between your toes while you put together a great feed of fish?