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Whiting on the Flats


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A couple of weeks ago I was fishing and estuary on the South Coast on NSW.

The tide was coming in and I could see lots of whiting in about 50cm of water facing the current which was quite strong. The bottom was sandy.

I was drifting fresh yabbies/nippers through then and for the most part they seemed to ignore them. I did see a few come over to my yabbie on one occasion but they didn't take it.

There were a couple of other guys doing the same and one of them caught one but that was in the course of the couple of hours of fishing.

I was hooking the yabbies through the tail which works fine in deeper channels but I'm thinking that they may be more spooky in the shallow and are put off by seeing the hook. Alternatively they could be feeding on something else and were not interested in yabbies.

Do any old hands have an explanation for this?




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If you can see the whiting, they can see you and quite often will not take the bait.

The whiting could be feeding on squirt worms, and they can be found in various lakes and rivers.

Hook the nipper, only a small ball sinker above the hook, and let the nipper bounce along the bottom. Sometimes stirring up the sand, or throwing handfulls of sand up current, may stir them to take a bait.

Some days they will not take the bait.

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I have a spot in mind that sounds very similar to yours.

Firstly, be aware of the clothing you wear and try as hard as you can to blend into the background.

If you must enter the water, wade slowly and quietly, approaching the fish from downcurrent to keep out of their vision. 

Fish as light as you can, like 1 or 2kg line and if using a small sinker, as long a trace as you can handle. Even better if you can manage it, fish your yabbies weightless. I like to use a #6 baitholder hook and totally bury it inside the bait.

As I said before stand downcurrent from the fish, but at an angle of about 30 degrees off the fish so you can cast ahead of the fish without your line going directly over them and allow the current to bring your bait back into the strike zone, similar to how the guys fish trout streams.

If you spook the fish, don't bother persisting. Move a hundred metres or so along the bank and have another go. You can often return to your original spot in around half an hour and find them back on the bite.

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If you can't get them to bite with the above methods & if there is a bit of wind around, just chuck on a small sugapen and retrieve this with a light flicking so the lures shakes left to right on the surface. I have caught plenty with or against the wind and have good success on the C264FG color in 70mm. 

If lures aren't you're cup of tea, keep you're bait (Worm or nipper) slowly moving after you have had a cast this Sometimes this helps stir them into a frenzy


Good luck, party on

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