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Best Bait for Whiting

Best Bait for Whiting

If you want your coming-of-age children to follow in your angling footsteps, or if you are just stepping into the world of angling yourself, catching a whiting is often the best place to start. It’s the kind of fish that is not too frustrating and impossibly hard to catch, and it tastes great as well.

Whiting is a common aquatic food fish belonging to the Gadidae family of cods. Found in abundance in the European, North American and Australian waters alike, the whiting has many different names in each place.

The whiting is a relatively small fish. In fact, you would be lucky to find one that weighs a single kilo!  Even a length of forty centimetres is impressive for whiting. However, it is an extremely aggressive fish and can put up a truly impressive fight for its size. It is also a carnivore and attacks other small fish and invertebrates ferociously when feeding.

Whiting have a small mouth and feed at the bottom of the waterbed most of the time. However, they are extremely quick and aggressive predators. This is the reason that they often attack and feed on prawns at the surface of the water.

Catching a whiting is not so difficult if you know what you are doing. Fishing for whiting is always easier when there is a bit of current flow. If you pick a good fishing spot and use the right baits and techniques, you will be loading your bucket with these fish in no time at all. Here are a few baits that work exceptionally well for whitings.

Live Baits

Live baits are often the easiest and most efficient ways to catch any fish, and the case with whitings is no different. Live baits are a very convenient and budget friendly option when it comes to baits. They do not cost much, and you can even hunt for them yourself if you so please.

Digging the ground for blood worms can be a back-breaking task but this will reward you with the ideal bait for catching whitings. You can even use wriggler worms for this purpose. The constant squirming and wriggling motion of these worms disturbs the water and attract the attention of the whiting. If you provoke the whiting enough, it will trigger a strike and you can hook the fish in to your boat.

Apart from worms, there are a plethora of other live baits that you can use to catch whitings. Jelly prawns, small soldier crabs, squid, and shrimp are all prime quality baits in almost every situation.

Some baits, such as yabbies, are only effective baits in certain situations. Similarly, beach worms are great on beaches, but not as reliable in estuaries. Frozen prawns, however, are a poor choice of bait for whiting in all situations.


If you want your whiting fishing expedition to be more of a challenge, you can decide to use lures instead of live bait. 

Surface Lures

Using a small surface lure is perhaps the most fun and challenging way to catch this fish. As we stated previously , this fish primarily feeds on small crabs, clams, and worms at the bottom of the waterbed. However, it has a very aggressive nature and will often attack a particularly distracting lure on the water surface. This is only possible in areas with a habitat for shrimp and prawns.

A whiting often also eats shrimps and prawns when these exist in the same habitat. However, it has a very small mouth and no teeth, which means that the whiting has to swallow its prey whole. This is a considerable problem for whiting, especially when trying to catch a prawn. Hence, it has to attack extremely aggressively to ensure that the prawns do not escape. If you use this fact to your advantage and are able to fool the whiting into thinking your surface lure is a prawn, it will definitely attack your lure and hook itself to your line.

The trick to fooling a whiting is to retrieve quickly and make your lure splash water all around like a fleeing prawn. A good lure for this type of fishing is a Bassday Sugarpen. However, any popper or stick bait will work effectively for this purpose.


If you want faster results, go for a jig instead of a surface lure. Bounce the jig along the bottom of the water floor to kick up sediment and create disturbance. This will attract the attention of whiting schooling in the area and result in a greater number of bites. To further increase the chances of initiating a strike, attach a small piece of shrimp or prawn to your jig to entice the whiting.

Artificial Flies

There are many areas around the world that allow for fly fishing for whiting. Whiting are small fish, but they can pull a line with considerable force. This makes them an excellent target for fly fishing. If you decide to fly fish for whiting, pick a good spot with clear waters. You can often find such a spot in the water inlets, deep troughs, and sandbars. You would also have to pick a day with calm weather, as it will dictate the visibility in the water

Attach small pieces of shrimp or squid to the end of your fly. Use a sinking leader and try to bounce the fly along the bottom of the floor to stir up dirt and disturb the whiting. The smell of the squid or shrimp is irresistible for the whiting and will definitely evoke a strike.

Final Thoughts

Fishing for whiting can be a great family adventure or an activity to strengthen the bond between friends or co-workers. The reasonable level of difficulty associated with fishing for whiting ensures a pleasant and enjoyable trip for all involved. Furthermore, if you follow the tips in this article, you are likely to bring home a bucket of whiting with you on the return trip. 

What are you waiting for? Call up your friends or family, grab your fishing gear, and go make memories!