Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trumpeter (Winter) Whiting

The trumpeter whiting, Sillago maculata, also known as the winter whiting or diver whiting is a common species of coastal marine fish very common in the eastern seaboard from southern New South Wales, to northern Queensland. The Trumpeter whiting is found in bays, eestuaries, coastal lakes and mangrove creeks on silty and muddy substrates in waters ranging from 0 to 30 m deep, occasionally inhabiting sandy and seagrass beds.

Fishing for Whiting in the Surf

If you want to get started on catching some whiting, check out the surf gutters. Quite often you can catch the whiting on a beach just a short cast out from the shore. This is because they will enter a gutter running along the shoreline that fills with water whenever the tide rises. Those tides bring in goodies for the whiting to eat, like beach worms and pipis that are bury themselves in the sand.When the tide moves out, it leaves the heads and shells of these irresistible baits exposed, and the whiting come into the very shallow water to dine. You can fish with one of these naturally occurring baits and are sure to get yourself a catch.
TIP: Again, you don’t have to cast out more than 20 or 30 feet – if you do you might cast right past the whiting.


silvery grey back; paler belly with a silver horizontal band
back and sides have dark blotches; upper and lower blotches frequently joined (especially towards the caudal fin); upper blotches generally larger
pectoral fin has black spot at base
operculum is dull or with an inner dark blotch showing through.


silty and muddy substrates in the deeper waters of bays
mouths of rivers, estuaries and mangrove creeks
Princess Charlotte Bay and further south


25 cm common length, 30 cm maximum standard length.

Size and bag limits (Qld)

no minimum size
bag limit of 50.

How to distinguish from sand whiting

anal fin has 19 or 20 soft rays
second dorsal fin has 16 to 18 soft rays
lateral line very distinct and easy to see
pearlescent scales very small and easy to dislodge.

(information courtesy of Qld DPI&F and Wikipedia)

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