Whiting, King George

(Sillaginodes punctatus)

Commonly referred to as KG’s!

The King George whiting is the largest of its species and is the only member of the smelt whiting family (Sallinidae) to have its own genus – sillaginodes. The fine eating and sporting qualities of the King George whiting are legendary making them one of the most highly sort after bread and butter species available. KG’s are indeed the kings of the whiting group and are endemic to Australian waters only.

Distribution

KG’s can be located from Jurien Bay right around the bottom end of Australia up to Byron Bay on the east coast and are generally encountered in water depths of between 10 – 50 meters.

Growth

King George whiting are the largest species of whiting found throughout Australian waters and can reach lengths of over 70cm and weigh as much as 5kg. Most KG’s typically encountered in shallow waters average around 500 grams to a kilo with larger specimens of over a kilo frequenting deeper waters to 50 meters.

Habitat

KG’s prefer shallow bays, off shore reefs and estuary systems with large areas of healthy sea weed beds present. Larger specimens may also be encountered in deeper waters to 50 meters.

Identification

King George whiting can be easily identified from other whiting species by the dark spots apparent on the upper body section of the fish and their abnormally large sizing

Taste rating

  • Ninety Taste Rating
    90%

KG’s are one of the finest eating fish in the ocean!

Sport rating

  • Seventy Sport Rating
    70%

KG’s are a feisty species that do provide a fairly good account for themselves on ultra light tackle delighting anglers as they materialize from the gloomy depths.

Tackle requirements

Ultra light spin and over head combos are ideally suited to targeting KG’s both from shore or from boat with braided, gel spun and nylon lines with breaking strains of around 3 – 6kg proving ideal. Light 10 – 20lb nylon or fluoro carbon leaders of around one rod length help to prevent the fish from seeing brightly coloured lines when fish are being fussy during calm, clear conditions.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Small cut pieces of peeled prawn, squid or fresh fish as well as worms are all sensational baits for catching King George whiting with very small soft plastic and metal lures and fly’s also proving to be successful at times.

Handy hints and tips

Using a combination of baits such as peeled coral prawn or squid and fish on the same hook referred to as cocktail baits are well suited to KG fishing.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting whiting around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including KG whiting.

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