Whiting - King George

​​​​​​Other names: spotted whiting

Scientific name: Sillaginodes punctata

Minimum size: 35 cm 
King George whiting

Illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Bag limit: 5

Possession limit: 10​

Identifying features: The largest of the whitings, easily recognised by the dark spotted pattern, often in rows, along the long, slender body. Light brown to brownish black above and silvery belly. ​The scales are small and the tail fin yellow.

Grows to: Up to 69 cm and 5 kg. 

Habitat: Found around Australia’s southern coast, including in lower numbers in Tasmania, mainly in north and north-eastern waters. Young fish are found around shallow, sheltered areas in large estuaries close to seagrass beds and adults in deeper offshore waters up to 25 metres, often near reefs.

Fishing information: King George whiting are often caught during the day, indicating that they ​are visual feeders. They have small mouths used to feeding on worms and small crustaceans, so readily take baits such as pipis, marine worms, mussels or squid. Larger fish tend to congregate in sand holes or channels or drop-off areas into deeper water where fish will pass with the tide.​

Responsible fishing tips: In recent years, King George whiting have increased in number and distribution in Tasmanian waters. Log any sightings with Redmap.

Handling: Release into the water using a dehooker or pliers to remove the hook. Handle carefully using wet hands or cloth as they can lose scales easily.

Cooking: ​​Excellent eating. Easy to scale and they fillet and freeze well. Whiting has low oil content, a delicate flavour and white flesh which flakes easily. Use as fillets or whole fish. Suitable to bake, barbecue, grill, foil bake or shallow fry.​ 

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