Southern School Whiting
Common names: silver whiting, sand whiting
Minimum size: no size limit.
Possession limit: 30. Possession limits apply everywhere, including the home.
Southern school whiting have a long body with slightly tapering head. The tail is markedly forked. Colour is yellowish brown with a number of orange-brown spots on the body. A silvery stripe can be seen along the flanks. Caudal, pectoral and dorsal fins are brown, anal and ventral fins are yellow or white.
School whiting mature around 15cm or 2 years old. They grow to 33cm in length and 0.5kg in weight and live for around 7 years.
Spawning occurs from late spring to late summer in Tasmania and it is likely that females spawn more than once during this time.
Juveniles are generally found inshore and move into deeper water as they grow.
Commonly caught by anglers over sandy areas or off beaches where the fish can form large schools. Juveniles are regularly caught in beach seines at night in association with small mullet.
Most commonly caught on a hook and line when using small hooks baited with small pieces of fish, prawn or squid. Marine worms are also considered good bait.
A good fighting fish on light gear and excellent eating, though most Tasmanian fishers consider these fish rather small for the plate. A larger sized species, the King George whiting, can grow to nearly 5kg but is generally not found south of Bass Strait.
Their diet consists of bottom invertebrates such as small crustaceans and marine worms.
Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe
Tasmania Online | Service Tasmania
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