NERANG THE SPOT FOR TOP WHITING
THERE are few, if any, fish in the sea that are better eating than the mighty whiting.
Lucky for us on the Gold Coast there are plenty of places to catch them, but unfortunately thanks to netters many of the whiting we catch in the surf and some estuaries are either undersize or barely legal.
There is one location that the netters can’t get to and as a result it consistently produces some of the biggest whiting in the country that are not only awesome fun to catch but many claim to be the best eating whiting in the country. The Nerang River.
The most famous location for big elbow slappers in the Nerang River is the council chambers but there are many less crowded locations that produce the holy grail of whiting fishing: the 40cm plus whiting.
Try the run-in tide near the southern side of the Sundale Bridge, as well as the green beacon on the eastern side of Chevron Island between Budds Beach.
Many of the sandy canals here are full of wrigglerworms, which means the whiting have endless food source.
You can use these wrigglerworms as bait but the best bait by far is bloodworms.
I have had nights fishing with regular sand worms catching no fish while the boat next to me catches whiting after whiting because he has bloodworms and I don’t.
Unfortunately bloodworms are not the easiest bait to catch.
Go to YouTube and there are plenty of tutorials to help you catch them, but be prepared to get very muddy.
A few bait shops sell them but they are very expensive.
As for gear the most common setup is 6lb line with a three or four-ball sinker. You want a fairly long trace so I recommend around 2m and then a size 4 short shank hook.
The run-in tide is the most productive time to fish and given how busy the Nerang River is it is always better to fish at night.
The lead up to a full moon is productive as well. You will notice the bite drops off on the tide change.
Given how plentiful the food source for big whiting is in the Nerang River they can be difficult to hook (there is a reason they have grown so large, they’re not stupid).
The first sign will be a few bumps on the end of your rod, your instinct will be to strike but if you do you’ll miss.
Leave your rod alone and wait, the whiting will return and when your tip completely bends over that means they are hooked.
The legal size for whiting is 23cm and there is a combined total bag limit of 30, meaning no matter how many people are on board you can’t take more than 30 which, in my opinion, is way too much.
For sustainable fishing 20 would be more than enough.
Good luck, happy fishing and happy eating the best fish in the Nerang River.