Whiting - From Sea to Plate

Whiting - From Sea to Plate

First of all I would like to wish anyone reading this a happy new year. An accumulation of excesses in food and alcohol and some very inhospitable weather conditions has meant I have done little angling over the festive period. I have only ventured out for two evenings sea fishing with my colleague Terry. Both of these sessions took place at our local beach and were good fun with us accumulating 6 species between us. My personal highlight was the nice small eyed ray of around 7lb (pictured below) which put up a great scrap in the surf. It’s also good to see some whiting starting to appear as terry managed three and I managed one on our last trip. Not everyone’s cup of tea but they can provide good sport when action from other species is slow and also make a good sustainable eating fish.


 Nice small eyed ray                                                     

Mine and Terrys Whiting catch

For this month’s blog I thought it would be nice to show you a good whiting rig and, for a bit of a change, show you my favourite method of preparing them for the table. For those that are not aware any whiting taken for the table has to be over the minimum size limit of 27cm. Anything under this size should be returned.

First of all I will show you how to construct a fairly simple rig to catch a few Whiting. You will need the following:

Robust rig body around 60lb

Snood material of around 25lb

Crimping Pliers

4 x crimps

2 x rig springs

4 x 5mm beads

2 x micro beads

2 x sequins

2 x 1/0 worm hook

1 x cascade swivel

1 x size 10 barrel swivel

1 x size 4 barrel swivel

1 x lead link with clip

This may sound like a lot of tackle but most of the items listed work out at pence each. Once you have bought all the necessary components to start rig building you will have enough equipment to make dozens of rigs. If you just fancy trying sea fishing pre made rigs are available. The leeda and Cox and Rawle ones are very good.


Lay all your components out on a nice work   surface giving yourself plenty of room.          


First of all I construct my two snoods. To do this I cut two 18” lengths of the 25lb material. Attach the cascade swivel to one length and the size 10 barrel Swivel to the other. Every knot used in this Construction is a 3 turn grinner


Thread a micro bead onto the snood followed by a sequin then tie your hook on. Leave a long tag end, this aids in securing your bait. Tie a stop knot above the micro bead. When you mount your bait slide this stop knot so your sequin is flush with the top of the bait. This also aids bait retention.


Your completed snoods should look like this



You need to now begin creating your rig body. This is made out of 60lb mono. Not because Whiting are renowned for their fighting prowess but the rig body will be taking the full force of the cast. Begin by tying a lead link with a bait clip to the mono. Then add a lead (this helps keeping everything straight while constructing the rig).


Next thread a crimp, rig spring, 5mm bead, snood with cascade swivel, 5mm bead and crimp onto the rig body

Place the hook in the clip then pull the crimp until the spring is under light tension. Use the crimping pliers to secure the crimp in place.


Compress the top crimp in place leaving a small gap between the top bead and the crimp

Again thread a crimp, rig spring, 5mm bead, snood with plain swivel, 5mm bead and crimp onto the rig body. Clip the bottom hook in place, clip the top hook onto the cascade swivel and pull the crimp up the rig body until the spring is under slight tension. Secure both crimps in place. 

To finish the rig tie the size 4 swivel to the top of the rig body. Attach your shockleader to this.

Whiting are susceptible to many baits a good starting point would be: ragworm, lugworm, sandeel section, mackerel strip and squid strip.

Once you have managed to catch yourself some whiting you will need to gut and fillet your catch. Personally I like to gut them on the beach as you can do it while fishing rather than have to do it when you get home. I then usually fillet them just before preparing them to eat. I would like to say the recipe I use is my own but I am afraid it is one I found online quite a while ago. It's very easy to follow the only addition I sometimes make Is 4-5 chopped green beans but this isn’t imperative. As the recipe suggests a nice chilli dipping sauce is a great accompaniment I have also included a link detailing a recipe for this. I usually make a large batch of sauce so it is ready whenever required.  

A few pictures to wet your appetite     

Once again we have had a fairly busy month in the shop as we have received new stands from Mainline, Guru and Korda which feature many new and innovative products.

 This month I thought I would continue with the sea fishing theme and have a look at the clothing I use for my winter beach fishing. For footwear you cannot go wrong with a pair of Vass 600 chest waders. We retail these at £44.99 and they are literally as tough as old boots. I have had mine for around four years and have used them a lot in both fresh and salt water and can honestly say they have not missed a beat.


The coat I use is an Imax thermo jacket. It has a waterproof rating of 8000mm and a thermal rating of 140gsm. I have had one for around a year and am yet to get wet or cold while wearing it due to the high spec of the garment. One of my favourite features is the soft fleece handwarmer pockets that really come into their own on a cold night. Again, I feel this coat is very sensibly priced at £59.99 and will take anything the elements will throw at it.

My plans for the coming month include more sea fishing, possibly some carp fishing and maybe some grayling fishing if the rivers drop at all this winter. Once again, many thanks for reading.

Best of luck


Posted by Callum Henley
17th January 2018

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