Seaweed 65

Canal Whiting

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They're still there. Early last summer stripers were forcing them onto the rocks. A keeper that I filleted had a whiting in its belly that was  7" or  so long.

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Oh that’s what they are. I snag one of those couple years ago jigging at night. So that’s another reason why striper go after white savage or bucktail at night. 

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At least in my limited experience/understanding, whiting in the ditch are much more a spring bait vs. something around in dead of summer or during the Sept run. Think it's the cool waters of May/June + something to eat that draws them in.

 

Nighttime seems to be when they're most active and/or around. Had a bit of trouble matching the hatch last spring on nights when whiting were the bait du jour

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7 hours ago, rst3 said:

At least in my limited experience/understanding, whiting in the ditch are much more a spring bait vs. something around in dead of summer or during the Sept run. Think it's the cool waters of May/June + something to eat that draws them in.

 

Nighttime seems to be when they're most active and/or around. Had a bit of trouble matching the hatch last spring on nights when whiting were the bait du jour

You are right that they tend to be a "night bite" kind of fish and they prefer cold water. Some mornings you can see signs of whiting being fed on but some of the best nights I've had were on a whiting bite. I have gotten into several fall whiting bites, usually late September early October along with the May/early June appearances. But they are not consistent visitors year to year. Some years they're thick other years I go the whole season with out seeing any sign of them.

 

Whiting schools can hold a variety of sizes- from as small as 4 inches to 12 + inches with the average being around 8. So usually stripers are willing to hit different sized plugs and jigs. My favorites for night time whiting bites are 9" sluggo jigs, savages, and if they are up off the bottom a bomber long A. White, brown and yellow are my favorite colors for the situation but I think a slender profile is more important.

1 hour ago, Seaweed 65 said:

I was under the impression that it was more prevalent quite awhile ago.. Obviously that was wrong !!! Lol 

Although they still make appearances in the ditch, it does sound like they were more prevelant in the good ol' days (like everything else). Although I am too young to have experienced those days, the stories I've heard leads me to believe the inshore whiting presence todya is not like it used to be. Apparently in RI, guys would wade in certain spots knee deep and be able to make quick work of whiting schools with a trident every fall.

Edited by Pescador710

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For those of us that fished for Silvers as we called them back in another time it was generally a night time bite or early morning west end change when they appeared in the spring run being attacked by the early run of Spring bass along with the herring also making a grand entrance into the canal at the west end during that time frame. I can still recall a time when we had a breaking tide at Blacky hole and hearing and seeing the top water action that bass were in a feeding mode on Silvers under the Bourne Bridge as the current began to run. MY Mentor [Peter]at the time hooked up a nice bass. That I got to bring back to the parking lot under the Bourne Bridge and carry it into his store. I was given a fillet lesson after we weighed in the fish at 36 pounds and it was astonishing to see that this bass had 6 huge silvers in its belly , and it still wanted more.

 

  We often would fish on silvers right before the cod fish would move into Boston harbor around Thanksgiving time. WE would use strips of cut bait on two or three hooks and at times they took artificial s as well..  It is interesting to note that during that time frame they could also be caught from any pier at night which was often the case. The size of the silvers were much larger then what you saw in the spring being chased by bass. The fall run generally as I recall held fish at times like 5 and 6 pounds. When this happened every one went to one or two hooks . We would work the baited hooks like we would work a jig along the bottom , letting the current take it for a ride as you lifted it from the bottom with what ever weight you would use to get it out and down on the bottom. There were times when a single rod with a single hook was employed especially when they were on sand eels. The silvers were a herding type fish when feeding and once you see the nice teeth they have you can understand that when unhooking them could result in some nice cuts. We often would use a smelt like rod , place a single sand eel[mostly frozen from the local shop] and move the baited hook up and down until you hooked up. Since most of these rods were made from split bamboo it was not unusual to see one break when the fish was lifted onto the pier

 

In the spring it was also not unusual to see thousands of silvers in the shallow waters going crazy and this brought about another way to catch them by hand or nets . I can recall when My father was working on the Long Island Bridge between Moon and Long Island coming home with a burlap bag of them  and told me that every one working that day also did the same thing. Most of the workers were of Italian decent and they were often featured in the local west end fish markets as Whiting, Not Silver Hake. They would have them on wood carts on wheels looking for some one to buy them, like they do mackerel in Fall river and New Bedford today in some locations.

 

Silver Hake went the way of the Golden Cod fish and also have never recovered to the same majestic numbers and sizes they once were . These fish are great for bait,  and also used in Chowder and fillet were great eating. You just needed to learn how to work around the bones. Another memory from the past for sure.   

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40 mins ago, Pescador710 said:

You are right that they tend to be a "night bite" kind of fish and they prefer cold water. Some mornings you can see signs of whiting being fed on but some of the best nights I've had were on a whiting bite. I have gotten into several fall whiting bites, usually late September early October along with the May/early June appearances. But they are not consistent visitors year to year. Some years they're thick other years I go the whole season with out seeing any sign of them.

 

Whiting schools can hold a variety of sizes- from as small as 4 inches to 12 + inches with the average being around 8. So usually stripers are willing to hit different sized plugs and jigs. My favorites for night time whiting bites are 9" sluggo jigs, savages, and if they are up off the bottom a bomber long A. White, brown and yellow are my favorite colors for the situation but I think a slender profile is more important.

Although they still make appearances in the ditch, it does sound like they were more prevelant in the good ol' days (like everything else). Although I am too young to have experienced those days, the stories I've heard leads me to believe the inshore whiting presence todya is not like it used to be. Apparently in RI, guys would wade in certain spots knee deep and be able to make quick work of whiting schools with a trident every fall.

That is fascinating about the guys in RI! I grew up in CT and my dad fished the canal with a friend every year in the early 70's and talked about the whiting.

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There was a pretty good run of whiting last spring in canal but mostly in dark (when i fish). The plugging guys who showed up at first light or later when i was leaving would mostly miss them.

 

-bd

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Man this gets confusing.  Down south a whiting is a kingfish (not a king mackerel) and maybe a southern kingfish at that.  But up here a whiting is a silver hake.  I wish I could find a site which lists colloquial names for all salt water species by locale.  Think of the confusion surrounding bonito, bonita, congo eel, catfish, conger eel, red snapper, redfish, ocean perch, etc. etc.

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Whiting were the reason why John Gibbs couldn't make enough yellow pencil poppers back in the mid-1980s. He even joked that he felt like paining the top of his new white 4-Runner yellow, and painting the front wheel wells red. :laugh:  

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22 hours ago, buz23 said:

Man this gets confusing.  Down south a whiting is a kingfish (not a king mackerel) and maybe a southern kingfish at that.  But up here a whiting is a silver hake.  I wish I could find a site which lists colloquial names for all salt water species by locale.  Think of the confusion surrounding bonito, bonita, congo eel, catfish, conger eel, red snapper, redfish, ocean perch, etc. etc.

This..........

 

Northern Kingfish is good eats, in my top 5 list. Used to be able to get them in the supermarket smoked. (Smoked whiting) At least in NJ, and when I first moved to Mass in 1984 I saw them up here for a short time as well. Now they are mostly only found in some Jewish delis. But fillets, seafood breaded and pan fried they are awesome.

 

Last time I had them was quite a few years ago when I caught them in Hatteras (Sea Mullet down there.)

 

So what are you referring to in this thread. Southern and Northern Kingfish have a barbel on the chin like a cod. The one pictured above lacks this. And while Southern Kingfish are colored similar to the picture above, Northern Kingfish have darker tiger like markings over the silver body.

 

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