Bay Whiting

Sillago Ingenuua
Bay Whiting - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Sillago Ingenuua
Other names Bay Sillago
Size Up to 30 cm (12 in)
Weight Under .50 kg (1.1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Inshore coastal waters, bays & estuaries amongst sandy areas
Depth Range 1 - 15 m (49 ft)
Bay Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Bay Whiting is a species of fish predominantly found in coastal waters of Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, and northern New South Wales in Australia.
  • Bay Whiting have a slender, elongated body shape with a slightly compressed profile. They exhibit a silvery coloration, often with a yellowish hue, and possess scales with a distinctive diamond-shaped pattern.
  • They are a schooling fish, often found in large groups known as shoals. These shoals provide protection from predators and increase the efficiency of finding food.
  • Bay Whiting are opportunistic feeders and have a diverse diet. They primarily consume small crustaceans, such as amphipods and small shrimp, as well as worms, molluscs, and small fish.
  • While they are not known for long-distance migrations, they may undertake seasonal movements within their preferred habitats, seeking optimal feeding grounds or spawning areas.
  • These fish inhabit various habitats, including estuaries, tidal creeks, sandy beaches, and nearshore areas with seagrass beds and sandy substrates.
  • Breeding habits of Bay Whiting typically occur during the warmer months, with spawning taking place in shallow, sandy areas with seagrass meadows, often in estuaries or near river mouths.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 6 – 8 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Bay Whiting are a popular target for recreational fishing. They are known to put up a good fight on light tackle, and their delicious, delicate flesh makes them a desirable catch. They are an intriguing species for snorkelers and divers. They often swim in schools, allowing for easy observation. Their silver coloration and diamond-shaped scales produce a shimmering effect when sunlight hits them.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sillaginidae

Genus: Sillago

Species: Sillago Ingenuua

Conservation Status

The Bay Whiting is classified as a species of ‘Least Concern’ in terms of conservation status in Australia. They are generally abundant and widespread throughout their range.

Fish Taste Quality

Bay Whiting is considered a delicious fish and is highly valued for its culinary qualities. They have firm, white flesh with a mild, delicate flavour.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Bay Whiting

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Shellfish, Squid, Worms, Yabbies, Soft plastics

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish

Popularity: Highly targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon, Seagrass Beds, Sandflats

Danger: None