Eastern School Whiting

Sillago Flindersi
Eastern School Whiting - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Sillago Flindersi
Other names Flinders' Sillago, Red Spot Whiting, School Whiting, Silver Whiting, Spotted Whiting, Transparent Whiting
Size Up to 33 cm (13 in)
Weight Under .50 kg (1.1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, tidal flats, coastal lakes & surf zones amongst sandy areas
Depth Range 1 - 10 m (32 ft)
Eastern School Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Eastern School Whiting is found along the eastern and southern coasts of Australia, ranging from southern Queensland down to Tasmania and across to South Australia. They are particularly abundant in areas such as Moreton Bay, Sydney Harbour, and Port Phillip Bay.
  • They have a slender, elongated body shape, with a streamlined head, small mouth and large eyes. They have a silvery coloration with a distinctive dark spot near the base of the pectoral fin.
  • Eastern School Whiting are opportunistic feeders, consuming a variety of small crustaceans, molluscs, and other invertebrates found in their habitat.
  • They exhibit schooling behaviour, often forming large groups of individuals of similar size and age. This behaviour provides them with protection against predators and enhances their foraging efficiency.
  • The species is known to undertake seasonal migrations, moving between estuaries and coastal waters to take advantage of different food sources and environmental conditions.
  • Breeding for Eastern School Whiting typically occurs during the spring and summer months, with peak spawning occurring from November to January. They are known to spawn in shallow coastal waters and estuaries.
  • During the breeding season, male Eastern School Whiting develop brighter colours and have more pronounced dark markings on their bodies.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 6 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Eastern School Whiting are a popular target for recreational fishing in Australia, particularly among anglers who enjoy light tackle and estuary fishing. They are known for their agility and exciting fight when hooked, making them a sought-after species. Their schooling and foraging behaviours are also a interesting sight to see for snorkelers and divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sillaginidae

Genus: Sillago

Species: Sillago Flindersi

Conservation Status

In terms of conservation status, the Eastern School Whiting is not currently listed as a threatened species in Australia. However, specific local populations may face pressures from habitat degradation, overfishing, or other environmental factors.

Fish Taste Quality

Eastern School Whiting are considered to be excellent table fare and are highly regarded for their culinary qualities. They have delicate white flesh that is moist, tender, and mildly sweet in flavour.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Eastern School 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