Stout Whiting

Sillago Robusta
Stout Whiting - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Sillago Robusta
Other names School Whiting, Stout Sillago, Yellow Cheek Whiting
Size Up to 30 cm (11.8 in)
Weight Under .50 kg (1.1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deeper coastal waters, bays & surf beaches amongst sandy areas
Depth Range 1 - 20 m (65 ft)
Stout Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Stout Whiting is endemic to Australia has a wide distribution, covering various coastal regions of the country. It can be found from southwestern Western Australia, along the Northern Territory, Queensland and south through New South Wales and into Victoria.
  • These fish have elongated bodies with a robust appearance, hence their name. They have a silver-grey coloration on their back, fading to a lighter shade on their belly. Stout Whiting also have a prominent dark lateral line running along their sides.
  • They are known to be active feeders, mainly consuming small crustaceans, molluscs, and other invertebrates found in the sand or mud.
  • Stout Whiting are known for their schooling behaviour. They often gather in large schools, which provides them with protection against predators and increases their chances of finding food.
  • The Stout Whiting plays an important ecological role in estuarine ecosystems. As an intermediate-level predator, they help control populations of smaller organisms within the food web. They also serve as a food source for larger predatory fish, seabirds, and marine mammals, contributing to the overall biodiversity and stability of the ecosystem.
  • Breeding habits of Stout Whiting are influenced by seasonal variations. They typically spawn during the warmer months, with peak breeding occurring between spring and summer.
  • They have a high reproductive potential, with females capable of producing large quantities of eggs during each breeding season. This contributes to the species’ resilience and ability to sustain populations.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 7 – 10 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Stout Whiting are a popular target for both recreational and commercial fishing due to their abundance, delicious taste, and suitability. Anglers typically target them from the shore or in shallow waters using light tackle, they are often caught using bait such as worms, shrimp, or small pieces of fish. Snorkelers and divers can easily observe them in the wild. They are not shy and can be seen swimming in schools near the shoreline or in shallow waters. Their distinctive appearance and behaviour make them interesting to observe.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sillaginidae

Genus: Sillago

Species: Sillago Robusta

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Stout Whiting in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are not considered to be under significant threat or facing major population declines.

Fish Taste Quality

Stout Whiting are 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
Stout 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

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