Tailor is mainly an ocean species but will enter the harbours and esturaries and penetrate far up stream close to brackish water. Mainly a surface fish, it feeds at all depths and is often caught at 30 fathoms. They feed on small fish such as pilchards, whitebait, yellowtail, small mullet and garfish. It is a predatory fish that works in schools. It is a hard fighter with plenty of stamina and speed, and has very sharp teeth.
The flesh is inclined to be soft but good eating if cooked and eaten soon after being caught. Many anglers smoke their catch. The fish also needs to be bled and put on ice as soon as it is captured.
They can grow up to 14 kg and the Australian record is 9.63 kg (21 lb 3 oz). They can be trolled for as well, using a silver lure from a boat at about 4 knots, and should the line pick up weed, the tailor will not touch the lure. If the fish is shy, a variation in speed of the boat, and consequently the lure, may attract it.
In the surf, tailor are found in holes and gutters at high tide. At low tide when the fish gather and wading is possible, try spinning the gutters. Early morning and evening up until dark is the best time to catch the fish. Tailor prefer a fast moving bait and prior to fishing, look for signs of feeding like flocks of gulls and splashing in water. If boating, stop the boat near the splashing fish and spin to the outside of the school with silver lures. Trolling close inshore waters around inlets, estuaries, headlands and big beaches can be productive as well.
Legal Minimum Length
No legal length set
Type of Tackle
Use line between 4 - 8kg, with a 10 kg trace to absorb the initial shock of the hookup.
A rod around 2.0m is ideal for and boat fishing and a 3 - 4m surf rod for beach fishing.
Size 1/0 - 5/0 ganged if using whole bait such as pilchards.
Mullet, Slimey Mackerel, Garfish, Pilchards and Pike. Fresh fish strips of these fish will suffice, as well as and fish bait like squid, prawn, salmon and whiting. Lures can be used, which include metal and feather types, minnow lures, spoons, silver wobblers, poppers and glittery pilchards. Wonder Crocodile, Rapala minnows, Silver slices and Bombers all work well.
A berley mix of the diced pilchards and pellets soaked in tuna oil works very well. If beach fishing, tie a rope to the berley bucket and stake it near the shore line and let the waves do the work for you.
Rig No. 1
This is one of the most common and used rigs for Tailor. When beach fishing, the heavy sinker gives the rig the stability when used in rough surf and strong tides, and the bait is suspended off the bottom, away from sand crabs. The heavy sinker also gives you the weight to cast further, beyond the first shore breakers if fishing from a beach. A running rig could also be used, allowing your line to be sensitive to all bites/nibbles.
Rig No. 2
This rig is ideal for trolling, luring from a boat or from the beach. When luring, retrieve your lure at a medium speed, as tailor prefer fast moving bait. Remove any weeds from your line/lure should your lure hit the bottom, as this will not attract the fish.
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