Fishing for Tailor is one of those past times that many east and west coast fishos have dabbled in. Nothing beats the fun of finding a good patch of tailor and spinning these fish that fight the whole way to your toes. Aptly named “choppers” these aggressive feeders cut baitfish and soft plastic alike in half. Tailor can quite often be found schooled up in table size fish, but they can grow over 1m as well. Beaches, headlands and estuary’s are all likely haunts for these fish.
Andrew Iveli - Warehouse Receiving at Motackle & Outdoors - Caught on a Halco Twisty
Beaches - Tailor will quite often hold up on beaches in gutters that hold bait. It can quickly be determined if there are fish there as you can quite often see them in the face of the waves. Alternatively a 40-60gram metal on a 9 foot or longer casting rod will quickly pull an active tailor undone. Sometimes a metal all but skipping across the top is the go, but sometimes a slower retrieve works better, so just adjust the speed until you find the pattern for the day. Baits in the surf like pilchards or small mullet strips run on a paternoster rig with a star sinker, get a lot of bites. To increase the hook up rate you can run a snell rig or gangs.
Headlands - Spinning of the headlands is a great way to catch cracker Tailor! Always keep an eye on the conditions and make sure your fishing safely whilst on the rocks and remember no lure stock in the rocks is worth being swept off for. Some white water is definitely preferable as it gives somewhere for the bait to hide and the fish to hunt. Small stickbaits, casting minnows, metals and plastic are all great way to target these aggressive fish wile they are feeding. If are looking to use plastics Z-man or Daiwa Bait Junkies are my preference as a pack of Keitechs or gulps disappears fast on a good bite as they simply cut them in half. Casting minnows like the Rapala X-rap and stick baits like the madscad and Halco slidogs are definitely must have baits.
Peter Keep - Gamefishing & Rod Building Specialist at Motackle & Outdoors - Caught on a Surecatch Knight
Estauries - Quite often you can find big schools of tailor up river feeding on smaller bait, these are often the easiest to spot as the surface is alive with small “chops” at bait. Most active early in the morning or late in the afternoon, these active tailor will eat almost anything and are a bag of fun. Small plastics and shallow running minnows retrieved fast are a stand out! If your night fishing and have an estaury with bridges that have lights on them often the bait will congregate in light, this is another place to find feeding tailor, surface lures like walk the dog or poppers can be stand out here.
Matt Townes - Mail Order Assistant Manager at Motackle & Outdoors - Caught on a Gingerbeard Skute
While tailor are a great sportsfish, they aren’t that bad on the chew either. Once you catch Tailor bleed them straight away and they have a nice flesh especially when cooked fresh. Being that are softer than most other fish, fish cakes and smoking are two great ways to have them as well. With winter nearly upon us it’s time to hit the beach with a bait or lure and catch one of the most excitable feeders on the coast!
- Matt Townes - Mail Order Assistant Manager at Motackle & Outdoors