Tailor have a big following on the east and west coasts from bait fishers, who target this highly migratory species using dead baits in the beach gutters. While this is an artform in itself, many fail to acknowledge the great sport they can provide for lure anglers. As an added bonus, tailor shapes up pretty good on the plate as well, and being a schooling fish, once a school is found, multiple fish can be taken in short time.
The first thing to note about tailor is that they have large, sharp teeth, meaning they are comfortable taking large lures. In fact, tailor are known to crunch lures half their size. With that said, if you find tailor chowing down on a particular bait species, it pays to try and replicate that bait for best results.
Depending where you live in the country, tailor may arrive as per their seasonal migration patterns, and once they do they will infiltrate the harbours, bays and river mouths. Once they do, it’s just a matter of putting yourself in a position where the schools are feeding and tossing your lures into the melee.
Areas such as retaining walls, around bridges, river mouths, current lines and main channels are likely places to find tailor feeding, particularly in the morning or afternoon. You can also head to the beach to find tailor, however you may need to upscale your tackle to suit the surf environment.
As for lures, the options really are limitless, but some proven performers are Halco Twisties, Surecatch Knights, Lazer Lures Metals, Halco Roosta Surface Poppers in 60mm and 80mm sizes, Wiglet Sinking Stickbaits and Zerek Zappelin Sinking Stickbaits. Soft plastics are also successful on tailor, however their toothy make up means they will get torn to shreds in no time.
If you want to freshen up your tailor fishing and break away from the hordes of beach tailor anglers, haunting the estuaries with a few lures in hand is the way to go. Fishing in this way will also see awesome by-catch like trevally and Australian salmon turning up as well, so what’s not to love?
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