WESTERLY wind and early spring spell tailor season, and whether you’re an avid beach fisher or boat angler, this is a great species to be targeting. Queensland’s southern surf beaches and rocky headlands are popular destinations for tailor fishing, with Fraser, Moreton, North and South Stradbroke islands and the surf beaches of the Sunshine and Gold coasts all fantastic places to wet a line. Queensland tailor
If you’re a boat fisho, tailor is readily available and can be found around schools of baitfish – often signalled by feeding birds – with trolling and lure casting both productive methods. With the Jumpinpin Channel being my local fishing haunt, I tend to anchor the boat and walk over to the eastern surf beach on South Stradbroke Island.
It’s a bit more of an effort but you’ll usually have the beach to yourself if you do this. Look for deep holes and gutters that have an entrance and an exit. Fishing from a boat you can target these areas and cast lures into the gutters, however an extremely good understanding of the ocean is mandatory, and you do have to pick calmer days to do this safely.Queensland tailor
In the past, I’ve used West Australian pilchards for bait with an Alvey reel but have recently changed to lure fishing because I find it more enjoyable. Metal lures can be slightly more costly, though being able to cast these further than a standard pilchard on a gang of hooks means you can reach the back of a gutter, where big tailor – also known as greenbacks – can be found.
A 50g Sure Catch Bishop is a great choice and offers less wind resistance when casting compared to a pilchard and is durable enough to withstand many tailor attacks. These lures can be used at any stage of the tide, even if a strong sweep is in play. With this lure it’s a matter of casting out, wait a couple of seconds for the lure to sink and then start the retrieve.Queensland tailor
The past couple of trips to the island, I used the Zerek Zappelin 115S and opted for the sinking model, which has been producing outstanding results. These lures, as for metal lures, are easier to use with a spinning reel, which require less action and effort to make the lure give off the desired result. As always, a variety of retrieves may need to be trialled to see which one works best on the day.Queensland tailor
A surf rod with the power to set hooks into fish and the length to cast further would be my recommendation. Tailor need immediate bleeding to get the best out of a fillet and should then be put on ice. I suggest consuming these fish straight away rather than freezing the fillets because they become mushy when defrosted. In Queensland, tailor have a minimum size of 35cm, with a bag limit of 20 fish per angler.
The only closed water is on Fraser Island for those chasing tailor and other fin fish– from 400m north of Waddy Point to 400m south of Indian Head. Between August 1 and September 30 each year, there’s another closure 400m out to sea from the eastern foreshore at low tide.Queensland tailor