TOP CATCH: Pete May with a 75cm tailor caught off Noosa’s North Shore.
TOP CATCH: Pete May with a 75cm tailor caught off Noosa’s North Shore. Contributed

TOTALLY HOOKED: Hunt is on for monster tailor

WE ARE coming into those great winter months where beach fisherman load up their 4x4 and make the pilgrimage to Fraser Island in the pursuit of the mighty tailor.

Big beach rods and anglers standing shoulder-to-shoulder casting baits as far as possible to catch that monster 10 pounder.

But it doesn't have to be that way as some of our best tailor comes from the lower parts of our river systems.

Yes, you do get the big schools moving up the beaches, but the big rouge 10lb tailor tend to be a little more aloof and travel alone.

Can you tell that a 10lb tailor is a bucket list fish for me? In fact, if you come into the shop, I will happy tell you all the stories of the one's that got away.

My last encounter with an extra-large tailor was at Black Banks on the Maroochy River fishing for trevally on soft plastics. I won't bore you with the details but it didn't end well.

You do have to have a bit of preparation when it comes to chasing tailor off the beach. A 12-15 foot rod is ideal but you can manage good fish on a 10 foot rod.

This is the contentious part. Most diehard beach anglers like to use Alvey Reels because of their durability factor on the beach and simplicity of use, but I am a spin reel fan.

That's because I am predominately a lure angler and I can't get the recovery speeds that I like from an Alvey.

 

Mikey May with a nice feed of tailor.
Mikey May with a nice feed of tailor. Contributed

I also like to run braided fishing lines and this is not advisable on an Alvey reel.

20lb line is my choice and 30lb leader. I like to use fluorocarbon leader as it is a little more abrasive resistant and has less light refraction so if the fish are a little timid they will tend to bite more on a fluro leader.

Last of all it comes to bait and for most anglers it's the good old pilchard on a three-gang hook.

A bit of advice - make sure you use the right size hooks for your baits. If you are using large pillies use a 5/0 gang or if the pillies are a little smaller try downsizing to a set of 3/0s.

Now the all-important question: "where do I fish?".

Those of you with a 4x4 and heading for Noosa North Shore or Fraser Island can cover a lot of ground quickly to look for that elusive gutter.

Ideally, you are looking for a gutter with an entry and an exit point - the rips that carry surfers out to the breaks or an unsuspecting tourist into danger.

Which way the tide is moving determines which end of the gutter will work better. Fish will tend to hang in the corner of the gutters and pick off passing bait.

Those without a 4x4 will have to get up higher, like on the top of a dune, to access the best place to cast a line.

Another option is to work those rivermouths and headlands.

Drop into Davo's Tackle world Noosa or Davo's Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting.



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