Tailor to Torment Teewah
  |  First Published: September 2011

Teewah Beach will see an unbelievable influx of greenback tailor this month, which has the local angler on the edge of their seat! This is the month the spawning schools of these ferocious feeders arriving here from the south en route to Fraser Island. So be prepared!

The most common method of targeting tailor of any size is the use of baits such as pilchard, bonito, mac tuna, garfish or mullet with a short length of wire trace to prevent bite offs. All of these baits are effective, but any flesh bait will suffice; even that of tailor, dart or whiting will draw a strike.

In recent years metal lures have become another common method of targeting tailor, but there are difficulties in keeping big tailor attached to the hooks. Tailor have leaping and headshaking abilities similar barramundi that seem to be able to throw lures time and time again, which has long been a frustration for anglers.

The problem with metal lures is the weight of the lure which allows for the tailor to achieve leverage on the hooks during their headshaking which more often than not means a lost fish.

On the other hand, a bait rigged on ganged hooks with a short wire trace of 20-40cm to a swivel and sinker above that, means the weight of the sinker is away from the fish's mouth and doesn't provide the fish with any leverage with which to throw the hooks. They still seem to manage to throw baited hooks every now and then, but certainly not with the regularity that they will a metal lure.

For anglers wanting to beach large tailor, I would suggest that baitfishing is the more likely method of being able to do so. Sliding metal lures are an option that solves the problem quite well, but there are currently no such items available for purchase. A long barrel sinker is the next best option in this regard and would be well worth trying.

Smaller metal lures of less than 30g reduce the leverage factor and would be a decent option in calm conditions

Rainbow Beach currently has many patches of coffee rock exposed where tailor can be found. The rock is close to shore, which allows for light lures to be used in the calmer waters of the bay.

Teewah Beach currently has very little in the way of gutters that enable for tailor to be targeted on high tides. Although tailor don't require a great deal of water, the deeper gutters are preferable. Low tide gives anglers access to the channel that runs the full length of the beach; this is where the tailor move in search of food.

It is advisable to choose narrower sections of the channel with sand banks at the rear. This creates white water and can reduce sweep. These locations are also where baitfish will hold and shelter under the white water.

So far this year tailor catches have been few and far between, which is most likely a result of commercial netting for mullet. Fortunately with the mullet now well and truly back in the estuaries following spawning, less nets will be shot and opportunities for anglers will naturally increase. Netting for tailor in September will still be occurring but with far less intensity than occurs when the mullet are spawning.

Catches of other species haven't been terribly good either which can also be attributed to netting. The odd dart have been caught along with a few tarwhine, bream and whiting. Flathead don't seem to be affected by nets, which has kept most anglers happy through winter.

In other Teewah news – the hotel at Lake Coorooibah on the road from the Noosa river ferry to the beach has new owners. The former High Tide Hotel is now to be used for school groups to use for dining purposes and the new Great Sandy Bar is now located in what was originally constructed as the 'Eco Centre' for Qld Parks and Wildlife; adjacent to former hotel. The new hotel will be open for trade seven days a week and looks promising as a worthwhile location to stop for a meal and a drink.

It would appear that the introduction of vehicle permits for Cooloola has reduced traffic flow along Teewah Beach substantially. This could also be as a result of the current economic climate, but ferry crossings are down by 40% compared to this time last year. Whatever the reason, Teewah Beach is now a very peaceful and pleasant place to be with the reduced traffic.

Even if the fishing is poor, there is no escaping the fact that this part of the world is a paradise with very unique attributes. A steady stream of humpbacks migrating north are often only a stone's throw from the beach, which is a spectacle that I never tire of seeing. Just a few days ago a pod of six humpbacks frolicked for some time directly in front of Teewah Village. They were so close to shore you were be able to hear them; a truly an amazing sight. There will be plenty more whales to be seen from the beach here over the coming months.

A recent trip to Sandy Cape on Fraser Island was my first there for a couple of years. It's easy to forget what a special place Sandy Cape is and I was quickly reminded of this! Though the fishing wasn't great, apart from Paul's 9kg golden trevally and a few average queenfish, it was just wonderful to be in such an isolated and beautiful location far away form the rat race. Like Teewah, tourist numbers are way down at Fraser compared to normal, but this just makes for a better experience for those able to get away to these places.

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