Thick and fast tailor action
  |  First Published: July 2014

This is one of the best months by far for tailor. They come on thick and are well under way on their migration run north to breed. We should make the most of it while it lasts because come mid-August they will be all but gone.

The bait fishing fans will need to stock up on pilchard supplies; buying it by the slab in bulk will save you a few dollars. Buying them in small packs can be expensive, not to mention a pain when you get a hot bite session and run out of bait. When tailor decide to eat they go nuts, it is easy to go through a full slab in a session.

A lot of anglers, myself included, turn to lures instead of bait these days. Hardbodies, surface lures and metal slugs all work a treat. Surface lures can be awesome, as you get to see the fish attacking your lure, which can be a real buzz. I prefer the trusty old slug, it can be burnt across the surface fished mid-water or jigged off the bottom depending on the mood of the fish. For me it’s the most versatile cost effective fish catcher when it comes to targeting tailor, hands down.

Tailor will show up at the southern end of the Passage along Bribie’s surf side and then work their way through the Passage north schooling up and feeding hard in certain areas at certain times; dawn and dusk are the best times. Be on the lookout for any surface action or if you find a heap of boats schooled up tight, this is a dead give-away. Take it easy, don’t go in flat out just idle in nice and easy as you don’t want to shut the fish down.

The flathead will also be a great target throughout July and August. We should see good numbers and size coming from all parts of the Passage. A hot spot is inside the Caloundra bar one hour each side of the low tide. Soft plastics or drifting pilchards will do the damage. The mouth of the Caboolture River and Glassy Creek will also be on fire.

Just remember your bag limit for flathead is 5 per person and a size slot of 40-75cm; anything caught outside of this needs to be released unharmed and as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to carry a camera with you just in case you land a cracker. Most anglers these days won’t keep a fish over 60cm because of their breeding qualities, generally speaking fish over 60cm will be full of eggs or feeding themselves up getting ready to breed. Looking after the big breeding fish is in everyone’s best interest.

Trolling hardbodies for the flatties can be very productive; I like to use this method when the fish are a little hard to locate as you can cover a lot of water in a short space of time.

The bream and juvenile snapper have also been fished in fairly good numbers throughout the Passage, but sizes have been all over the place. One day you will hook good size fish and the next you will struggle to get one to go legal – go figure! Fresh baits run on light gear at dawn or dusk, is the best method.

There are some great silver and golden trevally in our waters at the moment. These can be caught on plastics slowly hopped through the deeper gutters. I find Z-Man lures are great for trevally as they don’t destroy them as easily. You will know when you have hooked one as they hit hard and run fast and never give up. What they lack in eating quality they make up for in fighting power.

The winter whiting are thick at the moment from Toorbul south out into the bay and onto the Cockle Banks. With a bag limit of 50 and no size limit, your family can catch a great feed and have some good clean fun. Squid, yabbies or worms are your best baits.

The squid are in good numbers at the moment schooling up in some areas. If you find feeding dolphins you will find squid. The dolphins give them curry, sucking them up like Smarties. The Bribie Bridge has been holding them in numbers at night as they are attracted to the lights of the bridge.

The sand crabs or blue swimmers are easily caught in the Passage. With a couple of pots and some mullet you are on your way. Fresh mullet can easily be caught with a cast net. If you’re not great with a net, grab some frozen ones from your tackle shop. I believe fresh is always best and you will yield better quality and numbers.

Get out there, get into the action and have a ball.

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