(Pomatomus saltatrix)

Commonly referred to as Tailor!

The tailor is a ferocious species famous for their menacing attacks on unsuspecting bait fish. As their name suggests tailor often leave their victims tailless after such strikes before instantly returning to finish the job. They are also one of the most popular shore based species in the country due to their wide spread ranging and fantastic sporting capabilities. Tailor are well known for their ultra large sizes throughout the state of W.A. with unrecorded captures of fish over twelve kilos being taken!


Tailor can be encountered in W.A. waters from as far south as Albany right up to Shark Bay and are also found in smaller sizes around southern QLD, N.S.W., S.A. and VIC.


Tailor can grow to over one meter in length and weigh as much as 14kgs although most larger fish commonly encountered throughout W.A average around 2 – 4kg and 800g – 1kg else where.


Tailor inhabit coastal inshore waters such as beaches, rocky head lands and shallow off shore reef systems with ample food sources available. Tailor can also be encountered in deeper waters to 100 meters during spawning.

Click HERE to see how to Troll for Swan River Tailor


Tailor can be easily recognised by their sleek body shapes and angry looking mouths full of razor sharp, piranha  like teeth. They are green to blue in upper body colouration leading down to a silver belly.

Taste rating

  • Sixty Taste Rating

Tailor are a great tasting fish when eaten fresh but do not freeze too well.

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating

Tailor are exceptionally strong at larger sizes and are a worthy opponent in any anglers book!

Tackle requirements

Light graphite rods in the 3 – 6kg range, around 6’ in length matched to spin reels in the 2500 – 4000 class spooled with braided or gel spun lines with a breaking strain of 6 – 10lb are ideal for casting lures both from the shore and out in the boat for average sized tailor but will be needed to be beefed up when targeting larger specimens especially from shore. Trolling for tailor is also a popular technique and requires a light overhead or spin combo spooled with 4 – 8kg brightly coloured nylon or braided line. Small lever drag reels and light rods are ideally suited for this exciting style of fishing. Tailor do have quite a decent set of teeth so medium to heavy nylon or fluoro carbon leaders are generally required to prevent larger fish from biting through. Tailor are also a fantastic target species for salt water fly out fits which should be rated between 7WT – 9WT depending on the size of fish being targeted.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Pilchards live and dead mackerel, mullet and garfish will all make great baits for hungry tailor, try fishing them on  fluoro carbon leaders and running sinker rigs and ganged or snelled hooks on light wire. It is also important to match your hook size to your bait. Small to medium sized hard bodied lures are also ideal for both casting from shore in light conditions and trolling from a boat at around 4 – 6 knots. Metal slices, soft plastics, surface lures and fly’s have also proven to be incredibly effective on this veracious species. Surface lures such as poppers and stick baits are not only especially effective but also visually spectacular when launched upon by this powerful and aggressive species!

Handy hints and tips

When fishing for larger tailor over 4kg try snelling four hooks on light wire. The hooks should be small enough so that when they are placed into the bait no hook points are exposed, this way the bait can be cast into foamy holes without fear of snagging. Ghost cotton also helps to keep baits in tact during long casting sessions. Placing a cork a couple of inches front of your bait whilst fishing during calm conditions from a beach will give your bait more action and produce more strikes especially if it is covered in red electrical tape!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Tailor like most shore based species prefer a rising tide that coincides with low light periods such as dawn and dusk. They will also bite well on a high tide at night. A new moon phase is preferable!

Watch Nick tie some very useful tailor rigs by clicking here.


[What The Fish]