Welcome to the Tailor Fishing Guide Victoria. Tailor also known as Skipjack is an aggressive fish species more commonly caught in Gippsland areas but they also make seasonal runs within Melbourne. Quite often sighted in the Yarra around the Warmies and Docklands when the pumps have been running and the water conditions are warmer, and also in Corio Bay. Most Tailor caught within Victoria are under 55cm but they can grow to decent sizes and sure do punch above their weight when it comes to fighting qualities.


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Tailor Facts & Catch Limits

  • Also known as Skipjack
  • With the scientific name of Pomatomus saltatrix
  • Tailor has a minimum legal size limit of 23cm
  • daily limit of 20 over the legal size
  • Look similar to a salmon but with teeth

Best time to catch Tailor ( Seasons )

In Victoria, Tailor can be caught all year round however they are most active in Spring. They are often best targeted at Dawn/Dusk.

Tailor Fishing Guide


How to catch Tailor

Watch the video below as were breaking in some of the litest spin gear available and catch some great fish with soft plastics incluidng Tailor. 

Locally around Melbourne most tailor caught will be between 20 – 40cms. These are generally caught as bycatch when targeting bream, flathead, and Pinky Snapper.

Tailor are ferocious hunters that school up in big numbers. They love clear and warm water conditions often following large schools of baitfish. Locally they show us in scattered areas and grow to different sizes. Tailor have sharp teeth and love to shred fluorocarbon leaders so using a suitable line is essential. Seasonally in Melbourne in specific areas otherwise there generally targeted the Gippsland areas including Marlo, Lake Tyers & Mallacoota. During the peak tide changes and on sunrise and sundown, they move into schools and will actively feed in the right conditions.

Gear choices for Tailor can be tricky as their sizes can vary depending on where you caught them. However, for the most part, a 2-4 or 2-5 kilo rod that’s 7 feet in length is perfect. Coupled with a 2500-size reel spooled with a 6-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.

Best Baits to Catch Tailor

Our best bait recommendations include pilchards, small strips of squid, and other small pieces of flesh bait. The are several ways to present baits for tailor. Either a running sinker rig, dropper rig, and paternoster rigs are also popular choices. The rig choice will be dependent on where you are fishing and the conditions such as tidal strength. Where possible fish with as little weight. When land-based you may need a heavy sinker to cast out as far as you can.

Bait Choices

  • pilchards
  • mullet
  • bluebait
  • garfish
  • prawns
  • raw chicken
  • Pippies
  • squid
  • mussels

Our rig recommendations when bait fishing would include a running sinker rig or paternoster rig as shown in the images below. Please note we have detailed step-by-step video guides in our member’s area on how to create these rigs.

Simple running sinker

Running sinker fishing rig

Thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue. Tie a small barrel swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. On the other end of the swivel add 50cm of fluorocarbon leader ( shown in grey ). Finished with a small long shank hook.

Paternoster Rig

Paternoster Rig

Tie your mainline to a barrel swivel. Create 2 loop knots and thread a hook over each loop knot allowing you to run multiple baits. At the end attach a sinker again threaded on via a loop knot.


Best Soft Plastics and lures to Catch Tailor

Tailor will happily take metal lures, stick baits, and surface lures retrieved or trolled at a fast or medium pace. Soft plastics can also be very effective. These trolled slowly from a boat can also work to great effect to find the schools. Handle them carefully they have sharp teeth that can do some damage. If you getting hook-ups but dropping a lot of fish then consider using a stronger leader or light wire trace.

Soft Plastics

  • OSP Bent Minnow
  • Munroes 2.75 inch paddle tail in glass monkey
  • Metal slugs
  • Berkley 4-inch turtleback worm ( camo )
  • Munroes 3.75-inch paddle tail
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5-inch grub
  • Berkley gulp turtleback worm
  • Damiki rippers
  • Squidgy wriggles
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Zman 2.5-inch grub
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • small surface poppers
  • berkley 3 inch minnows
  • small metal spoons

When soft plastics fishing for flatties we use 2 simple techniques. The good thing about both these techniques is that there easy to learn and master. You will see after some practice that they are simple yet very effective.

The Hopping technique – Simply cast your plastic or lure and wait a few seconds for it to hit the bottom, then do several quick erratic lifts wind in the slack and let the plastic sink back down to the bottom. wait 5-10 seconds then repeat this process until your plastic or lure is back where you are fishing. The idea behind this technique is that your imitating a wounded baitfish, and when it sinks back to the bottom is when you get most of your catches.

The slow roll – Simply cast your plastic or lure and wait a few seconds for it to hit the bottom, then simply do a slow continuous retrieve of your fishing reel. This basic technique is known as the slow roll. This works great with curl tails, and paddle tail plastics as the natural action of the soft plastics do all the work. Keeping the plastic or lure a foot or two above the bottom is a dynamite way to catch them.


Best locations to catch Tailor in Victoria ( Hot Spots )

  • Gippsland Lakes
  • Lake Tyers
  • Marlo
  • Tamboon Inlet
  • Mallacoota
  • Bemm River
  • Corio Bay
  • Yarra River
  • Docklands

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities weblink

If you feel this Tailor Fishing Guide Victoria fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you