Tailor - South West

Other names

Pomatomus saltatrix, chopper , greenback


Tailor are not usually confused with other species; they have a blue-green back and silver-white underside and the first of their two dorsal fins has many small spines. They have a distinctive protruding lower jaw and numerous small, sharp teeth. Tailor can reach sizes of 10kg; however most are caught at between 0.5 and 2kg.

Riley Burtons Tailor

WA distribution

Found between Point Quobba in the north and the South Australian border in the south (although usually only targeted as far south as Albany). They are found in estuaries, embayments and surf beaches as juveniles and beaches, inshore reefs and other structures especially around white water as adults.

Rigs and Techniques

A long, light spinning rod and spinning reel with 6-10kg line and 15+kg mono leader will do fine for most situations, though you may wish to alter this depending on the location you’re fishing. With smaller tackle or hooks, using a short length of wire leader can stop break offs on the tailor’s razor sharp teeth.

There are a whole variety of ways to catch tailor, but the most common is a slow retrieval of whole pilchards, mulies or garfish on a gang hook rig. This may require a floating sinker or a float depending on the conditions you are fishing in. Tailor tend to feed high in the water column so poppers can be quite effective and so can other lures such as minnows, metal/ chrome lures, jigs and spoons. These lures can be cast into the surf zone or to structure and either trolled or retrieved with flicks of the rod tip to create lure movement. Tailor often feed more actively at dawn and dusk.