Chad's tussle with tailor rewarding

Joachim AzzopardiCountryman

A conversation with any avid sports fisher will often turn to them retelling one of two types of stories - their first capture of a certain species or landing a trophy-size fish.

A split decision to spin metal lures along a metropolitan beach last Friday afternoon provided the setting for Chad Lunow to catch his first-ever tailor.

Chad moved to WA from north Queensland late last year. Tailor, Pomatomus saltatrix, are not found in the waters off the northern parts of the Sunshine State, so when he asked that I take him fishing late that afternoon, choosing a species to target was no arduous task.

I met Chad at the World Recreational Fishing Conference in Berlin last year when, at the time, he was working in fisheries management in Cairns.

At the conference, his knowledge and enthusiasm impressed WA Department of Fisheries managers and he now works as a fisheries policy officer looking after the Gascoyne region.

Chad is a spearfisher at heart, but equally enjoys line fishing, in particular, sight casting along shallow flats, which he had the opportunity to do during a recent trip to the North West Cape.

Going back to Friday's session, it only took both of us two casts each before we were connected to a pair of metro tailor around the 45cm mark.

While Chad's first tailor coming off his second-ever cast alone would have made for a memorable session, his tale was made even better by the fact we went on to catch and release a dozen tailor between 40 and 45cm during the next 20 minutes before the school disappeared.

The angling enthusiast was amazed at how well they fight and impressed by their ability to shake a lure by getting airborne.

What also captivated him was the size and power of their jaw and nasty set of teeth, which I suppose would be quite striking to someone who sees a tailor for the first time.

I insisted to Chad that he take a tailor home to see how it fares on the table and according to the Queenslander, the silver sportfish tastes terrific.

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