By Andrew Badullovich
As we delve into autumn, there’ll be an abundance of bait-fish activity within our coastal estuaries. A typical autumn morning will see the cool calm water periodically disturbed with the ripples of nervous bait-fish breaking the smooth surface. These bait-balls are dominated with small anchovies, and predatory fish; such as tailor, will feast hard among these tightly packed schools. Marine birds will circle above these schools before plummeting into the heart of the bait-ball, which has been indecently forced to the surface by hungry tailor. These signs are indicative of feeding activity, and become ideal places to cast a lure into.
Casting into surface feeding frenzies is an exciting way to bend a rod, and an easy way to get kids involved into fishing. At times, the action can be thick and fast…with an array of different species feeding high in the water column. While Tailor and salmon will feature heavily in your catch, species such as bream, mulloway and snapper will also be encountered if you can penetrate your lure through the onslaught of tenacious tailor. The trick is to approach the active feeding zones slowly and quietly until you are with casting range. Lures such as, soft-plastics, metals, hard-bodied minnows and top-waters are ideal; however, I suggest using a heavily weighted offering to enable your kids to achieve the required cast distance. I lean towards soft-plastic presentations, such as an Atomic 4” Jerk Minnow. This way you stay in the market for most estuary species throughout the water column.
Be sure to check the AIRD combos out, and look to get your kids into a little rod-bending action over autumn. Tailor are great fun, and are ok eating if you care for your catch. This style of fishing is even fun for dads’ too 😉