Ben And Tyler Hotchkin

Gippsland Fishing Identities

The Hotchkin boys have been quietly perfecting the art of tailor fishing in the Gippsland area for a number of years, targeting the species from kayaks and from the shore. The two lads use very different lures and techniques, but both of them do pretty well on the greenbacks.

Ben & Tyler’s Tailor Fishing Tips

  • Tailor fishing in Lake Tyers is affected more by weather than anything else, especially wind. Calm, glassy days are your enemy, a good breeze improves the bite dramatically.

  • Don’t go too light on the leaders unless you have a healthy budget for buying lures. Wire trace results in less bites and more bite-offs. It’s better to use a fairly heavy mono or fluoro leader and then tie on a short length of even heavier bite tippet for extra security.

  • The low light periods around dawn and dusk are prime times to fish and often see tailor coming onto the flats. The boys like to start their tailor fishing with surface lures and then switch to other styles when the surface bite dies off.

  • Prime places to look are the edges of drop-offs from flats into the main channel, and around the marker buoys and posts, which all attract bait and hold tailor. When it’s too windy for kayak fishing Ben and Tyler like to wade to the drop-offs and cast over the edges into deeper water.

Hotchkin’s Boys Tailor Fishing Tackle

  • Ben likes to fish smaller lures and lighter tackle. He suggests a 2-4kg rod, 2500-3000 sized spin reel 10-15lb braid and 20lb leader.

  • Tyler prefers larger lures and heavier tackle. He uses a swimbait rod with a Daiwa Tatula HD and heavy leader to prevent biteoffs.

Ben’s Tailor Fishing Lures

  • Daiwa Double Clutch 75mm is a great lure for trolling behind a kayak and Ben likes to work it along the edges of drop-offs. It can be worked with a few fast winds followed by a pause but is often very effective being ripped along quite quickly at constant speed. Experiment until you find what is working and tick with the flashier colours.

  • OSP Bent Minnow is  great when tailor are working close to the surface and can be worked erratically to attract a savage strike.

  • Halco Twisty’s in various sizes can be trolled but are also a great casting lure that take plenty of small fish as well as the odd larger one.

Tyler’s Tailor Fishing Lures

  • Halco Red Roosta Popper in 200mm size is great for early morning and late afternoon when the fish are more likely to be hitting surface lures.

  • The 195mm Crossfire is a great lure for targeting tailor and is worked erratically, much like the OSP bent minnow.

  • The Zerek Affinity swimbait is an expensive but highly effective tailor lure. Tyler loves the splashy, aggressive surface strike, so he removes the chin weights and fishes the Affinity across the surface.

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