Regular readers may recall the epic 103cm tailor that South Coast angler Scott Tillman caught in St Georges Basin last November. The huge fish weighed in at 7.845kg and was caught on a 100mm Squidgy Fish soft plastic rigged on a 3/8oz jighead. Scott was targeting flathead in 9m of water when the tailor took the lure. The mega chopper gave Scott a torrid 15-minute battle before being landed. Unfortunately, it couldn't be revived so Scott kindly donated it to DPI's Research Angler Program. DPI's researchers have studied the fish's otoliths (earbones) and have discovered it's an amazing 13 years of age! So not only is this one of the biggest tailor recorded in NSW, it's the equal oldest. The other fish estimated at 13 years of age was a 76cm specimen caught in 2010 by Greg Reid, also in the Basin. Internationally, the oldest tailor recorded is a 14-year-old fish caught in the Atlantic. It will be interesting to see if the Basin's productive waters yield even bigger and older tailor for keen fishos this coming season! For more on DPI's Research Angler Program, go to https://bit.ly/2jDuviN.
Above: South Coast angler Scott Tillman with his massive 103cm St Georges Basin tailor, caught last November. Scott donated the fish to DPI's Research Angler Program so our scientists could study it.
Above: DPI scientists dissected the mega chopper to access its otoliths (earbones) so its age could be determined.
Above: This is a section of the big tailor's otolith (ear bone) as seen under a microscope. Just like a tree's "rings" reveal its age, segments of the otolith can be counted. In this case, the otolith revealed the tailor to be an amazing 13 years old!