Also Known As:
Blackfish; Darkie; Nigger; Parore; LUDERICK
Luderick are a very popular species amongst recreational anglers, and have an almost cult following. They are great sportfish especially when targeted with traditional 'luderick outfits'.
How To Identify:
Luderick are a solid oval shaped fish with a broad slightly forked tail. Luderick are brownish on its back and lighter below with up to 12 narrow bands on the side. Luderick caught on the ocean front can be quite bronze in colour however after they have entered the estuaries and spent time there they loose that bronze look and look darker and sometimes even a purple tinge to them. The vertical bars and much more pronounced on the ocean caught fish. Luderick have a very small mouth. Luderick can grow to about 5 kgs however a fish to half that size is a good fish with the average being just below 1kg.
How To Catch:
Luderick are basically vegetarian and are nearly solely fished for with green weed, however on occasion will take cunjii or shelled prawns intended for rock blackfish or bream off the rocks. I have actually taken with unweighted bread. Tackle for Luderick can be very specialized and a long 3-4 meter rod wit ha slow taper matched with a Alvey (or other center pin reel) is the choice of most anglers chasing luderick. Some anglers chase from small boats but most are targeted along rock edges, rock walls and anywhere were the favoured green weed or cabbage grows on the rocks. Luderick are fished for using a quill float with split shot lead used (3 or 4 depending on depth required) spaced down the leader to a very small hook (sizes say 6-10), just enough lead to hold the float upright about midway in the water. When the luderick takes the bait the float will go under, don't be too quick to strike or you will rip the bait out of their mouth. I usually count to 3 and then strike.
In Australia luderick are found in estuaries and along ocean fronts from Southern Queensland in the North, through New South Wales to the northern edge of Victoria and sporadically into Northern Tasmania and parts of South Australia. In New Zealand they are found on the Eastern upper side of the North Island down to about the Coromandals. Luderick are a schooling fish which can range from a few fish to very large schools. They are migratory, and in winter in Australia heavy concentrations can be found in their Northern boundaries and move southward during the spring.