Luderick actually have a number of names. Luderick were previously known as Blackfish, Black Bream and Parore in New Zealand. Luderick are even called Darkies, Bronzie or Black Fish. Luderick are an extremely popular sport fish and even more popular as a table fish. Some Aussie fishos even fish for Luderick exclusively.
HOW TO IDENTIFY LUDERICK
Luderick are easily recognised by their short and muscular bodies. They have a brown body with a silverfish belly. They can be distinguished by 12 narrow dark vertical stripes along the sides of the body varying in colour from pale purple to black. The tail fin is darker than the body. Luderick can reach 70cm and just over 2kg but are commonly taken between 500gm and 1kg.
Luderick can be separated from the similar Zebra Fish because the Zebra Fish has bars which are wider than the spaces between those bars. The Zebra Fish also has yellowish coloured fins.
You will know you have a Luderick on your hands because they normally have a mouth full of teeth designed for shredding weeds.
WHERE TO CATCH LUDERICK
Luderick could be called the vegetarian of the fish kingdom. While they are often mistaken for the Western Australian Zebra Fish, Luderick are actually endemic to eastern Australia and are found from Noosa Heads in Queensland around to Adelaide and including Tasmania.
Luderick generally inhabit inshore waters. They can be found on beaches, estuaries, rocky headlands and right out as far as offshore islands through to shallow reef systems. You will find Luderick in any of these areas where there is an ample food supply.
HOW TO CATCH LUDERICK
It is important to have the right gear when fishing for Luderick. These are extremely powerful fish and so you will need to hold on. They are capable of handling anything their environment can throw at them.
Light to medium rock fishing outfits are highly recommended, as is abrasion resistant fishing line. You need fishing tackle that can handle the formidable environment you are going to be fishing in. Strong leaders are a requirement but it is important to remember this species is a cunning fish and is also easily spooked.
Smaller sized hooks are recommended and need to be well hidden with fresh vegetation presented to tempt Luderick. Obviously, as vegetarians, fresh green weeds, green cabbage weed from ocean rocks or green string weed in estuary systems, are the best baits to chase Luderick. Berley is a great way to get the fish biting.
Remember to take care when fishing for Luderick because you will probably be fishing on or around rocks in the wash where they inhabit although they can also be found in estuaries. To make the task of catching Luderick even more risky, these fish are best caught in rough seas when the tides are moving at dawn and dusk.
A centrepin reel is recommended so you can pay out your line quickly. Other gear that works well includes threadline outfits. The most effective rig is float rig that is well balanced float rig. Use a larger float in heavy swells with lots of white water. When general rule for fishing Luderick is to fish deeper with a lower swell. Go with a light trace when using a sliding float rig to avoid losing the float to snags.
When Luderick bite, allow your float to go below the surface before taking up the slack with smooth strike action on a strong light action rod.
In estuaries, prawns, worms and yabbies will take a variety of fish including any Luderick in the area.
Because Luderick are a herbivorous species, the black stomach lining must be removed before cooking as it will taint the flavour of the fish.