- Girella tricuspidata
Luderick, otherwise known as Blackfish are a mainly herbivorous fish that feed upon sea grasses, green algaes, though known to feed upon molluscs, cunjevoi, prawns and polycheate worms
Luderick are almost exclusively found in shallow coastal waters and estuaries along the east coast, between southern Queensland (around Noosa Heads) and Tasmania. Luderick are often found in large schools around rocky outcrops and jetties.
Luderick are generally dark green/brown in colour with a silvery-grey belly. They possess 8-12 dark, narrow vertical bands across the back. Most Luderick are caught during Winter when they school and congregate around formations such as bridge pylons and natural rock underwater formations that deflect currents and create eddy currents. Luderick can grow to a recorded maximum of approximately 4kg and a length of 70cm.
Luderick are sometimes confused with another species of similar appearance; the Zebra fish (Girella zebra), however, they (Zebra fish) are rarely found in southern NSW and they possess wide stripes on the body (as wide as the spaces).
Below: Luderick photographed by Deano in Sydney
Luderick fishing is extremely popular with an almost 'cult-like' following. Long, flexible rods, very small hooks (Mustad Sneck's are designed for this type of fishing) and pencil floats are commonly used, with green weed the preferred bait, though sea cabbage is often used on ocean platforms. The use of burley consisiting fo finely chopped sea cabbage and/or green weed mixed with fine sand is often a succesful way of luring Luderick closer to an anglers position or enticing the fish to eat the bait. Fishing exclusively for the species from a kayak is rare and requires different, this includes the use of smaller, though "soft action" rods. Catching Luderick on lures is not a rare occurance with many anglers targeting Bream and Flathead, often reporting catching the odd Luderick on a softplactic and even hardbody lures.