In a previous post we covered the equipment needed for traditional luderick fishing. Now we’re going to look at the specific technique! This practise has been going for at least 100 years and still works extremely well today. Anywhere from Hervey Bay in Queensland down to Victoria and some parts of Tasmania can see flocks of old timers plying their trade along rock walls and headlands for these curious little battlers.
The first thing you’ll need is bait, usually in the form of green weed of sea cabbage. Both of these can be found on headlands, the sides of pontoons, in the mangroves, and even from some ponds. It won’t necessarily need to come from where you intend to use it.
Secondly, berley is handy to have. You can make your own using a mixture of finely chopped weed or cabbage mixed with semi-wet sand; about half and half. You want a consistency that enables you to form balls that can be thrown into the water and hold their shape in the air - it can be an art!
Once you’re standing on your rock, or anchored up in a likely channel with berley getting tossed in every 10 minutes or so, it’s time to think about fishing. Whether fishing land-based or from a vessel, it’s important to establish a ‘drift’. Once you get your rig in the water, it will want to drift with the tide or wave action, and as it does you can either let out or take up line freely with your centrepin reel. The Alvey Blackfish Float Series 47VN2X is one of the best centrepins on the market, and is designed specifically for luderick fishing!
Once you get a ‘down’, that is, your float going down from a fish eating your bait, it’s important to resist striking straight away. Luderick have small mouths and need time to get the bait in their mouth. Usually counting 2 seconds or so in your head before gently but firmly lifting your rod will score a hook-up... or your float will fly back toward you! Both are a possibility.
Once hooked up, the fun begins. Luderick fight hard for their size, and you’ll need to play them out before landing them on such slight gear. If on the shore, good footwear such as the Adrenalin Rock Spike Fishing Boots will ensure you don’t slip while fighting trophy luderick!
When you’ve gathered enough for a feed, bleed them immediately and get them onto ice before filleting. Luderick taste great, and their eating qualities are just the icing on top of such great fishing!
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