Luderick a quality option in cool conditions
  |  First Published: August 2012

It’s been one of the coldest winters I can remember across Sydney and with so much rain, it’s no wonder all has shut down over the last month around Botany Bay and offshore.

The fresh running from our creeks down into our rivers and out to sea is pushing food and goodness with it. All this weather can only do us good as we move forward into next month as our winter run of trevally, luderick, salmon and tailor will fire around our estuaries and snapper should start to fire off shore.

Many anglers along the Georges, Woronora Cooks rivers will be targeting Luderick over the next few months. The Port Hacking River is also worth thinking about and will produce well at times. Early starts aren’t needed because it’s all about the tides. Most anglers seem to fish the run out tide for luderick but I have found both tides can be productive.

Finding bait can be tricky and it take a fair bit of walking. Green weed grows in a mix of salt and freshwater and good sunlight, so small creeks are worth a look and also along the ocean rock at certain spots. Weed seems to grow all year, so get out there, look around and once you find a good bait spot you will have bait any time you need it.

Some tackle shops will sell Green weed over the winter months so this is a good back stop if time is short, I have used shop weed many times and had good results.

My outfit that I drag out for the luderick brings back a few good memories. It is a rod Dad and I built when I was about 10 and we matched it with a small centre pin reel, and over the years it caught quite a few luderick. A good quality 2.4m rod matched to a small 2500 bait runner will do the trick, but I will always drag out my old favourite as it fits like a glove.

For main line I suggest 6kg Schneider fine line and then a leader of about 3kg fluorocarbon. The best luderick rig involves a running float, a small sinker and a small number 8-10 hook. Using the lighter leader below the float will improve hook ups and save your float if you get caught on the bottom – you will only lose your leader line.

For best results use a well-maintained berley trail. I fill a small 4kg bucket with finely chopped weed, tip it onto the sand, mix it well with damp sand and make sand balls. The berley balls should be around a tennis ball size and compacted well so you can throw from the shore or boat. The ball of sand will carry the small weed bits down deep; all you need to do is cast your float into the same area.

A few years back, Gary Brown and I produced a small DVD called The Jewel of the South and in that we have a great section on fishing for luderick. We show you spots, rigs, berley and more, so if you are finding it a little tricky maybe this DVD can help you bag a few next time you head out for a fish. Some tackle shops may have copies, but if not send me an email on --e-mail address hidden-- and I can post out.

Over the cooler months I will be running days target luderick around the Port Hacking River, so if you’re keen to learn the art let me know and we can point you in the right direction.

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