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Common Species

Luderick

luderick

Distribution - Generally restricted to 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.

Size - Maximum of approximately 4kg and a length of 70cm.

Characteristics - Luderick are generally dark green/brown in colour with a silvery-grey belly. They possess 8-12 dark, narrow vertical bands across the back. They are mainly herbivorous, feeding on seagrass and green algae, and sometimes molluscs, prawns and polychaete worms. Angling for Luderick has a 'cult-like' following. Long, flexible rods, very small hooks and pencil floats are commonly used, with green weed the preferred bait. Most luderick are caught in winter.

Confusing species - Zebra fish (Girella zebra), however, they are rarely found in southern New South Wales and they possess wide stripes on the body (as wide as the gaps).

Mackerel - Spotted

mackerel spotted

Distribution: These fish are endemic to Australasian waters and are found in northern NSW, extending southwards with the warm currents. They are most common in offshore waters away from reefs and shoals.

Size: Have been recorded to a maximum size of approx. 100cm.

Characteristics: These fish are distinguished from other mackerel and tuna by having strong teeth in both jaws, two small keels and one median keel on the tail wrist. Spotted mackerel have a faint band of small round spots along their sides and their dorsal fin is almost uniformly black-blue.

Confusing species: Other species of Scomberomorus such as the school, spanish and scaly mackerels.

Mackerel - Spanish

spanish mackeral

Distribution - Narrow-barred mackerel, known internationally as Tanguigue, inhabit coastal waters from Perth, Western Australia, around the Top End to Bermagui in NSW. Spanish mackerel have also been caught in Victorian and Tasmanian waters.

Size - This is the largest of the Australian mackerels, reaching a maximum length of approximately 2.4 metres and 70 kg in weight.

Characteristics - The upper body varies from bright blue to dark grey in colour that fades to a silvery-blue over the sides. More than 40 narrow grey-blue wavy, vertical bars are present on each side of the fish. The large dip in the lateral line below the second dorsal fin is a clear diagnostic feature of the narrow-barred mackerel.

Confusing species - Similar in appearance to wahoo. Narrow-barred mackerel have less dorsal fin spines (15-18 compared with 23-27), the second dorsal fin is located closer to the centre of the body and they have a more prominent fork in their tail.

Mangrove Jack

mangrove jack

Distribution - Mangrove jack inhabit coastal waters and rivers from Shark Bay in Western Australia through Torres Straight and Queensland, south to Lake Illawarra in NSW. They are occasionally found in more southern estuaries of NSW.

Size - Reaches a maximum length of approximately 1.2 metres and 16 kg in weight.

Characteristics - The colour of mangrove jack is quite distinctive, varying from bright reddish-brown to dark olive-brown. Fins have a pinkish hue, with the tail generally a darker shade. Each scale has a dark spot, which gives the appearance of cris-crossing lines on the body. Juveniles possess a blue line below the eye, which is also often evident on the adult. The mangrove jack is an extremely strong fighter and regularly finds shelter among submerged snags, making them a very challenging recreational species.

Confusing species - Mangrove jack are often confused with red bass (Lutjanus bohar) on colour alone, however, they lack the deep pit before each eye that is characteristic of the red bass.

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