Commonly known as ‘the gentleman of the ocean’, the garrick is a popular catch along the South Coast shores.
Also known as the ‘leervis’, this fish wields great excitement to fishermen.
The garrick can often be found in large numbers, hunting their prey in schools, but are just as comfortable on a solo mission. The excitement of witnessing a ‘leerie’ bite on your line undoubtedly gets the adrenaline pumping in any true angler.
The growth rate of the garrick is rapid, increasing a whopping 11cm in six months. This fish matures at 75cm to 85cm, fork length in about three to four years. Garrick at 90cm to 1,5m are five to nine-years-old.
Some of the largest sizes reported have been up to 2m, weighing a whopping 50kg, however, the national (SA) angling record is 32.2kg.
Winter migrations Northwards up the East Coast are usually associated with the annual sardine run from the Eastern Cape to KZN.
Commercial fisheries should know that the garrick is a SASSI red-listed, no-sale species. It is illegal to sell or buy this species anywhere in South Africa.
For recreational anglers, the minimum size of a leerie is 700mm, measured fork length. There is also a bag limit of two leerie in your possession, including those in your deepfreeze.
Now that you know some more about the garrick, go catch a few, but safely release them so that others can also experience the great fight of these gentleman of the ocean.
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