Ski-Boat September 2021

Page 41

TACTICS By Chris Schorn

T

HE leervis (commonly referred to as leeries here in the Eastern and Western Cape) or garrick as they’re known in KwaZuluNatal, is a species of marine fish in the family Carangidae, with the scientific name of Lichia amia. They are large predatory fish which are found all along the South African coastline from Cape Point to Cape Vidal.They are also native to the Mediterranean and the coastal waters of Western Africa and have been recorded in the Black Sea. Leervis can reach 1.5m in length and occasionally weigh more than 25kg, however, in South Africa, a fish of 18kg is regarded as large.They are gen-

erally found in small, loose groups rather than large schools of fish. Leervis are fast growing fish and have an expected lifespan of about ten years. They are considered to be gamefish and, as such, are targeted by a large majority of sport anglers around our coastline. This species was listed as vulnerable in the 2018 National Biodiversity Assessment. The national bag limit for recreational anglers is two fish per person per day with a minimum size of 70cm. It is not considered a commercial species and may only be targeted by recreational anglers with a permit. Leervis are highly dependent on estuaries which serve as nursery areas for juveniles from around six months of

age. At this age they are yellow with black vertical bars. They spend about three years in estuaries along the eastern and southern Cape coast and leave the estuary when they are mature at around 70cm. Mature fish undertake a spawning migration during winter each year from the cooler Cape to the warmer KZN waters to spawn. Peak spawning season occurs between September and November. After this the adults migrate back to the cool Cape waters to start the whole cycle again. Adults tend to remain in the near shore zone and are seldom found in waters deeper than 20m. Plettenberg Bay features the Keurbooms Estuary, and these fish can

Catching garrick in Plettenberg Bay

Alex Fortescue with a beautiful leerie.

SKI-BOAT September/October 2021 • 41


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