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Offline Tommo

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Spinning for Garrick
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:11:49 pm »
This article was written by Craig Thomassen back in 2004... it still reads well. This is posted here on behalf of Craig and with his permission. Shotalot. Enjoy.
Reefz.

Spinning for Garrick

Garrick are one of the most popular gamefish fished for off South African beaches. There have been some articles in this magazine about fishing for them with live bait. In this article we will focus on fishing for them with artificial lures from the beach or rocks.

Other Names: Leervis, Leerie.

Where Found:
Garrick are found right around our coast, from Angola, round to Mozambique. They live in the cooler waters of the Cape and move up the Kwazulu-Natal coast with the sardine run each year. They move up the Natal North coast from May to August to spawn in the warmer waters, and then return down the Natal coast from September to November. Garrick readily enter estuaries and harbours where they feed on mullet and other small fish. Most tidal estuaries and blind rivers will have a resident population of juvenile garrick in them. Garrick can be targeted from beaches where there is a deepish channel just behind the shorebreak, off rocky points where they must pass to reach the next bay, and near river mouths in the surf. Generally garrick can be fished for anywhere where one would expect them to be feeding on mullet, shad, pinkies or karanteen, some of their favourite foods. Garrick prefer clean, blue water when hunting in the surf. Even though they like cool water, they are affected by change in water temperature and will go off the feed if the temperature drops, for example if a cold current is blown in. They can be caught at any time of the day, especially on a pushing tide. On the Natal coast garrick are usually targeted at around dawn and dusk, but in the Eastern Cape a lot of fishermen start plugging for them in the mid morning, believing that the increased light intensity improves their chances of catching these fine fighting fish.

Seasons:
On the Natal coast Garrick can be targeted from May to November, with the best lure fishing during September and October when they return from spawning and are hungry and aggressive. During this time they are more likely to be taken on lures, whereas they are caught more often on live bait early in the season when they are on their way up the coast. They can be caught on the West coast and the Western Cape during the summer months, when the water is slightly warmer. The Eastern Cape coast produces Garrick pretty much year round under the right conditions, as long as the water is clean and warm. Peak season for garrick in the Eastern Cape is spring, summer and autumn.

Size:Garrick grow to around 32kg

Natural History:
Garrick are not strictly a schooling fish, but they are fairly social and tend to move around in small loose groups. They are diurnal feeders and are rarely caught after dark. In the surf garrick tend to move around just in or behind the backline, coming in to shallow water in order to maraud shoals of baitfish which are seeking shelter there. They readily move into estuaries on a pushing tide and will happily stay up in coastal rivers for some time. Juvenile garrick will often be resident in coastal rivers for a couple of years before taking to the open sea to live. Garrick in the surf will often give away their presence by viciously smashing into schools of baitfish in the shallows, with great swirls and splashes.

How to catch Garrick:
Garrick are extremely aggressive predators and will take almost any lure at times. Best lures to use for them in the surf are plugs and spoons. Plugs are generally a better bet when the light is bad, or the water is very foamy, milky or discoloured. Colour of plugs is not important, it is more the action of the lure that matters. Chisel nosed plugs tend to be best for garrick, my personal favourite being the plastic chisel plugs made by Predator lures. These are best fished with a medium to fast retrieve without bouncing them right out of the water. They should tumble and splash along the surface, always keeping contact with the water. If the plug bounces right out of the water it can cause the fish to lose interest. Garrick will often chase plugs a long way, swirling aggressively at the lure a couple of times before either hitting it or losing interest. The angler should continue his retrieve at a steady rate once he has raised a garrick, without slowing down or speeding up. This will keep the fish interested for the longest time. Garrick are suspicious fish that will inspect a lure carefully before eating it. For this reason fishing in foamy or milky water can help the plug to remain realistic by restricting the garrick’s visibility. It is also a good idea to use light leader, no more than forty pound breaking strain, to keep the visibility to a minimum.
When fishing spoons for garrick it is a good idea to retrieve the spoon fairly quickly, and then retrieve very fast every third or fourth cast so that the spoon skitters across the surface. A slow retrieve with a whipping action from the rod can also be effective when fishing spoons, especially when the spoon is moving through clear water. The darting action imparted to the spoon when fishing this way is more enticing to fish in clean water. If fishing spoons specifically for Garrick it is a good idea not to use wire trace at all, as they do not have cutting teeth and the visibility of wire could put them off. Garrick are clean fighters which do not purposefully try to cut your line on the rocks, so they can be targeted with lighter tackle than that used for kingfish.
In estuaries or harbours garrick can be fished for with poppers and spoons as described above, they can also be taken on any other form of surface lure in this calm environment. Walk the dog style lures such as Rapala skitter walks are a favourite of mine for catching garrick in rivers. I have also taken garrick in rivers on Mirrolures, leadhead jigs and of course swimming plugs. Various swimming plugs will work but my favourite for this particular style of fishing is the rebel wind cheater or a Rapala shad rap. Fished along the edges of a drop off or the mouth of a small creek on a dropping tide these lures have accounted for many good fish. When fishing for garrick if you should see some fish movement such as a swirl or a splash that looks like a chase try and get your lure into the water in the immediate vicinity as soon as possible. These fish are very aggressive and will chase your lure more often than not.

Tips:
Garrick do not have sharp teeth or sharp scutes near the tail, so they can be handled without danger of causing damage to the angler. These feisty game fish should be released to fight another day.


Fishing is life. The rest is details....

Offline SAfish

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 09:23:41 pm »
Another great article, thanks Tommo.  (clap) Cred to you.  :resp:

Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 09:39:07 pm »
Here's another article written by Tommo... posted here with permission and on behalf of Tommo.

Plugging for Garrick

One of the nicest fish to throw plugs to from the beach or off the rocks is a garrick. They are great to target because they chase the plug with spectacular vigour, are clean fighters and are reasonably plentiful at certain times of year.

Garrick are found along the Cape coast from October to May. They move to the waters off the Natal coast during winter and can be caught there from May to November.

Garrick like to feed in quite shallow water and will move right behind the shorebreak where the water is deep enough to do so at times. They will swim in the backline when the inshore water is dirty or too rough. Garrick prefer clean, blue water, but will move into milky, foamy water around rocky points looking for small fish to eat.

Garrick are not very selective about which species of fish they will feed on, they will take small fish such as mullet, shad, karanteen, pinkies, blacktail etc. So they can be fished for wherever these baitfish would occur.

A good place to look for Garrick is off rocky points that stick out into the sea. Garrick will need to swim around these on their way up or down the coast. Fishing from the beach within bays is also good, especially in areas where a lot of shad are caught.

When casting plugs from a rocky point it is a good idea to cast the plug out beyond a patch of milky water and then pull it back through that patch. Garrick will often follow the plug through the clean water, but not hit it until it moves into the foamy lower visibility water.

The correct retrieve to use when targeting garrick is a bit slower than one would fish for kingfish. The plug should tumble and splash, but must never jump right out of the water. You will often see a garrick chasing the plug for some distance, smashing and swirling at it, but not connecting. When this happens keep retrieving without pause, maybe shake the rod tip a bit to give the plug extra action which may trigger the garrick’s instinct to hit it.

The best plugs to use for garrick are chisel nosed plugs. My personal favourite is the predator series of plugs, they are tough, cast well, come with good hooks and split rings and catch plenty of fish. These plugs come in a variety of colours. White is normally fine, but at times the garrick will suddenly only hit yellow, blue or pink plugs. It is worth keeping a few different colours of plug in your bag.

As mentioned at the start of this article garrick are clean fighters. This means that they do not dive down looking for rocks to foul your line around. They tend to fight up near the surface. Because of this you can use much lighter tackle for garrick than you would for kingfish or yellowtail. This is a big advantage because it uses a lot less energy to cast with light tackle than it does with the heavy stuff. This means that one can fit in a few more hours of fishing.

I generally don’t go heavier than 20lb line when fishing for garrick. I do use about an eight metre wind on casting leader of fifty pound breaking strain monofilament. I use a fairly light rod with a three ounce plug straight onto the leader with a non-slip loop, no swivel or trace.

Garrick feed best on an incoming tide, pretty much regardless of time of day. They are often caught at dawn and dusk, as is the case with most game fish, but this is mostly when these times coincide with a pushing tide anyway.

If the garrick are around and are refusing to hit your plugs, then tie on a spoon and fish it with a whipping action. This can sometimes work when for some reason the fish are cautious about the surface lures. If you are going to fish this way with spoons make sure that your spoon is rigged with single hooks, one on the bottom and one on the top of the spoon. If you use trebles your spoon will end up snagged on the bottom.


 
 The best plugs to use for garrick are chisel nosed plugs which comes in different colours and sizes.

Although white and red/white coloured plugs are favoured by most anglers it is advisable to always have different colours with you.

Fish tend to go off the bite and changing the colour of your plug might just be the right thing to do.
 

Garrick are one of those fish that can get into a bit of a feeding frenzy, and at times you can land a large number of them on lures from the side. When this happens please be sensible and return the bulk of your catch to the water to breed and to fight another day. These wonderful fish could easily become seriously endangered if over exploited by unscrupulous fishermen.
 

Now is not a good time to go fishing... said nobody... EVER!!

#QAnon   
#TheGreatAwakening

Offline SAfish

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 10:21:03 pm »
 :tkx: Reefman.  :grk: :grk: :grk:
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 10:21:21 pm by SAfish »

Offline Lichia amia

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 08:32:50 am »
Brilliant – Thanks Reefs and Tommo  (clap)

Offline pawn

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 10:26:51 am »
Thanks Reefman and Thommo. Brilliant  :win: :tkx: :geet the info rocks

Offline SUNSHINE

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 11:08:35 am »
 :tkx:  Nice read :ult:

Offline mukiwa

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 05:02:19 pm »
Has anyone tried targeting garrick on stick bates,just some food for thought.
Philippians 4:19

Offline Clint-0

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 04:16:10 pm »
wow awesome read, thank you

Offline jaenswart

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 04:47:22 pm »
Has anyone tried targeting garrick on stick bates,just some food for thought.

Yes,  with some good success.

Offline Plugger

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 01:41:29 pm »
 Thanks for the info, I'm still looking for my Garrick  but with my new rig I will be puting in some time this season. :grk: :grk: :grk:
Education is important but fishing is importanter !

Offline Manuel Junior

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 01:46:11 pm »
 :shre: :shre:

Offline Fishingchippy

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 12:01:17 am »
thats helpful for me as i am out to Kleinmond this week and i am taking my spinning rod

Offline skurwes

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 02:03:50 pm »
Thanks for excellent reading and tips. :win:

Offline Trevor789

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2019, 05:14:51 am »
 (clap) :tkx:Thanks for the very detailed & informative read absolutely enjoyed it

Offline houtie

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Re: Spinning for Garrick
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2019, 03:34:36 pm »
supper  :tkx: ..going down to Witsand this coming weekend :fshn: