Game Fish Identification Reference Guides

Leerfish (Garrick)
(Lichia amia)
(Linnaeus, 1758); CARANGIDAE FAMILY; also known as garrick, leervis
It is found throughout the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean along the entire coasts of the Iberian Peninsula and western Africa to the Cape, then north along the eastern African coast to Delagoa Bay (Maputo, Mozambique). It is a coastal species forming small schools in the surf zone off beaches and rocky promontories. The leerfish is seasonally migratory, some populations moving south to the Cape in summer and north to Natal in winter, possibly following the sardine run which occurs at the same time.
Overall, this is a silvery fish with a leathery, scaleless appearance, though in fact it does possess minute embedded scales. The back is dusky to brown or blue gray, and the lower surface of the belly is white. The fin lobes may be black or dusky tipped. The dart like body is further identified by the unusually curvy, sinuous lateral line, which arches high over the pectoral fins, then dips to or below the pectoral fins, then rises back to the midline as it nears the tail. There is a prominent lobe at the beginning of the long second dorsal and anal fins, a characteristic typical of many species of the jack and trevally family. Unlike many members of the family, however, the leerfish has short pectoral fins and no scutes.
The leerfish is a highly rated sport fish that can be caught by angling from the rocks or shore. It takes both live baits, such as mullets or sardines, and lures with zeal. It is not uncommon to see leerfish pursuing bluefish or mullet on the surface along the coasts. It is rated fair for edibility

Current All Tackle Record

61 lbs 4oz ( 27.8 kg)

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