Love them or hate them, English perch or redfin are here to stay, and anglers may as well enjoy these sporting and great tasting fish. Introduced for angling purposes in Australia in the 1800s, refin now dominate many freshwater fisheries in the southern half of Australia. These fish can be caught in NSW, ACT, Victoria, SA, WA and even in Tasmania. Their prolific breeding habits and highly predatory behaviour means they can be damaging on native fish stocks, and once they get into a waterway they can quickly become the dominant species.
In the warmer months, they can provide great sport for anyone fishing a waterway where reddies are in good numbers, and there’s a range of great techniques that work. Casting small lures is by far the most exciting technique for this aggressive species, and fishing in this way means you can scratch the sportfishers’ itch and gather a nice feed at the same time!
With just a light outfit suitable for trout or bass in hand and a collection of small lures, any bank or boat-based angler, whether fishing in a stream or lake, can have a ball on these European imports. In some waterways, such as the streams in southwestern WA and lakes in western Victoria, redfin regularly reach 50cm, and are as great a sporting proposition as more highly sought species such as trout, yellowbelly or bass.
A handful of small soft plastics, bladed spinners, blades/vibes and hardbodies will help you cover your bases, and there’s a wide rage that will work. Atomic Hardz Crank 38mm Deep, ZMan Grubz Soft Plastics, Berkley Powerbait Power Grub 2.5IN, Black Magic Spinmax and Ecogear ZX Series Blade Fishing Lure 35mm are a couple of essentials.
Whether anchored in deeper water over a school, mooching along the lake’s edge or trudging through the bush around a small stream, these lures will ensure you have something to cover any redfin situation you find yourself in. Once you find them, it will become clear fairly quickly that they aren’t fussy and should respond readily to these presentations.Catching redfin is good fun, and given that they are considered pest fish in many waterways, by keeping a few for a feed you’ll be doing your bit for the environment! What’s not to love about that?
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