Redfin a classic catch at Charm
A FEW warm days is all it takes to bring the redfin on the chew and this is great news for those who enjoy catching these feisty fish. Dubbed by many as the inland whiting, there is no doubt they are one of our best freshwater table fish and they are also reasonably easy to catch. Their aggressive nature and veracious appetite makes them susceptible to a range of fishing techniques that include bait lure and fly. While redfin are enjoyed on many levels let’s not forget the fact they are still an introduced fish and considered a pest. Redfin terrorise small native fish species, eating them at leisure, and have introduced a number of aquatic diseases. Redfin were first introduced into Australia from Europe in the 1860s. Since their arrival they have adapted well and become widespread throughout much of the southern half of Australia. They prefer slow flowing waters and have made themselves right at home in many of our rivers, lakes and dams. Early morning and evening are the prime times to target these fish and they will eat almost anything that moves. Small baitfish, crustaceans and a variety of lures that include soft plastics are all on the menu of a hungry redfin. Lake Charm, between Swan Hill and Kerang, has already started to fire these past few weeks, with a few redfin starting to bite. This is great news for the Kerang Football Netball club as they run the Redfin Classic Fishing Competition at lake Charm from October 25-27. With $13,000 worth of cash and prizes I’m sure they will have no problem getting good numbers of keen anglers along to this event. Not too shabby when you can catch a good feed and win a prize for doing so. For those first time hopefuls, my experience in these waters is that river shrimp and white bait are always good in the lake. Fish them as natural as possible keeping the sinker weight to a minimum. You can fish these at anchor or on the drift from a boat. I prefer to drift if it’s not too windy and once a school of feeding fish has been located you can then anchor and fish to them. A good sounder can also help you find the redfin schools that are often on the move. Soft plastics are also very effective, especially when the redfin are on the bite. Replacing the sinker on a paternoster rig with a weighted soft plastic and fishing the bait above gives you twice the chance, especially when slow bobbing just off the bottom. Worms and small yabbies are ever reliable when other baits are hard to find. If you are fishing from the bank still try to keep sinker size to a minimum, at the same time providing enough weight for a good cast. The same baits will work and I like to hop them a foot or so across the bottom every few minutes to attract the attention of any fish holding in close proximity. All up, it’s just the start of the redfin season with plenty of great fishing and a few good feeds to come.