Redfin are under-estimated! They’re prolific, delicious and reasonable sport on light gear. They’re also a schooling fish, which once located, can make for hefty hauls of superb fillets.
Catching redfin in springtime is really popular with boating anglers in Victorian lakes: Eildon, Hume, Cairn Curran, Eppalock, Waranga Basin, Toolondo, Fyans and Charm are all waters with a reputation for healthy populations.
In the deeper lakes, fishing the trees is common and that’s because it works!
At Eildon, my favourite way to catch redfin is amongst standing dead trees in 25-40ft. Small yabbies are good. So are a bunch of garden worms or a single scrubby. Jigs work well too, but they snag up on roots too often. That gets expensive fast!
My preferred approach is soft plastics. The rig is simple. A variation on a paternoster. A 1 or 2oz bomb sinker and two baitholder hooks, each tied directly to the line without a dropper. That’ll get the hook standing proud of the line and push the barbed end out at 90 degrees. Thread each hook with a 2-3 inch flick bait. Done!
Using a sounder, find a tree in the right depth range and tie up. Front and stern ropes help so the boat doesn’t swing. Ensure one end of the boat is close to the main trunk of the tree.
Drop the paternoster down the main trunk to the bottom, take up the slack and slowly lift it 20cm. Then lower the rod tip again until the sinker touches the bottom. Repeat a few times. And here’s probably the most important part of successfully fishing this rig. Stop it dead! Don’t move it at all for a count of 10 seconds.
I’ve had some epic sessions with this approach and 90% of the hits were when we stopped moving the rod. They came in the form of a ‘tap’, pause, ‘tap’. Gently lift the rod tip, and when weight was felt, strike! Most were hooked cleanly through the top lip and double-headers weren’t uncommon. Redfin, under-estimate them and you’re missing out on one delicious freshwater tablefish!