Perch, Redfin

(Perca fluviatilis)

Commonly referred to as Redys!

Redfin perch, also known as English perch were introduced into Australia in the early 1860’s for recreational angling purposes. Unfortunately, as is the case with most introduced species the redfin have now spread through out Australia’s southern water ways and now pose a real threat to native fish and invertebrates. Redfin perch are able to stunt their growth and over populate a water way leaving it desolate of all other aquatic life and were listed as a class 1 noxious species in 2010. They are also known to carry a disease called epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus or (EHN) for short. This virus can devastate a native fish population to the point of no return and is one of the many reasons redfin perch are not to be returned to the water upon capture. Thankfully they are very good eating with many freshwater anglers preferring them to trout!

Distribution

Redy’s are a highly sought after table fish along the S/W coast of inland Western Australia and can be located in most streams, rivers and dams throughout the majestic south west. They are also encountered in VIC, S.A., TAS and N.S.W.

Growth

Redfin perch can grow to around 60cm in length and weigh as much as 10kg! Although most fish encountered throughout Australia average around 1 – 2kg in weight. Redfin spawn in late winter and early spring when they give birth to over 300,000 eggs which hatch in a one week period and are inedible to most other aquatic species leaving them free from predation. After hatching the redfin will school together to avoid attack before maturing at around 2 – 6 years of age.

Habitat

Redfin perch prefer fresh water rivers, dams and streams with cooler temperatures averaging 15 – 25 degrees.

Identification

Redfin perch can be easily identified by, as their name suggests their red coloured fins. They have a large mouth with no teeth present with five dark black stripes running vertically across the back and tapering towards the belly. There are two separate dorsal fins present with the first having 12 – 17 spines and a dark black blotch at the rear. The body colour can vary from olive green to silver depending on environment.

Taste rating

  • Sixty Taste Rating
    60%

Redfin perch are exceptional eating for a fresh water species!

Sport rating

  • Forty Sport Rating
    40%

Redfin perch are more regarded for their eating qualities than their sporting abilities.

Tackle requirements

Ultra light and light graphite spin rods 6’6” – 7’ in length that will cope with gel spun and braided lines rated from 1 – 4kg are ideally suited to targeting redfin perch and when coupled with quality spin reels in the 1000 – 2500 class make excellent outfits for throwing both baits and lures. Larger outfits spooled with heavier 10 – 12lb nylon line can also be used when targeting larger fish around heavy cover with baits but will struggle to cast small hard bodied and soft plastic lures. Fluoro carbon leaders with breaking strains of 2 – 10lb should also be joined to mainlines via an improved albrite knot and not only prevent the fish from seeing your brightly coloured main line but also help from being chaffed of on rough underwater structures.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Fresh or live earth worms, night crawlers and small insects are an ideal bait option for chasing big  redfin perch and should be fished on a pattern and size of hook that’s suit’s the bait. Example – earth worm fished on bait holder pattern of hook similar in size to the bait. Hard bodied, sub surface and soft plastic lures from 50mm – 100mm in length will also temp big redfin into striking with this exciting new style of fishing really taking off amongst all anglers from beginners to the pro’s over the last few years. Many tournaments and clubs have now been set up to encourage and educate the new generation of freshwater fishing fanatics.

Handy hints and tips

Most fresh water and small salt water lures will tempt redfin perch into striking, especially if they have some red on them!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Low light periods such as dawn and dusk are preferred for most forms of fishing including freshwater and a rising barometer also helps.

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