Scott’s Species – redfin perch, a lovely-tasting fish albeit a pest

I am not ashamed to say I love redfin perch, writes Western Angler editor Scott Coghlan in the latest edition of Scott’s Species.

Fish: Redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis

Eating: 4.5 stars

ID: Vertical stripes, red tail and anal fins.

There is no bag limit for redfin perch and it is recommended that they are not returned to the water.

Redfin perch might not fight as well as their freshwater rivals, trout, but they are one of the prettiest and tastiest fish that can be found in inland waters in WA.

The Warren River is the ideal spot to target redfin perch for Sam Russell, of Recfishwest.

Redfin can be found in dams, rivers and streams in the South West. In dams they often runt and high numbers of small fish detract from the fishing experience as the size diminishes as the number of fish grows.

This is because they are a prolific breeder and their numbers can grow rapidly when they are introduced to a new waterway.

However, in rivers they can grow to some impressive sizes.

The Warren River, in particular, boasts some thumping redfin to an impressive 2kg. But, most fish caught will be smaller than that.

Harvey Dam is a fine redfin spot, and Pemberton’s Big Brook Dam can fish well for them.

Ben Russell with a chunky redfin from the Warren.

Redfin perch certainly love marron and any redfin caught in a location where the freshwater crustacean is found will usually have some in its stomach.

Redfin are not at all fussy, as they are voracious feeders. Most baits and lures will work if they are around.

On the lure front, small minnows and bladed spinners can be deadly, either cast or trolled depending on locations.

Soft plastics fished around snags also work well. Reddies often travel in schools and once one is caught, there will often be quite a few caught in quick succession.

In dams, search for them around structure such as dead trees, while in rivers they prefer slower sections, particularly around fully or partly submerged logs.

Light tackle is all that is needed as redfin have only a short fight, and 2kg-4kg spinning gear will be ample.

Redfin are a tremendous eating fish, with sweet white flesh that is a delight on the plate.

Having grown up in the South West, Recfishwest’s Matt Gillett loves chasing redfin perch.