Where and How to catch Redfin

Redfin can be tricky to catch during times when they are reluctant to feed or "sulking" as one fisherman described it to me. From the time leading up to the spawning season right through until 6 or more weeks after spawning is particularly bad. In Lake Hume the spawning season can last until the end of January or even longer.

Redin Catch

As with most marine creatures, spawning is primarily dependent on water temperature. However, many other environmental factors affecting the fish environment also have a great influence on Redfin life. Controlled water levels in irrigation dams such as Lake Hume will most certainly be noticed by Redfin.

Although many variables play their part in successfully catching fish, only three have proven to be reliable and repeatable in a scientific sense.


The three most important factors in Redfin fishing are Location, Location and Location. No matter how hungry the fish are, if you are not fishing where the fish hang out your bait / lure will remain untouched.

Although many fishermen can be seen tied up to trees, the larger species of Redfin seem to be out in open water, perhaps due to their lack of enemies they do not need to hide amongst trees.

Time of Year
& Temperature

These factors are invariably linked as the water temperature rises during summer and still holds high for some time into autumn. The spawning is also temperature dependent and it appears that the newly hatched Redfin start life at a time where there is an abundance of food in the offing.

Bait / Lure

Bait or Lure - that is question.

Experience has shown that bait, such as small Yabbies, are better at attracting fish that are not hungry. However, when Redfin are starting to feed they get into a frenzy and lures are a better option due to the efficiency gained by not re-baiting the hook.

One of the most popular lures are 3 inch jagfish with a red and green pattern. These lures are "jigged" along the bottom to attract the attention of fish. Sometimes it is also advisable to attach a red soft plastic around 8 to 10 inches above the jagfish. A large red fly or a hook with red rubber bands threaded on will also do the job.

Another alternative to the jagfish is a very recent invention, the vibrating blade lure. These lures have the advantage that they can be cast away from the boat and retrieved back with a drop/lift action where Redfin normally take the lure on the drop. The colour of preference appears to be the red/gold pattern.


When the fish are hungry they will bite almost any lure so I will not delve to deep into the subject of lures or bait. Neither will I explore the timing any further as word of mouth is quick to get around when fish are biting. However, Location is a subject worthy of further discussion.

Levels in water bodies such as Lake Hume are always changing and the Redfin will move accordingly. Their favourite spots are related to their food source which generally means anything that gets swept along with the current. In order to minimise the energy expended on waiting for the food to be washed along a current the fish will wait in a location with very little current so it can dash out and grab the food as it washes past.

Armed with this knowledge and a fish finder one can explore the bottom, find old river beds, and start fishing around those areas. A flat area next to an old riverbed seems to attract Redfin. This is probably due to the eddies on the side of the riverbed which provide a good environment for Redfin to wait in ambush.

A great way to learn about the old riverbeds is to explore them during low water levels, maybe even plot them on a GPS, and then fish them when the water is back.
Redfin appear to reside predominantly between 10 and 30 feet below the surface.

The map below shows some of the most popular fishing areas of Lake Hume where Redfin are caught with great regularity.

Lake Hume Map

A good starting point would be to at Ebden Reseve, working south towards the next boat ramp at Ludlows Reserve (not shown on map) then crossing the lake and working back up north past Bragg Point and Bethanga Bay.

The best way to find the Redfin is to go where all the other fishing boats are anchored. You will usually find a between 3 and 20 boats in the good Redfin locations.

Another hot tip is to look out for Seagulls as they congregate and circle when Redfin are on the bite. Just watch them for a few minutes and where they dive into the water that's were you should try your luck. Don't forget to reward the seagulls by throwing them a few small Redfin.