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EP.8 - Redfin & Trout

After a few days fishing for squid, snapper, bream, mulloway and estuary perch with Luke and Corey, the time had come to roll north... after a quick look at the Seven Apostles, to catch up with Tackle Tactics Pro Angler Angus James and try our luck on the redfin.

Angus had been landing some quality redfin, along with some bycatch trout and we were keen to capture those fiery red fins, beautiful barred markings and the sheer bulk of a big reddy on film. After a few hours of driving we checked into a cabin, dumped our gear, rigged some rods and rolled to the lake to meet Angus. Our plan was to fish the afternoon session and then a morning session before rolling to the airport.

The afternoon did not go to plan. We did meet up with Angus and we did get on the water, however a howling wind made the fishing tough and we were eventually blown off the water fishless. We threw a lot of casts and were fishing Angus's go-to lures in the right areas, so we were convinced that the fish were switched off with the wind and that a fresh start in the morning, minus the breeze, would be productive.

I had one follow from a solid trout and that was enough to keep me fired up for the morning session. It's important to stay confident, keep focussed and fishing hard, trust the lures you have faith in and work good areas. At the end of the day that's fishing and it was time to eat, sleep and repeat, hopefully with bent rods this time.

We met at the ramp for the morning session and there was still more breeze than we would have liked, however the sky was clear, the sun was warm and it felt fishy. The session started slow and the mood was a little subdued as we made plenty of casts and covered a lot of water. A couple of bumps and then finally I set the hook on a redfin and we were in action. It's amazing how one fish lifts the spirits, fires up the casting arm and gets everyone back in the game.

Although not a monster, it was a solid little reddy and the first that I had landed in many years, having only targeted them a couple of times in my life. They are cool fish. They look good, eat lures, fight well and for those that are looking for a feed, they are one of the best in the fresh. This one had nailed one of Angus's go-to setups, a ZMan 2.5" Slim SwimZ, rigged on a 1/12oz - 1/8oz #1 TT Lures HeadlockZ Finesse jighead, with a Jig Spinner attached for added flash and vibration. The Jig Spinner is also a handy addition in the weed, assisting in deflecting weed and minimising fouling of the weed on the jighead.

That was the beginning of a run of fish, with Angus having a ball on the little Okuma LRF-S-602L 6' 1-3kg and Epixor XT reel, while I was putting the Cerros CER-S-703ML 7' 2-4kg three piece travel rod to work, also teamed up with an Epixor XT. Both combos were perfect for presenting the light soft plastics presentations, feeling the lure working, detecting bites and with enough in the bottom end to stop a solid redfin.

We were fishing weed edges and drop offs and also casting over the top of weed growing up from the bottom. The fish were holding in the weed and rising to ambush our lures as they bumped across the top of the weed. After jumping a trout off, I had another smash the lure right in front of me. It was awesome to watch the rainbow rise out of a deeper pocket in the weed and then switch on and attack the lure. I wasn't losing this one, so I didn't give it an inch and poled it straight into the boat before it even knew it was hooked. Another beautiful fish with its own characteristics that attract anglers to test their skills.

A few more redfin came to the boat and we were all confident that with an increase in activity there would be a big one feeding... we just had to find it. When Angus's little LRF rod loaded heavily and drag peeled from the Epixor XT it was game on, the net was readied and we were all hoping the jighead held in the redfin's mouth.

When we saw colour and how big the redfin was it upped the adrenalin levels more and it was high fives and fist pumps when it slid into the net and was lifted into the boat. A solid 47cm redfin is a big fish in the flesh and as impressive as a big sooty or bass. The fiery fins, the bulk, the barred colouration on the side. This was a spectacular fish and we were blown away that we had managed to track down a big one, especially on film.

It was great to catch up with Angus, spend some time on the water and witness this beast of a redfin being landed. It wasn't far off Angus's PB of 48cm and his search for the 50 continues. If you have the opportunity to target redfin, give them a go, they are a fun fish to target and they love eating ZMan 2.5" Slim SwimZ, rigged with a TT Jig Spinner. All the best with your next fishing adventure.

See you on the water...
Justin Willmer

Gear List
Okuma LRF Spinning Rods
Okuma Cerros Spinning Rods
Okuma Cerros Travel Spin
Okuma Epixor XT Spinning Reels
ZMan 2.5" Slim SwimZ
TT Lures HeadlockZ Finesse
TT Lures Jig Spinners
Pro-Cure Super Gel Scent