Friday, December 26, 2008

'Snack' Lures

After getting reports from Jeffroman that the estuary was firing, I took a trip up with Jeffroman to pay a visit. If the fish were feeding on micro-lures, that's what we'll give em! We brought along a few Rapala Countdown 3cms with us on this trip. These were like super small bean-like lures that you'd probably "pooh-pooh" off at your tackle store but sometimes, fish like to snack too!

When using micro-lures, its best to go as light as you possibly can. A setup not more than 4-8lb would be best to maximize the fun and castability. Keep the tackle as light as possible and its best to tie the line directly to the lure with the Rapala knot. The action on the lure comes out better especially using those 'beans'. But being lazy buggers, Jeff & I didnt bother as you can see from the pics - we just clipped them onto our snap swivels (again, its not recommended - we were just lazy...and lucky!)


Pesky little things were everywhere


But they do give a nice pull



Micro-lures are good snacks


This Silver Grunter was slightly bigger and gulped down the entire 'bean'


Say ahhhh....


The chrome Skitter Pop 5cm

Jeffroman in action

Senangin @ Threadfin


Friday, December 19, 2008

Microlures!

(photos courtesy of Jeffroman @ minnow)

Jeffroman sent me a catch report on Storm Minnowstick a few days back.... 

He took his cousin Nic to a estuary retention pond to see if he could catch some fishies. Clipping on a minnowstick, Nic was soon in action! Bet he is hooked onto lure fishing now. Perhaps the fish were not interested in larger offerings, preferring to go for light 'snacks' instead. Storm works! :)



Snack time! 

Nice mangrove jack

Start them lure fishing when young

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The BlueFox Herring Story - Part 2

Fast forward 1 year later...

By now the Bluefox Herring craze in Malaysia started to take off - they were pretty reasonable priced and people we snatching them up. Meanwhile, the folks that we regularly fish with began using them and found them also extremely effective on species like Tenggiri (Spanish Mackerel), Senangin (Threadfin), GTs, Queenfish, Barracuda and many others.

Often, I found the sizes 70gm-100gm the most ideal to work with a PE1-3 rod at that time (I think I can try to go lighter with new rod technology these days!).

Some of the catch pics over the years on Bluefox Herring jigs:








Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Bluefox Herring Story - Part 1

Flashback to 2005... 

Light jigging had taken off for a while but I was just catching up with my own fun of light tackle jigging. Back then, light tackle meant rods of PE1-3, which is considered medium tackle these days for the kind of fish we used to target. These days, we've got PE0.8-2 and even less! 

I remember vividly the day when SL passed me a few pieces of BlueFox Herring in the 50 & 75gram range to try. At that time, we had just found a nice patch that was consistently producing Threadfin (Senangin) by bottom fishing. And with the 'introduction' to BlueFox Herrings, we eventually left the bait box at home! Word quickly spread around the local fishos as they scored their own catches on it and pretty soon (with the help of mags), BlueFoxes were seen in most jiggers' tackleboxes on little part of the country. Ever since, its also been my faithful companion in my jigging trips, producing all sorts of species.

In my opinion, the winning formula to a killer jig (or lure for that matter) that sells is:

1. It's gotta work!
2. It's gotta look good
3. It's gotta be affordable

Get all 3 in alignment and you've got a lure that not only is a hot cake in the market but also will eventually market itself as more and more folks use it and talk about it. I'm not sure how much the Herring currently sells for but back about a year ago it was hovering around RM8-10 a piece? Compare that with the more generic brands out there that costs around RM20-30 for a piece of lead. Doesn't take a mathematician to tell you which one you'd pick if you're a cheapskate like me. I mean, again the principles 1-3 above, if its catches you fish consistently, why pay more for something else?

As I muse and pen down my thoughts this early Saturday morning, I suddenly relish the feeling of jigging for Threadfin again... it's been close to 2 years since. Lets see if we can get back into some Threadfin action this December.   







Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day!

Beautiful blue skies and a vast shoreline greeted us when we arrived. FG & Muniandy had found a nice spot to check out. So here we were hoping to spend the few hours in the morning to see what we could get. I told FG I'll walk along the beautiful beach to the other end to see if there was anything there. And walked I did... for like a good 30 mins! And in the distance I could still see that the end was not quite close yet. Looking back, FG & Muniandy were like tiny specks in the distance. 

If not for the rubbish and debris scattered along the shoreline, from the scenery - one might think he's in the great Australian Northern Territories. It's just too bad that pollution is all over the beautiful place. I cast the X-Rap here, there and everywhere but no takers. There was evidence of good sized queenies about as there were a few dead ones washed up on shore. But too bad, they were not eager for X-Rap breakfast that morning. 

I headed back to FG & Muniandy. They had already landed some nice cheeroots on earthworm -cute looking whitings from the beach. Although the trip was nothing much to shout about, the scenery left a beautiful and lasting impression on me. Enjoy the pics :)



Sandy cliffs from Northern Territory? 

Possibly!

A jigging 'accident' - Sweetlips foul hooked


Crikey!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twitchin' Rap

Question: How does one work a lure without bibs? All it does is just swim in one straight, unappealing line. 

Don't think the lure is moving the way it should? Chances are, it might not be worked correctly. Take the Twitchin' Rap as a classic example. Toss it out, crank it in flat in. At most, it gives a little wobble every now and then and that's it. But when you give it an erratic twitch of the rod tip, moving only your wrist to perform the twitching action, the lure becomes alive!


Temensis & Twitchin' Rap - courtesy of YH 
(Twitchin' Rap's one of his fav lures!)

Think of the analogy of a puppet on strings. How 'real' and lively it moves around the stage depends on how well the the puppetteer manipulates its actions. Likewise for a lure, the action depends on how well the angler manipulates the twitching or retrieval and speed. Of course, good lure design plays a big role too. 

Here's a video clip of how to manipulate the Twitchin' Rap to get a crazy erratic darting action. Enjoy!


video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pink Toys for the Big Boys

There were splashes everywhere. Left, right, center and every now and then you would see a slightly luminous shape dart in and out of the shadows cast by the dim fluorescent lighting from the boat to the water, scattering groups of terrified little fish that took refuge under the boat. Occasionally, the explosion of water could be heard in the far distance - sometimes just mere feet away from us. 

Witching hour.

Out came the 6-12lb, 6ft outfit, nicely matched to the cute Rapala SM2500 with 10lb line. Which shall be my lucky lure? 

"Eeeny meeny miney mo. Skitter Walk, Skitter Pop or Chug Bug should I throw?"

I chose neither. I thought I'd try luring instead. Since some of the guys in front were popping anyway, I'd rather try something unconventional for the Big Eyes. It should be nice to try out the Storm Mid Thunder in luminous green and pink. So Pink I chose. Nice hot pinkish Mid Thunder. Oh la la!

First thing to do, "charge up" the luminous lure next to the fluorescent lamp by the boat. 10 secs on each side produced a nice green luminous glow. The fish are in trouble now! 

"Pfffzzzzzttttttt................ plop!" Okay, the lure's cast out. Lets start winding in - FAST!

Honestly I was hoping for a massive take on the first cast. Second. Third. Fourth. Still no hit! Strange. Fifth. Sixth cast. Still nothing. Okay, I'm gonna retire this lure for good. Probably the lure's pink colour was too hot to handle. 

BANG!!!!!!!! I had a massive take that almost yanked the rod off my hands. Little SM2500 squealed in delight as line spewed out from the spool. It was as if Hamilton was on the other end! It took a few runs before tiring out and there it was - a nice Big Eye Trevally!  On light tackle, it was enough to make me wet my pants from all that excitement. After some foetoe snaps, back it went into the water - released. 

The boys were utterly fascinated with this pink lipstick-ish toy with hooks and took turns to play with it, landing fish after fish after fish after fish.....and after fish! You can tell from Akashah's face that he was in Cloud 9. 

I figured that the first few casts did not yield probably because the luminosity was too bright and might have appeared unnatural to the Big Eyes. After it faded a bit over several casts, a little ghostly glow was what it took to make them irresistible yum-yums. Food for thought....?


Pink Toy for Big Boys


You HOT Pink Thing! (Not you Wayne!)
 

Which one is yummier? The lure to the fish or the rod to the angler?


Akashah in "high"




The smile says it all

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rapala VMC Acquires Sufix

The news is out - Rapala VMC has acquired Sufix. I must say its a good strategic move considering Sufix makes really good lines. In fact I remember one of the first monofilament I used when bottom fishing was the Sufix Synergy which I liked very much due to its resistance to abrasion. Then came along the Matrix Pro which I thought was as tough as nails. But I'm really looking forward to see what the new merger will produce. A better casting line than Berkley's Fireline?

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pulau Sembilan Light Tackle Casting

2007...
The Northern Longkang Gang checked out the biggest 'longkang' (a Malay word meaning "drain") in Malaysia - the Straits of Malacca. It was a stopover at Pulau Sembilan for some light tackle casting for juvenile GTs and Queenfish. 

Though it was not the season yet, we still had plenty of GT (should remove the G since these were no giants) fun on light tackle of 6-12lb setup. Cikgu Dolah, Akashah and the rest swore by the Rattlin' Rapalas in the chrome colour while I opted for the humble Williamson Gyro Jig that was newly launched at the time. 40gms in the Pearl colour was chosen over the rest since the fish around Pulau Sembilan were known to whack the anchovies which were similarly coloured. Cast or jigged, this little baby has some crazy action when retrieved blazing fast with little jerks of the rod in between. Super deadly action.... both on the fish and also 'entertainment' when I accidentally stepped on one of them and the VMC Sureset hooks sank into my heel. Yup....deadly action alright! 

I shall let the pictures now do the talking... 


The LKG trademark pose. Check out our gang's blogspot at http://longkanggang.blogspot.com


Williamson Gyro Jigs 40gms. You can cast it or jig it. Either way, super deadly action... 


Plenty of GTs these sizes. Super fun on 6-12lb tackle


Pearl colour resembles the anchovies


Closeup mug shot

Rattlin Rapalas in the chrome also produced lots

See?

Poor guy lost half of his body to a Giant Barracuda

See Mr Barra charging at the poor fish as it struggled to free itself from the lure?


"L" trademark - all rights reserved ;)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Skitter Pop Draws First Blood

I had the Skitter Pop in my lure box for years but never really had a chance to use this particular Mullet colour. YH & FG was very nice to invite me along to recce a new spot and off we went to see if we could get some Toman. And Toman we got! This was one mean fish that slammed the Skitter Pop so hard that the explosion on the water surface almost caused me to wet my pants. Looking forward to more of such topwater actions in the coming weeks. 


Skitter Pop Mullet finally breaks its 'O' jinx


Toman @ Giant Snakehead

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Boring Saturday...

What can one do on a boring Saturday morning? Fishing of course! Well, the easiest is Peacock Bass since there's a pond nearby but heck, are they smart! Thats the problem with places that are easily accessible. But anyway, the boring Saturday turned out to be pretty productive. Caught 3 in the morning before calling up Joey who came by few minutes later and landed another one on X-Rap Deep. So it eventually wasn't such a boring Saturday morning after all.