Saturday, January 31, 2009

Williamson Yabai Jig

"Yabai Dabai Dooo!"

After the long wait and only admiring the Yabai jigs through the Williamson catalogs, the Yabai jigs finally arrived! Yabai - sounds like a rude swear word but it hardly is the case. In actual fact, I was told that the word Yabai is a Japanese slang to describe something awesome or nice, pretty much like how we say "Cool!" or "Wicked!"

It looks pretty cool and features 2 eyelets, each giving the lure a different action on the drop. For vertical jigging, tie the line to the topmost eyelet while the center positioned eyelet will create a slower, fluttering action on the drop.

I would think the lure would be even more attractive to the fish should the manufacturers have incorporated some crystal flash to the skirts. According to the package, it comes in sizes of 65g, 100g, 150g and 200g.

The Yabai has landed

Features tandem VMC hooks on kevlar below the skirts

The 2 different positions for tying the line to give a different action on the drop. Notice the aerodynamic "wings" on the sides of the head.

Side view

Would have been nice to add some sparkle or flash to the skirts for added attraction to the fish.

Storm Wildeye Minnow in the 6cm!

Managed to squeeze in some last minute lure shopping before I head back when work resumes. I was hoping to get hold of the Storm Wildeye 6cms in the sample box of lures for 2009 but they were not in the pack. I chanced upon these at Zanxian at Beach Street (Penang) and so grabbed a few boxes. I had been searching high and low for them for a while but couldn't really find them until I saw them at Zanxian. These were super crazy lures for the estuary species like Tarpon, Mangrove Jacks, Barra & Threadfin! Even caught a few groupers on this baby on the chartreuse colour model. Next stop.... Peacock Bass. They are in serious trouble now!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chinese New Year Grouper

Here I am back again at our Grouper hole. This time with Jeffroman in action. It was close to Chinese New Year and since there was nothing much to do - what else than to pop down to our spot 5 mins away from my home. The tide was just about right and we began casting our lures. Soft plastics were the order of the day and in quick succession we got a few tiddlers on the SPs. Jeffroman was using his Berkley Gulp while I stuck to my faithful Storm Wildeye SP. Since I didnt have the red tail ones already which were killer - I settled for the white/pearl one which resembled the anchovies (ikan bilis) which should work...

All the groupers were released ... lucky them... since it was Chinese New Year I'm sure the folks back home would not have mind steamed grouper. But we're nice people...aren't we Jeff? ;)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Small is beautiful no?

The dark patches on the grouper are lighter on the little ones

Fish of the day: A snapper on SP!

Very nice indeed!

The last fish of the day - close to 800gms on Bleeding Shad Rap

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Walk on By'

Walking the dog...

Sounds like a nice thing to do on cool evenings with a pet dog. Only thing is that there's no canines involved in this action. Skitter Walks and X-Walks have been struttin' their stuff to catch the wary fish in a display of surface explosions that leave your hands trembling and heartbeat double!

Last weekened YH & FG brought me to their haunt, and in that few hours we managed some Toman that had a liking for the X-Walks and Skitter Walks.

Also featured in this posting is a year old video clip of a pleasant evening at a retention pond with Sild, Jeffroman and Fishnut75. The fish just didnt give the Skitter Walk any chance. :( Well, too bad...

The new Skitter Walk in chrome finish

Easy does it...

The lure that caused the downfall of this Toman

Mugshot! Say "Ahhhh"

A video clip of how a Skitter Walk got mauled by an unknown fish

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Product Test: Storm FlutterStick Madflash

Hot from the oven!

YH reports in from his outing yesterday in testing out the new Storm FlutterStick Madflash with a nice Toman. 

In his exact words:

"Cast like a dream, with unique underwater walk a dog action that fools weary fish, and subtle side to side shimmering action when dropping. Did I mention the red VMC Barbarian hook didn't even bend a wee bit with heavy drag and a crazy-mad rushing toman on the other end? How about the Glow in the Dark that will be a killer for night time Belida or Big Eye Jack?" 

D1: I want one too! 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Grouper Grouper!

Super strong winds made fishing offshore difficult this trip home. No choice but to entertain myself from the shore by casting. Apparently the Threadfin should be around in massive numbers but judging from the water clarity that day, I doubt we'd be getting anything. Nevertheless, off we went to check out the Groupers.

With all the right elements aligned, the hits came fast and furious. Bro C & Boy had already landed a few table size specimens on a deep diving lure. As usual, I'm the "softie" type of guy... and softie I didn't mean affeminate. When casting for groupers from shore, I was more inclined towards soft-plastics such as grubs or shads. Even better still was the Storm Wildeye Swimbait. Too bad I lost the only 2 after the fish mercilessly tore them apart after being landed in quick succession. 

Need to go restock for my next trip back...

Who's got whom?

Taking off the treble at the belly helps to reduce the snagging between rocks tremendously

One of the many small ones which were released

Deep diving lures work well too

This tiny one fell for a Bleeding Shad Rap pattern

As nightfall approached, the fish got bigger

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interview with Joey Tan: Rapala's Asia Pacific Team's Female Angler

Rapala Insider recently interviewed Joey Tan, a familiar face in the a male-dominated sport of lure fishing and the sole female angler in the Rapala Asia Pacific Team. Joey started to have a 'fan' base of her own after appearing in Rapala Fishing Adventures DVD. Here's a little bit of info about her...

Q: Firstly... how young are you??
A: Shhhh..... Hey u !!!

Q: What got you interested in fishing?
A: Curiosity. I had my first fishing experience when I was studying in Perth. I was curious about fishing. When I was in perth , I saw people fly fishing & casting, not just bait fishing and soaking bait, and was curious about the actions in fishing. It triggered me wanting to know more about fishing. Just happened to have a friend who loves fishing and who gave me a crash course on all types of fishing except fly fishing

Q: Did you spend lots of money on tackle like most anglers do?
A: Yes,I was assassinated ! Spent tons of money on rods, tackle, reels, trips, etc... didn't even have money to shop for my own stuff.

Q: Whats the most expensive tackle that you own?
A: A Shimano Stella 8000PG... but I pawned it.

Q: Where's your favourite fishing destination for now?
A: Pekan , Malaysia as I couldn't afford a further destination.

Q: How did you join the Rapala Asia Pacific Team?
A: I was scouted haha... just kidding! I used to hang around Beach Rd (a local fishing tackle locale in Singapore ) very often and so happened one of the anglers there introduced me to Fred Goh. At that time, Rapala was looking around for a female angler and I got introduced to him.

Q: What do you like most fishing with the Rapala Asia Pacific Team on outings?
A: Being treated like a princess on board the boat, that I felt like a bimbo!! That's not a compliment to a female angler by the way.

Q: Share with us your experience when filming Rapala Fishing Adventures?
A: Initially I didn't like it because I felt uncomfortable

Q: In what sense?
A: Who likes to have a camera in their face?! Eyeing ur every moves ??!! Subsequently I couldn't care less anymore. I just wanna get my fish!!

Q: Any memorable moments?
A: More of embarrassing moments! .. Swearing in front of the camera when I lost my fish! Oops! *censored* So "tak glam"! 

Q: What is your biggest fish landed?
A: Sailfish from Rompin

Q: Favourite specie of fish?
A: GT & Parrotfish...for now. More to come!

Q: Whats your favourite Rapala lure?
A: X-Rap

Q: Are you attached?
A: No. I am very much single and available. Hahaha! Does that matter?

Q: Are you looking for an angler boyfriend then?
A: That would be ideal!!

OK guys... what are you waiting for? 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finally X-Rap 6!


The long awaited X-Rap 6 is here. Another addition to the 'snack' size lures which I currently am loving dearly. 6cms of beautiful holographic plastic! A good move by the Rapala boys I must say since I'm sure there's a big demand out there for small sized lures with fast-actions. Due to its little size I strongly advise against using a snap swivel when fishing it to obtain the best results.

Out of the box

Sexy eyes

The full profile

How it compares with its larger brothers (Top to bottom) X-Rap 14, 12, 10, 8 and 6

Of course, who doesn't test out his 'toy' when he gets it? Here's a nice specimen for the record. Woohoo!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lure Casting Pelagics

extracted from Rod & Line Magazine, English (Dec 2008)

For many budding anglers, catching a fish on a lure is a great achievement indeed. I’m sure many of us still recall our first fish caught on an artificial – the feeling of excitement as the fish slams the lure as you crank it in and the sense of sheer joy and not to mention trembling hands as you hold the fish in your hands in triumph after the fight.

However, many anglers out there who are not as fortunate to experience this feeling and sense of satisfaction, not because they are unlucky but because they don’t know the how and... no one has shared with them how to. Unless you have a very generous ‘sifu’ (teacher) that will teach you the finer points of lure fishing, it’s all learning through trial and error. I was such a bloke when I first started off lure fishing with no one to tell me what to do. So you can imagine this fellow tying an oversized snap swivel with wire trace to a small lure and hoping to catch something big on it. Obviously it took many fishless trips to teach me a lesson or two the hard way. Sounds familiar?

It is crucial to believe that the beautifully painted piece of wood, plastic or metal can catch fish. If you are not convinced yourself that the artificial will catch fish, what more to convince the fish to bite? As a result, some anglers give up casting after a few rounds of tossing and cranking the lure back. You have to believe that the lure you are working will attract a fish to bite in due time and even if there is no strike after a few rounds that’s when Rule #2 kicks in – PERSERVERANCE! Don’t give up! The longer the lure is in the water, the higher the chances of a fish sighting it. As for Rule #3? Keep the bait at home. Chances are, if you bring bait, you will be more likely to give up on casting and revert to bait. Bringing only lures on your trip will force you to work those lures a bit harder for the fish.

Like any other form of fishing, the understanding of structure and how that attracts fish is crucial to up your chances to land your targeted quarry when casting lures whether from shore or on the boat. Always be at the look out for structure such as rocks or snags that attract the smaller baitfish. The presence of the baitfish always attracts predators at the right tide. In the open sea, wrecks, reefs, FADs or drop offs are also good grounds to fish with artificials. Spring tides are good for pelagics, so to maximize your chances of getting them, carefully plan your trips accordingly to the dates.

Casting lures these days come in all types of shapes, sizes and colours and each would have their own characteristics of attracting targeted quarry. Poppers, stickbaits or pencil baits are surface lures (though sometimes you do have sub-surface ones too) that attract predators through the splashes or noise on the surface. They mimic frightened baitfish that scatter on the water surface when chased by rampaging fish below. Swimming lures would have their distinctive bibs that cause them to swim enticingly below the surface or dive deep to a certain depth. Generally the bigger the surface area of the bib, the deeper the lure dives. Metal spoons or jigs are also effective pelagic-hunting tools though usually you would need to crank very fast to trigger the natural aggressive nature of predators. Bibless lures are also fish producers in their own right. Most have built-in loud rattles in a slim aerodynamic profile that gives a shimmery wiggle while emitting loud rattling sounds as they are cranked in.

Some friends and I had the liberty to try out some new toys from Rapala in the form of the new 2009 lure called the “Glidin' Rap” recently. Personally I think the design boys at Rapala must have been working overtime to figure out a chunky bibless, sub-surface lure such as this. Designed primarily for Pike in the European waters, we thought we should try them to see their effectiveness in the salt. We started off merely casting them out and winding them in flat with fast and slow retrieves. The lure looked unattractive and had a clumsy wobble that gave me doubt if any fish at all would be interested. However, when twitched and worked ‘walk the dog’ style, the Glidin' Rap swayed attractively from side to side underneath the surface of the water with a sexy action! We merely summed up the result of the trip with two words: TENGGIRI BAIT. We figured the unique way it swam (surprisingly not with a high-speed retrieve) really got the fishes hot on the bite! The key thing to learn from the trip was this: try to experiment with all sorts of retrieves, twitching or jerking actions to impart the right action to the lure. Knowing what type of lure used in conjunction with the type of gear, line poundage, and the right retrieve would be the effective combination to increase your chances each time you go for pelagics.

To wire or not? That is the question. Some swear that putting on wire will reduce the bites tremendously while others feel it’s a necessary insurance against losing your precious lure. There is no hard and fast rule here except that tying a wire leader does affect the swimming action of the lure particularly if the wire is stiff. This is more so true if the lure is one with a small bib. If it’s a beefy or long lure you are casting with, wire is usually not necessary as the teeth would not get to the leader unless by some accident the line gets between the jaws of the fish. Most of the time you will be fine.

Lure casting in the open waters is much more than just tossing the lure out and cranking it with a flat out retrieve. Sometimes this works but when the fishes are much more wary, it pays to vary your retrieves and or change to other types of lures. Shallow running bibbed lures such as the X-Rap can be twitched in between cranks of the reel handle. In the case of the Glidin' Rap, it was a change from the conventional tight-wiggling action of a minnow profile to a slower, side to side gliding motion that triggered non-stop hits. There are many ways to work a lure and therefore it is worth trying all sorts of techniques to find a combination that works for the day.

Another tip to a successful lure-casting trip is to observe how the lure swims. If you see the lure swimming unnaturally, chances are the fish might find it unnatural too. Some lures swim better without a snap swivel or wire trace in front of the lure. This is often true with shallow bibbed lures – they don’t really go well with big clips or snaps.

If you have yet to catch your first fish on lure after trying all the techniques mentioned in books, magazines or even from forums, fret not. Remember the 3 rules or principles mentioned above apart from the technical bits of lure casting will definitely connect you to a fish on lure in due time. Good luck and tight lines!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 X-Walking!

FG & YH had a ball early 2009 morning with magnificent catches of Toman, Peacock Bass & a Saratoga on X-Walk. Boy, I wished I was with them! 

Here's a quickie report from FG:

The year 2008 ended and oh yes, the New Year 2009 started very well too! Upon reaching our fishing spot, we went casting to the likely spots. The surface action is very encouraging, with many rises and splashes. I was using the X Rap Walk, Gold Olive colour. After casting a few times, a huge take exploded near the lure without hookup, as I wind, the second take exploded and again no hookup. 

I think the Toman needed a pair of reading glasses...

Just I was about to give up, the 3rd take exploded and oh yes, this time the fish did not miss the lure. I have a Conquest 100 with 10lb drag and OMG, this fish really can pull. YH is right about these toman in this part of water, they pull harder than the rest of the places we fish. 

As I move to the side, little that I realized that there was a underwater tree branch and the fish manage to hook itself there and alas, I lost the fish sigh… We then continue casting and YH was rewarded with a few small Toman around the 1-2kg range. I landed a similar size on the X Rap Walk and very happy that finally I have some decent results after a not so fruitful 2008. The fishing ended with both of us enjoying half boil eggs and a bowl of wonderful dry prawn noodles.

On the second day of 2009, YH and I visited another likely spot. Unlike the previous day, there were no surface actions and everything seem still. As I cast an X Rap Walk, clown colour near a tree branch, there was a gentle take and follow by spectacular jumps. My heart jumped every time the fish jumped and I had some idea what the fish was and I have to take it slowly as the fish was renowned for throwing hooks. Finally I landed the fish, a 5lb greenback Saratoga or arowana! A very rare catch! 

YH landed a peacock bass who had the guts to take the X Rap Walk, Silver Blue. He was using his new toy, a red Ferrari - what a beauty.

D1: Doesnt that make you green with envy? ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Threadfin @ Senangin Jigging!

Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! 

It was Senangin @ Threadfin season back home when I went back over the Christmas holidays. Too bad I didnt have the chance to head off to sea to jig for some Threadfin for old' times' sake. All I could do was reminiscent glory days of last year when we hit a motherlode of Threadies on jig. 

What I did get to do during my holidays was to do some casting for grouper nearby my house and boy oh boy I think it was probably the most productive of all the trips I had collectively this trip back. Will try to post the pics up when they are ready in the next few days.