Saturday, March 28, 2009

VMC Spark Point Trebles

Rapala VMC releasing a Owner look-alike treble series? Interesting...

I've always liked chemically sharpened hooks from makers like Gamakatsu, Owner, Daiichi, etc. No hassle about sharpening them (as I'm a bum!) so I'd rather get them out of the box, sharp and ready to lock onto some fish. 

VMC's Spark Point is supposed to be a breakthrough in VMC's pursuit for sharper and faster hooksets. According to the VMC Website, Spark Point "has been developed exclusively by VMC to ensure permanent hook sharpness, while penetration speed is accelerated by energy channels which optimise the point's driving force upon striking"

Comes in 2 finishes - Tin and Black Nickel

I didn't get anything bigger than a size No.1 to try out but by putting it onto an X-Rap 14 (actually an ideal size would be X-Rap 12) somehow I felt the lure was a lot lighter. True enough, the casting distance was lesser too due to the lighter weight. I'm sure the smaller sizes will be a darling to Freshwater fishos as the lighter hooks will mean livelier lure swimming action.  

Haven't landed anything on the Spark Point yet to write anything more about it, but we shall see.... stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Great Recession Sport: Fishing!

Just read this short interesting article in today's CNBC website posted by Cindy Perman. 

"As the recession forces Americans to make cutbacks in their spending, more are opting for that great recession pastime: They’re going fishin’.

Fishing: It's fun AND edible.

From the icy north to the fly-fishing streams of Texas, fishing is on the rise, Reuters reports.
New Hampshire ice fisherman Mike MacDonald told Reuters he’s not surprised — You can get a bucket of worms for $6 and that'll last you all day. Skiing, by contrast, costs $80 just for the lift ticket.

And there are stats to back it up: During the last recession, from 2001 to 2002, sales of fishing rods and reels jumped 12 percent, Reuters reported. Fishing-license sales are up, attendance at derbies is on the rise and bait and tackle shops are reporting double-digit percentage increases in sales.  (D1: Hmmm... Are Rapala sales up???)

Not only is it cheap but as a colleague points out: It’s the only sport you can eat. That should help with the grocery bill.

Yes, but what if you factor in the cost of beer?!

Extracted from CNBC. Click here to read the CNBC article (by Cindy Perman, dated March 23rd 2009)

D1's FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The simple things in life, especially those that involve bonding with friends and family, bring us fulfillment through difficult times

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jeffry Kicks Up A Storm - AGAIN!

Jeffro "Minnow" Man dropped me an email to 'poison' me about his recent exploits for Barramundi by showing me pics of some nice, fat healthy Barramundi. I've promised not to divulge the spots he got the fish at - or else I'd suffer the fate so fearful of all anglers - being prohibited to fish that spot next time! So Jeff.... you know what to do ok? ;) *hint hint*

Look at how fat and healthy this baby is!

Barramundi staring at the Storm Thundercore Pilcher that he ate

Storm Wildeye Minnow also worked

Average size

Lure fishing at its best

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Hate Frogs!

I hate frogs. Period.

So don't even think I will consider using froggies as bait for Haruan. They are cold, squeaky and ugly. Hate em'! Those pesky things!

So instead of using little Kermit's cousins, I clipped on a Storm Wildeye soft plastic shad to cast into the weedy patch. Not exactly a wise thing to do since it wasnt really weedless; each cast returned a clump of weed patches wrapped around it - looking like some weedball.

But nearing a patch of weed, this little greedy fella pounced on the softie bait. See? I don't need froggies to get Haruan too! Ok... so its a mini fella. But it still counts, right? :) 

Cute lil' fella. We put him back to where he belonged.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hope in Times of Uncertainty

As I flip the pages of the newspaper each morning, all I see is bad news after bad news in the midst of the current financial crisis. I just called up a fishing buddy back home yesterday to see how he was going. He was thankful enough he still has a job though things are not going well. Apparently the company has been in the red for some months now and if things don't pick up in the next few months, the inevitable will just happen. 

But there is hope in these tough, turbulent and uncertain times. Will I still have a job next week? Next month? Next few months? I don't know. But I do know someone who knows; and who's in control at all times.  

Are you worried and uncertain about the current crisis or any situation for that matter in your life that seem hopeless? Find comfort in these words of a Good Friend:

"Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Life itself is more important than food, and the body more important than clothes. The birds of the air don't sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet God feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than the birds? Who, by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why worry about where will you get your clothes? Look at how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet not even King Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and gone tomorrow, will He not much more clothe you? So don't worry about what will you eat, drink or wear coz God knows that you need them. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Don't worry about tomorrow, coz tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own" 

- Matt 6:25-34

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pulau Jarak 2009 - Part 5

The final day of our trip had arrived. We had good fun and good laughter and very soon in a few hours it was all coming to an end. Ah Ho had informed us we'd be stopping by Pulau Sembilan for some light jigging before we headed home. It had been an extremely fun trip though no biggies were landed on this trip but indeed it was a blessing to have great weather and clear skies throughout the trip. 

Bluefox Herring 50g (L) Williamson Gyro Jig 40g (R)

One of the baby GT's at Sembilan

YH was the star of the day. Armed with his 'Red Beauty' and ever faithful Bluefox Casting Skarpsilda, he was in business from start till end. 

Firstly, Cincaru (Hard-Tailed Scad) on Skarpsilda

Hookup again!

This time its a juvenile GT

Darren's GT

YH playing 'Ninja'

This time, its a Sagai

Mahadzir with a Grouper on Inchiku

The Poseidon Spin Jerker PE2.5 & Golden Mean Sable Dance PE1

We also had a special visitor that morning too

Our man FG

What's Darren doing with a Stella on one hand and a hammer on the other?! (note the wrench on the floor too!)

By noon, we were already back at the Jetty of Bagan Datoh. It was fun while it lasted - more importantly having good fun with some old friends and making new ones too! 

And all of us posing with Kampung Koh Chilli Sauce! Best chilli sauce in the world for your burger or hotdog!

Fully endorsed by RapalaInsider! ;)

Special thanks goes to Darren C, Damien Loong for organizing this memorable trip. Mahadzir and Edi - it was great to fish with you guys and thanks to you, we've now learnt how to jig to the song "I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT!" And last but not least, thank you to Captain Toh Seng Hoo for a wonderful trip and being the professional captain and friend you are. You ROCK!

For those wishing to fish with Captain Ho on board GT Chaser can contact him at +6019 516 5885
Enquiries regarding Evergreen Poseidon rods, Sabel Dance & Majorcraft? 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pulau Jarak 2009 - Part 4: "GT day!"

We left the waters of Jarak to some nearby drop-offs for some jigging action. Wind conditions were starting to pick up with NW winds picking up throughout the day. 

First drift over the drop-off and FG was into business. Offblow PE1.5-3 bent nicely over with an unmistakable GT run on the other end. Check out the pic! Any jigger would love to be in his shoes at that time.

Mahadzir worked hard too. He had two missed strikes earlier but kept his cool. On the subsequent hookup, there was no mistake about it - double and triple hooksets to drive the hook points home resulted in a sure keeper. It was a GT alright.

Another double hookup of GT twins on jig

FG's GT caught on Williamson Abyss 200g (lumo)

Sifu (Teacher) Darren then showed us how to really put the stick to the test. He was using a Golden Mean Sabel Dance PE1 rod and jigging with an IMA jig, also a deadly jig which GTs were suckers for. Check out the bend on that rod! I thought it was almost going to snap but it sure goes to show the difference between a good rod and a cheap jigstick when you pay that little more for the quality. The Golden Mean Sabel Dance rods are definitely value for money, no nonsense! Oh, and did I mention they were super light? 

This is how its done. Darren with a nice specimen on PE1!

The capture of this GT as spelled by the words I.M.A.

One of the few GTs landed by Damien L

The Chrome Williamson Abyss proved to be an effective GT jig. Fast sinking with little resistance in the water when jigged vertically makes it easy to control

It was as if we had chanced upon a drop-off with hungry GTs waiting below to whack any jig that was dropped to the bottom. Ah Ho had advised that fishing the vast expense of reefs and drop-offs were challenging as it was not always that one could locate the GTs. This time we struck gold. Each drift would see most of us getting strikes, hookups - some landed and some lost (like mine!). Soon enough, the current became too unbearable and the wind picked up velocity which made drifting very difficult. So we left the hungry GT pack alone to return to Jarak to shelter from the wind.

Edi's triumphant capture

Evening came and Darren was at the front of the boat popping various poppers of different models and makes. He did pretty well, producing several nice GTs even though the fishing was tough amidst the winds. He was diligently casting away and disciplined and patient enough to keep casting away until the trebles latched on to something. Mighty impressive effort I must say - for he stood there and cast all through the evening.

Feeling inspired by him, I also went up to the bow and joined him - with Majorcraft Offblow/Twinpwer 5000PG and X-Walk combo in hand. Finally after seemed like an eternity of casting, a humble GT decided to check out the weird zig-zag thingy on the surface but changed its mind to eat it and did a U-turn after realising it might not exactly be tasty. Accidentally by a fluke, the treble latched onto the GT's tail and off it went like a bullet! It was good fun.  

Damien: "I'm training my abs. HEARGH!!"

Some pre-dinner fellowship after a long hard day's work

A beautiful sunset to end the day

To be continued....

Pulau Jarak 2009 - Part 3

Early next morning, GT Chaser was re-parked close to the island so we could pop and jig for early morning GTs that should be on the prowl for their breakfast. We chucked everything at the water but not even a GT shadow was seen. 

Water visibility was crystal clear. Changing to an X-Rap 14cm in the SPM colour, I decided to cast at the coral bommies in hope of catching maybe some Barracuda or Macks. Just as I was chatting with Darren, the Majorcraft Offblow buckled and the Twinpower 5000PG gave a frantic squeal as the spool spun at high speed. Easy does it... please dont let this fish throw the hook! 

Moments later, we saw colour beneath the water. Bluefin Trevally! Pleasant surprise! Inside, I was thanking God for the privilege and this memorable experience to land such a beautiful fish - on the humble X-Rap 14. X-Rap SPM strikes again! After some photos, it was released to fight another day but not after a little drama that happened in the revival and release process. 

Majorcraft Offblow in action

Thanking God for this wonderful experience! (photo courtesy of FG)

X-Rap 14 SPM strikes again!

In the later part of the morning, skipper Ah Ho upped the anchor and instructed us to pop round the island in search for some GT action which had been elusive thus far. As we rounded a nice patch of coral bommies, the unmistakable screech of a Daiwa Branzino spool protesting sent our heads turning to the direction of the sound. FG who was popping in front with his Golden Mean light popping rod had a solid take on the X-Walk 13cm! Almost simultaneously, YH had a big take not far from where FG's X-Walk literally disappeared under an explosion at the water surface. Double hookup which unleashed utter pandemonium!

'Soh Steady' lives up to his nickname - see how he calmly controls the rampaging fish

Double hookup!

YH's GT was the first to be landed. Beautiful! He had been casting alongside FG with a Storm Wildeye Minnow 15cm in the blue chrome finish. Deadly lure!

Upon landing YH's fish, FG expertly guided his GT into the landing net. Two beautiful GT's!! How good is that?? Observing the entire scene unfold before my eyes, I happily snapped away the action shots and the resulting smiles on both their faces. Both were released unharmed.

A picture that speaks volumes

X-Walk Redhead Chartreuse and its captive

Not long after, FG was in action again! This time a Rainbow Runner slammed the X-Walk with gusto but was no match for the Golden Mean. It was a thrilling experience for FG as he never expected a Rainbow Runner to pounce so voraciously on the surface lure.

Rainbow Runner eats X-Walk, X-Walk eats a little anchovie

To be continued... again!