Sunday, November 29, 2009

2010 New Lure: Rapala Flat Rap

I had the privilege to get my hands on one of the Flat Raps, a new lure for 2010 today. Woohoo! My first impressions were: COOL, COOL & COOL!! One look and you'll know that the rolling, flashy action on this was gonna be a killer when twitched. With its flat sides, the flash would be more prominent. Interestingly the small tri-angular bib helps in this area of twitching.

Somehow it does look like a flatter version of the Twitchin' Rap with a bib. But boy, does the chrome look enticing! Here's some specs I got off Rapala's official website. Yet to try it but... just can't wait to hit the water to try it out.

If only the rain would stop...

FLR08 - 8cm
FLR10 - 10cm
CH-Chrome, CLN-Clown, FT-FireTiger, HSS-Hot Steel, HT-Hot Tiger, OPSD-Original Pearl Shad, P-Perch. PDS-Purpledescent, PGS-Pearl Grey Shiner, S-Silver, SB-Silver Blue, YP-Yellow Perch

Flashy profile... Me likey!

Minnow profile

Check out the triangular bib

Flat sides

Top view

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Tale of Two Tigers - Part 2

Day 2....

It rained again... and again... and AGAIN! We prayed that it would stop. Obviously someone out there must have needed the rain out there more than us :) When it was slightly better, we headed out to the weed beds and lilypads.

The sky was overcast and the slight wind blowing the water surface made it a tad difficult to sight the Toman rises. Nevertheless, we kept looking.

We came to this spot where the local Toman 'gang' apparently hang out. Sure enough, there we rises among the tight weeds.

Gently, we launched the Skitter Pop Fire Tigers. FG's plopped about 1 feet from a nice rise. Seconds later, the water erupted and his line went tight! But it was definitely no match for the Curado E5/GLoomis combo. Fish CPR'ed (Catch, Photographed & Released).

Don't underestimate these weeds at the banks!

Check out the 'Batik' patterns on the fish! Beauty!

Can't deny that SP09 Fire Tiger was THE lure!

Up until then, I only got those Tiny Toons. Whatever happened to those big Mommas? It was humbling to be catching tots on lures almost as big as their bodies!

Evening came and we paddled into a beautiful cove. At a distance, I could vaguely see a tight school of babes. Mama should be around somewhere. Let's go!

Sadly, repeated casts to 'harass' the babes didn't provoke Mummy enough to pounce on the Redhead Skitter Pop. What kinda Mummy is that?!? You're supposed to be guarding the babies!

So I left the babies alone and cast way far from the school in between the weeds. It was almost time to call it a day and so, half heartedly cast the last few remaining casts. Out of no where this dark, black & green shape appeared and slammed into the Redhead 'innocently struggling' back to the boat. It was Mummy!

"Watch out, there's a log on your right!" FG warned. Mrs Toman went berserk and charged furiously towards the structure. Good thing it tired out just a few feet before reaching the snag and our guide expertly netted her.

She was a beautiful colouration! Typical of brooding fish. After taking the customary photos, she was released back healthily to rejoin her babes.

"Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"

Self explanation of the Toman's aggressive nature

This trip was also riddled with a lot of typical D1 blunders which I shall not divulge in this blog for obvious reasons! Ask the other Rapaleros... if there's no D1 blunder it won't be a happening trip.

Hey, what fun would it be without such 'entertainment'? ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Tale of Two Tigers

The heavens opened and dunked some serious rain onto us as we were rousing from our sleep.

"I'm sure the fish wouldn't mind getting wet from the rain" FG exclaimed with a matter of fact look. But thank God the weather did ease and we proceeded as planned to our rendezvous.

After FG's successive and productive trips with pictures of angry Toman smashing surface lures and stories of burst leaders & smothered egos, who could resist to tangle with the "freshwater Tigers" of Southeast Asia?

"Skitter Pops in Fire Tiger colour were the top producers in our last trip" FG exclaimed as he fit one onto his outfit.

Who was I to argue? I followed suit on my Majorcraft Sakura 10-16lb / Shimano Curado 200E5 loaded up with the new 20lb Sufix Fusion line (more details on that in subsequent posts! Great stuff comparable to Fireline!) outfit.

The morning air was crisp. Motoring quietly across the lake, we came upon the sight of familiar surface ripples.

"There", our guide pointed out to the swirl that was about 30m away.

FG graciously allowed me to cast first. The Fire Tiger Skitter Pop 9cm landed right on target about 1 foot near the ripples. Perfect.

It didn't survive the third chug when the water around it erupted! Line taught, rod bent!

Fish on!!!

Alas, the fight was shortlived. The fish dived into some submerged weeds and shook the lure free. The spanking new Fire Tiger came back with a large puncture hole on its balsa body. From the teeth marks, it did look like a solid fish (aren't the ones that get away always big?)

FG scored better with the subsequent Toman. Not big, but it sure gave an impressive surface strike that caused our hearts to almost jump out of our mouths! These guys are aggressive! They seemed to love the loud splashes from the Skitter Pop on a fast 'jerk, jerk, jerk' action. And the results of the day confirmed it. Aggressive strikes are an understatement!

Ron scores a nice one on his Jap surface lure

Freshwater Tiger meets Fire Tiger

This one fell for the new X-Walk 11cm

When it comes to Toman fishing, the most common method is to cast a diving lure or crankbait at a fish that has come up to the water surface to breathe. The ripples on the water surface are the tell tale sign of a fish that has just surfaced. Casting a deep diver at the spot will trigger the aggressive nature of the Toman to strike the 'intruding' object.

However, this technique may not be a universal technique especially at shallow spots where underwater weeds abound. Hence, poppers would work wonders as they cause the commotion on the water surface, triggering ferocious strikes. Not to mention, the visual effects are heart-stopping and purely unforgettable!

More pics to come..

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Glass Fat Rap

Now that the Fat Rap craze in Singapore & Malaysia has simmered down a bit, it's time to reflect back at another lure which I had forgotten about (shame shame!) for quite some time since it was discontinued.

The glass Fat Raps were pretty cool, though the wobbling action is slightly different from its balsa counterparts, still produced fish.

Jeffroman proved that the precious one in his tacklebox still could produce wonders when he recently bagged a nice Barramundi & Ladyfish on the glass FR. Brave man, or so I thought, since these are discontinued... and if it was somehow snagged or taken by a fish, its a permanent bye-bye.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What To Do With 1 Hour to Spare?

What does one do with 1 hour to spare in the evening? Now that's a silly question if you're a hardcore angler.

Which was what I did precisely after work one day. Just needed a short break after that stretch of stressful afternoon engagements. Grabbed my newly acquired Majorcraft Sakura BC & Curado 200 E5 combo and headed down to the rocks.

The tide was just nicely rising.. just nice for knocking on some groupers' doors.

At the end of the hour, I was pleasantly surprised that the good ol' spot still yielded nice fish. All were happily released to fight another day. Oh, and did I mention I got busted off twice? 40lb leader cut off nicely at the rocks.

For those who are stressed at work - drop those files and knock off that computer of yours, pick up your rod and go toss some lures. Even if it's just for 1 hour. You'll be surprised at the effects.

Stay sane. Go fishing!

Location: Look for loose rocks such as these.

Keep casting around the rocky outcrop - key thing is to bounce those lures off the rocks every now and then to 'knock' on the grouper's holes. Normally they'd ambush from these holes.

Be fast! Once they hit, very often they head back to the rocks. Keep the fight short and sweet.

30-40lb leaders are a must to avoid cut off at the sharp barnacles

Size doesn't matter - just enjoy the entire process. Happy luring!