Thursday, September 30, 2010

MJ vs Taildancer

MJ love Taildancers.

No I'm not referring to the King of Pop who does his cool moonwalk but I'm talking about Mangrove Jacks - those dirty fighters that love to dash to the nearest snag when their dracula-like teeth sink into your lures.

My beloved Zillion Coastal high speed 7.3:1 ratio baby coupled to the Rapalero 6-12lb was the most used combo of the trip. Worked the lures into a panick-stricken wiggle all the way back to the boat. I was confident the Rapalero red was definitely more than beefy enough to handle any mean fish running into any snag. And of course, with the bright fluoro orange Sufix Performance Fuse. Oh la la!

All hail the Rapalero Zillionaire combo!

No association to the fishing whatsoever - but my camera lens found it interesting nevertheless

Small GT were the first to hit the trolled lures

When trolling yielded nothing more, casting Taildancers reproduced the goods. All of a sudden, it was MJ fiesta. Clown redheads worked well.

This little MJ found the FLP irresistible

Even catfish (otek) found Taildancers

MJ love Taildancers - dont believe me? Ask little Jack here..

KH beams in delight

Oh.. and GT too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mangrove Adventures (cont')

Let's hop on over to the other boat where FG & YH are...

They were on the same estuary but covered a different side so that both boats could cover a wider expanse of area while casting. They too lamented the colour of the water. That's when lure colours come into play.

I don't want to get sucked into the debate if fish can see colours or not or if bright colours are for stained colours & natural colours for clear waters. Each angler will swear by either extremes and in such instances I'd say to each his own. What matters most is that it catches fish for you! :) That's what matters!

In our case & instance, most of the fish caught seemed to favour the brighter, high contrast colours. We also had fair number of catches on natural colours but particularly on the days when the waters were murky (and I mean really milk-tea with extra milk colour!) we managed to catch some fish on the chartreuse & 'orange'y colours.

F-Gee: This lil' bugga went for a lure almost 3/4 of his size

... and this lil' bugga was aggresive! Crikey mate! BTW, where are the biggies?

Oh no! Not another lil' bugga?! Now where's yer daddy??

Ahhh.... that's a lil' more like it! Rapala Taildancer worked!

Taildancer produced another MJ (Mangrove Jack, not Michael Jackson)

Beautiful colouration on this MJ. On 'Bleeding' Copper pattern Taildancer

Now that's a fish! Silver Barramundi on new 2011 lure - Rapala Clackin' Minnow! Woohoo! Hats off to YH!

After a tiring day, we headed back to our cosy village house by the riverside looking forward for a nice cool bath. But hang on...where's the bathroom?

Village Man: *points to the river*

Rapaleros: Then where's the toilet?

Village Man: *points to the river*


Village Man: *points to the river*

Rapaleros: !?!?!!

Relax... its not that bad... the water's treated and filtered before consumption. Phew!
It may seem quite disturbing to bathe from the same source where your neighbour's poop just dropped in with a 'plop' up-river. One way is to trick your mind to think nothing of it. If the fish didn't mind, it shouldn't affect you. Furthermore, the village maidens had silky smooth hair and skin. No need for SK-II or L'Oreal here.

Oh yeah... it also helped that you couldnt see the colour of the water or what you scooped out of the water when darkness falls.

That's the 'poop box' in the middle there. And yup, that's Mr Macho having his evening bath

Giving thanks for the food. Our prayer was quite literally... Dear God, thank you for the food. Please protect our tummies! (and btw, our tummies were good throughout the trip! )

Friday, September 10, 2010

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

To all Muslim friends celebrating the end of Ramadhan, wishing you "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mangrove Adventures

I got my 1 week leave approved from work to join the Rapaleros on this long-awaited trip. For obvious reasons, unfortunately I'm not allowed to divulge the exact location of our exploits this time around.

One cloudy afternoon saw us stranded at a small, stuffy airport terminal for 6 hours. Our connecting flight was delayed and so we made do with counting the number of planes taking off and landing, observing irritated mothers spanking their wailing children and trying unsuccessfully to catch some much-needed shuteye.

After what seemed like eternity, the plane finally landed, picked all the passengers up and headed for our final destination. After a quick bite, we all hit the sack and prepared ourselves for a long journey ahead...

It was to be a long drive. A loooong drive indeed....

We kept drivin'...

And drivin'....

....and drivin'

Our sore buns were in much need of a break from all the bumps on the road and you could imagine our glee when we stopped by a public rest area with nice clean toilets and... MEE BAKSO! (Meatball Noodles).

Heavenly (meat) balls!!

So we went on our way and late afternoon, we reached our destination: a village located by the edges of a milk-coffee-stained river that looked more like a drain. The incessant rain for the past week had brought the silt and dirt from upstream. Immediately, our hearts sank....

Getting fish to 'see', yet alone bite our lures in such water conditions was going to be extremely difficult! We had to work doubly hard if we wanted to entice some bites. When life throws you lemons, you can either throw them away or make lemonade! So were we Rapaleros going to be discouraged by some stained water? No way! Any poor day fishing was way better than a day at the office! (I'm secretly hoping my boss doesn't read this!)

KH cuts a discouraged look but nevertheless hopeful we will get something by end of the trip

And cast and cast we did! Almost till our arms felt like dropping off! But Providence was kind to us by keeping us entertained with aggresive Archer Fish. What they lacked in size, they made up in aggression. Sometimes hunting in packs, they were not shy to whack a lure 3/4 of their size.
Lil' Bugga took a liking for the Tail Dancer

And they also loved the X-Rap 8 snacks.

Later on, we decided to try a bit of trolling at a deeper section of the river. So out went the deep diving lures like the Storm Deep Thunders mounted on 15-30lb Rapalero red-rods. No monsters reared their heads at our offerings though KH had a huge take that failed to hookup.

But not too bad though as later on, a feisty Mangrove Jack took a liking for the blue chrome Storm Deep Thunder that was dredging the bottom. No match of course, against the 15-30lb. As always, it was released unharmed - well, perhaps with a minor toothache. And in case you were wondering what reel KH is using there - it was the prototype of the new mini Okuma Andros hitting our Asian shores soon (more of that later!).

Dinner time! Canned food & cup noodles never tasted so good. I wonder if it's really the food that was tasty or if we were too hungry to bother. Thank God for glorious tucker! We gave thanks and tucked in...

To be continued..