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..

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