River conditions had not improved and water was still as murky. Noting that the fish would probably be holding deep, YH put on a Taildancer CLF (Clown Flash) during the evening trolling session. He didn't venture far before a really huge Lutjanid pounced on the bright, flashy lure dredging the bottom. It was to be the biggest Black Bass of our trip!
On our final day, we decided not to waste time and shoot directly to the rivermouth again as the water clarity would be better and likewise our chances of casting out the Black Bass. However, like all estuary fishing, the bites come within the change of tides and this tiny window of opportunity was extremely short for our last day.
KH had a mighty miss! He had cast his Clackin' Minnow between some nipah palms and mangrove roots when a huge dark shadow came chasing after his lure only to U-turn with a huge splash when it sighted the boat. We estimated it would have probably been in excess of 10kgs given the big bulk of its body!
Taildancer bleeding copper flash (BCF) looked fairly enticing in the water given its dark silhouette yet flashy sides. And not long after the bites came amidst the MJs, Archerfish & groupers, a nice Black Bass pounced on the Taildancer. It was ironically during this time I had equally the same frenzy bites on my feet from the merciless and relentless sandflies (agas)! ARGGH!!
At the end of our Borneo trip, KH, FG, YH & I exchanged notes and we all agreed how interestingly Black Bass responded during the initial strike. They seemed oblivious that they had been hooked, from the way they moved sluggishly upon hookup but only to power away when they felt resistance on the other end. Could it be possible that their lips and mouths had become so accustomed to crushing shellfish, crabs & other crustaceans that the piercing of 3X VMC trebles was nothing at all? All the fish we landed (and released!) exhibited extreme crushing power in their jaws as they repeatedly chomped down on the lures or boga grip in their mouths as an instinctive attempt to remove the foreign object. It was easy to see why the shells of crabs & mussels were not a problem for these guys.
We also noted how they seemed to be easier to control where water clarity was murky compared to clearer water where they fought harder. Perhaps the sight of nearby snags gave them more inspiration to dash for the freedom break.
Whatever it is, Borneo is truly one place the Rapaleros will be back to explore again in the not too distant future.
Gear Used on the Trip:
Rods: Rapalero 6-12lb, 8-14lb, 10-17lb, 15-30lb
Reels: Okuma Citrix 273V, Okuma Andros 5, Shimano Curado 200E, Shimano Torium 14, Speedmaster 200, Daiwa Zillion Hyper, Daiwa Z2020
Line: Sufix Gore 832 39lb, 50lb, Sufix Performance Fuse 18lb, 20lb, 23lb
Leader: Sufix Superior Leader 40lb, 50lb & Sufix Invisiline Fluorocarbon 30lb, 40lb, 50lb
Most of our lures had trebles replaced with VMC's new 7556 Spark Point 3X trebles. Happy to mention they were strong enough and held up to the mean Black Bass.