There are times when fish are so fixed on a specific baitfish profile or shape that they simply won’t take anything else thrown at them. That’s why it’s important to have an assortment of lure types on any fishing trip in addition to traditionally ‘proven’ lures. On a recent trip to Cheow Lan Lake (Thailand), Daniel Wan and friends were fortunate enough to have brought some small, compact, sinking lures such as the 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi as probably 70% of the fish on this trip were caught on this lure alone!
Photos by Fred Goh, KD and Daniel Wan.
It’s been 5 years since our last visit to Cheow Lan Lake. Back then in 2011, we experienced one of our best fishing trips for Jungle Perch (Sebarau / Hampala / also known to the Thai people as “Pla Krasoob”). Thinking that the fishing style would be more or less the same this time, we packed along our proven Sebarau lures of Rapala Risto Raps (RR08), Deep Tail Dancers (TDD07), Skitter Pops (SP09), Flat Raps (FLR08) and an assortment of other freshwater lures. We were to find out later during our trip that these ‘staples’ were not the top producers for the Krasoob as we expected. It turned out that the humble, little 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi, the more dense and faster-sinking version of the traditional Rapala Countdown, was the top scorer!
Here’s a photo catch report of the trip…
The raggedy bunch from Rapala on this trip.
The view from Ratchaprapha Dam jetty
The beautiful views that met the eye en route to the upper reaches of Cheow Lan Lake.
KD’s super excited! Who wouldn’t be on their maiden trip to Cheow Lan?
Marco and Fred are all fired up too!
We had the opportunity to visit a small litle cove to admire ‘Little Guilin’
Magnificent limestone formations at Cheow Lan.
You don’t have to be in China to see the ‘Guilin’ limestone mountains.
We finally arrive after a wet and uneventful 2 hour boat journey!
A familiar sight on this return trip to Cheow Lan.
The comfortable dining area
We love Thailand!
There were hundreds of big, hungry Lampam milling around the dining area.
Breakfast before hitting the water.
Thai porridge: The best breakfast ever (for me)!
Here’s a happy snap before we dig in!
KD doing the honours of the first few casts. Check out the colour of the water after the rain!
KD lands his first Thai Mahseer, on a spinnerbait!
A closer look at the Thai Mahseer before release.
Not too long after, the lucky KD lands another rare species… an Emperor Snakehead! (Pla Chon Ka Luang)
A sinking Rapala X-Rap CountDown in ALB colour fooled another Thai Mahseer from a deep pool.
Later that morning KD and I checked out a tributary that held heaps of small Jungle Perch (Krasoob). KD got this one on a Storm Gomoku Bottom on a slow, straight retrieve.
The Rapala Flat Rap in the South East Asia special Seluang/Pla Sew pattern resembling the local baitfish was deadly!
The Krasoob loved the natural-looking pattern of this Flat Rap!
Another Krasoob on the Gomoku Bottom. Notice the translucent pattern?
KD and I went further upstream. Among some submerged weed, KD pulls up another surprise…
… a very nice sized Bujuk!
The Rapala Flat Rap 08 worked its charm in skinny water.
Check out the beautiful patterns on this Snakehead!
Over at the other boat, Fred was fishing the Rapala RFS Micrology, a 2-5lb ultralight baitcast rod with 6lb Sufix Super 21 FC castable fluorocarbon, which gave him plenty of fun.
Meanwhile, Huat was happily pulling in Krasoob after Krasoob on the CountDown Abachi.
After catching Krasoob became too easy with the CountDown Abachi, Huat swapped to the Storm Gomoku Dense and got rewarded with a Catfish.
Like the CDA05, the Storm Gomoku Dense 48mm could also sink very quickly to variable depths.
The Flat Rap showed its proficiency in searching out Krasoob hunting the edges of submerged weeds.
Huat adds a big one to the Krasoob count with the CountDown Abachi CDA05.
This one shot out from a piece of submerged timber in deep water.
Fred’s favourite colour for the CDA05 was the HWSRD (Hologram White Sardine).
The persistent rain clouds often cleared by dusk.
Marco didn’t put any fancy twitching to the Flat Rap. Just a straight retrieve was all that’s needed to fool the fish!
Marco also caught his first Toman on this trip.
Rain, rain go away!!
The rain’s finally stopped! It’s time to go fishing!
We were very fortunate to see wild buffalo (Seladang) on several occasions on this trip.
Shallow streams – time for a little wading!
When most bibbed lures struggled in running-water, the dense CountDown Abachi CDA05 did the job and more.
Some Thai Mahseer were landed in between the plentiful Krasoob from the streams.
The rain was relentless, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time casting for Krasoob!
It was challenging to find the Krasoob but once we found them, it was happy days!
The CountDown Abachi scores again!
Most of our catches on this trip we caught on the Rapala CountDown Abachi 5cm (CDA05). We believe the fish were feeding on very small baitfish in various depths, and the long-casting, fast sinking, little CDA05 could seek them out at those depths.
The rain washed out many insects into rivers, triggering a massive food chain where small fish gulped down the bugs, and in turn, got eaten by the Krasoob.
KD and Fred then found this little running stream which held many good sized Krasoob.
Most of them were good-sized too!
The Krasoob in the rivers were mostly spawning specimens.
Amidst the spawning frenzy, some took the opportunity to feed on the little fish which the CDA05 resembled.
Another good fish by KD on the CountDown Abachi.
The Krasoob were healthy and in tip top condition.
There’s no doubt Fred and KD were having a blast!
Easy does it!
Just when Fred was retrieving the X-Rap CountDown after letting it sink deep into some timber, this Krasoob came out of nowhere and slammed the lure!
Fred’s smile tells it all…
KD never stopped smiling throughout the trip. It wasn’t hard to see why!
Taking a break from catching all the fish with CDA05, KD pulled out an old North Craft Caddis lure to catch some Krasoob. Easy peasy!
Evenings were lovely when the rain stopped and clouds cleared.
Early to bed, early to rise! Because the early bird gets the worm, or so they say…
This kind of morning view revives the spirit. The body is immediately invigorated!
Bee managed to tempt a Toman up for some happy snaps.
We seeked out for bigger sized Thai Mahseer in the running rivers.
But we could only find the small ones.
X-Rap CountDown was the candidate for the job.
“Where’s your Daddy?”
Certain parts of the rivers were known to hold Catfish in the deep. Allowing the CDA05 to sink to the bottom before retrieving steadily produced some pleasant surprises.
This fellow came out of nowhere and ambushed the little pink-headed CountDown Abachi as it throbbed its way right up boatside.
Huat was extremely happy to catch this Emperor Snakehead (Toman Bunga) hiding in the shallows under a overhanging bamboo tree.
The 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi did it again!
We encountered some wild deer while travelling between spots.
But they were shy and quickly moved away when we came close.
The CountDown Abachi comes standard fitted with VMC 7554 trebles. This Pinky one here survived some brutal fish with only some slight scratches. Others were not so lucky.
KD mighty pleased with another catch on spinnerbait.
If you love the ultra-light game and don’t mind getting bullied every now and then, it’s worth trying out fishing with straight fluorocarbon line. Fred probably had the most fish among all of us on this trip and he attributed it to the use of FC mainline which is less visible in water.
The 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi caused the downfall of many Krasoob for Fred.
Bee says its because of his ‘lucky’ VMC jersey. We think its the CDA05 lure. ;)
She’s coming in…
A smaller specimen by Bee.
Check out the vibrant colour on the cheek and fins!
Plenty of fun especially on light 4-10lb tackle!
Black/gold was a deadly colour too…
Bee putting the new Rapala Vaaksy rod into action.
… and taming fish one after another in quick succession.
Fish of this size are super fun on 4lb tackle. I had a blast on this trip with the Rapala 80th Anniversary Vaaksy 4-10lb rod so much so it became my ‘primary’ outfit with the CDA05 towards the end of the trip.
I was hoping for a Mahseer to pounce on the Risto Rap, but I guess a Sebarau will have to make do.
Papparazzi shot from our boat.
KD was casting into a bunch of floatsam when this Toman whacked the topwater lure right before our eyes.
MYSTERY SOLVED: A feisty Krasoob regurgitated this little bait as it thrashed about in our boat. We figured the 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi (bottom two) was so effective because it probably matched the size and profile of the baitfish the Krasoob were feeding on during the time of our trip.
Interested to catch some of the Krasoob action at Cheow Lan Lake? Contact guide Darren Shan via his Facebook page.
Each year, a group of hardcore Gomoku jiggers would descend upon The Maldives for a week-long metal-bouncing pilgrimage. This year, Fred Goh and friends are back once again on Mas Hibaru in search of jig-munching species. Here’s Part 2 of their photo catch report.
Paradise on earth
Ready for the battles ahead
Getting the rhythm going with the Storm Gomoku Adajo slow jigging rod
Not exactly huge but definitely hard fighting and super fun!
Splendid Coral Trout by Thomas
Drop-offs always produced surprises!
A keeper for the table!
Many Yellowfin Grouper were caught on this trip
A new species for Andy!
This GT still has a bit of growing up to do
The team were pampered with excellent food on Mas Hibaru throughout the trip
Does this get your mouth watering?
The team also hit a Coral Trout patch
Solid Coral Trout by Noel
Bananas – instant energy booster!
Although there were lesser numbers of Emperors this year compared to last year, they certainly made up in size.
Fred’s smile is contagious!
One of the bigger Yellowfin Groupers caught by Siang. On Koika Orange Zebra
Another cracker Job by Thomas
Solid GT jigged up by Noel
Fred playing the Pied Piper of Maldives!
Gomoku Koika Green Sardine working very well for Andy
Somehow the Amberjacks had a penchant for the speedier jigs.
Barry’s thumper Amberjack from the deeper parts
Green Jobfish were really aggresive and hard fighting
Storm Koika is a consistent producer in the Maldives
Superb Yellowfin by Thomas
A little Red Bass from the reefs
Rusty Jobfish offered plenty of fun!
Many good-sized Jobfish were landed on this trip
Little rats were still good fun!
The Super Gomoku SGS 100g UVSI wielding it’s charm
“Hip, hip hoooray!!”
This Amberjack gave Daniel Soh a good run for the money!
Tense moments as a biggie takes off!
The deckies patiently waiting as Fred battles an unknown fighter from the deep.
It’s a Dogtooth!
The Super Gomoku (SGS) 100g jig in UVSI never disappoints!
Another Rosy Job fooled by the Super Gomoku jig (SGS)
The deeper waters yielded treasures!
Barry and Thomas having a blast!
How’s that for ‘Double Jigging’?
Speed jigging with the Super Gomoku yields results
Scenes like these were common
Dogfight winner – the Super Gomoku (SGS) jig in UVSI!
The biggest Amberjack from the trip by Andy, caught on Super Gomoku (SGS)!
Each year, a group of hardcore Gomoku jiggers would descend upon The Maldives for a week-long metal-bouncing pilgrimage. This year, Fred Goh and friends are back once again on Mas Hibaru in search of jig-munching species. Here’s their photo catch report.
Andy starts the ball rolling with a Coral Trout on Storm Gomoku Koika Green Sardine
Followed by a Double Strike by Andy and Thomas
Koika Green Sardine scores again!
Daniel Soh with a rare Saddleback Grouper
Next up it’s Barry’s turn to hit a demersal dweller.
But the pelagics were active too!
Guess which Koika colour is the top performer?
But the Naked Flash Koika is not too far behind too.
Storm Koika Green Sardine setting the pace ahead of the pack
A Dogtooh Tuna landed by Barry in the wee hours of the morning
A good sized fish worth posing half-naked for ;)
Thomas also lands another Doggie by slow jigging
That’s one hefty Yellowfin Grouper by Noel
Some decent surprises from deeper waters
Siang’s Gomoku Black Kaiten cushioning the run of a speedster
It turns out to be a little Dogtooth!
Slow jigging always yields nice surprises
Hard fighting GT by Thomas
Noel has good reason to smile!
Fred hit’s a cute little Black Jack.
Three’s a party!
Siang was trying out a new prototype Gomoku jig when this large Emperor decided to nail it
A good sized Coronation Trout by local standards
This Rosy Jobfish provided great fun on the Storm Adajo PE2.
Noel delighted to catch a new species from the deep.
Siang is not to be left out from the fun
Check out those eyes!
Sometimes the fish preferred longer profile jigs
At times a slightly fatter profile fared better
Night time jigging has its own set of fun and challenges
Apart from the Big Eye Trevally, GTs also came out to play
Foul hookups were common
A good GT specimen by Daniel Soh
Storm Super Gomoku jig (SGS) in UVSB worked like magic at night
Check out the super vibrant blue on the Bluefin!
After breakfast it’s speed jigging time again. The Super Gomoku jig (SGS) does not disappoint.
The speed jigged Super Gomoku also attracted GTs
When arms are aching from speed jigging, it’s time for slow jigging
This size of GT is fun to battle on light tackle
Coral Trout are never jig shy
Just when you think there are no sharks around… TA DA!
Rusty Jobfish do take jigs quite high up from the bottom
Nigel Hagley, Toh Jun Xiong and friends recently explored Pulau Sembilan (Perak, Malaysia) to see if the Gomoku micro soft plastics worked outside of Singapore’s waters. The result of their exploratory trip was breathtaking! Both caught plenty of Cencaru (Hard-tailed Scad) that offered them plenty of light salt game fun! The Gomoku micro soft plastic fever was so contagious that Jun Xiong had since got more friends hooked onto this finesse game! Not only were the Cencaru obliging to the Gomoku Soft but even GTs and Queenfish too!
The Japanese Ajing fever has landed in Malaysia!
Cencaru (Hard-tailed Scad) are plentiful around Pulau Sembilan.
Gomoku Soft Straight (GSST) worked wonders for P9’s Cencaru.
Jun Xiong getting the hang of catching Cencaru one after another with the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring.
With ultra-light, finesse tackle, Cencaru will give you a run for the money!
Sagai – no longer a surprise catch on Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics.
Fancy catching Mack Tuna on the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring!
Even big fish love titbits! This Big Queenie slammed the tiny Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring with gusto!
Of course it’d be boring without dropping a jig or two in between.
Nigel with a Fusilier on Micro Jig (MCJ)
Juvenile GT joined in the fun too!
TIPS TO CATCH CENCARU WITH GOMOKU SOFT
When the current is slow, the fish are usually found hanging close to the rocks near the islands or rock formations. Rig the Gomoku Soft Straight or Bulky Ring with an appropriate sized jighead (1.8 to 3g depending on current speed) and freeline the soft plastic in the current towards the rocks or structure. You can close the bail arm once in a while and let the lure hold its position in the current a bit before freelining again. The bites can sometimes be very subtle so you have to be alert to the slightest taps on the lure.
When the current is fast, the fish will hold a little bit further out. The same technique mentioned above still applies but you may want to consider a heavier jighead to hold the lure at a certain depth in the current.
Use a very fine diameter line to get the jighead down in the current. Nigel uses the Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 (8.8lb), which is a good balance between strength and diameter. Additionally, 150m of line is plenty, should a speedster come along.
So if you’re ever out light jigging around Pulau Sembilan’s waters, do give the Gomoku Soft Straight or Bulky Ring a try. You might just get ‘addicted’ to the light salt game too!
My friends from the Storm Southeast Asia fishing team and I were invited by a friend to fish aboard the ‘Seagull’, a big live-on-board charter boat based out of Pantai Remis, Perak, Malaysia. The captain, known by locals as Ah Soon, is quite a veteran in the fishing trade and is well-known by bottom-fishing anglers for some excellent Golden Snapper and Grouper spots around the northern Straits of Malacca. But our agenda for this trip was to try slow jigging for the Golden Snapper, particularly at night. Photos by Wong Kok Ping and Daniel Wan.
Commercial fishing boats moored at Pantai Remis
A ‘weefie’ before setting off
Ah Soon, the captain of Seagull – a colourful character too!
We had strawberries to sweeten the trip
… and coconuts to quench our thirst
Ready for battle!
The ever faithful Storm Gomoku Koika slow-style jig
The simple cabin inside the Seagull
Flower crabs for our meals! Yummy!
Food! Glorious food!
Big-eye Trevally attack!
Leong’s Golden Snapper, the first for the evening
Ah Soon caught this Golden Snapper by ‘cast-jigging’ a 100g Storm Gomoku Koika
Kok Ping’s Golden Snapper fooled with the Pink Zebra Koika
Fred seals the deal with the UVCGZ-patterned Koika
Huat lands another Golden Snapper
Fred scores again on the Koika UVCGZ!
Got mine in the wee hours of the morning on the Pink Zebra (SPZ)!
Reza locked in a fierce battle as morning dawned. Check out the bend on the Gomoku Erito!
The biggest Golden Snapper of the trip by Reza on Storm Gomoku Koika Green Sardine!
Close up shot of the biggie
We also got a visit from Mr Cobia!
How’s this for a bycatch?
Koika jigs – not only catching fish!
Green Sardine (GS) was still the top producing pattern
The technical locking curve of the VMC 7117 Slow Jigging Assist Hook holding this fish well
Fred Goh with a fine specimen of a Golden Snapper
The new Storm Black Kaiten PE#2.5 handled this beauty very well
Landed with the Gomoku Erito Bespoke Limited Edition
This one was really fat!
Interestingly, many of the Golden Snappers caught at night were taken on jigs without lumo
One for the road – on Gomoku Koika 150g UVSB
For charter enquiries, please contact:
Silibin Tackle No. 32 & 34, Persiaran Silibin Utara,
30010, Ipoh, Perak
Tel: +60 16-222 2865
Hallo! Apa kabar semua para pembaca Fishonmag.com? Semoga semua selalu baik dan dalam lindungan Tuhan. Cerita kali ini tentang perjalanan saya ke wilayah timur Indonesia tepat di Timika, Papua Indonesia. Keinginan untuk membawa kaki ini menginjak tanah Papua sudah lama sekali dimana hanya bisa menikmati keindahannya melui saluran internet dan media social yang mempromosikan tentang indahnya Alam Papua.
Lampu BBM berkelap-kelip menandakan adanya pesan masuk setelah saya baca ternyata ajakan dari seorang teman Hadi Wijaya untuk pergi ke Timika menemani perjalanan bisnis beliau. Tanpa pikir panjang ajakan itu saya terima dengan sepenuh hati. Meskipun tanpa ada rencana pergi memancing disana tetapi set tackle dan umpan andalan saya bawa dengan harapan ada jeda waktu untuk pergi memancing.
Penerbangan panjang pun saya lakukan dengan menempuh jarak Pontianak-Jakarta-Makassar-Timika hitung punya hitung kurang lebih 14 jam perjalanan penerbangan. Huh…melelahkan…
Tepat pukul 09:00 saya mendarat di Bandara International Timika dan dijemput oleh Pak Daeng dan langsung bertemu dengan Ko Afui dirumahnya. Beliau langsung membuka pembicaraan memancing dan beliau bercerita tentang hasil hasil memancing dia dan beberapa teman disertai dengan menunjukan foto dan video. Hati ini bergumam semoga ada kesempatan untuk pergi memancing. Akhir cerita entah angin darimana setelah selesai makan siang beliau menyuruh saya dan Hadi Wijaya pergi memancing dulu baru selesaikan urusan yang lain. Kami menyambutnya dengan antusias diiringi tawa Pak Daeng dan Ko Chun. Siap MANTABZ! Tetapi beliau mengatakan tidak bisa ikut serta karena adanya urusan yang tidak bisa ditinggalkan tetapi beliau dengan senyumnya mengatakan silahkan pergi dan bersenang-senang rasakan kepuasan memancing diperairan Timika.
Persiapan perlengkapan pun langsung kami lakukan serta logistic perbekalan kami selama trip ini. Yang membuat saya heran dan bingung ketika persiapan tackle. Wow! Ternyata tackle para pemancing disini kelas ‘hard’ semua untuk kategori casting benang PE saja. Mayoritas mereka menggunakan 40lb dan joran kelas 40lbs serta ukuran lure yang panjang rata rata 12-14cm. Bayangkan sendiri ya. Hal ini termasuk sangat wajar karena ikan-ikan yang mereka pancing ukurannya monster semua. Tapi saya tetap percaya diri menggunakan perlengkapan peralatan yang saya bawa sesuai kebiasaan saya memancing.
Pukul 02:00 perjalanan dimulai menuju dermaga Pomako melalui jalan darat dan tiba pada pukul 03:00 waktu Timika. Bongkar muat perbekalan logistik serta BBM barang kami lakukan dengan bergotong-royong. Setelah selesai dan dirasakan sudah komplit dan siap semua, boat kami dengan panjang 10m dan mesin double Yamaha 50pk 4 tak dengan Bapak Yes sebagai Driver mulai berjalan perlahan.
Saya sempat tertidur karena masih lelah setelah menempuh perjalanan jauh. Setelah mulai terlihat sinar matahari pagi saya pun tersadar dengan banyaknya gemuruh ikan sardine dan lumba-lumba muara yang bermain dengan senangnya secara bergerombol keren sekali.
Saya lihat beberapa teman diantaranya bapak Dang, Ko Achun dan Hadi Wijaya sudah mempersiapkan tackle mereka saya pun tidak mau ketinggalan juga menyiapkan tackle saya.
Sampai dititik pertama setelah berlabuh jangkar dan posisi sudah pas, Ko Achun langsung lempar lure andalannya dan langsung STRIKE! Wuih! Hebat sekali ini dalam hati saya bergumam karena saya masih pasang leader belum selesai dan saya tinggalkan sementara untuk mengabadikannya dengan kamera. Belum juga ikannya naik ke perahu Pak Daeng sudah mendapatkan perlawanan juga dan begitu juga dengan Hadi Wijaya. Setelah selesai sesi photo Pak Daeng pun melempar umpan ketitik yang sama untuk kedua kalinya dan juga strike ikan Kakap Putih juga. Tetapi saya tidak dapat mengabadikannya karena beliau malu untuk diambil gambar. Dan ketiga Hadi Wijaya juga mendapatkan strike dengan spesies yang sama. Saya belum selesai lagi lakukan setting tackle.
Setelah selesai saya juga melakukan lemparan pada titik yang sama dan mendapat sambaran juga tapi kali ini nasib kurang baik ikan melakukan tariannya diudara dan terlepas. Setelah berkali-kali melakukan lemparan tidak mendapatkan sambaran, saya coba memainkan Rapala Jigging Rap dan Storm Gomoku Cafe untuk mencapai kedalaman maksimal di dasar sungai dan banyak sekali ikan tompel saya naikan secara bergantian sungguh menyenangkan. Pagi ini begitu sempurna dengan ikan Kakap, Kerapu dan ikan Tompel / Jenahak hanya dalam hitungan menit ikan sudah sangat banyak menurut saya. Tapi perjalanan belum usai kami lanjutkan menyisir dipinggiran sungai yang terdapat pohon-pohon tumbang dan dikira potensial. Memang silih berganti kami mendapatkan strike yang bertubi-tubi seperti mancing di kolam pemancingan saja.
Tepat pukul 12:00 siang kami beristirahat dipinggiran sungai ketika air pasang mulai naik dan tetap berlabuh dengan menggunakan jangkar untuk beristirahat sejenak sambil beberapa teman memancing dasaran dengan umpan udang dan ikan lemah (ikan kembung) dan apa yang terjadi. Niatnya saja istirahat tetapi itu tidak terjadi karena Pak Daeng, Ko Achun dan Hadi Wijaya dikejutkan dengan sambaran serempak umpan dasaran mereka secara bersamaan.
Panik karena ikan yang sulit dikendalikan membuat benang saling berkaitan tetapi dapat dengan segera diatasi dan ketiganya menaikan ikan multi dengan size monster. saya sangat takjub sekali. Kami diserbu dengan segerombolan ikan multi (senangin, kuro) dengan size sama semua dan sempat saya timbang dengan boga grip 15lbs. Ternyata over weight menandakan ikan lebih dari 7kg!
Saya yang berada di deck atas boat tetap konsisten menggunakan Storm Koika jig 40g dengan Storm Monster 621BHR. Mereka panen ikan multi saya panen ikan tawar atau gelama banyak sekali dan jig saya juga sempat disambar ikan multi. Saya senang sekali dan berteriak dengan bangga tetapi setelah mau diangkat ternyata ikannya kabur melarikan diri. Sedih dah…
Sampai sore kami terus melakukan perjalanan menyisir tepian sungai dimana titik potensial yang ada tak pernah lepas dari lemparan lure dan ikannya memang banyak sampai bosan untuk menaikan ikan. Menjelang sore, kami putuskan umtuk bertambat ditengah sungai dengan melabuhkan jangkar hal ini guna menghindari nyamuk Papua yang terkenal menyeramakan sambil makan malam dan minuman hangat disertai canda tawa matapun akhirnya terpejam pulas dengan senyum kepuasan yang didapatkan dihari pertama ini.
Pagi dihari kedua tiba setelah sarapan dan minuman hangat kami bersiap-siap menyisir sungai lagi sambil menuju arah pulang. Masih ditempat yang sama peristirahatan kami belum mandi dan gosok gigi Ko Achun dan Pak Daeng sudah silih berganti mendapatkan ikan Kakap Putih dan Kerapu monster serta Hadi Wijaya dengan ikan tompelnya. Setelah dirasa ikan tidak ada lagi ditempat kami istirahat mala mini kami pun mulai merapikan dan menata perbekalan kami diboat serta menyusun ikan didalam boks yang telah kami bawa. Pak Daeng berujar ini kita mesti buang es batu sebab ikan sudah tidak muat lagi karena banyaknya perolehan kami.
Kegiatan memancing dihari kedua ini tidak kalah serunya dengan hari pertama ikan begitu banyak sekali menurut saya tetapi Pak Daeng bilang ini masih sedikit alias trip AKAI (kurang memuaskan bagi beliau). Tapi kami tetap bersyukur dengan perolehan hasil ini.
Rapala Jigging Rap dan Storm Gomoku Cafe menjadi primadona dalam trip ini karena sangat efektif sekali yang membuat Pak Daeng dan Ko Chun menjadi bingung dengan perolehan strike yang saya dapatkan sangat banyak sekali. Tepat pukul 12:00 waktu Timika kami memutuskan untuk pulang ke dermaga Pomako tempat keberangkatan kami dan pada pukul 15:00 kami tiba di dermaga dan berkemas-kemas perbekalan kami dengan senyum kepuasan. Timika Begitu Indah. #salamsatuIndonesia
Bagi teman teman yang igin pergi memancing di perairan Timika silahkan kontak:
It all started on one of my regular micro-jigging trips off Singapore’s Southern Islands late 2015. The current was still fairly slow but a quick sweep of the grounds showed plenty of fish on the fish finder. Aha! 12 gram micro jigs were quickly dropped into the water and whipped up the column. No takers. 15 minutes of hard jigging labour later, there were still no hits despite the fish still showing on the screen. One of the guys on board decided to put out a Sabiki rig and very soon was pulling in Sagai (Longfin Trevally) after Sagai! I downsized my jig to 8 grams and worked it in all the ways I could think of – fast retrieve, slow jerk, machine-gun style jerk, whip, high-pitch. You name it, I did it. But the jigs simply didn’t produce. The Sabiki continued to pull them in, one-by-one. I persisted with micro-jigging, and by the end of the trip, I had caught zero, while the rest had landed easily 80 fish on Sabiki.
Breaking the code to catch finicky fish – PRICELESS!
Why did the fish choose the Sabiki over a similar-sized metal jig? That question kept bugging me for several days. I shared the experience with my buddies Fred Goh and Nigel Hagley. Coincidentally, Nigel had just caught the Ajing fever and almost everything in his mind then was about super light tackle, micro jigheads and micro soft plastics! He was very certain that in such challenging situations and conditions, the Sagai will take micro soft plastics. His theory is that the Sagai are likely zoomed in on a certain small bait profile and therefore anything else will be ignored. Micro jigs, though having the same size and profile, moved about and sank too quickly and therefore appeared unnatural to the finicky fish. To test out his theory, Nigel used his Ajing tackle on his subsequent trip. Using the new Storm Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring and Gomoku Soft Straight micro soft plastics rigged on super light jigheads, Nigel was able to produce the Sagai when the jigs were not working, thus confirming his theory. That was a start of a new craze to come for our Sagai fishing…
A new and deadly way of catching Sagai – with micro soft plastics
We left our jigging tackle at home in our subsequent trips out to the Southern Islands. Armed with only 2-6lb rods such as the Rapala RFS Finesse Series, 1000 & 2000-sized Daiwa Luvias spinning reels with Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 and 8lb Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon leaders and a range of 1.8g, 2.5g and 3.5g jigheads to suit different currents and drifts, we tried to figure out if this ‘modified’ method of Ajing will work consistently in our local waters. After a string of extremely successful outings, we are very certain this method of fishing is extremely deadly for a wide-range of local species, particularly the Sagai!
The Rapala Rapinova-X ultra light PE#0.4 braid we used for this kind of fishing.
Having a box for all the soft plastics is a great idea for easy storage
From our Sagai’ing trips around the Southern Islands, we’ve since discovered some interesting ways of getting the Sagai to bite and here we’d like to share some of these tips with you:
When there is little or no current, a light jighead of about 1.8g is just nice to get the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring or Soft Straight right down to the bottom. Once the jighead has reached the bottom, lift the jig up just off the bottom gently and hold it there. Drop it back down again and repeat. You may wish to add your own variation to the technique by gently shaking the rod to give some very minute movements to the lure. It’s also worth trying out different depths. The key thing is to ensure you’re presenting the soft plastic right in front of the fish so a fish finder will be a very useful tool to have.
When the current is fast, it’s best to fish from an anchored boat that’s positioned upcurrent of a structure where fish are likely to congregate. A heavier jighead of around 2.5g or 3.5g (or heavier, depending on current speed) will be a good choice to drift the micro soft plastic out to the ‘strike zone’. Once the lure enters the strike zone, close the bail arm or engage the reel and hang on. You can choose to just hold on to the rod and do nothing (yes, absolutely nothing!) or if you’re the type that needs to be constantly working the lure, you can gently shake the rod to give the lure some very subtle movements. What this does is to present the lure as a small baitfish holding its position upcurrent of the structure and only moving very slightly every now and then from its position. A very tempting morsel for a nearby predator! Resist the urge to make big movements, as that will make the presentation unnatural. In fact, the best thing to do is to let the lure just ‘drift’ in current. There have been many occasions when the fish have taken off with the rod stationary in the rod holder!
Bites often come as little nibbles so you’ve got to be very attentive. This is when a very sensitive, ultra light rod will have an advantage to detect the slightest bites.
Use a very fine diameter line to get the jighead down in the current. We personally use Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 (8.8lb), which is a good balance between strength and diameter. Additionally, 150m of line is plenty, should a speedster come along.
As you’d be fishing with such light line, a reel with a very smooth start up drag is important. Don’t set the drag too tight as the sudden burst of speed can easily break fine diameter lines.
If you’ve never tried Sagai’ing with ultra-light tackle, do give it a try. It’s another technique that’s proven to be extremely effective to complement micro-jigging for Sagai, especially when they are off the bite or hunting down very specific little baitfish. Happy Sagai’ing!
And there she goes…. the sizzling initial run!
The smile says it all…
UV Pink works really well in the Southern Islands
Small profile of the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring matches the baitfish
Double take on the Storm Gomoku Bulky Ring!
Translucent colours like the UV Chartreuse work well in clear water
While the solid colours like the Orange Glow were very effective when water visibility was lower
Storm Gomoku Soft Straight works very well in slow current
We caught them in all currents – slow, moderate and fast
Of course, faster currents meant more aggressive fish and feeding frenzies!
Sometimes they were so enthusiastic that they swallowed the Gomoku Soft whole!
But most of the time they were nicely hooked on the lip
Versatile rods like the new Storm Teenie are a good compromise if you’re doing micro jigging and then want to switch to some casting or drifting
Though high-tonnage rods like the Rapala RFS Elegance have better sensitivity for micro soft plastics fishing
Those that come up to bust on the surface are often good-sized fish!
Super fun ultralight tackle fishing!
Gabriel’s first hand experience of the Sagai’ing game
Sit back, relax and enjoy the runs!
Tada!!! Another Longfin Trevally!
Siang also getting the hang of ‘drifting’
Solid white (Glow) worked great with the setting sun
CY thoroughly enjoying himself
And for good reason too!
The last two for the day before the sun set!
HOW TO CATCH SAGAI WITH GOMOKU SOFT MICRO SOFT PLASTICS
Malaysia’s Air Ganda is often synonymous with Giant Snakehead (Toman). Sight-casting crankbaits such as the Rapala Risto Rap at surfacing Toman can be challenging but also extremely effective. Watch the video.
In this episode of Fish On TV, Fred Goh, Lertsak Banklongsee and Daniel Wan go light slow jigging off the Gulf of Thailand. Equipped with 40, 60 and 80g Storm Gomoku Koika jigs and Storm Gomoku Adajo slow jigging rods, the team sets off to tackle the elusive African Pompano and Threadfin Salmon.