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.
Slow jigging fever with Storm Gomoku KOIKA has reached the Maldives! The Rapala South East Asia team recently embarked on a light tackle, slow jigging excursion to the Maldives, armed with Storm Gomoku rods and KOIKA jigs. From pelagics to demersals, the following catch report showcases the Storm KOIKA’s effectiveness in courting all sorts of Maldivian species. Daniel Wan reports. Photos contributed by KF Leong, Adrian Soh and Yu Hock.
GOMOKU’ING THE MALDIVES
It’s one thing to catch fish on slow jigging tackle and it’s quite another to catch fish on light slow jigging tackle. Although the ‘white’ Gomoku range of rods (Keiryo PE0.4-1, Erito PE0.8-1.5 and Kaiten PE1-3) were not designed as dedicated slow jigging tackle, they are versatile enough to use for our slow-style jigging. Previous trips to the Maldives usually meant jigging with medium to heavy tackle. This time around, we’d be jigging with primarily the Storm Gomoku rods and Koika jigs.
Slow Jigging the Maldives with Gomoku rods and KOIKA jigs
Guess what you’ll get when you are fishing with a bunch of keen fishos just over their 20’s ? Plenty of fun and laughter! It sure makes one feel much younger! I was honoured to be invited by Thomas who regularly fishes the waters around Pulau Sibu, just off Johore’s eastern coast . The water depth is not deep and usually jigs of less than 40 grams are used. However, due to windy conditions of late, we had to use some jigs up to 60 grams. It was a one-day micro jigging trip and I was impressed by our captain, James’ experience and knowledge of the area we fished.
Longfin trevally are great fun on micro jigging tackle!
A table size Grouper for the day
Thomas with a huge Gold Spot Trevally that gave an awesome fight on the Storm Micro Jigger!
James with a trophy fish on the Storm Micro Jigger PE0.4-1
Oh happy days!
When the fishing is hot, everyone gets a hook up!
Proven once again that Spanish Mackerel do react to slow jigging, this one on a 60g Storm Gomoku KOIKA jig in UVG colour
The VMC7117 Slow Jigging Hooks doing their job nicely!
Perry with a nice Bludger Trevally
Exerting maximum pressure with the Storm Micro Jigger PE0.4-1 on an unknown fish!
Finally the unknown big fish revealed! A 7kg Ebek on the Storm Micro Jigger PE0.4-1 and Storm Koika 60g new Naked Flash colour!
My pursuit for gaining more experience in slow jigging in South East Asia brought me to Lumut, Perak this time around. I have heard so much about big groupers known locally as “Tong Gas” being landed in this stretch of water off Pulau Jarak and hence our mission for this trip was to land one of these “Tong Gas”. Invited by the great folks of Evo City Enterprise, we boarded “DARK WATER”, a powerful speedboat skippered by Thomas. Thomas has been fishing in this area for a long time and is known to produce good results. He is no stranger to slow jigging too as this latest trend of fishing has brought many anglers on board his boat. Thomas himself himself is a passionate angler. And so onward with our catch report!
The DARK WATER speeding off
STORM KOIKA our choice slow jig for the day
New VMC hook 7117 size 4/0 and 5/0
Huat’s warm up session with a Cobia
Jun Xiong’s turn to warm up
“Gold Medal” of the day by Kok Ping, a beautiful Golden Snapper
A small Golden Snapper by Huat as consolation prize
Took me a long while to get my warm up fish
Little grouper while trying for the big one
Battle with a suspected “Tong Gas”
The last 10 meters of the battle in which the Gomoku Kaiten was pushed to its limit… Alas! The fish got away!
I’ll be honest. Eging to me is as good as my experience to ice-fishing. Sure, I’ve caught my fair share (a decent share, in fact!) of ‘sotong‘ with ‘Egi‘ (squid jigs/lures) from bouncing a squid jig connected to a paternoster rig from a boat. It’s easy to catch sotong when there’s plenty about. It’s only natural as there’s competition for food and they’d grab just about anything and everything swimming by that looks like prey. But when it comes to specifically catching them when they’re scarce… that’s when some technical knowledge, skill and experience come in…
I finally had a chance to meet Michael who runs the popular Facebook page “Hooked On Calamari” at the Marina South Pier one sunny morning. Michael has a deep passion for Eging and loves to share his knowledge and experience with folks new to the game. I was grateful we got connected and finally able to ‘Egi’ together, as I was relatively a ‘new bird’ to Eging.
Our destination: St John’s Island just off Singapore’s southern shores.
I brought along the 8ft-long Storm Shore-X SXS802ML PE0.4-1.2, a rod designed primarily for shore-casting but on this outing, would serve as a light Eging stick. (I can just imagine the little chuckles coming from experienced Eging anglers reading this post!). Indeed, the Shore-X‘s taper is more suited as a shore-casting / shore-jigging rod rather than an application-specific Eging rod but if you’re looking for that all-round, ‘one-rod-conquers-all-shore-work’ stick, do check out the Storm Shore-X. That said, I later found the heavier 8’6″ Storm Shore-X SXS862MH PE0.8-2.0 to be more ideal for Eging work over the 8-footer.
As for lure, the NORTH CRAFT 百海 SURF Egi (DMSF) was our Egi of choice for the day. The NORTH CRAFT DMSF is an easy-to use squid lure that doesn’t require aggressive whipping or jerking to make it dart like conventional squid lures. Lifting the rod tip and retrieving the slack will enable the DMSF to dart enticingly from one side to the other without much physical effort. It is for this reason that the Shore-X ‘kind of’ complemented the DMSF nicely.
Michael Siew, the man behind ‘Hooked On Calamari’
Upon arriving at St John’s Island, we worked several key spots to see if we could entice some squid.
Michael at work.
Wasn’t too long before he got something grabbing the North Craft DMSF.
No monster of a cephalopod, but still a squid and good fun nonetheless.
A jig jig here and a jig jig there…
And… WALLA! Another cutie latches on!
The DMSF’s natural OLAJ pattern scores!
Meanwhile, yours truly manages to hook one near some reef patches.
Joyful, joyful! There’s squid for dinner tonight!
The North Craft DMSF is very easy to use especially for a beginner to the Eging game.
The glorious Tom Yum noodles with squid that evening!
Not too bad for a session of Eging in local waters! Thank you Michael, for generously showing me the finer points of Eging and sharing your passion!
Mukah is a small town in Sarawak, about 2 hours drive from Sibu. Having a population of less than 300,000 everyone seems to know each other here. The waters off Mukah are generally not deep, ranging from 15 to 25 meters, making it very suitable for micro jigging and light slow fall jigging. Fred Goh recently returned to Mukah’s reefs along with Lu Osman, Dominic and Amelia Ting, this time specifically targeting fish with Gomoku Koika slow fall jigs. Here’s his catch report.
Silver Trevally are common catches, they respond to both fast and slow jigging style.
GT do react well to slow jigging style as what Lu Osman has proven on the KOIKA 40g
Dominic with a hard fighting Golden Trevelly on the Super Gomoku 40g DF3.
Pig face bream on the Gomoku KOIKA 30g Green Sardine
Lu Osman delighted with his first ever Ebek on the Gomoku KOIKA 40g
Another Coral Trout, this time on the UVSB colour instead.
Another big eye Trevally by Lu Osman, on a Gomoku KOIKA 40g Orange Zebra, slow jigging.
Highly sought after Coral Trout falls for the Storm Gomoku KOIKA 30g Green Sardine by slow jigging style.
Amelia with another Big Eye Trevally, this time using the new Micro Jig 40g UVSI.
A Big-Eye Trevally caught on a Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow 90mm AJI colour.
Amelia with a sought after Red Snapper on a Super Gomoku 40g UVSB.
Groupers are a regular catch here.
No shortage of Groupers this size.
Yummy moments when you get to eat your own catch after a great day out at sea.
As the monsoon was easing, it was time to have a jigging trip along the East coast of Malaysia. Our destination was Kuala Rompin, Pahang. Micro and light jigging were the main fishing styles for this trip. The 5 Amigos for this trip were Sebastian, Andy, Noel, Barry and myself.
My gear for the trip were:
Reels : Daiwa Emeraldas 2508, Morethan 2510R-PE,
Morethan 3012H & Tatula HD Custom 150SHL-TW.
Rods : Storm Gomoku Keiryo (PE0.4-1), Gomoku Erito (PE0.8-1.5) and Gomoku Kaiten (PE1-3).
Lines : Sufix 832 braid in 4,6 and 10lb.
Leaders : Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon leader in 15, 20 and 25lb.
Assist Hooks : VMC 7110 and 7117.
Onwards with the catch report!
Enjoying the sunrise at Rompin Jetty
Part of the arsenal
Decent Barracuda that took the Storm Koika 40g in UVCGZ on the fall.
Andy with a good-sized Pompano that took a Storm Gomame 60g (Glow).
After a few good fish were landed, the mobster decides to show up.
Skipper decides to move to new grounds that proved fruitful with coral trout. Storm Gomame 60g in Glow was on Andy’s Coral Trout menu.
The Trout that fell for a Storm Super Gomoku 20g in UVSI…..
As the tide was going to change, the skipper decided to jig for Sagai that were a plenty. Noel with a nice Sagai that took a Storm Micro Jig 30g in DF3.
Even slow-jigging with Storm Koika 40g proved effective on the fast feeding Sagai.
Fast or slow didn’t matter, the Sagai were on the chew…..
Soon the bigger fishes joined in the Sagai frenzy. This one almost spooled me.
Thanks to the skipper who chased the fish down.
Turned out to be a nice-sized Golden Trevally that took a Storm Micro Jig 30g in DF3 pattern. Andy was so excited for me that his hands were up in the air!
Then the Goldies took over the shift from the Sagai. Noel was on as well.
A smaller Goldie joined in the fun and took a 20g Storm Micro Jig in UVSI pattern.
Barry scored a cracker Gold Spot Trevally.
Last fish for the day was a nice Pompano on Storm Micro jig in 30g UVSI pattern.