I received an invitation to fish off the coast of Kuala Rompin sometime early this year. My initial reaction to the invitation was a little muted, as Kuala Rompin fishing is very often catered towards Sailfish or Tenggiri. “Oooh! But this is a new spot! Lots of Trevally abound!”. My ears pricked up at those words. Ahh… now that’s interesting! I’ve just got this soft spot for light and micro jigging. Furthermore some new Storm Koika jigs in the range of 60g and 80g had just arrived and it would be perfect to check out their fish catching ability. Without thinking much, I said yes!
We were all crowded around at the jetty at first light, ready for some jigging action. It was then that I realised how much Kuala Rompin had developed over the years, thanks to the Sailfish. There were now so many charter boats operating out of Kuala Rompin!
Our first spot was a FAD about forty minutes away from the rivermouth. There were lots of small Tenggiri roaming about that took our 60g Storm Super Skarps jigged at breakneck speed. Some were taken on casting heavy sinking minnows that were allowed to sink to the bottom and then retrieved at speed. The bigger ones were rather shy and the little jigs didn’t seem to attract their attention. However, we were entertained briefly by some Cobia that took our minnows and jigs. Samuel on the other boat, as we learnt later, had a great harvest of huge Tenggiri that were caught on drifted live bait at another FAD nearby.
Fishing was extremely tough on the first day. Apart from the Tenggiri, the Trevally were nowhere to be found! We worked hard. We really did! At times, we could see the screen filled with fish but yet nothing would even take interest in the jigs, whether fished fast or slow. The only highlight in the evening was when Noel hit a big one on a slightly heavier outfit. Sadly, the fish won the battle.
Day 2 was a little better. Our morning started with some micro jigging action at a deep drop-off next to a seamount. We hit many types of Trevally, from Sagai, Jemuduk, Diamond Trevally to Pompanos. There were some big ones mingling with the schools of Trevally because every now and then we’d hit one good fish, only to have the hook pull or line break off.
Slow jigging brought many surprises later that afternoon. Our skipper brought us to a patch that was supposed to have a fair bit of Coral Trout roaming about. Strangely, none hit our jigs. Instead, we were visited by Tuskfish (Ketarap)! The Storm Koika jigs were just left to drop and flutter right to the bottom and lifted about 1-2 metres above the sea floor with a crank or two of the reel handle. This slow but deadly motion must have aroused the curiosity of the Tuskfish for we landed four of them by slow jigging the Storm Koika!
This Jemuduk fought really hard!
I was merely cranking up the Koika to reset with the drift and in the process, throwing the occasional short, sharp pitch in between cranks. Little did I know that this motion was going to get me ‘in trouble’. Something slammed the Naked Flash Koika 80g mid-water, forcing me to scramble into a more comfortable position. I was totally caught off-guard! Line tore off the Ryoga Bay Jigging 2025 without mercy. Almost instantaneously, Ray also had a similar hit! You couldn’t tell whether the grimacing on his face was from enjoyment or from pain! These two were likely from the same school as they had similar fighting styles and plenty of reserve, fighting all the way to the boat. After what felt like eternity, the two fish surfaced – Big Jemuduk (Bludger Trevally)!
Day 3 started with a bang! We had bright sunny skies and calm seas. More importantly, the fish were rather cooperative. Oh, and did I mention these were BIG fish? They were unstoppable! We had several hookups that even required gunning the boat to give chase. Somehow, the hooks either came off, or leaders were shredded at the rocks.
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