Pacu Fishing (29.07.08)
The family were away for the annual summer break, back to visit relatives in Tokyo. I was home alone again, but now without the chance to get out on the boat and chase fish as I’d done every summer in Oman. Still, there was Tow Foo pond, and I still had some stuff to learn and was yet have a decent multi-fish day! I had planned to go on the Sunday, but had to spend the whole day in the office analysing a new well that we’d just drilled on Kikeh Field. With that out of the way, I took a day off in-lieu of the lost weekend day and headed to the pond for a peaceful & relaxing day’s fishing. I arrived at 9.30am, and put my first line in the water by 9.45am. I had a bag of palm oil seeds, courtesy of Anthony, partly boiled sweet potato, tofu and dried apricots – I was confident one (or more) of these baits would prove successful. As I was setting up the second rod I got a good strike on palm oil seed, and after a short tussle slipped the net (bought after the previous trips which showed that these fish were difficult to handle alongside the raft) under a smallish fish of 7lbs. This fish was followed quickly by a better fish of 11lbs, and then a third strike which cut me off after the first run. It was 11.00am by now, and the bite abruptly stopped. I tried all by baits and cast to different locations but it remained completely dead (and sweltering hot) between 11.00am – 3.00pm. I then started getting bites on dried apricots – I landed the first fish after a powerful fight, a well conditioned 14lb pacu. I then proceeded to loose three good fish in a row – two had pulled the low diameter 50lb braid leader through the miniscule gap between the eye and the shank (good quality Gamaktsu circle hooks) whilst I pulled the hook on the 3rd fish, a big pacu, at c.5.00pm. With that, I decided I’d had enough and packed up for the day – 3 fish to 14lb, landing 3 from 7. I made a mental note to ensure that all eyes were crimped tightly to the shank in future – I was angry to loose good fish to this problem (again) (I’d had this happen with wire leader in my early days in Oman – it never ceased to amaze me how the line would manage to find its way through the smallest of gaps).