Malaysia (02.08.09)

Kundang Lake [“Tow Foo” pond] (2.08.09)


Once again, the family were away for the annual summer break and I am “home alone”. I’ve already booked my first trip to Kuala Rompin and will fish August 6-7th. As it’s been so long since I’ve been fishing, I decided to head out to “Tow Foo” (Tofu ….??) pond – it’s been 6 months since my last visit (and almost a year since I last dipped a line in saltwater)! I talked to Anthony (my Rompin Fishing guide) & he talked to Aziz at the pond – things didn’t sound good. It’s the dry season & water levels at the pond were particularly low, with associated low oxygen levels and slow fishing. I didn’t care, I had to go. So, armed with a bag of palm oil seeds kindly supplied by Anthony, I set of early (well, relatively early, around 7.30am) Sunday morning to try my luck.


Palm oil seeds – the magic bait (closely followed by prunes) …!


When I arrived, the pond was quiet (although the encroaching new motorway construction suite was already starting to impinge on the land associated with the lakes …. I don’t know how this is going to affect the pond(s) in the future). Water levels were indeed low, an already shallow body of water was down maybe 0.5 – 0.75 of a metre. I’ve never seen it so low. However, there was plenty of rises and boils on the surface indicating fish activity (possibly because parts of the pond were now very shallow …!!?).


 Plenty of surface activity despite (because off?) the very low water levels


I boarded the shed raft and poled my way to the usual location, just off the reed-bed island. As I made my way across the pond, plumes of mud could be seen as fish fed on the bottom – another good sign of activity. I got on location and “anchored” the raft with wooden stakes and a house-brick on a piece of rope (yep, this is high end fishing!). I rigged up two rods in the customary manner, 15lb main line tied to a small ball-bearing swivel, c.2’ of 50lb braid leader and a small circle hook. I then cast out a palm oil seed (after scoring the seed to let oil seep out) to the left edge of the reed-bed and the second rod with a dried plum directly in-front of me, hard against the reeds. It was slow at first, but after an about 45 minutes, I saw the left hand line twitch, it then moved to the right, against the slight breeze rippled surface. I picked up and wound down into a reasonable fish – it felt to be of a decent size, but didn’t make the brutal, powerful runs typical of a pacu, but instead made short, fast streaks. It soon came to the raft under steady pressure and I was please to net a plump 8lb carp type fish (Jelawat?). I was good to get of the mark and I always relax a little after the first fish of the session has been caught. I changed out all baits to palm oil seeds and re-set my lines.


 8lb Carp-like species (Jelawat?) in the net


After another c.45 minutes or so I got a good strike on the right hand rod, undoubtedly a good pacu. It mad an aggressive run under the reeds and soon had me snagged up. The fish could take line, but I could only recover a little before locking-up against the snag. After trying to give the fish slack line, and trying to put pressure at different angles, I finally had to concede defeat and break the fish off. Damn, once again the wiley pacu had shown their customary tenacity and fighting skills. To add insult to injury, the ratchet clicker on my Shimano Ultegra 6000 stopped working (later inspection revealed that the metal ratchet “clicker” strip had simply worn away!!). I reset baits and was rewarded shortly after with another good strike, again running me under the reeds and snagging my line – this time the free-spool tricked worked and I was able to coax the fish into open water. After a short fight, a smallish, but well conditioned feisty pacu came to the net, 6lb, and was duly released. Things then went dead for an hour, before another flurry of activity around 12 noon. I had one take that didn’t hook up, I quickly recast to the same area and got an immediate strike. This one bit me off during the first run. It then went quiet again. By 1.00pm I was ready to call it a day. I packed up one rod and decided to have one last cast before packing up the other. I dropped the bait hard against the reeds on the left hand side, perfect. As the bait hit the water, I felt a pull. I left the line slack, but nothing happened. Thinking that I must have caught the reeds I wound down and, to my surprise, tightened into a fish. It came to the raft easily but then started to resist. I played him for 5 minutes close to the raft before netting another c.6lb pacu. Unfortunately, this fish was gut-hooked (despite the circle hook) – I tried to get the hook out, realised that it wasn’t feasible, and decided to cut the line and return the fish. That put a bit of a damper of the session, so I called it a day.

c.6lb Pacu

This entry was posted in (1) Malaysia, (1.04) - Tow Foo Pond, Jelawat, Pacu. Bookmark the permalink.

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