This was the second visit to the pond in less than a week; this time me, Jochen and Steve – we were taking advantage of the Labour Day public holiday. The plan was to spend 2 hours at the Snakehead pond lure fishing and then 4 hours in the main pond bait fishing. However, when we got to the snakehead pond it was very busy, smaller than expected and you could only do a 3 hour RM100 package – a little too long for us. We quickly decided just to have a 6 hour session at the main pond.
It was still quiet when we got to the main pond. This time we set up camp at station No.5, directly opposite the “island”, known to hold catfish in good numbers. The other two started out fishing bait; I decided to try my hand casting a soft plastic storm shad lure. The man in the next swim up to us was getting strikes on a jig head with soft plastic tail. He was slowly retrieving along the bottom and soon landed a decent Amazon catfish. So I followed suit for half an hour – I got one strike but no hook up. I then decided to try bait – I’d brought squid and was sure that this was going to work (nicer to use and easier to keep on the hook whilst casting compared to chicken liver). Meanwhile, the bloke to the left had been run into structure and broken off by a big fish on lure and had switched to bait, fish head, and duely landed two decent cats before we’d even got a bite on bait! It was definitely slower than the last visit.
After about an hour,Steve decided to go to the shop. No sooner had he left when there was a good strike on his rod – Jochen took it and duely landed his first Asian Redtail Catfish!
This pattern was repeated again about an hour later, again on Steve’s rod …….
Meanwhile, it was very slow, with neither squid or chicken liver bait working well. Jochen had bumped into a couple of his Malaysian friends – they kindly went and got us fresh fish and live fish baits. Finally, I got a good strike, on squid bait, and fought a decent Asian Redtail to the bank, only to find that I was snagged in the remnants of line from where the fish had broken off from another angler (squid still not proved).
Whilst all of this was happening, a Chinese Malaysian group had edged into our swim (no fishing etiquette) – one bloke was having good success float fishing close to a pipe near the bank – he landed maybe 3 or 4 good Amazon cats plus lost a few whilst we struggled. They also caught (I’m not sure how) a huge turtle, that was released unharmed.
The ghillie, noting the slow fising (and no doubt influenced by our tipping the previous visit) had taken it upon himself to get a fish for Steve. He started baiting, casting and working Steve’s rod. Finally, in a situation I dubbed “Play Fishing”, casted the terminal tackle into the kitchen of the island restaurant – there, the chefs baited the hook, dropped some ground-bait and then hand-lined the line straight down against the structure. Suddenly they shouted and Steve was told to wind – fish on, a nice c.5kg Amazon cat. After this they repeated the trick and Steve fought a c.9kg African catfish to the bank!!
By now, I’d switched to fish bait, and had dropped a fish-head right up against structure (I was also a little cut, having drank a number of Tigers on an empty stomach and being a little dehydrated, some of the casts were hitting the sheet metal wall of the kitchen and then dropping straight down in the perfect location …!!). I was soon hooked-up to a fish that gave a put up a good struggle – I was expecting something bigger than the c.4kg cat that emerged from the murk!
It still remaind slow, however. Jochen had one good take on livebait, that immediately broke off, probably already into structure. I switched back to lure fishing, and added a small lead to my storm shad to get a little extra distance and to keep the bait near the bottom (I also put a few drunken casts onto the restaurant roof …..!). I was soon rewarded with a small Amazon cat that was good fun a a light spinning rod. I also had a couple more strikes, one a decent fish, that quickly threw the hook. Pretty exciting, I’ll definitely be doing this again. When I returned to my bait rod, I’d been dragged under the island and had to break off on a fish!
That signalled the end of the session. So, the finally tally was:
- 3 Asian Redtail Catfish
- 3 Amazon Redtail Catfish
- 1 African Catfish