My first trip of the 2013 fishing season to Kuala Rompin. On this trip I was fishing with my sons and was also joined, after a number of failed attempts, by my mate from work, Jochen Kassan. This was Jochen’s first Sailfish fishing trip, and after a detour via the wrong Rompin town (at Negeri Sembilan), he arrived to joing us for dinner and drinks at the Rompin River Chalets on the Friday evening.
Day 1 (03.08.13)
We set off at the usual time and headed out to the current hot spot, stopping en-route to make bait. Bait was slow to come by, and small in size, but we had enough to commence fishing after about 40 minutes (in the shallow waters off Penninsular Malaysia’s east coast, you can bait fish at any time to top up the supply), and we were soon on the way to the fishing grounds.
Weather conditions were not too good, with a 1m+ swell, a stiff breeze and a snotty chop – amongst the worst conditions that I’d experienced out of Rompin, but still mild compared to a lot of locations, just poor compared to Rompin’s usual glassy seas! Despite the weather conditions, my eldest son, Sion, spent the whole day sleeping …… oh, how youth is wasted on the young!!!
We set out two live-baits off the stern, whilst I commenced popping from the bow – I raised fish after three casts on popper, and then on a Japanese pencil lure, the fish coming in slashing the lure and lit-up, but no hook ups. At about the same time, we got our first hook-up at the stern, which Ceri duly landed after a short fight ….. fish No.1!
Next up was Jochen’s turn. It wasn’t long before we got our next strike and Jochen got his first ever sailfish:
I now had a chance to get some underwater sailfish footage on my GoPro, but we’d forgotten the extension stick, and the swell made keeping the camera underwater difficult …. ahhh!
Jochen Kassan’s first Sailfish
We now entered the early afternoon lull and activity slowed. Time to take lunch! As the afternoon wore on, things started to pick up, we started to raise fish on the poppers and were soon back into fish on live-bait. I took Sailfish No.3 of the day:
Rompin Sailfish No.3
Ceri followed this up by pulling the hook on a good fish before landing Sailfish No.4, again with some shakey underwater GoPro footage:
Ceri Griffin – Rompin Sailfish No.4
This marked the end of fish for the day and we were soon having après fishing Tigers as we headed back, in lumpy seas, to port. The tally for the day, 4 Sailfish C&R.
Day 2 (04.08.13)
Weather conditions were much improved, and I’d also remembered my GoPro underwater stick, so I was hoping to get some good footage. As the fishing had been relatively slow the previous day, we decided to gamble and head out with another boat to the Berhala Island area (this spot fishes exceptionally well from time to time). We made te long journey, stopping at some fads to make bait. I took the opportunity to cast a small Yozuri sardine jig and was soon rewarded with a number of follows, by a possible kingfish (or barracuda or garfish …!??) and also by some small trevallies, but no takes.
After getting sufficient bait, we started to search for sailfish, but to no avail. We finally came across some birds and a fishing boat, but they were bottom fishing. The captain thought that the birds were following mackerel tuna (tongol in local terminology) or perhaps rainbow runners. I asked to stop and try lure fishing for 20 minutes. I had an immediate follow by a small kingfish (tenggiri) but no take. Jochen tied on a wire leader and cast out a medium sized chrome spoon and had a big hit on the first cast, which bit straight through his 30lb wire leader! A big tenggiri missed! We stayed on for a futher 15 minutes, but with only reef fish being caught, decided to make the long track-back to yesterday’s location. Our Berhala Island gamble had failed.
We arrived at the new fishing location to find birds, and lots of boats. We hooked up a sailfish on the first drift, Jochen scoring his second sailfish of the trip:
Jochen’s second Sailfish, Sail No.1 of Day 2
Ceri followed this up on the next drift, Sailfish No.2:
On the next drift, I free-lined out a live-bait on light, 20lb casting tackle, and soon hooked-up to fish No.3. By now, the GoPro was being put to good use, getting some excellent underwater footage to compliment the above surface footage that we were recording:
Sailfish No.3 on 20lb tackle
A crazy afternoon bite now ensued. We were getting fish almost every drift, plus fish were starting to follow and slash at surface lures. Ceri took another fish, and even Sion woke up and started to participate:
Ceri Griffin – Sailfish No.4 underwater release
Sailfish No. 5 on 20lb tackle
Sailfish No.7 – too hot to handle
Sion Griffin – Rompin Sailfish No.8
Sailfish No.9 – Underwater footage
We finished the day with 9 Sailfish C&R plus one fish broken off (taken popping on light tackle). Another excellent day Sailfishing out of Kuala Rompin!