I so enjoyed my previous visit (on 13.05.14) that I was keen to visit again (I’d also picked up a new, light reel, a Shimano Beastmaster 4000 FB that I was keen to blood). My son Ceri was also enthused about joining me on the trip (he hasn’t really liked any of the previous freshwater locations that I’d taken him to) – he liked the look of the pond and the style of fishing. I was privately concerned that he wouldn’t last the distance casting lures for 4 hours in the heat, but he assured me that he was up for it. So, the plan was set – Saturday 24th of May, setting off from home early doors at 6.30am! I’d also arranged for my mate to bring his son, Abdullah, who’s developing a keen interest in angling.
We arrived at 7.10am and immediately rigged up – Ceri started off with a dark purple / silver Starlit pencil lure (that he’d selected in the tackle shop the previous Sunday), whilst I opted for the reliable yellow/orange Starlit pencil lure. Abdullah started off with a dark orange Halco popper. Once again (as per the previous visit), after only a handful of casts, I was hooked-up to a nice Snakehead, and gave the new reel its first drag burn!
After the first fish, it took a while to register the next one. I got repeated hits, on a variety of lures, but either didn’t hook-up or, when I did, pulled the hook early in the fight. I did manage to get one fish to the bank but lost it before we could net it. Meanwhile, Ceri had been getting a number of strikes on the dark lure but couldn’t hook-up, he still wasn’t used to setting the hook. Abdullah was also struggling, getting the odd strike but no hook-ups. The bites were often subtle today, the fish seemed finicky and cautious. I decided to try and get some GoPro footage catching a Snakehead (Toman) – I re-attached the yellow/orange Starlit lure, put the GoPro on my head and started casting. Within about 5 casts I got a strike and, after a very short fight, brought a small toman to the net, capturing it all on film as hoped.
Snakehead No.2 GoPro film
By now, Ceri had switched to soft plastics, and was starting to get in increase in strikes, before he duly hooked-up on the west side of the grassy headland, and landed his first ever toman:
Shortly after, I was hooked-up again, only to lose a toman at the landing net (leader on the rod though), before disaster struck and I broke off the pencil lure on the cast. This fish was followed in quick succession by Ceri , who brought in his second snakehead of the day, again on a soft plastic:
There now ensued an “old bull / young bull” verbal joust. Ceri claiming victory over his Dad because we’d landed two fish apiece, despite him having a heavier rod and therefore having to work harder for his fish, yada yada …!! I pointed out that I’d also brought two fish to the bank, but Ceri fired back that it was only fish on the bank that counted! I could see that the young bulls were starting to flag a little under the ever strengthening sun. So, I change to a soft plastic, the magic Starlit white/red tail lure and began working around the wooden structure in the centre of the pond (a couple more FAD structures had been added since my previous visit). Boom, I got a good hit from a pacu that revealed itself with a short breach, which I brought to the net, despite a spirited fight, to finish off the session.
The toothy predators have started to take a toll on my soft plastics – both the snakehead and the pacu sport serious dentistry!
Unfortunately, Abdullah got a blank on this trip, despite using similar lures and rigs to us – that’s fishing I guess, he’ll get his turn next time. It was indeed a strange session – plenty of strikes, but they were often subtle and half-hearted.
We finished the day with nice lunch of nasi goring, tofu and veggies.