This was a spur-of-the moment trip to spend a 4 hour session (whilst the RM100 / 4 our promotion was still on) at the Natural Pond. It was going to be a lazy bait-fishing session to try and land a big Amazon Redtail Catfish together with a go at trying tempeh to see if I could tempt a Mekong Catfish or large carp to bite.
I arrived just before 4.00pm armed with tinned luncheon meat, tempeh, a bait-fishing rod and a spinning rod rigged with a soft plastic. Unfortunately, it was pretty busy – I’d planned to fish Post 5 & the restaurant structure, but it was taken, My favoured Post 6 was also busy. So I had to settle for Post 7. I commenced soaking luncheon meat for half an hour or so but it was basically dead. I then spent 10 minutes spinning a soft plastic when I noticed the people at Post 5 packing up. I quickly gathered my gear and hoofed it down to that spot.
Almost immediately I got a good hit on luncheon meat, but, despite my best efforts the fish ran me under the restaurant structure and broke me off (this is a risk at this location -you fish you bait as close as possible to the restaurant but have to move a hooked fish away from it asap or else you loose …!). It was still slow going, even on the pork meat bait. I asked the assistant to get me 5 medium sized bait fish and proceeded to switch to dead-baiting and soon got my second hit on a fish head selection. This was a good fish – I had my drag tight and I put a lot of side-strain, managing to move the fish away from the structure, but it got a second wind and turned and made a sustained and powerful run under the aerator wheels next to the restaurant kitchen. A few seconds later and PING, my line violently parted. Damn, that’s 2 from 2 lost. I was beginning to wish I’d brought heavier gear (I was using a 8-17lb class spinning rod and a reel loaded with 20lb braid).
I decided to redouble my efforts. I re-tightened my drag, increasing it as much I dared, tied on a new leader and a big chunk of fish tail & body and lobbed my bait hard against the restaurant. Within minutes I took a good hit and rushed to pick up my rod. I put maximum side-strain on the fish, the rod was doubled over into a horse-shoe shape and I was worried that the rod would snap. I kept pumping the fish and rapidly regaining line, trying to keep momentum and draw the fish into open water. This time it worked, and after a short, but intense battle, I had the fish near the bank ready for netting. I was a nicely condition Amazon Redtail Catfish tipping the spring balance to a respectable 26lbs (12kg):
The afternoon was drawing in and the action was starting to hot up. I quickly followed the first fish with another good fish. Another brutal tug-of-war trying to lever the fish into open water. Another good Amazon Redtail, slightly smaller at 22lb (10kg), but a decent, tackle-testing catch:
I managed to land a further 4 fish, all smaller than the first two, in the 4-6kg range. Despite their smaller size, they all required bullying away from the structure, but were less intense than the larger fish:
I ended the session on 6 from 8 hook-ups landed. the fish from the earlier part of the session were all good sized – I definitely think that the average size of the Amazon Catfish are increasing in this pond. Despite the fact that it is not very “natural”, the NEFFP is a guaranteed location to land big fish. Always worth a visit if you’ve got a big fish urge to scratch! I will return …!!