The prodigal son returned, after a long period away …!
I took him fishing with me to Port Dickson. The weather was initially choppy and a bit rough, but, true to form the Queenfish were active at the surface when we reached the Vikram wreck mark. We spent a few hours chasing sporadic surface activity but had no luck. I managed to get an unexpected strike deep jigging, but was only hooked up briefly before pulling the hook. We decided to head further offshore to some reef marks that had been producing GT’s in recent weeks.
We arrived at the new location, still with choppy seas, and commenced our drifts. The boat was moving fast in the current and we only got around 5 minutes or so over the reef before having to re-set. It was slow going and with no surface activity. The son was struggling with the heat, so was only fishing sporadically. After about half an hour he switched from casting jigs to bottom jigging, his first experience of this type of fishing. On his second set, Noru got a strike and was instantly bitten off, and almost simultaneously Siôn took a strike too. This time the fish stayed buttoned, and he soon worked a small, but perfectly formed tenggiri (aka Kingfish, Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel) to the net. This was a rare treat out of PD – as Noru remarked, the first he’s seen caught in two years. I’d already mentioned to Noru that Siôn had a knack for fishing, a kind of sense! I’m yet to catch my first PD fish using the bottom jigging technique ……!!
Siôn’s first attempt at jigging – a tenggiri (aka Kingfish)
Despite this flurry of activity, the fishing remained slow (well actually, at a standstill). We got no further strikes, even on a live scad that I’d put out for 3 or 4 drifts. We moved to a second reef mark, again with no love. It was, by now, mid afternoon, and the weather had been steadily improving, in contrast to the fishing. We made a call to return to the Vikram mark to see if things had improved there.
It was about a half hour run back to the first location, but the seas were now calm. As we weaved through the Malacca shipping lanes, we eagerly scanned the horizon for signs of bird activity. Captain Halim saw them first, a big flock of wheeling and diving birds. As we got closer we could see that it was an intense surface feeding frenzy. I clipped a 30gm pink jig on Siôn’s rod, and a blue/pink version on mine. I also put a 27gm blue/pink Jackson Pintail on my light 4-10lb spinning set-up.
As we reached the frenzy, both Siôn and I let of casts. Immediately the jigs were hit but no hook-ups. After a few sets with no hook-ups, I switched to the light spinning rod and threw out the Pintail lure. Bang, I got an immediate hit and brought in a spotted mackerel (tenggiri bunga, is this also a kingfish?? Lol). I followed this up on the next cast with a nice Queenfish of c.3.5kg. Excellent …!Noru was also into the fish, putting a spotted mackerel and then a queenie on the deck. I then had a switched to a 30gm jig and missed a couple of strikes. Siôn, meanwhile was struggling, and having no joy, despite his early exuberance after landing the tenggiri.
During a lull in the action, Noru suggested I tried the plastic squid lures that I’d brought (following our success with feather jigs a few months back – see here: Port Dickson Queenfish – Cracking the Code (04.04.15) , I’d had an idea, & rigged some 12cm plastic squid lures on chrome bullet heads to form casting lures). We approached some surface activity and I made a cast. First retrieve, nothing. I recast again and ripped the white squid back quickly, just as fish started hitting the surface. Boom, I was hooked up to a nice fish almost immediately. This was a decent fish that fought hard, the first on my new Shimano Sustain 4000FB and all action recorded on the GoPro:
Talang Queenfish on a white skirt lure & Shimano Sustain 4000FD reel
Noru also rigged up with a white squid lure and, after a few casts, was also hooked-up. Unfortunately, his leader was too light to withstand the casting and the strike, and he broke the fish off. In amongst the frenzy, Captain Halim hooked a nice fish, that ran deep and fought hard. It was a big tenggiri (Kingfish), that he glimpsed early in the fight. Unfortunately, after a good 10 minute battle, the fish managed to bite off and escape. The Captain then lost a niice Queenfish after an acrobatic display (see in the following video).
Siôn was yet to get a queenie, so I passed him the rod rigged with the squid lure and, after a few missed strikes, he was into a fish (in a double hook-up on white squid lures with Noru), just as the GoPro battery died ….., and duly landed his first Talang Queenfish,:
Siôn scores his first Talang Queenfish
With that, and with the afternoon drawing on, the action started to slow, and with fasting taking its toll on the Captain and Noru, we decided to call it early. But we’d rescued a slow day, with a frenzied hour and a half or so of action, landing 1 tenggiri, 2 spotted mackerel, and 4 queenfish, and dropping at least a further 5 fish. We’d also got another data point in lure fishing and lure effectiveness on the PD queenfish – continuing to “Crack the Code”. Kingfish and Queenfish …..! Awesome.
Some of the surface action can be viewed in the following video:
Talang Queenfish strikes