This place is certainly not Natural …. but to be fair, it is full of exotic fish species, and big ones at that. I had a new rod to test out – a Penn Detonator PE1-3 class 7ft spinning rod, capable of chucking a 20-60gm lure seaward. I’d bought it because it fulfilled my specifications for a rod for spinning for tenggiri at Kuala Rompin and, if I get the chance again, for throwing lures to surface feeding longtail tuna (called sahwa) in Oman.
I wanted to give the rod a test, and paired it with a Diawa Saltiga 4500Z spooled with 30lb braid. I planned to fish prawn and cut fish bait hard against the restaurant structure at Post 5. The restaurant holds big fish underneath its structure. However, the fish pick up the bait and run straight back under the pillars of the structure. Its tug-o-war fishing – take the strike and then tried to prise the fish away from the structure with heavy drag and fast pump and wind. Its a short but intense fight. A good test for a medium weight spinning rod. If it can handle these fish, it’ll be good for longtail tuna!
I set up my second outfit first – a medium weight spinning rod paired with an old Penn 6500ss spinning reel loaded with 30lb braid and cast a prawn head bait close to the structure. I got s hit almost immediately, but got pulled under the restaurant. I could feel the leader chaff on the concrete before it parted. I then cast a prawn tail out on the Penn Detonator set-up. I was soon in action, this time a decent sized jelawat, of around 5lbs:
I was then bitten-off by something before I followed this fish up with a smallish Amazon Redtail, once again on the Penn Detonator rod. It gave a short struggle, trying to reach the structure before giving up and coming in quietly, a fish of c.10lbs:
The rod held-up well, and I was keen to try it on the bigger fish that I knew were around. But there then followed a series of lost fish – I got broken off against structure at least another 4 times and I had a hook snap. all fish were fought under heavy drag, but to get bites you had to be close to the structure and it was hard to stop then fish running the short distance to structure. I tried shortening my leader, switching to J-hooks and fishing with no slack, all to no avail. I was constantly switching between my two outfits as I re-tied leaders. I did pick up a further fish, at first I thought that this was a smallish, rather unhealth looking Asian Redtail, but on closer inspection I think it is an African Catfish (it certainly didn’t put up much of a fight, unlike Asian Catfish tend to do), a new species for me:
My run of bad luck continued – I’ve caught pleny of 10kg catfish before at this location, but I’ve never been smashed so many times. Are these fish getting bigger and stronger …..? Whilst fishing the restaurant, I was also chumming the water close to the bank – you often can see fish prowling this area, particularly at dusk. I swa a teletail swirl and then a tail. I dropped a cut-bait at my feet and watched the line suddenly start moving and go taught. I was onto a good fish, easy to land when away from structure, not without a number of powerful runs of up to 10m or so, a c.25lbs Amazon Redtail:
Unfortunately, this fish was caught on my second outfit. I still wanted to catch a big fish on the Detonator. My time was running out and I chummed my remaining bait into the shallows. I saw some swirls and I dropped my last piece of cut-bait near to the bank. Suddenly my line tightened and I struck into a powerful fish. After a brief stalemate, under a loaded-up rod, my line went slack. My leader knot had failed at the swivel ….ahhhhhhh. Time to end this session, with the fish having the upper hand on this outing!!