I’d finally bitten the bullet and bought myself a new jalopy. I was sad to see the Nissan X-Trail go, but it was getting old (in car year equivalent, even older than me ….!) and I needed a new fishing wagon. I got a good price from the Mitsubishi dealer, so the deal was done. Now I wanted to take it out for a spin plus test it out with a load of fishing gear. It was the Eid public holiday and the wife decided to join me for her first ever visit to the Natural Exotic Pond in Rawang.
We arrived at 3pm to a virtually empty pond. Armed with a bag of prawns and 10 freshly chopped up ikan lampam for bait we made a bee-line for Post 5 opposite the restaurant structure. This feature holds big Amazon Redtail Catfish, the target species for the day. I’d brought two medium weight spinning rods, with strong reels spooled with 30lbb braid to drag the anticipated leviathans out from structure before they could break us off (see my previous post on my last visit to the NEFFP). I’d also brought a light spinning rod and a smaller reel spooled with 20lb braid – I’d not done much spinning here over the past year but thought I may give it a go later in the afternoon.
It started off slow, but steady. We got a strike on a lampam head, then a couple of takes on prawn baits. I was using 5/0 circle hooks (the size we use for Sailfish at Rompin), slightly larger than usual and I was puzzled to miss three strikes in a row. It was two hours until we finally got a solid hook-up on a lampam head cut-bait fished hard against the restaurant structure. Wifey took the rod and did battle with a strong opponent. I saw the line running right under the restaurant – I took the rod and gave her a little help getting the fish into open water before she resumed the fight, showing perseverance to bring her first Amazon Redtail Catfish, a good fish of c.25 lbs (c.12 kg) to the net:
The wife in action
Her first Amazon Redtail Catfish, c.25lbs
After her first fish, she was fired up. “I want to try spinning”, she said. I’d already set up the spinning rod and clipped on a 12gm jig head with a red/white soft plastic grub and passed her the rod. She went along the bank to open water an proceeded to cast and retrieve whilst I watched the bait rods. After only a handful of casts I heard her shout and looked up to see her doing battle with a feisty fish, which she duly brought to the bank. A reasonable sized Asian Redtail Catfish hooked cleanly in the mouth:
…. taken cleanly on a soft plastic lure
Following this second fish, a lull ensued. I had a couple of half takes on bait that didn’t progress to hook-ups. Meanwhile, wifey busied herself spinning (out in the sun for hours after wanting to fish at a location with shelter ….!!). I heared her shout again and saw her struggling with another good fish on the light spinning tackle. Once again, another Asain Redtail, unfortunately foul hooked in the side, making it even harder to land. She was tired and passed the rod to me to finish the job:
Meanwhile, I was having no luck soaking baits. I had 20 minutes spinning whilst the wife took a rest, and had a couple of knocks and hooked up once, briefly, before pulling the hook. I returned to bait fishing whilst Mako had another spinning session. Soon after hooking her fourth fish of the day …..!! This time an Amazon Redtail on the soft plastic lure:
Mako demonstrating good angling skills …
I’d started to change tactics a little with the bait fishing. I took off the ledger weight and started free-lining cut fish bait, casting hard against the restaurant and letting the bait drift in the current (created by the aerator paddle wheels). I’d also been chumming near the bank, a tactic that has caught me a number of fish at my feet. I alternated baits between the structure and the bank. Finally, towards the close of our 4 hour session, I took a vicious strike near the restaurant. I was fishing with very heavy drag and managed to keep the fish out in the open water. After a short but intense fight, I brought a big fish to the bank. It pulled my boga grip down way above the 30lb limit on the spring balance. After subtracting 6 lbs for the net this fish was at least 30lb+ (c.14 kg +), probably my biggest Amazon to-date:
After releasing the fish I re-baited and cast again towards the structure. I let the bait sit for 5 minutes and then repeated the process. On the next cast my bait was seized immediately it hit the water, hard against the concrete structure. Another big , powerful fish. This one managed to get around one of the concrete legs though. I tried forcing it out, no joy. I gave it freeline, but it didn’t budge. finally I had to admit defeat and break it off. It came free almost at the hook knot. It’s interesting but challenging fishing close to the structure …!
With that, it was time to wrap-up . Wifey had outfished me, but more importantly, had enjoyed the trip. We will return! We finished up with a cold Heineken before pointing the new car home and enjoying the relatively quiet traffic.