Sunday, February 22, 2009

Aling Nene's Pond [Feb 22, 09]

I got a couple of toys yesterday. I finally got my Abu Garcia Revo Inshore that I have been waiting for since November last year. My first impression of the Revo Inshore is that it is really smooth and light. I can flick a 6gm lure really far and without backlash. The wider handle also gives a higher cranking power. I also got a Berkley 7' MH rod for my Abu Garcia 5601SSC3. The 5601 and the Berkley rod is also nicely matched. Throwing large lures up to 3 ounces is no problem. Excellent for saltwater popping, spooning, and throwing large swimbaits.

Anyway, I was so excited with the 2 setup and decided to go to Aling Nene's pond in Coloong for some field testing. The timing was also great, Dowie, a fellow angler, texted me and told me that there was a 16.5kg Barramundi caught that morning at that pond. Obet, a fellow angler also texted me and said he'll meet me there.

I got to the pond at around 2pm. Shortly after, Obet arrived. I casted for a while in the open pond using heavy gear (Berkley and 5601SSC3) and a 4 inch Storm soft plastic. Casting was a breeze I can easily throw the lure beyond the middle of the pond. Unfortunately, after half an hour, no takers. I think the noisy splash of the big plastic lure spooked the fishes.

I joined Obet in front of Aling Nene's house. After chatting, I switched to lighter gear and casted near the shed. After 3 casts, I got a strike. Solid hookup. In the middle of the fight, remembered that I forgot to replace the lure's hooks with stronger hooks. I was using a brand new lure and it came with treble hooks that are crap. The fish bolted towards the bamboo poles across the pond. I was forced to increase the drag to stop the fish from getting there. If it reaches the bamboo poles at the other end of the pond, bye bye fish and lure. After 5 grueling minutes, I managed to muscle the fish into the open water.

I then loosened the drag so the hooks would not pull out or get straightened. The fish peeled line so many times. Its a good thing the Revo Inshore's drag is so smooth and consistent. After around 10 minutes, I started gaining line. When the fish was landed, only two points of the middle treble hook are hanging under the fish's chin. The tail hook straightened was completely loose. The split ring on the middle hook was also ready to give in. I was so lucky the fish didn't jump that much. Otherwise, I would have lost it.

The fish weighed 7.73 kilos. My biggest so far. Rod: 1pc Shimano Scimitar 6.6' 8-15lbs Medium Fast. Very nice rod and very cheap:-). Line used was around 180 yds of Sufix Synergy 12lb mono. Leader is 2 feet of Sufix Synergy 19lbs. Not bad for the Inshore's first time in the water. Hmmm, I think I said the same thing to my 4601C3. :-)

The nice lady in the picture is Aling Nene.

After some pictures, I convinced Obet to cast some more on the same spot. He did and after a few minutes, fish on. It was no match with Obet's awesome Calcutta. It struck a silver green Rattle-trap. Fish was landed and weighed. 3kilos. It was the first fish on lure for Obet. Not bad at all. :-)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kapitan's Pond [January 31, 2009]

Finally, I got to try my Abu toys (4601C3 and 5601SSC3) this morning. I went to Coloong for a field test. After just the second cast, I got one. A 1.81-kilo Mama dalag (Haruan). Just 190 grams short of my 2 kilo goal.

I still had an hour to kill before heading home so I decided to try my luck on Apahap (Barramundi). After 10 minutes, my 4601C3 went zzzzzt zzzztt. The C3's drag, although not a screaming drag like the one from a spinning reel, was uniquely thrilling! After a few runs, I landed this nice 2.7-kilo Apahap (Barramundi).

Not bad for the reels' first day in the water. :D

Note: The Haruan was released while the Barra, which was considered by the pond owner as a pest, was kept for the dinner table.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Past Catches [2008]

Marinduque [Can't remember the date]
I first used local taw-taw (sabiki) to catch galunggung (Cigar minnow). I used the live cigar minnow as bait. Actually, the hardest part it catching the bait. There were days that we cannot catch any and if there are no baits, there would not be a good sized fish. I was able to catch one and I got rewarded with this talakitok (Jack Trevally). The fish weighed almost 2kilos.

Subic [January 2008]

Pargo or Maya-maya (Mangrove Snapper) This one wasn't caught using a lure. :-) I caught it using a 4 inch aligasin (mullet) for bait. A little above 1 kilo.

First fish on Lure [June 9, 2008]
This was my first fish caught on lure. I think this is the fish that hooked me into lure fishing.

Apahap (Barramundi)
2 kilograms
Kapitan Larry's Pond
Technium 2500FA with 9.75lbs line and 20lbs leader.
Rapala Super Shad Rap Shallow Diver 3.5 inches (Blue Shiner)

Coloong Biya [September 21, 2008]
I was trying to target Apahap. After almost an entire day of casting, still no takers. The only thing I caught is this feisty Biya (Goby). It struck a Daiwa DC shad even when the lure was almost half its size. The goby was released to grow some more.

Kangkungan Dalag [October 1, 2008]
I went to the kangkungan for an attempt to catch dalag (haruan in Malay and Snakehead in English). I was joined by a fellow angler Bong who have been given me excellent tips on how to coax these critters into hitting lures. All I have achieved were a few strikes but no hook-ups during the past days. Luckily that morning, in the middle of Tropical Storm Pablo's Signal Number 1, I got lucky:

It hit the lure after about ten casts at the edge of the weeds. Not bad for my first dalag/haruan. Almost a kilo.

After a few pictures, we released the fish. Thanks again to Bong for the excellent tips and for taking the pics

Kangkungan Dalag Part 2 [October 7, 2008]
After the excitement last Oct1 -- the first time I caught a dalag, I went back for another shot. I got 8 strikes. and landed 5 of them. The biggest is around 700 gms and the smallest is about half kilo.

All fishes were released.

Coloong Dalag [October 27, 2008]

Went to Coloong with Bong. It was a slow day. Only few strikes. It seems that frogs are not part of the Coloong dalags' diet so we switched to spinners designed and made by Bong. I was not familiar with using spinners on Baitcasting outfit at first. After some tips by Bong (the master), I got the hang of it. Bong caught 2 and I caught this one:

Zambales Dalag [November 4, 2008]
All the "training" in Kangkungan and Coloong paid off. I caught three Haruans during All Soul's break in Zambales. One of them is is jut 300 grams but 2 of them made the 1 kilo mark. All fishes were released to fight another day.

Aling Nene's Coloong [November 16, 2008]
I was trying to target dalags in Aling Nene's pond in Coloong but the dikes were full of anglers and I can't cast at the water's edge without snagging someone's line. Not wanting to waste a good day of fishing, I decided to try their famed Apahaps. I got on a small canoe with Balong the boy boatperson and went to the our ponds where the Apahaps are lurking.

It was so hard to cast because the bamboo platforms that I was on was so narrow and shaky. There was also the electric cables, which was running parallel to the platform, that are obstructing my casts. After around 15 miserable minutes, I got a strike and landed this nice sized Apahap (Barramundi). I only took a couple of photos because I didn't want to keep the fish out of the water for long. The other shot was blurred. Made sure that the fish was fully revived before letting it go. My guesstimate is between 3 to 3.5 kilos.

Kapitan's Dalag [November 30, 2008]
Nothing else to do at home and the fishing itch was unbearable. I decided to try Kapitan's Lawak. It's a wide lake-like pond where the fishes are semi-wild. There was talk that really huge Apahaps in the 10kg weight are lurking. After an entire day of casting, i ended up catching another dalag. Almost a kilo. Fish was released so it can grow bigger.

Hibiki Frog Prototype [December 10, 2008]
After some encouragement from fellow anglers, I got inspired to test my prototype frog, which we called Hibiki Frog. All materials used in the prototype are easily obtainable. I made the frog from scratch, the clay model, the mold, the rubber body, and paint.

The best place to test the frog, I thought, was the famed kangkungan where the dalags are no longer easy to fool. They have tried a LOT of lures already -- frogs, crankbaits, worms, etc. etc.

Anyway, after around 2 hours in the kangkungan, it has proven its worth. It caught 4. Here is a photo of the biggest that it caught:

All fishes were released after they gave their sign of approval to the Hibiki Frog prototype

Year-end Dalag Catch Report [December 31, 2008]
Around 5 half-day fishing during the Christmas/New Year vacation in Zambales. Total catch 16. 4 are around 200 to 250gms, majority are 650gms to 900gms. Only 1 reached 1kilo. Here are some of the bigger ones.

Still unable to land that wild above-kilo dalag. Maybe next time.

All fishes were released. I really had a difficult time explaining to locals why I released them. Anyway, maybe in due time they would understand.