Monday, May 25, 2009

Zambales [May 24, 2009]

Went back to Zambales to pick up my kids from their vacation. I arrived 11:30am or so and lunch was not yet ready. Nothing else to do after a 5 hour drive and not very hungry either so I rigged my rod and sneaked out for a quickie. When I got to my favorite spot, I casted furiously before my wife notices that I went missing. After 5 minutes or so, I got a strike and a solid hookup. Almost a kilo, i think.

After quick photo op, went back home as if nothing happened (20 minute fishing-driving). I am quite sure my wife knows. She just doesn't want to comment. :D

The following day Sunday, I got a really quick visa. 2 hours of fishing only as we had to go back to Manila after lunch. I went to the spot around 10am and fish until lunch. (Note: I noticed that dalags are not very active when it is still early). 2 hours and got this two. Not very big, around a quarter kilo each.

Fishes were released.

I was amazed about the stories going around the place. In one instance, I was asked by an elderly local whether it was true that in one day I caught 8 kilos of dalag total. A different style of fishing sure does generate a lot of rumors. :D They also think that I never go home empty handed. Well, the truth is, I almost always go home empty-handed because I release majority of my catch. :rofl:. The good news is, most of the people I talked to lately, stopped asking why I release my catch. I guess they understand or they got tired of asking. :D

I just got back and I already miss fishing there. Hopefully, I get to fish there again this coming July. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Zambales [May 17, 2009]

I went to Zambales this weekend supposedly to join JL for some salt fishing. Because we are unable to find a bankero, our plan did not materialize.

Since I still have the whole Sunday before returning Manila, I decided to try dalag fishing. I started early at around 6am and then went back home at 8am. It was so hot and the water level is really high. According to locals, the water level rised due to the recent storm Emong. Because of this, Haruans are difficult to find as they are "kalat" (roaming the flooded fields). At the same time, they are well fed as they have access to various preys. In the morning, I only caught 3 small ones at around 200 grams each. Didn't take pictures as they a bit small.

At around 2pm, I went back to try again. This time, I got lucky. I caught three. I finally caught my 2kg Haruan. This could be the cousin of the one that got away last Holy week. Payback was so sweet! :D

This one is about a quarter kilo.

After a half an hour, I got a biggie. It struck at the edge of the water. Literally jumping at the lure. The hookup occurred over land. Around 1.1 to 1.5 kg:

And finally, my biggest haruan. I believe this is more than 2kilograms. I didn't have my scale as I loaned it for the Coloong tourney. I didn't want to bring it home to weigh it because it could stress the fish and it could die. A local saw me landing it and insisted that I bring it home. I complied by bringing it inside the car. When he left, I brought it out of the car and released it. I feel much better knowing that it is back in the water. When I get back, I can try and catch it again. Hopefully, it will grow even bigger.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hibiki Frog v4 in Kangkungan [May 2, 2009]

I have been quietly doing field testing in Kangkungan a couple of times. The kangkungan that we used to admire is losing its fishes. The water is nearly gone and taken over by lilies and kangkong. The dalags are also nearly gone. A lot of people are sneaking at night and doing bait fishing and taking home the fishes. It was really a nice spot but now, it's almost gone.

Aside from the the fact that the water is almost gone, a fence is also being constructed around the area which will prevent anyone from getting near the spot. In a few days, i believe another nice spot will be lost.

Anyway, i made another DIY frog which I call Hibiki Frog v4. I think this one is better than the previous ones. Sorry, no pic of the frog for now as it is still under development.

In one instance, I casted to a spot and as soon it hits the water, a dalag struck the lure. I was not able to set the hook as the line has plently of slack. On the first day, I got 9 strikes 3 hookups and 2 landed (in 1.5 hours). The next day, on my first cast, I got a strike and landed it. All the fishes are very small compared to the catches before.

All the fishes were released.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

South Metro Manila [May 2, 2009]

After Bong's news of a really hot dalag spot south of Metro, we hurriedly organized a dalag "safari". According to Bong, he was only able to try a fifth of the entire spot and was able to get 17 strikes and landed 6 --- that's how productive the spot was.

We left QC 6:30 and met up with Mikko and his brother RC in Manggahan. We arrived at the spot an hour later and hurriedly rigged our gears for some serious frog fishing.

The area is amazing, there are so many spots that seem to be infested by dalags. It's really sad that this area, now owned by a big mall chain, is about to be bulldozed flat to give way to a huge parking lot, a new mall, and/or amusement center. Almost half of the area is now covered with bulldozed earth. This is a sample of what's being destroyed:

Anyway, we visited the spots checked by Bong and the first one to get a taste of the bite is Mikko with a fat one weighing about 800 grams.

I tried my favorite lures and they don't seem to like the color. I have been casting for a good hour or so and not even a false strike. I decided to borrow Bong's and true enough, after casting to the same spot, a hookup and a good sized too, maybe a kilo, but I was'nt able to land it because it dove into to weedbed. After tugging furiously, the hook pulled and all I got was clump of weeds. After cleaning the lure, I decided to cast to the same spot, hookup but this time a couple of smallies.

Bong also got one, but this time, using the trusted spinner bait. You can see from the background the size of one "puddle" lined with duckweed. There are other puddles completely covered with duckweed. When you throw the lure, you can see a snake-like lump under the duckweed stalking your lure and in a wink, the water will explode. I was pure excitement.

Before leaving, RC also got a really good sized dalag, probably 700-800grams. It was one of those one-last-cast catches. Just before leaving, RC decided to cast one more time. True enough, an exploding water and solid hookup. It was amazing because RC was using a 10 mono :clap: . Pretty unusual for dalag fishing over weedbeds.

It was an awesome safari. Half day of very productive fishing. Although we landed around 5, there were countless strikes that did not connect. As Bong said, a good strike is almost the same as a good landing.

In a few weeks, the spot will be gone and in its place would be a parking lot or an amusement center.