Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lake Lumot [10-25-09]

Since almost all of the fishing holes near Metro Manila are no longer productive after the massive flooding a couple of weeks ago, Miko, JB, and I decided to try Lake Lumot in Laguna. It's around 2.5 hours drive from Manila if you leave very early on a Sunday. On regular days, it should take 3.5 hours.

We were really excited because we heard that October to December is a very productive month in the lake and last week, a fellow angler caught a 3.5kg (7.7lbs) Largemouth Bass. We also heard that there are huge dalags (Haruans) that are being regularly caught there.

We left at around 5:30am and reached our destination at around 8am. We had breakfast at the home of our wonderful host Manong Edgar. After breakfast, we prepped our gears and then went to the pantalan (Launch area) where our boat was docked.

Miko and JB waiting for our ride

Mikko trolled cranks on the way to our base, a small island where Manong Edgar's kubo is located. Except for Miko, this was the first time we fished Lumot. The place was amazing. The place was tranquil and at the same time exciting. The lake is about half the size of Lake Caliraya but according to locals there are more deep areas here compared to Lake Caliraya. Deeper water means colder water. This is the reason why there are bigger largemouths.

Miko trolling cranks

Manong Edgar our excellent host and captain

I brought my kayak with me. I was hoping to catch a bass or a haruan from kayak. After three trips with it, I still haven't caught anything using a kayak. Aside from catching fish from a kayak, I was also trying to familiarize myself with some basic kayak fishing skills such as anchoring, drift fishing, casting while sitting, and kayak trolling. It was really difficult at first because my movements were limited. I had a couple of rods at the back of the seat and changing rods while on the water requires a lot of practice. I also had most of my gears stowed on a milk crate at the back. I was afraid that if I turn around to get my gears, I might tip the kayak and capsize. After half day of fishing on it, I got confident and was able to change gears, locate and replace gears at the back. I still need to practice facing and sitting sideways on the kayak so i can reach the milk create.

Drift fishing/casting was fun except that I don't have a drift sock (sea anchor). When the wind blows, the kayak drifts really fast and it will turn by itself. With a drift sock, I should be able to maintain a spot where I am facing.

Trolling was extremely hard without the rod holders in the bow (front). I have a couple of Scotty rod holders but I was not able to mount them on the yak because I cannot find well nuts or nylon rivets to mount them with. Aside from the gears, trolling using a kayak was a real tiring method. Still, it was a good exercise. I had a couple of hookups but both of them got away. I realized that the cranks I was using have really small treble hooks which might not be suitable for bass.

My Yak

When we reached the island, we had lunch and enjoyed the view. The hut was on a island hill which gives you a view of the lake. Perfect spot for relaxing and camping. Manong Edgar's father did a wonderful job of cleaning/maintaining the island's landscape.

A view from the hut.

At around 3pm, we resumed fishing. Miko and JB fished from the boat while I fished using the kayak. We docked at around 6:30pm. We didn't catch anything unfortunately. We didn't have suitable worms for bass, and even if we did, none of us really knows how to use them. Still, the trip was excellent. Hopefully, the next time we fish there we will be prepared and catch a bass or haruan. At the dock we met Noel (tailwalk) and company. They caught around 7 largemouths with one at around 1.5kg (?). All were caught using worms.

Next trip, Zambales!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Update on the Popular Ponds near Manila

Here's some update on our popular freshwater ponds near Manila after the flooding last week.

Apalit ponds were not affected. Business as usual for those who would like to fish there. The only problem was the road from the green gate to the ponds are muddy and may be a challenge for the smaller vehicles. I am sure the management would be able to fix that road in no time.

Lakeshore is open but it appears that the Toman's are no longer worth targeting. I have been there a few times. Even the small ones are no where to be found. I scoured the lake for the entire day with my kayak and i did not even get a single strike even from the small ones. Come to think of it, I never did see any rising or feeding tomans. I am not sure but it appears that the lake overflowed and perhaps the big ones got out. Those toman's on the aquarium tank have been there for a long time so I am not sure when was the last time someone caught a big one from there.

Aling Nene's ponds are closed. They just seeded their ponds after losing most of their stocks during the floods. They don't allow anglers yet as the stocks are still being restored (The ponds literally contains small fishes for the meantime).

Kapitan Larry's pond is accessible but they don't allow fishing yet. Like Aling Nene, they are currently restocking their ponds. They lost most of their stocks as the floods reached up to the neck when you are standing in front of the kubos. The nets were not high enough to contain their stocks. Lawak's dike also collapsed and most of their stocks escaped into the river. When the tides rose, dirty water got in the ponds killing the fishes after a few days.

Most of the ponds in Coloong lost their stocks from flooding. Locals were catching them in the streets and sometimes inside the flooded houses.

According to Coloong locals, a lot of people caught Apahaps in the 20kg range. According to them, the fishes appeared weak as the water got contaminated with oil and gas. Those that did not escape the ponds eventually died due to the contamination of gasoline and oil. After a few days of flooding, the ponds were full of dead rotting fishes. It appears that Coloong will need at least 3 to six months for tilapia and bangus fishing and over a year for Apahap fishing to become productive again. :(