Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Zambales [November 2009]

I have been planning for this trip for months. I have prepped all my gears and my kayak for the trip. Then Santi came along. A long weekend was about to be ruined by yet again a nasty typhoon. We were about to cancel the trip as the typhoon was expected to hit Zambales on October 31 and Nov 1. We were worried that if we push through with the trip, Carael in Botolan, Zambales might get flooded again and will be impossible for light vehicles to pass through. We don't want to get stranded in Zambales. Kids need to go back to school and me and my wife need to report for work.

Anyway, on October 30, I took a gamble as the storm didn't appear to be that strong and may change course over the weekend. Luck turned out ok. When we arrived in Zamba, it was sunny and there wasn't a trace of an impending typhoon. When we arrived 3pm, we unpacked, I unloaded the kayak and all other gears. I grabbed a baitcast combo and hurriedly went to my favorite fishing hole nearby. I started fishing 4pm and by 5:30, I was able to hook 6 Haruans and landed 5 nice sized dalags. 1 big mama got away when it did an areal and threw the hook. I only was able to take pictures of 3 because locals started getting interested in my catch. I had a feeling that they would ask for them so as soon as I unhook the fishes, I threw them back into the water.

The following day, the weather turned sour. Wind started to blow and the sky got really dark. Still, I decided to give the kayak a shot early morning and went to a Saltwater lake near our place. It's a good thing I had a drift sock. Even with strong winds, I was able to drift slowly and cast along the edge of mangrove areas. I had a hookup near a bunch of bamboo branch but the fish threw the hook after a few runs. My guess was a pargo (Mangrove Jack) probably a kilo or so. By 11 am, I had to give up as the wind was getting stronger and casting was really difficult. No catch for that day for the yak.

The next day November 1, I went again to the saltwater lake with the yak. I was only given a 3 hour visa to fish as we had so many errands that day. Heck, 3 hours of fishing is better than nothing. I decided to troll a husky jerk to cover larger area. After around half an hour, I was rewarded with my first fish on a kayak. A 1 kg Mangrove Jack (Pargo).

Before going back to Manila, I managed to sneak off into an estuarine river that one of the locals told me about. According to them, they regularly catch Mangrove Jacks and Barramundi up to 4 kilograms. I surveyed the area for an hour using the kayak. It was an awesome river. I only managed to check a small portion before my wife called. We had to go back to Manila as we are expecting traffic. True enough it was a 7 hour drive going back. I am so tired and my body is still aching. Next time, I am definitely exploring the entire river.

I can say that the trip was "bitin" --- bad weather, too many errands, and other things. But still, I managed to accomplish what I had planned. Maybe next trip during the Christmas break, I would be able to fish for longer periods and hopefully catch bigger fishes.