Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kapitan Larry's Pond Coloong (5-29-2010)

Lately, I have been dreaming of the Barramundis in Coloong. I am quite certain that there are a few of them left in Kapitan Larry's pond in Lawak Coloong. I just need to be a bit more persistent.

During my last visit, I had my kayak with me, and I was hoping to catch one, and if the barras are not biting, haruans should do. Unfortunately, the pond was in bad shape. The extreme heat is killing the fishes. Lots of dead tilapia, bangus, and even dalag. I managed to get one but it left me wanting for more.

Last Friday, it rained really hard. I thought that the fishes might have felt the change in temperature and it might coax them to feed. By Friday night, I was quickly prepping one BC combo and some lures. The problem is, i ran out of pogy's. I only have 2 battle scarred pogys left. The plastic lures were full of cuts and one haruan strike could destroy them, and, to make matters worse, their hooks are soooo dull. I tried sharpening them with sandpaper but I am quite sure that one bump on a hard surface and they are useless.

I left really early -- 5:30am and arrived there at around 6:30. You can really see that the surface of the water was full of life. Lots of feeding going on. I thought, oh boy this is going to be fun.

So I got to the big pond and started on dikes on the south side. It was almost seven and I immediately casting on the banks as soon as the banka left. After a few minutes, fish on! It was a big dalag. It tried to swim for deep water and when I applied pressure, it jumped and sadly, it managed to throw the hook. Dang! It was big --- probably in the 1.5kg range. Oh well, I was expecting it. The dull hook cannot penetrate the bony mouth.

I moved to another spot and casted the same rig. Another strike and the fish ran a few meters and then I set the hook. It also jumped but my hook held on. Its mouth won't open and I cannot lipgrip it. I decided to lift it using the leader. The hook, again pulled out but the fish was landed. When I was trying to find my phone to take a picture, the fish wriggled away and managed to escape back into the pond.

An hour later another haruan. Another hookset, or so I thought. It swam over the dead lilies and managed to free itself from the pogy.

I decided to tighten the drag and try a really solid hookset. I just hope my rod won't break. I then casted some more and then another haruan! I set the hook like there's no tomorrow! And it held and my rod didn't break. I was able to land it and got a picture. It's was 1.1kg. Not bad.

By that time, the pogy was all mangled and the body pulled out of the hook. I guess I overdid the hookset. The lure was pretty much useless.

I then decided to use my last remaing battle scarred pogy. The same one I used to catch the 8kg Barra. I was keeping it as a souvenir. The hook was sharper than the first one but it had hint of corrosion.

Heck, maybe another barra would take a liking on it. On the midway northwards of the pond dike, I casted to the edge of the clumps of dead lilies. Then a lightning strike. The line sped from the edge of the lilies going to deeper water with lightning speed. I thought it was it! The barramundi that I was dreaming of. I applied pressure and then it jumped! Not a barra but a mama haruan. It was fat and long and possibly over 2kg. On the first jump, the hook held. Then it jumped once more and then threw the hook! Dang dang@! When I checked the hook, it straightened.

I went again and amazingly another strike. I tried the locked drag strike and it appeared to have worked. But when I was about to land it, I lifted it using the leader and the hook pulled. After two strikes, the pogy was mangled as well. The hook pulled out of its body.

I tried other lures but no takers.

Anyway, by 11am, the dead lilies and more dead fish were all over the edge of the pond. There is not way to cast over them so I decide to call it a day.

5 "hooksets" and 2 landed. 1 picture. Not bad.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Zambales Kayak Fishing [5-2-2010]

Went Kayak fishing in Zambales. I followed the estuarine river inland and was not disappointed.

On the first outing (6am-8:30am), I got a 1.3kg Mangrove Jack (Pargo) on topwater. I had to call it quits because it was scorching hot.

I went out again before daybreak this morning -- before going back to Manila -- and got another one further upriver. This one is somewhere between 1.5 to 1.7kg. It fell for a topwater lure as well. Stopped fishing by 8am.