Monday, October 5, 2015

Impromptu fishing for Barramundi

It's one of those nice after-a-storm-Sundays. I have nothing important to do, the sun was starting to shine, and it was perfect for fishing.  The first place that came to mind was Irving's pond in Bulacan. It was a nice place, lots of fish and it's virtually devoid of other anglers.

When I got to Bulacan, I realized that the rain really poured hard the previous night. Most of the fields are still flooded with water. The barangay road going to the pond was under construction and the traffic people manning the road routed all 4-wheeled vehicles to farm road that was flooded. In fact, the road was barely visible with all the water. Even though my vehicle's ground clearance was a bit high, the water was almost reaching my floorboards. I actually passed by a few sedans and a couple of owner-type jeeps that got stuck at the side of the road.

While driving through the flooded road, I realized that the place looked really promising. It was a perfect snakehead habitat -- water on both sides with lots of vegetation. I will definitely come back to that place when the water subsided.

Anyway, after arriving at Irving's pond, the weather turned and it started to rain. It was a type of rain that promised that it won't stop anytime soon. It was a good thing that the barras loved the rain and they started to get active.

I managed to land a few using hard baits --- a Rapala Husky Jerk and a Duel Hardcore Fin Tail Vibe. The bites were also special because I was able to try a couple of new rods in my arsenal. First was an Skyoard 862E Eging rod (squid fishing) from Majorcraft which didn't felt like a eging rod. It felt more like a seabass or a light shore jigging rod -- which was exactly what I was looking for. With this, I can cast jigs, plugs, and poppers up to 20 grams. My old Daiwa E-gee (which is a real eging rod -- soft and the action was slow) and I had a hard time casting bigger lures with it.

The other rod was a Shimano Scorpion EV. A 6'6" 2-piece rod. EV was supposed to mean Economy Version. The cheaper version of Scorpion XT -- which stands for Extra Tune (or something like that). The EV has cork instead of EVA and the reel seat looked cheap and awful. It also can't stay locked when a reel is mounted on it. The guides are also cheesy. They look like they have SIC inserts but the frames look cheap and they are heavy.  If you whip the rod, the rod felt like Regular Fast instead of FAST and I suspect that it was because of the heavy guides. But in fairness, the rod felt really nice, powerful, and accurate to cast. The blank felt it can subdue a monster snakehead, barra, or mangrove jack. It reminded me of my old Shimano Clarus.

The reason why I got the EV is because I got it really cheap and it is made in Japan. I heard that the XT is not. I heard it was made in Indonesia.  The Scorpion EV will be my other project rod. (I have yet to mount the guides on my Edge rod). I am going to replace the reel seat with a Fuji ECS that I have been keeping for so many years and I will get rid of the huge fore-grip and replace it with an aluminum winding check or maybe a small EVA fore. I will also change all guides to Fuji Titanium SIC. It think it's going to be an awesome rod after that. I am so excited with this build.

This barra fell for a Duel Hardcore Fin Tail Vibe. The rod handled it really well.

The Scorpion didn't even break a sweat when fighting this fish. It took a Rapala Husky Jerk in gold.

My last fish before giving up fishing in the rain. A bigger barra that also fell for the Duel Fintail Vibe