Karang Luas, Rrompin – 31 July 2015
Eddie texted me earlier this month to help him guide one of his fishing group for 2 days. Since RPBIC is just around the corner, its good to be there during the opening season just to add more fishing time in Rompin, Pahang. We all set off on 30th July 2015 and picked up 2 group of Japanese angler and head out to Rompin. Eddie has been doing guided fishing trip to Rompin and it is good to maybe learn a few tricks on how to effectively catch this gentle giants. Rompin was just 3-4 hours drive from KL and currently until the arrival of monsoon season, Sailfish or Billfish will roam the waters of Rompin and up all the way to Pekan.
August until October, anglers from local and international will travel to Rompin, Pahang to get their trophy catches like Sailfish, Black Marlin, Dorado, Cobia and Spanish Mackerel. It is such an amazing sight to watch people from all walks of race, nationality and age will flock the small angling town of Rompin. We’ve arrived at our home stay and prepare all our stuff and hopefully tomorrow will be a great fishing day to our client. RPBIC is just around the corner and it is good to add more fishing time in this part of Malaysia and hopefully we can learn new things and experiment with different rigs just to add more technique and brush up my skills in the tournament.
A unique experience for visitors, stop over to sample Giant Bananas! Haha!
Today I handle a couple of newly weds, Yama San and Meow Chan, Japanese and Thai couple on their honeymoon in Rompin, Pahang. I find it interesting for honeymooners to spend their time in Rompin fishing for sails, but what the heck its time to go out and do some great fishing! The journey from Kuala Rompin to Karang Luas takes a hour plus and we make a couple of stop over for live bait.
Your normal paper sabiki would do the trick and we collected more than 20 live bait for starters. Its a relief that live bait is quit easy to find. There are some days live bait are a difficult to find plus on this day, only a few boat ventured out to sea. We press on further to scout for sea birds flocking the surface of the sea for fish. It is the main indicator that sails are around. It reminds me the same gameplay in Port Dickson when we look for Queen Fish and today our main target is Sails. Since today was a specilized trip, fishing for sails on lure. Chasing after birds is vital to ensure the anglers have a better chance in presenting the popper or stickbaits to this gentle giants.
We didn’t start well this morning, we had two strikes on stick-baits but line and leader breakage hampered our morning effort. We were quick to rig a live bait and cast in the school of sailfish surfacing near to the boat. It was not long when Yama-San finally hooked his first sail an on his way to tango with his trophy catch!
Saltiga Dorado Slider! Our choice!
Rie and Yama San during the first hour of fishing, lost two sails on stickbait! 🙁
After two loss due to line brake and leader break, finally fish on on live bait!
Beautiful yet elegant sailfish finally landed 15 minutes later, it was a beautiful specimen and a healthy one!
After we landed our first sailfish, surface activity seems to stop completely. We couldn’t see any birds around thus its hard to lock on the exact location of sails. Yama-san decided to switch our attention from sails to Ikayaki.
We head out to the nearest Unjam and the effective lure required to catch “Ika” is called a squid-jig. A rig is required to tie a weight and the lure so the lure sinks to the bottom of the sea floor faster. It doesn’t take long to get their attention and soon Yama-san have a good take on his rod and slowly pull it up!
I also take this opportunity to fish for good quality fish like Kerisi or Crimson Jobfish which is literally every where in our fishing spot. Your normal sabiki would do the trick and on average we can catch 20-30 good size fresh kerisi :). This guys loves to eat “Ika” for sashimi and Yama-san manage to catch 2, that’s a good haul for dinner :).
Yama-san is a good angler, excel in fishing for sails and squids haha!
Squid or the Japanese called it Ikayaki! This particular species is well known for its powerful water blow the fend off predators and humans lol
Yama-san taunting with his catch! Sashimi tonight!
Kerisi or crimson jobfish.. my favorite haha.. fry them till crisp! 🙂
Bludger Trevally.. Sweet 🙂
Enough with the small fishy, its time to turn up the engine and chase after sailfish. We zeroed in to a flock of birds and immediately we spotted 4-5 sails swirling around whats seems to be a huge group of anchovies. I pass my favorite top water plug, FCL Labo CSP 160 and after a short moment, the sailfish went for it and Yama-san have it under control and properly set the hook.
The fight was brief 10-15 minutes, and we scored our 2nd sailfish of the day. Objective achived for Yama-san but just to be sure its not a fluke, we set off and continue to chase the school of sailfish. The technique is pretty simple and the presentation of the bait is important. Sailfish is a precision hunter and usually attack a school of baitfish. It is important to cast our lure just outside the school of baitfish or dead center and slowly work the lure away from the bait. This tempts the sailfish most of the time and increase our chance.
All our catches are handle with care and safely released back to the sea 🙂
Mimicking the lure as an injured fish is the best way to do it. Slow pace stroke gives the sailfish a chance to check the bait and if they decided to go for it surely they will take it. Diving poppers or pencils is a good ammo in your arsenal as it helps anglers to present the lure effectively. They way I see it is just basic predatory instinct or characteristics of sailfish. Surely a bait that swims outside the school of fish and it is injured are the one that will be the first to be picked off. Its easy target. Some anglers miss this part and bet only on the action of the lure and usually stroked at fast pace. Most of the time they came back empty handed.
Yama-san first sailfish on top water plug! FCL Labo CSP 160! Omedetoo Gozaimasu!!
Minutes later, Yama-san back in action! This time on a different pencil lure! Shimano Stella 8000FA paired with Hots Gipang Rompin Edition!
Another beauty! Elegant fish and Yama-san second Sail on lure!
A proper hook-up reduces the fish injuries, yet again this is a good healthy specimen!
We reach our final hour and popping session has to stop due to technical faulty of the fishing reel haha. We continue our sailfish fishing using live baits and we ended with another 2 sails.. Such an awesome day with a total tally of 5 sails and another boat got 4. A great experience for me to get involve in what is called a close quarter fishing for sailfish which is vital for RPBIC 2015 just to up our game and knowledge. We ended our day 1 on 4.30 am and reach the jetty at 6.00pm. A long way back but today was a great run indeed. Tomorrow another one more day be sure to check our latest post!
5 landed sails from a possible 8.. great stuff!
Last catch of the day!
GAME FISH INFO
(Shaw & Nodder, 1791); ISTIOPHORIDAE FAMILY; also called spindlebeack, bayonetfish
Inhabits tropical and subtropical waters near land masses, usually in depths over 6 fathoms, but occasionally caught in lesser depths and from ocean piers. Pelagic and migratory, sailfish usually travel alone or in small groups. They appear to feed mostly in midwater along the edges of reefs or current eddies.
Its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. The second dorsal fin is very small. The bill is longer than that of the spearfish, usually a little more than twice the length of the elongated lower jaw. The vent is just forward of the first anal fin. The sides often have pale, bluish gray vertical bars or rows of spots.
Its fighting ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the sailfish to the saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is considered a light tackle species. Fishing methods include trolling with strip baits, plures, feathers or spoons, as well as live bait fishing and kite fishing. The most action is found where sailfish are located on or near the surface where they feed.
Recent acoustical tagging and tracking experiments suggest that this species is quite hardy and that survival of released specimens is good
Source : https://www.igfa.org/species/65-sailfish-pacific.aspx?CommonName=65-sailfish-pacific.aspx