Sg. Papan, Royal Belum State Park – 13 FEB 2016
Finally, the moment of truth has come, Scott first adventure outing in Royal Belum, Perak. We have been toying with the idea of exploring freshwater fishing, but didn’t really materialized last year. I did remember Scott were talking in Jarak that he wanted to try Freshwater fishing, so I get it all planned out for February. Scott shown he is really keen in exploring FW as he bought a brand new Daiwa Fuego bait caster for this purpose.
2 weeks to prepare all the gears and terminal tackle, finally the day has come. I love FW fishing as it is more than just fishing, it is the journey that makes it sweet. We leave KL as early as 3.00pm and reach Gerik, Perak at 7.00pm. We had our early dinner and stop by a local fishing shop. We bought all our last minute lure and single hooks and set off to Pulau Banding. Leaving civilization behind, it took us 40 minutes to reach the jetty. As we were driving, we came across a group of Elephant, wondering along the twisty road. Scott were amazed by the rare sighting of asian Elephant, I wish I could stop over for him to take photos, but safety has to come first. We reach the jetty around 9.00pm and waited for Pok Jan to pick is up to board the Casuarina. Soon I receive a call, stating that he is been caught up at the hospital. It was not until 2.00am when he arrive, we board the Casuarina and I just fall asleep the moment I set my head on the bed haha.
Started off with Lubuk Y, but the water level has risen up to 6m.. thus it will be hard to target the area where the fish lurks.
The next thing I knew, Pok Jan called me and he said its time to begin our day 1 fishing. Wake up, had my shower, prepare a simple breakfast for all of us and once I packed all my fishing gear, its time to go fishing!. We started off with lubuk Y, one of the famous place in Royal Belum. What surprises me is the water level were a bit extremely high and it is very clear. We can actually see 3-4 ft below water and the vegetation which were now underwater provides a good cover for predator ambushing its pray.
I know spoon ain’t gonna work here, so I switched to Rapala TDD9 GF and started casting right in the middle of the small Y shaped pathway. It was too deep.. 6m under water while the target could have been another 6m underwater.. TDD9 is not gonna reach the target area. We decided to head out and entered Royal Belum. As usual, we visit the military post for clarification and form submission plus we visit the Royal Belum Ranjer checkpoint to submit our permit before we could begin our session.
Our next spot was very near to the Ranger post, an underwater log provides a good cover for Sebarau. Its time to get to work, as usual we only use 7g spoon for this sort of application. Cast out let it sinks all the way to the bottom. Once it reach bottom, 1 Jerk and speed all the way up! Crank the reel as fast as possible! It doesn’t take long when I scored the first fish of the day. It was a great feeling to able to catch them. I showed how its done, then it was Scott turn to finally land one in!
We keep on exploring possible pathway along the sunken tree and it was right on with my Second fish, it took it quite high from the lake floor. This one feels a bit a hard fighter and several dashes deep down the cover proves that this is slightly a bigger fish. Once it’s on the surface, yeah baby! A nice 1kg specimen! We keep on fishing at the area, moved further north chasing a swarm of Toman youngling’s. The Sebarau went after the younglings but the mother is nowhere to be seen. We tried several type of crank bait and top water, but our effort is fruitless.
First Sebarau of 2016!
A bigger specimen, taken down on a light rod! So much fun 🙂
Scott and his first Sebarau!
We switch spot and head to a location call Sg Papan. Which is one of the main river system that connects with the Belum-Temenggor lake. It was getting hotter and this is the best time to fish for Toman. The high water level and underwater vegetation proves to be a great cover for Toman and Sebarau. We have several misses when we cast close to the grass and trees that are literally at the edge of the water. Several huge Toman followed my lure and Scott but they don’s seem to be proactive enough to take the lure.
This is weird.. haha.. Anything that are associate with Toman is weird haha. Once I cast my Raden Inten Special Topwater plug at a floating log. Right after 2 seconds, boom! Missed it, Boom again! Missed and finally one last strike I had a proper hook up. But that was a baby Giant Snake Head. A size that is not intimidating as its given name. We continue on fishing, casting every single corner we can imagine. I tested several small opening in between the grass and all the sudden a proper take on my Topwater plug! I was on a light rod, but I did whack the rod so that I get a proper hook up. Seconds later it was gone.. Darn it! Can’t seem to land one decent Toman!!
The condition is getting hotter, we decided to take a break at Kem Sg Papan. one of the 5 main camp that are situated in Royal Belum. Scott has been struggling with his baitcaster. Now is a good time for him to improve. This is basically a crash course outing for Scott, using a spinning outfit would make it easier for him but there is no harm in learning BC. We stop over and rested for a while. Luckily there is a Toman near by and Scott tried his best to throw every single lure at it but as usually they are just freakin smart. As Scott progresses, he can now cast heavier lure at a much more better distance. I took the chance to roam the area and see what Sg Papan has to offer.
Baby Giant Snake Head, not as intimidating as its given name 🙁
The Cooking area, equipped with sink and water.
The famous hanging bridge of Kem Sg Papan, and Scott training in the distance!
We started our evening session focusing on outer Sg Papan, an area of interconnecting small river system that goes into the Belum-Temenggor Lake. If its during dry season, this area can’t be access and fallen trees, dried leaves and floating log provides a good cover for Toman. The only thing is there are no where to be seen. We continue to scout the area, but then decided to head back to the main area of Sg Papan.
The sky is getting darker due to incoming rain. It is a welcome sign after hours of standing underneath the sun. The winds picked up and we parked in a shallow and grassy area. Scott and Pok Jan continue to cast top water lure like Sebbie and DogX Jr. While I popped with the Starlit GOGL. After countless tries, finally Pok Jan had a strike. He sets the hook in and it was our first Toman of the day. It has taken the lure just besides the boat. A welcome sight of the illusive Toman.
That fish got us working again. Casting our lure on every angle and every corner. As the boat approach the shore, ~10-20m. I notice a small opening in the grass and I casted my Raden Inten Special topwater lure. Plup Plup, BOOM!! A strike!! I hooked it properly this time and I got in the bag. I was hoping for a Toman, as it comes closer,a silver figure came up.. A Sebarau!! Great stuff!
Outer Sg Papan, small pathway of interconnecting river
Years of experience has been to put to great use, Pok Jan with our first decent size Toman of the day haha
Sebarau on Topwater plug.. Awesome! Taken on the Raden Inten Topwater plug!
We waited for a while hoping for some more action in the area.. but that was the last fish landed. We decided to head back to the first spot where we landed 3 Sebarau. The boat dashes off to the area and we reach few minutes later. It was getting dark and we have merely 10-20 minutes before we ran out of lights.
I cast my Axz Island spoon, a reel in as fast as I could, another Sebarau has taken the spoon! Scott and Pok Jan had some few good moment on popper and pencil lure as Sebarau misses it when it tries to took the lure. I switch to my Rapala TDD9 GF, it was my first cast near the area where the Sebarau miss the topwater lure. A Sebarau again took it and bring home our last fish of the day! It was a great outing but could have been a bit better if we landed some of the Toman and Sebarau missed earlier. Tomorrow is another day, Scott has his casting ability now tuned to perfection. Hopefully tomorrow will be another great result.
Sebarau fallen for AxZ Island Spoon 7g
Sebarau on Rapala TDD9 GF! Last one of the day