Sg Lukut, Negeri Sembilan – 16 APR 2016
Our first estuary outing of the year, fishing along Sg Lukut, Negeri Sembilan that flows into the busiest straits in the world, Malacca Straits. An area covered with Mangrove trees and palms, a safe haven to some of the estuary game species like Barramundi and Mangrove Jacks. Personally, I’ve embark on estuary outing countless times, however landing the infamous king of Estuary, The Barramundi is not an easy task. This trip were planned a month earlier by Fadzly and the tide has to be right. It takes more than just getting the right equipment and lure selection, the tide has to be right. Low tide, a day before or after lowest tide will be the best time to go.
At first we planned for 2 boats but in the end there is only 4 of us, myself, Fadzly, Mahfuz and Mizan. I arrived at the jetty at 7.00am. Get all the stuff ready, ice, drinks and breakfast. We leave the jetty around 8.00am, a little bit too late but we have all day to test our luck. We knew the tides were right as we can see large groups of anglers would head to “Kelong” or water raft that are station 1 or 2 miles off the shore. Snappers and Threadfins are some of the sought after trophies for local anglers.
We started our day casting our lures around a sunken ship that are grounded at the opening of Sg Lukut bay. It looks like a promising spot with some surface activity and hopefully for some tarpon action. I guess it has been years for Fadzly to commandeer a boat, we run aground in shallow area haha. It takes us some time to get out of the situation but soon we were back in action. Trolling is next in line, shallow divers from 4-6 meters cranks were used to hunt barramundi or mangrove jacks. We start our trolling session from the bay and travel inland. We need to troll as close the the mangrove tree line but after several upstream and downstream session, we did not get a single bite. We change our approach by casting our lure along the river bank, feet by feet. Thanks to the surging tide, we let it drive our boat upstream.
Water were rising rapidly at we would drift the boat along the mangrove banks and start our lure fishing session. About an hour from the coastline, finally we reached the deepest part of the river. We came across a fallen tree, and we started to investigate the structure and all the sudden something slapped Mizan’s topwater lure.
Mizan did send his lure several times and it keeps chasing and slapping the lure but not able to hooked it. I knew it was an Archerfish, so I switched to a smaller lure to get a good chance of hooking it. It doesn’t took long, once the lure reached the spot, several winds later it took it haha. On a light tackle, small size fish can be fun but it does feels a bit heavy on this one. It fights hard too. As it surface, clearly it was a Archerfish, what surprises us is the size of that fish! Biggest I’ve seen before and a beautiful fish. After some quick shots for the press, it was safely released to its natural habitat 🙂
We head downstream again and cast our lure along the river banks one feet at a time. As we approach a corner, I notice something was hammering baitfish just at the edge of the mangrove tree. Once we reach the area, all three of us focused entire on a small opening in between mangrove tree root that acts like a safe area for small baitfish. I wasn’t too sure what lure to use and this time I stick with Senses Savior 50s. I think Mahfuz and Mizan both on a topwater lure or shallow minnow. Fadzly cast his Nilmaster 7cm Minnow, and it was placed inside the mangrove tree roots. As the lure were retrieved, probably less than 1-2ft from the drop zone, BOOM! Something big took it.
The battle was intense, Fadzly used 10-20lb rod rating, strong enough to stop Barramundi or Mangrove Jacks power runs. As it came along side of the boat, I never though today I can actually saw a wild Barramundi being caught on a lure. Awesome!! The last time I saw a wild Barramundi was about 6-7 years ago. To finally catch it out in the wild, was an awesome feeling. Fadzly was like a newborn star, with cameras pointed out to his face haha. 50cm+ specimen was a great achievement indeed, after a few shots, it was safely released in our cooler haha 🙂 KEEPER!
We continue our journey and stopped over a huge barge that are parked along river banks. Archerfish loves to roam the area and I manage to hook another one but it was auto released. Both Mahfuz and Fadzly had another two chance of scoring either Barramundi and Mangrove Jack. The fish hit both lure but did not connect properly. That was the only chance given to us, and happy with today’s result. It was a positive outing, especially on understanding how the game is played. Each cast has to be perfect, one wrong move, the lure will end-up on top of the mangrove tree or stuck at the mangrove root. It happens countless times but it gets better and better once we get used to it. Sg Lukut definitely has great potential for Barramundi fishing. If only conservation and protection of the environment can be stepped up a bit, maybe we can see Barramundi can thrive in this waters.