Tasik Temenggor, Perak – 3 Sep 2016
This post… somehow will be the toughest post for me to compose. Yeah, fishing in Belum-Temenggor lake has been really challenging over the past 1 month, but that will not be the main reason why I kept delaying to post this one down. One of the toughest thing to deal with is when you are bound to lose a very special fishing buddy. Life of an Expat can never be too predictable. Doug went on to continue his work in Indonesia last year, another good friend of mine who fell victim to the global economic downturn and stiff economic competition. This year, it is inevitable that Scott Bremner soon will be leaving Malaysia and will be based in Thailand.
It was a surprising news indeed, we felt great for him to be given a new role and opportunity to further himself in his career path. On the other side, all us from Fishyology Team will greatly miss this guy who has light up our fishing outing ever since Jarak 2015. This time Scott and a new comer Peterson will be fishing for 3 days and we hope that fishing over the Temenggor side will be fruitful after a disappointing outing over northern part of Belum.
Day 1 – Southern Temenggor
Pokjan has it all figured out the path of our fishing location for day 1, Pengkalan Feri – Central Temenggor and finally Southern Temenggor near theTilapia Fisheries. Pengkalan Feri of Tasik Temenggor is one of the best place to catch massive Sebarau. They swims in large group and would roam around near the rocky banks, and open water hammering bait-fish as it came across it. It was a welcoming sight as we approach the area. A lot of topwater activity as Sebarau is usually far more active in the morning.
All of us switch to topwater lure and wait for the frenzy to rise up before we cast our lure as close as possible to the target area. There has been a couple of rises and each and every single cast proves to be to far to reach. They would stay out of our lure range, while I’m using a Megabass DogX Coayu Jr Viper Red. Scott already had a couple of misses on his Xdeen top water plug. The Sebarau boiling now seem to be within range, and now its time to use Ima Skimmer. I think this time luck was on my side as all the sudden a Sebarau frenzy appear within meters from the boat, a quick flick of my Ima Skimmer and just 3 twitches later, BOOM! Fish On!
We stayed on, fishing the same area. An hour later, finally the fish has gone away and move further and further out from sight. Soon we travel further down south to a small pathway within Central Temenggor. The water level still going down and almost all of our Sebarau spot were on the ground. They rely heavily on underwater structure, thus without structure it is almost impossible to look for a Sebarau hideout.
The narrow pathway is shaped like a Y, before we reach the intersection, we fished over a small structure and finally Pokjan scored a Toman! The next cast on spoon, Pokjan scored a small Sebarau, a good sign that this could be a good spot. It doesn’t take long when Scott get his spoon underwater and BOOM! Fish On! I didn’t see the bend of the rod, it took a longer time to pump it up. When it surfaces, a huge Sebarau emerge! A full silver body with black spot flaps on the surface of the water. It was even bigger than mine haha!
After we pass the best time to fish for Sebarau. We alter our focus on Toman or Giant Snakehead. To locate them is one thing, to place our lure is one thing and to hope for the fish to take our deep cranking lure is another thing. We give it a go at some of the Toman rises but non were interested with our lure. I had one best shot on an Emperor Snakehead. To “Walk the Dog” the new Megabass DogX Coayu Jr were easy but the fish were to slow to strike the lure and it misses twice!! Ergh!
It was already 1.30pm and move on to stopped over for lunch. We head to one of Island in Temenggor lake. JPS Island used to be a great base camp, but it seems deserted as visitors and anglers no longer use this place to camp for the night.
The heat was so intense that day. After we had lunch and rest for 1 hour. We continue our quest to bring down a trophy size Giant Snakehead. We travel further down South. Close to the Tilapia breeding area, we came a cross a small bay. It is a beautiful place, like a small garden of greenish mossy lake banks. The small pillars made from sunken logs just makes the whole scenery so beautiful. At first it seems all quiet, but then 1 massive rise can be seen further down the bay.
We started to try out for Sebarau and dropped our spoon closed to structure. As we were fishing, a huge splash just erupted at the back of the boat. The Toman were late on its charge to slam Pokjan spoon! Even I have a moment, when a 2-3kg Toman rushed out from a structure and try to take my spoon! It is dreadful to watch the Toman followed closely to the lure but just misses out on taking it!!! The water is crystal clear and we can see it clearly the Toman swimming around 3-4ft deep. More rises came into the picture, and we know this place is filled with Toman! as things gets exciting, the cloud turned dark and heavy rain pour down on us. It rained for about an hour and but the Toman still rise and rise for air.
Pokjan tried all his lure on the tackle box, manage to get one take on a Buzzbait but did not come through clean. Close to a fallen tree near a structure, 2 massive Toman rises quickly for fresh air. The body was pitch black with dark green camo stripe on it. It was huge, it is considered to be well over 10kg. Even of the fish took our lure, to muscle the fish out from the structure it seems almost impossible! My last try proven to be out luck, as yet again a 4-5kg size Toman just followed through. Painful.. Painful.. It is getting dark and raining. We are still 30 minutes away from the jetty, thus we called it day and hope tomorrow will be a better one.
Day 2 – Things just got tougher..
It is easy to summarize Day 2, we skunked haha. We have been travelling around Temenggor looking for both Sebarau and Giant Snakehead. As we fished along the main Temenggor lake, it was just tough to place the lure right on the money. I don’t think we put a foot wrong today, its just the fish weren’t really biting. We can clearly see Toman is around, but to get them to bite was tough.
Clearly we need to improve our approach. The usage of crank-bait will be the main priority as we need to land ourselves a good trophy Toman. Otherwise we might end-up skunking day 3. I checked Scott lure box and saw 2 Evergreen Combat Crank, size 400 and 320. This will be the only lure he need tomorrow and hopefully we will do better.
Day 3 – One Final Chance!
Morning of the final day, it is time to go out there and try our very best to at-least match or outscore Scott’s last Toman. We did get to a great start in the morning. With me and Scott scored 2 juvenile Sebarau. Morning activity were frenzy thus we decided to stay there for a while. We misses a few fish in the area. Equipped with my Ima Skimmer, it exploded near our boat, thanks to a late surge of Toman who decided to whack the lure last minute.
The Sebarau I caught has a huge teeth mark on its body. It looks like Toman were on the fish and almost bite it in half! Luckily the fish survive and safely released. Time is running out and morning about to end soon. We decided to moved on and head to the narrow pathway on Central Temenggor to try our luck there.
This time, finally we get some composure from Scott and Peterson. A system to avoid casting lure blindly which in the end will spooked the Toman. Scott now able to place his lure at the right spot. It is a gut wrenching feeling when we are about to use one expensive Crankbait. There is no guarantee that we might by able to get back if its snag underwater. 1 cast.. 2 cast.. BOOM! Solid hookup from Scott Bremner. It was a swift battle as the fish were able to free itself from the hook.
We moved on to a second spot, the place where 2 massive Toman were courting each other. We had it a go there, again it is just hard to annoy them and entice both of the Toman to smack our lure. One of the massive Toman decided to rise and splash his tail within 1-2 feet away from Scott. I guess its the middle finger for us lol..
Evening session was even tougher. Heavy rain come pouring down on Belum-Temenggor Lake. We try to out run the rain but it was just not possible to do so. Raining will stopped Toman from rising to the surface. Basically we were not sure where to head to this evening. We locked on to some Toman but it takes a longer time for them to rise. Again after hours of trying still we did not catch any.
One final spot bring us closer to the Banding Jetty. We travel further north, opposite the main Banding Jetty to try our luck. We can see some rises and we all did our very best to try and seduce the Toman to take our lure. One particular moment, Scott were able to accurately cast his Combat Crank at a Toman, but his line went over a log.. when he started to retrieve the line, the Toman decided to have a go at the lure and one strong pull just snap the line easily. Scott were so pissed to the max! It is just not our day.
That was Scott final chance and soon we moved on and return home to base. It is just unreal to not be able to land atleast 1 Toman but this is fishing.. I really wish we could extend more time, but it was getting darker and we need to go back home. The sun is slowly dimming itself in the horizon, painted with purplish blue sky. The final flicker of life’s amber..
We were travelling back to jetty and I watch Scott and I felt a mixed feeling inside me. This could be our last outing together. If we look back from his first freshwater outing and now.. He has grown so much and I have thought him everything I know from day 1. Clearly he had all figured out on lure selection, rod and reel setup and even lure presentation. From a complete zero FW knowledge to a respectable level. Hopefully we will be back next year, who knows. All I care is that each and every single moment in either FW or SW outing will be cherished forever. The rest of Fishyology Team wishes you all the best and hopefully our post will help you relive your journey with us 🙂