Takahiro Monster Kiss Malaysia Adventure – 4 JAN 2019
Fishyology started the year with Mr Takahiro from Japan. He was on a mission to explore the Malaysia fishing scene with all three species (Sebarau, Giant Snakehead and Peacock Bass) was on his bucket list. Fishing for Giant Snakehead and Peacock Bass can be challenging because of the changing weather in January. Monsoon is still kicking our ass out on the east coast and definitely, the wind and rain will spill over towards the Northern Perak region. The timing for Takahiro was a bit off as he arrives on his first day of fishing. Friday morning, driving off to Perak can be a bit hectic because of the traffic but finally, we did manage to start our day for the afternoon session.
Takahiro brought a couple of Monster Kiss travel fishing rod for this trip. Last time it was Michio Sanada who introduced me to this fine fishing rod, it was quite light and truly elastic and strong enough to stop the brute strength of Giant Snakehead. However what caught my attention was lighter version than Sanada-san DearMonster MX-Infiniti Rod, called the DearMonster VALITUDO MV-55. Hopefully, those gear will be bashed by a worthy opponent and we are off to our first stop, Kg Beng, Perak. One thing special about Kg Beng is that you have a chance to catch all three main freshwater gamefish in the same spot. Although it rained heavily on the road to Kg Beng, the water was quite clear and the level was very low. Gives us a good chance to catch some good size, Peacock Bass.
Our first spot handed Takahiro’s first fish, a juvenile Giant Snakehead. Shallow and clear water was the perfect condition for a topwater lure. I notice there aren’t many minnows or crankbait in Takahiro’s lure box, as expected he wanted to catch one only on a topwater lure. 2nd cast straight on top of some underwater weed yielded him a massive strike. Too bad he was high on adrenalin and fought the Toman too hard, the hook came off when the fish was by the side of the boat. Auto release haha. The first spot was quite good with a couple more strike but the take did not connect properly.
He had a couple of hit during the first day and Taka I can say hooked on to Juvenile Giant Snakehead. Not a dream start but at least we did some good recon throughout the spot and tomorrow morning we are just going to revisit and pick up from where we left on day 1. Had a quick shower and the water is very cold. Mr Lan cooked us some Sambal Prawn and Vege for dinner. I used to come here in a large group, so today’s dinner was quiet and brief. Slept early as today was a long day and hoping tomorrow will be a better day.
Next morning we continue to go fishing at the same spot to score Takahiro’s first Peacock Bass. I guess Peacock Bass fishing in Malaysia was different from his last experience in Brazil, Amazonas. I learn a lot from him especially his experience fishing in Brazil. He told me that in Brazil the peacock bass was larger and you have to use large topwater lure and retrieve it at a faster rate. Here in Malaysia we only have the Butterfly Peacock Bass variant, not the mighty Temensis. Moving on to our first spot, Takahiro finally scored his Peacock Bass. This time he was a bit composed and scored the first fish of the day.
We stayed at the same spot as we knew a Toman is guarding its Toman fry. We came across the group and tirelessly tried our best to get it to strike the lure. We used different lure and even in shallow water, the Toman just not aggressive enough to go for the lure. We moved on to Chenderoh section. It is going to be my first time in this section of the lake. We moved across the Perak River and reach an intersection that heads into Chenderoh. At the junction, there is an abandoned resort called Suka-Suka resort. I’ve read about it in Aznir Malik’s book years ago and couldn’t believe my eyes it is still there. It’s not abandoned, the premise is still well maintained but I don’t think it’s open for guests. We pushed on and came across a patch full of water lily. The spot looks promising but no luck.
We head back to our base and we stopped by at one last spot. This time it was on fire. Manage to get 4 strikes on a topwater lure. Missed 2 and 1 early hookup and luckily got 1 in the bag. It was a juvenile Toman, certainly something to smile for this morning session. We landed it and took a photo for Takahiro memory here in Kg Beng.
We bid farewell to Kg Beng. Certainly, we could have hoped for a better result, but that just how it goes sometimes. We certainly had a lot of opportunities but the conversion rate was poor haha. Nonetheless, we continue to our next destination which is Gerik. The last town before driving up 44 miles to Royal Belum. Japanese have always known for its respect attitude towards others especially coming here to Malaysia. Along the way, Taka-san told me that he was having a hard time enjoying local food. I guess tempoyak or sambal doesn’t suite Taka’s taste bud. Luckily he told me early about this and straightaway when to KFC for dinner and buy a bucket for lunch tomorrow. He felt relief after dinner and hoping tomorrow we can end the day with some good result in Royal Belum.
Royal Belum Day 3
We only had day to get the job done and boy the pressure is on. We knew the Sebarau is biting now and we just had to make a good run for it. We travelled about an hour from the Tasik Banding Public Jetty and arrived at our first spot. We head deep into an intersection of hills that forms a narrow lake area. It was still a bit dark and cold but all the sudden we could clearly hear splashing on the surface. Sebarau is definitely feeding and frenzy chasing small baitfish.
We give it a go and it was as easy as cast-retrieve-strike! Almost every time the lure hits the water! Takahiro was so happy that he accomplished what he came here for. To catch all three of Malaysia’s famous freshwater game fish! Blessed that over three days he can make this happen. We tried all sort of lures, from spoons to topwater. They keep on hitting and we keep on scoring. By 10 am we had about 22 Sebarau safely caught and released. We make our way deeper in the intersection and Takahiro was still fired up to keep a good tally for the third day. One thing about Japs that they don’t give up easily. I know three days have been hard on your arms and wrist. Keep on casting and working that topwater lure. God is gracious enough to reward those who work hard. Takahiro’s Heddon Spook too a big hit!!
The battle was intense! We thought it was a big Sebarau that came up and has the guts to hammer that large Heddon Spook. To make it more interesting, it had to hit Takahiro’s lightest setup! Was surprised by the way the rod bends and absorb the pressure. He knew that this is going to be probably his last chance of getting decent fish in this 3-day adventure in Malaysia. He kept it cool and under control but still maintaining the upper hand throughout the battle. Finally, the fish gave up and rises up from underneath our boat. It was a Giant Snakehead!
We were happy to end our third day with this beautiful catch and list of species. Takahiro’s was just so happy that we were able to battle this magnificent fish and grateful he gets the job done when it matters. He had another chance later that day but the fish broke his wired leader! And that marks the end of his three-day journey here in Malaysia. As a team to be able to fill his bucket list was a proud moment for us. At the end of the day, it was the journey that matters and we knew that this one was going to be his best one throughout his fishing career.