Natural Exotic Fishing Pond 101
A day after I came back from the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge 2014. I receive a text message from my blog reader Mr Rizwan. He wanted to take take his son fishing and wanted to look for a guide and rent some fishing equipment. This would be his first fishing outing with his son and his last outing was 2-3 years back. Since on the 16th is a public holiday “Malaysia Day” so I decided to guide them and teach his son some of the fundamentals of fishing. I suggested the Natural Exotic Fishing Pond as it is a great place for sports fishing. We have agreed to meet up at 9am and hopefully this post will be a great reference for Mr Riz and Taufik. Since this is their first proper fishing outing, we will start with the basic preparation that I did a day before we head out fishing.
The first step is to decide the location of our fishing spot and what type of species that are stocked at the chosen location. Since we are heading to Natural Exotic Fishing Pond, I know that they stocked exotic species like the Asian Redtail Catfish, Amazonian Catfish, Aligator Gar, Arapaima, Pacu, Sultan Fish, Wallago, Mekong Catfish, Chao Praya Catfish, Rohu and Carp. The first 5 species I mentioned are carnivorous meaning that they would eat other fish. To understand the diet of each species will be the next step in our fishing preparation.
The second step is to understand the diet of each species. We knew the first 5 are carnivorous species thus using live bait or bait from fish cutlets or any protein base bait would give us a chance in capturing any of the five species. Thus I’ve decided to use chopped catfish for bait. So the remaining species are known to eat fish feed or ground bait. There are hundreds of combination in mixing ground bait and fish feed. This requires testing and research on the possible bait combination that might work at natural exotic fishing pond.
Next we will select the suitable fishing equipment and terminal tackle for Natural Exotic Fishing Pond (NEFP). Selecting a 10-30lb rod and 3000 size reel (Daiwa) with 30lb main line strength is very well suited for NEFP. Our bait selection is catfish cutlets thus a “Fish Finder Rig” is the most suitable fishing rig that suits our bait selection. Terminal tackle that we need to tie the fishing rig is a 50lb Fluorocarbon shock leader, No 5/0 Circle Hook, Swivel and an Egg Type Sinker.
Fish Finder Rig
Circle hook is a type of fish hook which is sharply curved back in a circular shape. It has become widely used among anglers in recent years because the hook generally catches more fish and is rarely swallowed. Since the circle hook catches the fish on the lips at the corner of its mouth, it usually decreases the mortality rates of released fish as compared to J-hook (like O’Shaughnessy or Octopus hooks) which are often swallowed by the fish, causing damage to the gills or vital organs. Once the rig is ready, then we are ready to do some serious fishing!
Fish Finder Rig Video
We started our fishing session around 9am at stayed near hut no5. The first one hour we had only few moment that the fish is checking our bait but did not completely take it. Then then we move closer to hut 6 and this time a smaller chunk bait fish are used to make it easier for the fish to eat the bait. After the inital cast it was less then 5 minutes, an unknown species took the bait and darted towards the restaurant. I took the initiative in hooking the fish before I pass the rod to Taufik. The hook was set properly and its up to Taufik to bring the fish home. Keeping the right balance of fishing drag is the key in fighting a fish. Its like Taichii, we need to feel when the right moment to pull and reel in the fish. Taufik has this feel right away, and I am surprised. Some first timer would just muscle and reel in the line which increase the tension of the line. To much tension would break the line. Although he still needs to work on his composure but he will learn it over time 🙂
Fish On! 🙂
His first Asian Redtail Catfish, decent size and a great start for the day
After the first secured specimen, they are all fired up for the next one. We cast at the same location and it was not long when another fish hit the bait. Taufik second of the day and this time the fish fights aggressively a sign that this is a huge specimen. It took 5 minutes to land the fish and it is another Asian Redtail Catfish!
Time to work my young Padawan! haha
Setting two rods enable us to place the bait at a different location and at a wider search area. Another bait was placed near the restaurant. Large species of Amazon Catfish are known to lurk underneath the restaurant. If the fish took the bait, it will be tricky as they would have a great opportunity to break free by tangling the line with the underwater structure. Twice we had our line taken underneath the structure as the fish was to strong and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The third time, we had everything under control and Taufik manage to ensure the fish did not swim away to its freedom haha. This time was a large Pacu!
Have the time of his life! hehe
Pacu! Great Shot!
To complete the day, we landed another 2 Amazon Catfish and lost another 2. The that got away underneath the restaurant was very huge! I reckon a 15kg specimen or even larger. All in all, it was a great day of fishing for Riz and his son. I hope we can meet up again for another session and I really hope young generation like Taufik can one day become a great angler and wishes all the best. Fishing is a lifelong learning process. Every single trip is unique and we can learn bit of new tricks every single time we went out fishing. Keep on learning and if there is anything, feel free to email me 🙂 All the best my Padawan!
Asian Redtail Catfish!
Second of the day, Asian Redtail Catfish close to 8kg I guess
Pacu! Great Shot!
Huge Amazonian Catfish!
12 year old kiddo wants to fish like a Pro!
Daddy’s turn! haha! Final Amazonian Catfish!