Wow, what a trip that turned out to be. I hope it was a good read for you all. So, what was different with this trip and why was it a success? What did I do differently? Let me answer these questions below.

Well, let’s start at the beginning. I didn’t overthink this trip. Sometimes as anglers we have this thing where we like to overthink it. On this trip, my first let’s say proper trip fishing in Malaysia I couldn’t find any information on where we were fishing as there are just so many ponds or disused Tin mines. Only D knew the location. So I was able to just sit back take a breath and fish to my strengths. That being power fishing. I like fast-moving baits Rapalas, Spinnerbaits. Fast-moving surface baits always on the move covering water, fast locating fish. That’s where the biggest difference is between Tasik Prima and Air Kuning. Tasik Prima is a finesse fishing hot spot. Those fish receive huge amounts of pressure day in day out and they have seen every type of bait and are wise to it. Air Kuning; well the place we fished gets pressure but not on Tasik Primas scale. Also, with Air Kuning, there was a lot more vegetation which gives the fish cover to escape from the heat and just hide if it wants to.  

Seeing the place, we were fishing for the first time, my lure selection was playing to my strengths Spinnerbait, Rapala rattling deep diver; those were the two I caught on. I did try other lures but continued to go back to the old faithful. That’s the thing with fishing we can have a mountain of tackle but out of all that tackle, there will be only a few that we will use regularly; our confidence lures. That’s my advice to you, have whatever tackle you want from whatever brand or all brands but learn how to use them. Build your confidence up in those baits by continually fishing with them, trying different things with them till you find out what works for you with those baits. 

I learnt a lot on this trip from D finding a Fry ball, looking for the tell signs of a Snakehead coming up for air and learning about the very young fry ball. The baby Snakeheads are red and as they get older, they change colour but even after their parents have left them to fend for themselves they remain in that fry ball for security until they get big enough to fend for themselves

Fishing is fun, rewarding and frustrating all rolled into one. Some days you will go out and catch well, maybe even get a record, other times it’s a fun day then there are the frustrating days where you just can’t figure them out, these are the days when we learn the most about fishing but also about ourselves as a person.

Until the next blog thanks for reading tight lines and stay safe.





Chapter 4- Air Kuning, Perak with a turn of her head and thrash of her tail.

As the dawn of the last day begins, I awake to the sound of my alarm clock. I don’t have to get up to know that my foot with its Arthritis and CRPS is in a bad state, but I am determined to make the most of the last day. To be fare only half a days’ fishing we have before we have to drive back to Kuala Lumpur. Foot locked in its ankle support I grab my stuff, pack my bag and head downstairs to the truck. Every step I take is like walking on sharp nails; the skin on my foot feels like its burning. How I love this “not” !!!!!. The pain I feel from my foot is starting to drain me. I am a lot slower than I was yesterday but I am going to beat this today. Stubborn by nature I am using it to get me through this.

Loaded into the truck we head to the Mamak to go get some breakfast, having the same as we did yesterday. This time we took a slower approach and just relaxed at the Mamak. I think D could see I was struggling and I was so grateful to be able to just sit for a bit, enabling me to get used to feeling what I was feeling from my foot. As we finish up at the Mamak we walk to the truck the pain in my foot is still there but its’ slowly getting better. We make our way to the lake

The dirt road we go down is wet and slippery as it had rained during the night. Approaching the lake, the sun was starting to rise, the mosquitoes are a-plenty ready and waiting to try to get a free meal. We unload the boat carrying it to the water’s edge and start loading it up. My foot is still giving me problems but I battle on trying not to let it beat me. 

As we head out onto the water, we scan the water for any signs of Snakehead, their fry ball and any signs of Peacock bass. D sees an area he likes and we decide to give it a try for half an hour. During that time we got nothing. As we are fishing I was scanning the water and saw a fry ball not too far away. I point and told D that I thought that it is was a fry ball; so we head over to investigate it and sure enough, it was but they were not small and red but instead a yellow colour with black lines. They were older ones so we give it a go-to see if any fish were around it. As it turns out nothing, all we got was a couple of the small Snakehead to bite from the fry ball. It was amazing how fast the time went by.  It was nearly 9 am and we had to think about leaving at around 12:30. So we abandoned the area and started looking around for another spot to fish. As we do, we are looking for any signs of a Snakehead. It’s getting hotter as time goes by; all the time fighting with my foot and dealing with the pain. I can feel I am coming to the end I can’t go on anymore; the pain is becoming too unbearable, then all of a sudden I fry ball makes its self-known to us right by the boat. These are really young baby Snakehead bright red with black stripes. We cast at the fry ball and just like that D sees her, the big Mama. She comes up for air extremely quietly and slinks off back to the depths to watch over her fry. Knowing she is around we cast at the fry ball. Cast after cast, but nothing. She is a wise Mama and we followed that fry ball for over 1hour 30 minutes. The time was 11:25. am but we kept chasing and trying because we know she is there. We were determined that one of us gets the opportunity to catch her. But as time went by, I could feel that I didn’t have it in me anymore to keep standing. I try fishing sitting down but I just can’t get enough energy together to carry on. My foot has drained me. I look at D and tell him I am done and start de-rigging my rods as he carries on; cast after cast he makes; then all of a sudden there is a lot of commotion coming from D. I look at him seeing that his rod doubled over and I can’t believe it, after all that hard work he finally got her. The fight is now on to bring her to the boat. She is pulling line off his bait caster, the rod doubled over but no sign of her as she heads for deeper water. Slowly and steadily D starts gaining ground on her while etching her closer to the boat. As she makes her way to the boat on the surface I can’t believe the size of her and the colour on her. Then with a turn of the head, a thrash of her muscular tail she turns and heads for deep water again. D starts to make up the line she pulled off his real grabbing the landing net as she comes closer to the boat, I scoop her into the net and lift her into the boat getting the first chance to feel her immense weight and getting a good look at the size of her. D hurries to unhook her as he wants to release her fast. We grab the scale, put her on it and she weighs in at 6.2kg or 13.67lbs she is a beauty of a fish. I take my phone out and start taking some pictures of D with his great catch. It’s time to release her back into the water to carry on keeping guard of her fry as we hold her by the boat reviving her till she tells us she is ready to go. We look at her and with a turn of her head and thrash of her tail, she disappears into the depths and just like that our time had come to an end and we had to think about heading back to Kuala Lumpur.

As we make our way back to the truck D and I are started chatting about the exciting experience of the day and about our fantastic catches out on Air Kuning water. It was a great time indeed and fantastic feat cause I ended up getting my personal best Peacock bass and D ended up getting a great size Snakehead. The fishing was hard but was very rewarding.

Air Kuning  Perak  2nd day on the water.

Chapter 3 – Air Kuning, Perak I Got Him!!

It’s 5:00 a.m., my alarm is going off. I get straight up out of bed knowing a new dawn, and a brand-new day of fishing awaits us. Isn’t it strange when we have to get up for work in the morning how many of us keep hitting the snooze button, but when it comes to something we love doing, no need to hit the snooze button, we get up on the first sound of our alarms.

As I get up and start sorting myself out my left foot is hurting, it’s swollen, locked and my skin feels like it’s burning. Unknown to most, I suffer from arthritis in my subtalar joint, plus I have a condition in my left foot called Chronic regional pain syndrome or CRPS for short. Grabbing my travel bag, I pull out my ankle brace and put my foot in it and lock it down to help me through the day. “I will be doing a separate blog on living with CRPS.” Foot sorted and limping down the stairs, I met up with D. We load up the truck and head down the road to the Mamak to get ourselves some breakfast. For my none Malaysian followers “a Mamak is an open-air eatery that is open all the time; they never close.” Sitting in the Mamak both D and I ordered Roti Canai. I had it with curry Ikan (fish curry) D had his with Dahl. D had a Teh Tarik and I had a Nescafe Tarik. Bellies full we head to the truck. Next stop the fishing spot.

It was still dark when we arrived at our fishing spot, so peaceful and quiet. We unloaded the truck and start rigging the boat up. Waiting for the sun to start breaking the night both D and I look out onto the water in anticipation of what the day may bring. Slowly the night vale starts to lift. We pushed the boat out and D fired up the 5hp motor and off we go cruising out looking for a spot to start fishing.

The sunrise was spectacular, and if it wasn’t for the palm trees, I could have said I was back home on Lake Kariba. As we head to our spot, we keep seeing fish rise but these aren’t our targeted species. They were Giant gourami. Arriving at our fishing spot the water was calm. D has his walking bait on and I am sticking to my spinnerbait. Cast after cast we work the weed line; D has one a small Toman that he quickly releases into the water to fight another day. As we fish, we both keep scanning the water looking for signs of Snakehead rising to breathe and for their tell-tale baby fry ball. In the distance, D sees something so we went off to investigate. D had found a fry ball of a baby Snakehead. I realized at that moment to fish for Snakehead one has to be very in-tune with their surroundings, paying very close attention to the subtle rise they make coming up for air, as well as looking for the fry ball. D explains to me that with Snakehead fishing you can blind cast for them, which is casting at the structure you think will hold fish, or site fishing, by one seeing the fish come up for air and then casting a lure at it trying to get a reaction bite before it goes back down. Or two, find the fry ball and cast at it trying to get one of its parents to attack your lure. Site fishing for Snakehead is a rush, to say the least. You can see the fry ball knowing that they are extremely young; red, but the parents will be very protective and close by. With every cast made the anticipation grows stronger and feeling that at any minute one of us will get one. With a blink of an eye, a good couple of hours had passed and still nothing so we decided to leave the fry ball alone and concentrate on Peacock bass. Hours had passed, the sun was high in the sky as it was midday. Tired, hot and sweaty we were about to stop for a rest when D sees another fry ball but this time they aren’t red like the ones before, they look more like a juvenile Snakehead. I pick up my medium heavy rod with my perch coloured rattling Rapala on; I made a cast past the fry ball, but nothing. D has got nothing, I made another cast past the fry ball again and nothing. I was starting to think that it was a waste of time. I made another cast; this time right over the fry ball and bring the Rapala through the middle of the fry ball; Bang!!!! My rod is nearly ripped out my hand I strike shouting at the top of my voice, I GOT HIM, I GOT HIM, I GOT HIM!!! Medium-heavy action rod is bent over 50lb braid on the spool with drag tight and this fish is pulling the line off my reel. I can’t believe the power. Into the sun it runs pulling my line and I can’t see anything. The fish jumps clear of the water and D shouts PB! PB! a big PB! I could hardly believe it when I started seeing it as it came out the glare of the sun. Arms and legs are shaking; I can’t believe what I have hooked. After 10mins of fighting the fish, I get it to the boat and D lands it for me. Job done, fish in the boat and I breathed a sigh of relief. I put my rod down take the fish; my hands are trembling I am struggling to get the hooks out of its mouth. I was racing against the clock as the sun was hot and the fish had given me an awesome fight. I wanted to get it back in the water as fast as possible; hooks out lip grip still on; I dunk the fish in the water and we let it recover for a couple of minutes before we take it out to measure and photograph it. The fish measured out at 54cm. D told me that was big for there and will be hard to improve on. All I could think of was how grateful I was that I was allowed to catch this magnificent fish. After a few pictures, I slowly release it back into the water and watch it swim down to the depths it came from.

For the rest of the time fishing for the day, I didn’t catch a thing but I was happy with that because it was a fulfilling day being out and wetting the line. D got a couple of small Peacock bass and Snakehead and called it a day as the sun was setting. Sitting in the boat on our way back to the truck, looking at the sun setting on what was a spectacular day I looked at D and thanked him for inviting me to go fishing because if it wasn’t for D I would never have got my new personal best Peacock Bass, I got him!!!



Air Kuning  Perak 1st day on the water.

Chapter 2 – Arriving at Air Kuning 1st day fishing

The journey to Air Kuning, Perak was a great drive; well great for me as I didn’t have to drive because D did that. We finally arrived. How D had found this place I don’t know but I was so grateful to be there and make amends for my last trip. We took the roof topper boat off the roof, placed it in the water and then a small herd of water buffalo came round the corner and all of sudden I felt like I was at home. Looking out onto the water I felt at peace and calm ready to do battle. I had a quick look at the water clarity and it was like gin, knowing this I knew what lure selection I was going to make. Heading back to the truck I helped D offload the rest of the gear. The boat was sorted and taken care of; now it was time to set up the rods.

  • Rod one the Shimano light action with the scorpion 71hg reel I tied on a Rapala shadow rap in natural colour
  • Rod Two the Shimano medium action with the Chronarch 151hg reel I tied on a Strike King KVD finesse spinnerbait in white and blue with silver blades. I then thread on a white 3-inch grub for a little bit for weight and to give a better presentation.
  • Rod three the Shimano medium-heavy action rod with the Chronarch 151hg reel I tied on a Perch coloured Rapala rattling deep diver.

Armed and ready for action we push the boat out and set off.  We didn’t have to go far as everywhere looked like a potential spot to fish. Water Buffalo in full view in front of us the first casts were made. The thrill and anticipation of not knowing what’s going to happen were pumping through our veins.  D was working a small walking surface lure. I was fishing in deeper water with my Perch Rapala. Cast after cast we keep working our baits with anticipation; then finally D gets one it’s a small Peacock. I felt a sigh of relief; there are fish here. D passes me the fish so I can have a look at a Peacock bass close up. Fish safely released we carry on fishing. Next minute I hear D shouting to me mama Toman, I see him scouring the water looking for a fry ball, now it’s lesson time for me. D explains to me that “baby Toman live in a fry ball moving across the lake in tight formation taking it in turns to breathe at the surface. The parents guard the fry ball; the male being smaller he remains closer to the fry whilst the female being bigger patrols a wider birth from the fry ball”. D points out the fry ball we start to make casts to it, Bang D gets a take but isn’t able to capitalise on it.  We keep trying, keep following the fry ball, but nothing. D tells me that Snakehead is known as the fish of a thousand casts. They know you are there and, in the end, they end up swiping the lure out of annoyance. We tried to get them to react but nothing.  We then decided to carry on fishing but in a different area. The weather was beginning to change, dark clouds started to form, the wind was picking up so we found a nice weed bank to work. I put down the deep runner and picked up my rod with my spinnerbait on it. Using the wind behind me I sent out a long cast counted down from 10 and started to reel in the spinnerbait.  As it approached the boat, I see a shadow shoot out from the weed linen nearly ripping the rod from my hand. I strike I can’t believe it, get my first Snakehead.  It’s a small one but still, I got a fish on the board. Adrenaline coursing through my veins, its’ back to fishing. D gets a take but misses then I get another take and miss. Cast after cast this happened. We figure out its juvenile Snakehead. We carried on trying but nothing. D sees some Peacock bass surfacing right in the shallows. We move towards them, D armed with a small frog tries cast after cast but they are not interested as they are chasing small fry.

We moved spots and the area we were in the water was dirty. We watch and see a guy fishing on the bank catch a decent size Peacock bass. We start to fish near a very shallow sunken island where the water was brown with small twig-like trees. I cast out against the wind with my spinnerbait slowly working the spinnerbait back to the boat reeling fast then killing it. Bang as the spinnerbait falls, I have a bite. I brace, lean forward and set the hook. The rod pulls hard in the opposite direction, fish on. As I am fighting the fish, I think it’s another Snakehead then I see the line coming up fish jumping in the air trying to shake the spinnerbait. I keep my rod tip low I can’t believe it I have my first Peacock bass on and it’s an ok size. The fight is on, I can’t lose this fish I just can’t. Adrenaline pumping through my veins I remain calm and fight the fish to the boat we have landed and I am so ecstatic I have finally caught and landed my very first peacock bass in Malaysia.  A quick picture and the fish are released to fight another day.

We spent the rest of the day fishing in Air Kuning but nothing. As the sun starts to set, we head back to the truck to wrap up and make our way to the hotel we are staying. It was an early night as we had the whole day to fish the next day at Air Kuning.