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.


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