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!!!