A blog about multi-species lure fishing and life in the U.K and abroad and a little bit more. Always believe in lures! (TheFishingboy@gmail.com)

Blast from the Past 2 (Sg. Chenam, Northern Perak, Malaysia)

One of the many retention ponds at the Sg. Chenam aquaculture complex.

Ever wanted to do lure fishing at an aquaculture farm? Back in those days, lure fishing and payponds and fish farms (if fishing is allowed) don't mix well. But things have changed in the recent years. Back in those days, fish farms which were open to the general public for fishing activities remained scarce. Sadly, to get to fish at any one of them, you need certain 'connections'. You know what I mean, you got to know certain people that know certain people and so forth. Fishing may be good at some but not all. Usually, even if the farms did allow fishing, fishing is usually limited to the retention ponds. In those, you can find anything from strange crustaceans to poisonous reptiles. In a way, the retention ponds are somewhat like a 'refugee camp' or a 'half-way house' for some of the most unluckiest and luckiest inhabitants. If you're an opportunist predator, then its great for you. If not, then you might just be counting your days while you're still in there should you not find a way out to freedom.

Although small, this could well be the best catch of the day. That says it all. This brackish water tilapia was caught on a 60mm Rapala Husky Jerk minnow. The fish fought well too.

Back to the fishing, on that occasion, we were invited by a friend (Mr. or Dr. Heah) who knew someone at a fish farm located in Sg. Chenam, near the Northern Perak/Southern Kedah border of Malaysia. I've not fished there prior to the trip, but I knew exactly what to expect having been to a few before in the past. Regular shaped pools and ponds make up most of the landscape. There were the usual workers maintaining, cleaning the ponds, while some were feeding the fish. It's not the most natural or scenic of locations, but we were there mainly for the fishing. The targeted species commonly found at most retention ponds, at possibly most fish farms of the region, were the Indo-Pacific Tarpon, Ladyfish, Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, various Snappers, grunters, brackish/salt water bream and lots of other species that would readily respond to artificial lures. In that, when I was young, it was the abundance of species found in the brackish water was what kept me going in my lure fishing pursuits. However, for this particular trip, fishing was just mediocre. The weather was partly to blame. Was it an excuse? Maybe. For starters, there was a torrential downpour just the night before which affected the conditions considerably. At the retention ponds which happened to be connected to an estuary river, it was almost like fishing in mud stained water. The fish just wasn't in a mood to bite. On land, things were not much better. It was quite muddy. The guys were not complaining but my wife did. Oppsss... If you ever plan to take a girl fishing, do not overlook the footwear side of things.

The sticky mud on the ground is quite bad if you're a girl. Proper footwear must not be overlooked in conditions such as this one.

Another brakish water tilapia. They seem to be colonizing the estuaries too.

In terms of species, this is what we came for, the Barramundi. But definitely not this size. Johnlock was the only one that caught a Barra. Well done to him for catching this one on a Rapala Skitter Pop popper.

We could only manage to land just short of 10 fish among the five of us who were fishing. A far cry from what you normally expect from a retention pond. But, as we all knew, it's fishing and nothing could be certain. Would I go back next time? Not if I know if it's going to rain the night before. On a positive side, I was glad to be given the opportunity to fish with some of my old fishing buddies in Malaysia. Mr. Heah, Paul and Johnlock, thank you so much for the fishing. Until we meet again next time.

Calm before the storm. A nice shot at sunset just before we left and it poured down again. We escaped the downpour.
[ 2011/01/08 22:38 ] Category: None | TB(0) | CM(0)
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