Entries in bass. largemouth bass (3)
I hit Jinjihu Pond in Pingjhen today with an old friend, Joe, his son and a new friend, Abe. Abe has commented on a few posts here and recently started working for Yoshida Seiko, a new tackle manufacture. He was keen to come along a try some Taiwan style bass fishing.
On arrival, the pond owner Mr. Tsai warned us that the fishing had been bad lately and not to expect to catch much. He suggested waiting a few weeks until he restocked his ponds. Deciding that we had come to fish, we gave it a go anyway. Four hours in, we've caught nothing. It was starting to look like all that I would have to show for the morning was a bright pink sunburn (I need one of those nylon neck socks).
Finally around 11 a.m. I land a little 1 kg. bass on a Berkley Power Worm. OK, the day isn't a complete loss. Just before packing it in, I grabbed the fly rod for a couple of lazy casts. Wham, bass number two--my first on a fly rod. Thanks to Juan Wei in KL for hooking me up with some custom shrimp flies made by a friend of his. Another angler managed to catch a little snakehead that I'm sure is the same one I spotted on my last visit.
This was a rare weekend when I managed to squeeze in two fishing outings—not always an easy feat when you have a wife and kids who have been waiting all week for some quality face time. My solution is to get up at 5:30 a.m. and hit the water to squeeze in a couple of hours of fishing before the rest of the family wakes up and notices I’m gone. So much for lazy weekend mornings!
The question I face when heading out to do any fishing on limited schedule is whether to do a little exploring and find a new spot—preferably public or wild stretch of water—or head for one of my go-to ponds that almost always produce some action.
Saturday morning I drove up to the “wild” sediment pond in Dasi./Longtan near Shihmen Reservoir to see how the small bass I’ve encountered there in the past are growing up. Not much was happening but I did spot more young fish in the three to five-inch range. There were about three or four other anglers out who weren’t doing much better. One commented that my five-inch shakey worm was a little on the large size for that particular pond.
The other local anglers seemed to be using tiny plastic grubs and topwater lures with some success. One guy had a portable live well with an electric aerator that he opened to show me a small eight or nine-inch bass. I’m not sure what he planned to do with it, but I kind of hope/wish he left it in the pond to grow bigger and make more little bass.
Sunday I decided to try my luck at Longtan Pond, the big public park pond in the middle of town with the temple at its center. I’ve seen quite a few anglers fishing for tilapia and carp there, but I had been told that big bass can also be found around the temple. You have to fish from shore and are not allowed to fish from bridges to the temple itself, which is where the bass are rumored to be hiding. I walked around for about an hour trying a couple of different crankbaits before switching to my trusty plastic worms, but still nothing.
With about an hour left I realize that I could drive to the Jinji Hu Pond in about 10 minutes and get in a little fishing at a “sure thing” before I had to race home to kids waiting for dad to make their Sunday breakfast.
Once at Jinji Hu, I position myself near the inflow where I know fish congregate and got down to business. The water had cleared up since last week and I started getting hookups on the Texas rigged Berkley Gulp shaky worms right away. A few strikes came just after the bait hit the water. Four nice two-pounders later I was ready to head home. After a bit of a drought, it felt good to have a few fish on the end of my line. Sometimes you have to go for the sure thing.
Final Note: I spotted a pretty nine-inch snakehead rising next to a weed bed along the sore at Jinji Hu. I didn’t know there were snakeheads in the pond.