Flickr Stream
Search Site
Agincourt amberjack angling aquaculture Baoshan Reservoir bar barramundi bass bass fishing bass. largemouth bass bbonito blogs blotched snakehead bonito books buzzbaits canal fishing catfish Channa maculata charter chevron snakehead commercial fishing conservation cutlass fish cutlassfish dace disputed islands dorado estuary estuary fishing Estuary Targets expat f ffishing in Taiwan fifishing in Taiwan fish farming fish farms fishing fishing and navigation fishing in Taipei fishing in Taiwan fishing in Taiwan Fishing Maps Fishing News fishing records Fishing Report fishing shows fishing televsion fishing tips Fishing Tournament fishing tournament fishing tournament fishing video fly fishing Formosan landlocked salmon freshwater species Freshwater Targets General giant snakehead giant trevally GPS greater amberjack Green Island grouper GT hairtail Holland's carp Hsinchu County IGFA Indo-pacific tarpon inshore inshore fishing Japan Japanese Sea Bass Jhunan jigging Jignesis kayak fishing Keelung kids king mackerel Kinmen lake fishing largehead hairtail largemouth bass llure fishing Longtan (Yilan) lure fishing mackerel maps native fish species non-native species offshore fishing Opinion outdoor oxeye pay ponds peacock bass Pengjia Photos pond pond pond County pond fishing popper predatory carp president fish Pure Fishing Asia Cup red drum redfin culter redfish reels river fishing rods safety saltwater fishing saltwater pond Saltwater Targets sea bass seabass seer fish shark fin shark finning sharks shimp shore fishing shore jigging shovel mouth carp shovelmouth carp skygazer snakehead spanish mackerel Spinibarbus hollandi spinnerbait sshore jigging sstriped bonito stamps stream fishing striped bonito striped snakehead suzuki swordfish tackle Tackle Taichung Tainan taiwan Taiwan government Taoyuan Taoyuan County tarpon territorial disputes Tilapia toman Tools topmouth culter topwater tourism trevally tuna Video weather Yilan 东方狐鲣 白帶魚 齒鰆



Our Sponsors



Contact Taiwan Angler
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Powered by Squarespace

    Entries in Tilapia (6)


    Fishing Report: Baoshan Reservoir and Jinji Hu Fishing Pond

    Baoshan Reservoir, Hsinchu County

    Fishing Baoshan Reservoir near footbridge. No action, but at least the scenery was great.I headed into Hakka country for a little birthday fishing with my friend/coworker Patrick on Sunday. The weather had finally cleared up after nearly two months of chilly, rainy gloom. I had mapped out a few possible destinations and topping that list was Baoshan Reservoir in the foothills of Hsinchu County. It’s a picturesque little lake (not so little by Taiwan standards).

    Most of the shoreline is accessed by well-maintained hiking trails, so the area seems to attract more weekend hikers than anglers. However, Baoshan is known to be one of the better fisheries in northern Taiwan for largemouth bass. The lake also supports healthy populations of tilapia, topmouth culter, mud carp and a few other species of carp.

    We arrived at the reservoir around 8:30 a.m. and started our fishing near the dam. After an hour or so without any luck, we moved around the lake to the first suspension bridge (there are two pedestrian suspension bridges on the northern arm of the reservoir). We spent the rest of the morning bouncing lures off submerged trees and casting to schools of tilapia, but still no action.

    While the fish at Baoshan may not have been cooperating this morning, one couldn’t complain about the setting. The area is lush and green, and teems with wildlife, including one very long snake spotted swimming across the cove. Birds are in abundance—cranes, egrets, herons and at least one pair of eagles. We, however, had come to catch fish, so we decided to pack it in and head for more productive waters.

    Jinji Hu Fishing Pond, Pinghjen, Taoyuan County

    First blood--a nice tilapia.Hoping to improve our chances, Patrick and I headed north to Taoyuan County to try a recreational pond I had read about on a local blog. Jinji Hu Fishing Pond is located on a country road between the townships of Lungtan and Pinghjen (though it is technically in Pinghjen). It is one of the few pay-to-fish ponds I have heard of that stocks largemouth bass and is fairly popular with the handful of local anglers who pursue this foreign import game fish. While most of these recreational ponds are concrete eyesores, Jinji Hu was a pleasant surprise. The area around the ponds is landscaped with grass. There are picnic tables and a shaded area, even a playground for the kids. What was originally a single large pond is now divided into two. Both are stocked with bass and tilapia and a few other species for which the locals only knew the Chinese names.

    A very reasonable NT$300 gets you a whole day of fishing. The caveat is that you can only take home one fish per angler in your group, making it a mostly catch-and-release pond.  You also are requested to use barbless hooks or to at least to flatten the barbs on your hooks with pliers. This allows you to return the fish to the water with the least harm to the fish.


    Patrick's first fish in 25 years. That rosy glow is half sunburn and half the result of seven Taiwan Beers.Ponds like this offer anglers a great opportunity to try different tactics and perfect their technique. Most of the bass are on the small side (one to two pounds), but the tilapia are quite large for the species. My first score of the day was a fat tilapia which I foul hooked in the belly (this seems to be a trend with me) with a swim bait. My first bass came after more than an hour of trying different lures and tactics. The bass are quite cagy for a stocked pond. Many have been caught and released more than once and tend to be cautious, particularly in the heat of midday. On several occasions, one or two bass followed my lure, even bumping it with their noses as it rested on the surface, before losing interest.

    Patrick caught his first bass (his first fish in 25 years he later told me), on a small plastic grub and jighead rig. One of the pond’s regulars, Mr. Jiang, advised him to slow his retrieve to a near crawl and the advice paid off with a nice little two-pounder.

    We found out later from the pond’s owner that Mr. Jiang is something of a legend in local bass fishing circles. He asked if he could look through my tackle box and then quickly dismissed most of what he found there. A pouch of plastic worms caught his eye and he told me to switch to these and showed me how to rig them “wacky style.” I had been fishing plastics on and off throughout the day rigged both Carolina- and Texas-style. He told me to remove the weight and use a simple #3 hook sunk midway down the length of the worm. It looked odd and was more difficult to cast without the extra weight. Casting distance didn’t really matter, however, since the fish were holding fairly tight up against the banks. He showed me how to work the bait with slow, gentle twitches. The payoff was immediate, and for the next 40 minutes I was hooking up on every three or four casts.

    Mr. Jiang turned out to be a regular Jedi master when it came to local fishing lore, hinting that he may guide me to some of his “secret” spots in the future. This is what makes fishing recreational ponds so great—you get to meet and network with other anglers in a way that you probably wouldn’t out on more remote waters. Mr. Tseng, the pond owner, was as friendly as you could hope for and he really lit up when Patrick tried out a little Hakka with him. Pretty soon he was bringing us locally grown bananas, roasted pumpkin seeds and green tea from his private stock. He even offered to repair my rod tip, which I snapped reaching to lip-land a bass.

    The pond owner, Mr. Tseng, shares some tea and angling wisdom.The pond attracts a nice mix of anglers. There was at least one guy pole fishing with a very typical Taiwanese bait fishing rig—umbrella, bowls of bait mix and chum, pole holder—who seemed to be landing a fat tilapia every five minutes. There were a couple of fly casters who were getting a lot of action on streamer fished along the bank. A fair number of dads had their kids in tow (at least one youngster fell into the pond and had to be fished out). The whole place has a nice family atmosphere and I’ll definitely be bringing the kids along next time.



    Is the Cold Weather Putting the Chill on Taiwan Fish Stocks?

    If you are an angler in Taiwan, you are probably counting the days until the Lunar New Year holiday for a chance at some uninterrupted fishing. Cold wet weather has no doubt put a damper on the angling plans of some this winter. So, if you’re like me, you are hoping for a slightly warmer, somewhat sunnier holiday week. You may also be wondering just what to expect when you do finally arrive at water’s edge.Unusually cold weather in Florida was blamed for killing large numbers of Tilapia and Peacock bass. Can Taiwan expect the same? Photo by Scott Wheeler, The Ledger.

    Unusually cold temperatures prevailed throughout the northern hemisphere this winter and subtropical Taiwan hasn’t been spared. Even on the southern end of the island, usually immune to the seasonal chill, has seen temperatures drop into the single digits (Celsius). What impact the falling mercury will have on local fish stocks has yet to be determined, but everyone from anglers to fish farmers are getting nervous.

    Not all local game fish and aquaculture species are sensitive to sharp fluctuations in temperature. Most native fish as well as some imports from temperate regions (largemouth bass and rainbow trout) should do OK. However, those species introduced from warmer climes could face mass die-offs. Tilapia, an important food fish and the backbone of the local aquaculture industry is probably the most at risk. The species stops feeding and reproducing as temperatures near 10˚ Celsius and begins dieing after that point. Mass weather-related kills of tilapia have already been reported in the U.S. state of Florida and in Haiti this month.

    Another cichlid, the peacock bass, is also at risk. The prized South American game fish was introduced to Taiwan through exotic aquarium market and has become established several southern Taiwan ponds and lakes. Like its cousin the Tilapia, it is also extremely sensitive to drops in water temperature.

    Freshwater fish are not the only one’s potentially affected. Milkfish, another important aquaculture species, is farmed in cement ponds filled with seawater. A mass kill could be economically devastating for farmers because domesticated milkfish take eight to ten years to reach sexual maturity.

    For now, there is not much to do but wait and see. As of today, the mercury was up a bit, rising as high as 19˚ C during the day. However, it is expected to dip down to 7˚ C at night this weekend in Taoyuan, the heart of north Taiwan’s fish farming industry.



    Sunday tilapia 

     I caught this little fella fishing with Josh in the river that flows through downtown Sanxia late Sunday afternoon. He felt a lot bigger than he turned out to be because he had been belly-hooked. It was probably an accidental hookup while jigging the soft plastic grub.


    Video of the Day: Longtan (Yilan) Largemouth Bass Fishing

    Longtan is a small township in Taoyuan county situated just below Shihmen Reservoir. There are several ponds in the area, and though many are fenced off for commercial purposes, a few are accessible and fishable.

    I'm not exactly sure which pond this was shot at, or whether the anglers had to pay to fish it, but it produced a few nice largemouth bass and at least one monster tilapia. Largemouth are not native to Taiwan, of course, but they are farmed here and a few escape and go wild in local ponds and lakes.

    I went out to Longtan last weekend looking for the fabled bass pond, but came up empty handed. I plan to head out again this weekend and will report here on the action (if there is any action to report).

    (UPDATE) I have since figured out that this Longtan (translation: Dragon Lake) is the lake located just north of Yilan city and is not related to Longtan township in Taoyuan County. I recently took my family here for a picnic, but only had a time for a few minutes of fishing. I look forward to heading back when I have a little time for fishing. 



    Video of the Day: Japanese Angler Nails Snakehead, Tilapia,...and Shrimp

    This clip is entertaining in spite of the fact that the dialog is all in Japanese. Apparently the host is something of a fishing legend in Japan. Again, I'm not sure exactly where he is fishing, but it appears to be on the outskirts of Taipei. He finishes his day out with a visit to an indoor shimp pond.


    Species Profile: Tilapia

    A fly rod is a great way to pursue this widespread cichlid, but you have to get up early. Photo: Michael Rupert HayesFamily: Cichlidae

    Scientific names: (three primary species in Taiwan, though most “wild” specimens are hybrids. Oreochromis mossambicus, Oreochromis niloticus, Oreochromis aureus, Tilapia zillii

    Common names: (respectively) Mozambique tilapia, Nile tilapia, blue tilapia, red-bellied tilapia

    Habitat: Slow moving rivers and canals, ponds, lakes and swamps. Can tolerate low oxygen levels and high pollution.  Prefers areas of heavy aquatic vegetation, its main food source.  Prefers warm water and is sensitive to drops in temperature.

    Size range: Large specimens can reach 40-60 cm, depending on species. Individuals under 1 kg. are more common. Typically, tilapia size is determined by competition for food. Larger population concentrations result in smaller fish.

    Angling tactics: Most local anglers fish with prepared baits or worms. Flies can be productive depending on time of day. Large specimens have been known to strike top-water lures when spawning/brooding.

    Love them or hate them, tilapia are one of the most commonly pursued freshwater fishes in Taiwan. This is mostly due to their ubiquitous nature and ability to flourish nearly everywhere warm fresh water can be found. Urban rivers, canals, farm ponds and swamps are all likely places to find tilapia. Their prevalence leads some “serious” anglers to turn their noses up at this fascinating import that has played a key role in the island’s aquaculture industry.

    Widespread though they may be, tilapia can be fun and challenging to catch, particularly on artificials. They are omnivores, but vegetation makes up the largest part of their diet.  Many anglers swear by prepared baits, corn or bread. Worms can also work. Before dawn and just around dusk, tilapia will often begin feeding on insects and this is the best time to get out the fly rod.  

    Tilapia are generally considered good eating and have a mild flavor, but be mindful of the water quality in the area you are fishing. Most tilapia sold commercially or in local restaurants are farm-raised.

    Tilapia are rapid breeders (individuals spawn several times a year), invasive and can push out more sensitive native species, so catch-and-release is not necessary and in some cases may even be discouraged.

    Tilapia fight hard once hooked and are a particularly fun fish to catch on light tackle. Their ease in locating makes them an excellent choice for introducing young anglers to the passtime.

    Further reading:

    Taiwan Tilapia-- The Fish That Became a National Treasure