The Giant Snakehead November 2011
The Giant Snakehead that i have caught prior to November 2011, has all been up to 3 kilos and nothing that i could not handle with rod and line. But on one fateful day in November 2011, I went out to scout for a new spot and was greeted with a bunch of juvenile Giant Snakeheads travelling from one spot to another, within casting distance (a few feet away to be exact).
Heres what happened:
Early afternoon, I went alone to this place that has a number of lakes but only one fishable one.
I trekked my way through the undergrowth to find a suitable spot to start fishing, the surprise was that the path was submerged in water at most places so did the necessary fold-up-the-trouser-legs thingie and trudged onwards.
25 meters into the trek, there was the lake on the left of the path and to my dismay, reeds and lotuses were present. So i trekked on hoping that somewhere further down the path, there would be a clearing so I can cast. Being a lure caster does have its downs.
After another 65 meters, i could only find one spot that would make casting possible, but i walked further on another 10 meters from that spot as there was a shelter that i could rest myself in. Put my bag on the makeshift bench and started to light a cigarette while looking at he surrounding areas for signs of activities - fish activites.
5 minutes had gone by when i noticed a school of fish breaking the surface with their mouths on my right - juvenile tomans!
I proceeded to watch them pass from my right side to my left, all the while keeping closely to the bank of the lake.
I started to tie on a black/white spinnerbait on to my mono line and waited for the school to re-surface, if they do i would be ready.
Then they did break the surface again to my left, right where the clearing was. I stalked them stealthily and when i got to the clearing, i casted my spinnerbait past the school and retrieved it so it would go into the group. This, i hope, would entice the parents to wham the bait. 1st try, nothing happened...2nd try, still nothing....on the 3rd try, all hell broke loose as a parent Toman peeled of my line like Usain Bolt.
The drag on the baitcaster was set not too loose, and the spool was spinning like nobody's business, i did not want to risk snapping the line by adjusting the drag, so i thumbed the spool...and boy, did my thumb burn. But that stopped the fish.
I pumped the rod and could feel that the fish was seeking shelter in the underwater weeds, i tried stopping it by leveraging the rod to go the other way but was too late....it had reached some underwater structure as i could not budge it. So, i kept some tension on the line and hoped that the fish would come out sometime soon, and it sure did.
I pumped and reeled in some line and about 2 rotations of the handle later, the line went limp.
Disaster - the monofilament line snapped.
I reeled in the rest of the line and found that last 3 feet of line had abrasions and nicks. So it was time to change to braided lines. Note: I am not a fan of braided lines as they are cumbersome to me, they handle differently from mono lines and there is no stretch in them.
Anyway, i cut of the last 3 feet of line and re-tied a top water lure and stalked the same group of juvenile snakeheads and caught 1, and left the place soon after.
What still haunts me is the feeling of the adult Snakehead taking the lure.....i wish i had landed that fish.
And i have spooled up with braided after this incident, just to be safe.
Went again to the place on a few occasions, but cannot seem to land any fish although there were times where they followed my lures until the bank and not take a bite.
At the end of the day, the toll was: 3 lures gone (1 lost to big Toman, 2 lost to snags).
Oh yeah, I'll name this place "Area 52" from now on.