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Friday March 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday April 18, 2013 MYT 12:56:31 AM
by reel tales
Feisty freshwater fish popular among sports anglers
THE inter-monsoon season, which is expected to start next week and last until the end of April, will be a cause for much rejoicing for Sebarau enthusiasts.
During this period, there will be plenty of rain, especially in the afternoon and evening when the Sebarau come out to play and hunt. This will be the best time to catch them.
In fact, the Sebarau season has already started in Bersia Lake near Gerik, Perak, which saw an unusual amount of rainfall throughout last month.
Gopal, my fishing buddy in Gerik rang me up and told me that I should head for Bersia Lake immediately to take advantage of this window of opportunity to catch the Sebarau.
Bersia Lake is also a dam that generates electricity for northern Perak and is part of the bigger Temenggor Dam in the upper part of the Sungai Perak basin.
Wasting no time, I rounded up my usual gang for the trip.
To access the lake, anglers have to head to Kampung Bersia, which is situated about 18km from Gerik town.
The Sebarau, which can grow to up to more than 10kg, is a popular freshwater species among sportsfishing anglers.
It is commonly referred to as the Malaysian Jungle Perch and is a sought-after freshwater species among sports anglers as for the strong fight it gives when caught on rod and reel.
The best time to fish for this carnivorous species is always after the rain when the Sebarau would come out to play and hunt for food. And if an angler is lucky enough to hit the right spot where the species congregate, one would find the surface of the water boiling with them.
However, most of the Sebarau caught in the wild these days are smaller in size, averaging between 500g and 800g.
Any fish caught beyond the one-and-a-half-kilo mark would definitely be a prize catch.
The only way to catch the Sebarau is by casting with poppers, stickbaits, spoon, plugs or spinnerbaits.
Fast-retrieving lures would attract these aggressive fish and a fight on a light tackle guarantees satisfaction.
My choice of gear for such the task is a medium or fast-action rod fixed to a small spinning or casting reel that is fitted with a 4kg or 7kg line. I prefer the braided line. A long rod is also recommended to give the casting distance.
A good strong hook is also a must when catching Sebarau as the fish has powerful jaws, capable of crushing anything that goes inside its mouth.
Over the years, I have seen how cheap hooks get crushed causing the fish to escape.
For Sebarau fishing, one must also be observant of the water movement and be able to cast in the direction of the splashing water, where the species come out to play and hunt for food.
Sebarau fishing is not difficult but one also needs a bit of luck aside from having proper gear, being able to cast accurately and some experience in spotting the fish.
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