River fishing, using the basic method, offers many surprises even to the most seasoned fisho.
IF YOU are tired of serious fishing, it is good to take a short break and go back to basic fishing.
Getting back to basics can be fun and rewarding and it renews your enthusiasm for this hobby.
This was what I found out when I decided to head to the nearby river near my mother’s home in Melaka to try my luck.
Of course, there were plenty of surprises in store for me during this outing.
Aside from catching species like tilapia, betok (climbing perch), keli (catfish) and sepat siam (snakeskin gourami) on my ultralight gears, this outing also taught me a thing or two about taking the strike and landing the fish, which I have taken for granted.
It definitely renewed my enthusiasm in fishing again and that I needed to relook and go back to basics once in a while to remind myself of the simple but effective techniques that were required when landing the catch, especially the smaller ones.
Unlike going out to the sea, one has to be more gentle when engaging in basic fishing in rivers or ponds.
Aside from a lighter rod and reel, you have to use a low poundage main line to complement the gears.
Using a lower poundage line means that you have to be gentle and know the limit of the line’s breaking point when putting up a fight with the fish on the other end of the line.
It is a hybrid design, and light and tough rod.
For the reel, the Tiny series allows me to fit in about 50 metres of 6lb line to its spool.
I prefer the braided line, which is stronger, compared to monofilament.
The challenge during this outing was to use the low poundage line.
It not only gives you the excitement but tests your basic fishing skills when landing the catch.
Fishing in a river or pond also requires different rigs.
The most preferred method is the classic slip sinker rig.
This rig allows the sinker to sink to the bottom and the leader line, which is attached to a tiny floating bead, to float and move freely with the bait in the current.
This rig is simple and effective.
Of course, the size of the hook depends on the type of fish targeted. I prefer a tiny eyeless J-hook as the size would be an advantage, covering small to big fish.
The trick to successful basic fishing is to be able to strike accurately and hit the fish on its lip with the tiny hook when it nibbles softly on the bait.
This technique requires a bit of practise to be perfect.
The most challenging segment of the entire outing was to land the catch after it took the bait.
You have to control the line tension and the right pressure to “pump” the fish out of the water.
One has to know when to pull or release the line when fighting the fish on a low poundage line.
Forcing the fish out too quickly will snap the low poundage line. Therefore, you have to “play” and tire the fish out before bringing it to the surface.
Going back to basics is definitely worthwhile.
It is a refresher on your basic knowledge and keeps you in check as well as helps brush up rusty fishing skills.
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