Paul Arden | Monday, 21 November 2016
It's been an interesting start here in the Jungle! I had some boat repairs - casting platform welding and a fresh paint job that needed doing last week. Then finally we launched the Titanic Condom from the public jetty (always an event this, requiring the help of three or four random locals/ visitors/ whoever may be passing by, as well as 5 or 50 people just watching). Boat in the water, I gave her a quick start and she kicked into life. So we proceeded to pack the boat with all the fishing gear, camping gear, electrical gear, wet weather gear, tarps, clothes, Ashly - the usual stuff that one might need for a serious fishing exploration in the Temenggor Rainforest. Ready to depart and the engine decided it would not start, despite being pulled no less than 10,000 times. Now we have a interesting problem, do we unpack everything from the boat and remount it to the top of the truck (with 3 or 4 people's help - or do we paddle it 6km around an island to the resort and then find help to lift the outboard up 100 steps, one at a time, have it fixed in the local town 40km away and then carry it back down the 100 steps? Naturally we started paddling....
Two days later we set off fishing. The problem? I had drained the outboard of fuel before laying it up - of course; I'm not stupid - but there was still some old fuel in the fuel can and I unfortunately mixed this with new fuel and it gunged up the carburettor. Lesson learned - next time stick it in the truck before leaving!
Saturday afternoon we searched out some old haunts. The water level is very low at the moment, about 2-3m lower than its lowest level of last year and possibly the lowest it's been for many years. This is good, bad and alarming. It's good for finding Snakehead, it's bad because they've moved to different locations, and it's quite alarming becausese a whole lot of stumps have appeared in places I didn't even know there were stumps. Fortunately the boat is aluminium and I have a spar prop.
I picked out a 5lb Snakehead on a popper on Saturday evening and then on Sunday I had massive tooth ache! Which immobilised me for half a day - I think the vibrations from the outboard are running up my arm and into my back teeth. I'm on pain killers at the moment, maybe I will have a couple of teeth pulled out this week as an early Birthday present to myself.
The rains haven't been too heavy - apart from tonight - which is good for fishing, in fact I would say that right now is your best shot at catching free-rising snakehead than of any time I've seen, so if this is your goal then get over soon! I didn't see any babies, but there are lots of Gourami stumping at the moment, so maybe there will be one or two really good weeks of sight fishing for both species before the heavy rains arrive and the jungle perch fishing starts in ernest. Normally at this time of the year the lake is rising fast, to see it so low is quite excellent (if you are chasing either of these two species - not so good for the Perch).
I was fishing the HT10 and a RIO Permit line. This is a good combination (with plenty of SHOOT). I think for the really big Snakehead that the HT10 will be the way to go. I'm still fighting them like snags of course, but at the final moments of the fight I don't think I'l be breaking quite so many rods!
Hopefully we can get out for a bigger trip this week, 3-4 days. I'm very busy at the moment - we've had an excellent two month period with the Hot Torpedo rods which is keeping me busy and we are organising guiding and possibly even looking at buying a houseboat in the foreseeable future. Checking one out this week in fact. I'm posting Mike's review of the HT10 today in the HTOC.
We are out of stock of the new blanks but will have a new shipment coming in in about 7-10 days. H&H are out of Torzite Rings - those should be arriving in the same time scale. I'm putting in another order for both shortly, so if you are keen then please let me know. It's great to see the rod business cranking now. A big thank you to all of our new customers as well as our existing ones, I think we have actually arrived on the scenes and it's now my job to keeping this momentum rolling. Please send me photos of fish and your Hot Torpedo!
Have a fantastic week.