In our quest to hunt for the Pacu, we have only been successful to land decent sizes in Saujana D’Rimba. A paid fishing pond located within the wilderness of Semenyih, Malaysia. We cannot say the process has been a breeze with countless snapping lines, however we feel we may have got the hang of it now. Still, there is no telling when the lines will snap next with this species!
A relative of the Piranha, the Pacu’s humanoid teeth packs a punch just as dangerous. Commonly called the “Vegetarian Piranha” (most Pacu eat primarily greens in the wild), they are omnivorous and enjoy the fried chicken nuggets we put out as bait. Nothing soy about those.
On this trip, we went out with Bard of Fishmalaysia. He had with him fermented palm kernels as well as a variety of stale bread. We had with us our trusty good ol’ fried chicken nuggets and will be trying out the palm kernels for the first time. My first cast out with a nugget instantly had a bite, a decent tussle and very quickly my line snapped indicating that a fiesty pacu had gnawed relentlessly on it. The increased diameter of a higher poundage line we relied on was not cutting it but getting cut instead. I switched to a wire leader.
Soon after, Bard had a take on the palm kernel bait, a good fight which landed him a 12 lb (6kg) Pacu. Before long, he had another take, it lasted for a good 20 minutes, seeing colour we knew it was a large Pacu, unfortunately, it bit the leader off. Not just any leader, a wire leader!
The hours in between was quiet however anyone who has tried Saujana D’Rimba knows that there is a certain serenity to it. This trip, unfortunately, we were accompanied by the roaring of heavy machinery as the pond was undergoing an expansion. The fishes were getting bigger and needed more space, that was a good sign for what is to come.
I tried on a fermented palm kernel and tossed it in the pond nearby, almost instantly, a powerful splash alongside my reel spinning out of control. Panic ensued as my line was stripped empty from my Penn 2000 reel. By sheer luck, the fish decided to take a u-turn now swimming at a cooperative speed towards the left of the pond. I gained back lost line and finally it slowed down, allowing me to lift and for a brief moment felt its heavy weight at the end of my line. Bard was ready with the net as we take careful steps towards the Pacu. My fear was that it would bite through the wire leader I had on, as much as I was keeping the line tight, the tension was minimal to avoid strain on the leader. Not shy being one with nature, down on the ground like a soldier prepared for battle, Bard swoops the net in and tried to lift the largest Pacu we have seen to date. It’s strength was undeniable, flipping around and having a good go on Bard’s net ripping it apart with its teeth. As we all hung on, the net was carefully lifted, hooked on the side with no sign of damage to the wire leader.
My very first, fiesty 22 lb (10 kg) Pacu! Shocked, delighted and mildly afraid seeing the damage that was done, we unhooked the Pacu and I was not able to lift it. Bard being a strong guy was struggling to hang on to the Pacu’s slippery attempts at escape however managed a firm grip of the fiesty fish for a quick photo before it went flopping around to be released. Team effort fish, one of those moments where everyone celebrated together at such an amazing catch, on a fermented palm kernel.
If you’d like to read more about the Pacu, you could visit Bard’s post on Fishmalaysia. To know more about Saujana D’Rimba, you could read our entry of the pond here. As much as we would love to end our entry today with a video, we have been having some technical difficulties in achieving that this time around. We hope to have it resolved soonest to bring you more of our angling action. Till the next entry, I end this one with a cliché angling expression… Tight lines!