Redtails & A Wallago (Tapah)

There was something in the air that weekend and it kept reminding us of how much we love the sport of fishing. If it were according to me, fishing should be added into the secrets of a happy marriage. With our body clocks messed up from the last fishing trip, Naweshad and I found ourselves awake at 4a.m, hungry to fish. We wasted no time, at a 24 hour local Indian coffee shop having Chai, planning our trip ahead. We have had such great moments fishing Rawang in the night, it was time to try out the morning .

The pond had a beautiful calm to it, only two other anglers were visible, a little further away from us. Two of the ghillie’s we were familiar with had the morning shift and their welcoming smile made us feel at home somehow.

We prepared our gears slowly, baited our hooks and casted our lines at 6.30a.m. The skies were dark yet in the distance was the view of Genting Highlands Resort, sparkling. Slowly, shades of purple and orange lit a line of clouds in the sky. I was in awe at the beauty that the pond had surrounding it. We were always too absorbed in fishing or the night with friends to take notice of what was around us, let alone in the distance.

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Our admiration of the sunrise was pleasantly disrupted by Naweshad’s rod taking a sharp bend, never too early to catch a fish. It was an evident fight and struggle despite our hearty indian breakfast for an energy boost. Our hearts were jumping for joy when a new species emerged from the fight. A beautiful 20lb Wallago, known locally as Tapah – a species that as informed by our ghillie, ate Monkeys in the wild. Looking at it’s strength even on land, the diet was easy to imagine. We took a good look at it, snapped a photo and Naweshad released it, smiling from ear to ear, another first for him, who already was adding to the new species list over that weekend itself.

Good Morning!

Bites were constant, the fights they put up were tough. Countless snapping lines, taking us on a wild ride of trying to subdue their runs. Were the “big guys” active in the morning? Looking up when we could catch a breath, the skies were lit by hues of sunrise, warmth started breaking through the air and despite the endless fights of feisty Redtails, we were at ease.

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Naweshad’s very first Wallago

The two other anglers left and we had the entire NEFFP to ourselves for awhile. A continuous battle that snapped my lines three times in a row had my mind wondering what it could be. My drag was being compromised despite my attempts at taking control before the unknown species could pull a stunt of sawing my lines with the restaurant pillars nearby. Control was far from possible. Without leaving anything to chance, I continued casting and risked loosing more lines, for the sole purpose of rewarding my curiosity & adrenaline, trying to pump this species just for a glimpse; if triumphing it wasn’t in my fishing fate that morning, that is. Whatever it was, it seemed to come back to where I originally casted.

Then, it happened again & this time, my mind, body and soul refused to let go. I hung on as it stripped my line like butter, with my entire body strength I pulled hard allowing my rod to take the bend and stretch of trying to outdo this trickster. In a flash, my line was taken all to the other side and all so suddenly, it stopped. I pulled hard, harder, hardest… it won’t budge. Was my line tangled to something underneath? I pulled once more, and felt a vibration reciprocate my efforts- it’s still there. It’s just not putting up a battle any longer.

Such a Grouper thing to do! Without ANY Groupers in this pond, what could it possibly be?! Only one way to find out- if it didn’t want to come to me, i’ll go to it. As i stood above my line that disappeared deep beneath, I gathered myself- similar to a weightlifter, only with a rod, I took a few deep breaths and lifted. It moved, and almost pulled me in with it. My shoulders & ribs were hurting- I wasn’t ready to lose more of my 15 lb. line.

I tried once more. Deep breaths, and I lifted… up it comes, swishing it’s tail out of the water, splashing onto me- the sight of that huge, powerful, RED tail answered all my questions. My adrenaline was making me lose my senses upon the sight of that giant. Finally, barely fitting into the net, my intense morning workout was courtesy of the largest Redtail I have ever landed, 40 lb. of absolute beauty.

Compared to the wild, there aren’t too many adrenaline pumping days in a paid fishing pond. That morning however, it was nothing short of magical.

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Someone doesn’t look too happy, 40 lb. lazy Redtail.

 

Enjoy the slideshow below, showing the rest of our trip. Interested to catch a giant of your own? Fish with us!

 

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