The Reckoning: The ‘Sword’ Just Got Bigger

January 3, three days after I lost my topwater lure to some biggie, I went back for some reckoning … this time with Dennis, my bird photography buddy. I went to Ternate, Cavite, he went to Mt. Palay Palay for bird photography. I settled in a small riverbank adjacent to a lagoon where I lost my P322 topwater lure from some fish that I failed to identify and land. The fish must have been huge to snap a 16 pounder braid and took off my one and only topwater lure.

Without my topwater lure, I decided to fish for some kansusuwit (Feathered River-garfish) as live bait. This species seem to be a perfect live topwater lure. It was actually my first time to intentionally go for live baitfish and here trying out these kansusuwits. I rigged my first rod to catch some kasusuwits with a size 10 hook and laced it with some diced shrimp. As soon as the bait landed on the water, a few of the river-garfish nearby raced for the shrimp and in no time, I reeled in one. Immediately, I carefully unhooked the fish and transfered it on my 2nd rod which is rigged with a size 6 hook.

As soon as I tossed the baitfish by some 10 meters on the deep end of the riverbank, I got a strike and I instantly set the hook. Then whaaaam … something very strong is pulling down the line. It fought strongly for some 30 seconds, then the line went loose. I thought it got away but as I reel in some line, it pulled down my line again and showed it’s silvery body near the surface. This time, I reeled it fast as excitement rush through me. As I reeled it out of the water, it was some needlefish. Then I realized it wasn’t hooked but it got itself entangled with the line and it has not swallowed the baitfish. Just as I was about to grab it, it was able to free itself. Luckily, it fell on the sandbar and I was able to prevent it from getting back to the water.

Here it is, a 15.5 incher Spottail Needlefish (Strongylura strongylura):

With its not so large mouth, I figured the needlefish must have rolled itself after it snatched the bait entangling itself with the line in the process.

Live-baiting for the rest of the day proved futile. I got not even a single strike after the needlefish.

Thinking my luck has ran out, I shifted my focus on the wild ‘saltwater’ tilapias that is so plenty nearby. With some worms, I was able to land a few. This is also my first time to catch this ‘saltwater’ variety.

Then I called up Dennis to see how he is doing, he got something that eventually was identified as a rare migrant, an Asian Brown Flycatcher.

We went home very much contented with our catch.

As for me, it was a reckoning day indeed and I was able to land a bigger “sword”.

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