It usually mouths the bait and swims off with it. A firm lift of the rod will usually hook the fish.
This opportunistic feeder will quickly bite the bait and dart downstream. Legering from upstream is best. If the hook is sharp, it will start to penetrate when the lampam swims off. Lift the rod firmly.
It will bite its prey to stun it, swim off a short distance and then reposition itself before swallowing the bait. If you are using live baitfish, let the toman swim away with it first. Open your bale arm (spinning reel) or free your clutch (multiplier reel). The line will eventually stop running out. Close your bale arm or engage your clutch. At the next run of the toman, point the rod to the fish and strike firmly when the line has gone taut. If you are using a lure, it is best to strike at the moment the fish has taken it. You will know it’s a toman; a circle of small bubbles will appear at the water surface.
A haruan’s bite is similar to the toman’s. When you are using a frog bait for haruan, let the fish have a good hold on the bait before striking. When using lures like spinner bait, spinners or spoons, the haruan will usually hook itself.
It’s usually gluttonous when taking bait. Chances are the fish will hook itself deep in the gullet. Using a barbless hook will make it easier for you to unhook the fish, and causes less harm. Just make sure your line is always taut when playing the fish.
The sebarau roves around rivers and lakes, slashing out at small baitfish before returning to the depths or under snags. Most anglers use lures for sebarau. Usually, there is no chance or need for striking; you would be busy holding on to the rod and keeping your balance! Make sure your lure hooks are strong enough to handle their awesome jaws!
This fish has pharyngeal teeth situated deep in its throat. It will thus suck in the bait, taste it and either blow it out or crunch it. Whatever bait you use, make sure the hook point stands proud of the bait.
This is a nibbler, much like its cousins, the terbol, rong and ara-ara. The rohu bolts away when it feels the hook poke its lips. Smaller hooks are needed for rohu (size 10 to 6). If you find your bait being wasted by these tricky fish, you need to strike when your free-line or float indicates nibbling action.
River patin feed at the bottom and will hook themselves when swimming off with your bait. Pond patin take more time with their bites, sometimes nibbling at the bait before taking it confidently. It is best to allow the fish to swim off with the bait.
It has strong teeth that can break even stainless steel hooks, let alone nylon leaders. Its feeding habits are much like pond patin. When bait-fishing for pacu, it’s best to use a circle hook of size 2 or larger, with braided leader of, say, 25lb. When a pacu takes off with your bait, let it take up the slack line. Do not strike. The tightening line will slide the circle hook to the side of its lips and the hook point will embed itself there.
It has a surprisingly small mouth compared to its large size. It feeds close to the bottom, sucking in small minnows or prawns. When a belida takes the bait, allow it to swim off with it. Only when it has taken up all your slack line, do you strike.
(Marbled Goby/ Emperor Fish) is considered a delicacy. You need deep pockets if you intend to have steamed ketutu for dinner at some of the city’s seafood restaurants!
But what makes the ketutu a unique fish is its feeding habit. It will take your bait of dead fish or prawn, and then simply lie still. Your line will register a twitch, then come back to rest.
Minutes later, when you reel in your line, you feel a heavy resistance as if your rig is snagged on a plastic bag. Then up comes this fish with its mouth wide open and your hook embedded in its gullet!
Obviously, the ketutu is not an angler’s fish for it has no fighting qualities. If you intend to release the fish, a pair of surgical pliers (or small long-nosed pliers) will help to disgorge the hook safely.
When you release the hapless fish, it will remain still in the water, pretending to be dead. Much later, it will slowly swim off.