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 Post subject: The need for camouflage?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:55 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Hi Guys,

Thought of starting a discussion on this interesting issue.

I was in a bookshop yesterday, and came across a book on bait fishing by John Bailey, of ferox/wild carp/mahseer/taimen fame. What's interesting was it's supplemented by real-life underwater photos of fish, baits and terminal rigs.

The section on mahseer fishing (Cauvery) showed pics of ragi balls and spring leads on the bottom of the river. Those leads look very bright! The message is that, in pressured waters like the Cauvery (and many others we know), fish may be spooked by the distinct features of leads, swivels, hooks etc.

What do you think?

I share some thoughts and experience here:

1. I use Power Gum to hold my spring leads for mahseer fishing. Reva, a ghillie at Bhimeshwari, noted that the bright-red colour ones are no good ("mahseer can see, Sir!"); better use the clear ones.

2. One angler i met at Cauvery noted that braided lines of lighter colours are less effective in getting mahseer hookups. Better use dark colours.

3. Speaking of braided line: I noticed that we get many more hookups on mono mainlines than braided ones. Nothing to do with colour here, but my guess is that braided, being 'perforated', produce a 'hum' as the river current passes through it, probably discouraging the mahseer.

Some Malaysian experience:

4. Most Malaysian mahseer anglers opt for black hooks eg. Daiichi. The Cutting Point Owner hooks are okay (gunmetal dark grey), but not the white stainless hooks. We use jungle fruits for bait, where hooks are quite exposed.

5. The Malaysian red mahseer is a very fish, and will not take the bait if it suspects anything is amiss. On the same account, bright lines and terminal tackle are out. We use fluorocarbon or near invisible leaders (eg. Daiwa Crystal Clear), black swivels, even dark mainlines like Maxima Chameleon. No braided lines. Some go to the extreme of 'colour-matching' their lines to the river conditions: green lines for murky green water, dark brown line for tannin water, clear line for gin-clear streams.

Well, would love to hear your opinions on this.

><<:>

6. After reading the John Bailey book, I'm now painting my leads black or dark brown! Like they say, every bit helps!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:39 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:35 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Uttaranchal
Hi JB,

Up North, we do the Thoreau thing- that of simplification.
We use river stones ( collecting them a very enjoyable pastime) and cotton thread to secure it for paste or live/deadbait presentation. The cotton thread is what we pick up from the small button/knickknack shops, and is usually used in the tailoring trade as standard stitching thread. Colors- khaki, olive, brown. The thread is rubbed in atta (for de-scenting) or algae after getting on the terminal rig. Two strands of this thread when wet, tied with any knot you like, is strong enough to cast an up to fist sized stone and half pound deadbait from an uptider and weak enough to break reasonably easily if it gets snagged.
It's a lot more eco-friendly, too, than lead. So's the cotton thread. Since the stones come from the riverbank, we believe we fool the choosiest fish as to the origin of the weight on the terminal- no tackle shop names for fish to read.

Line- fishing crystal clear waters in northern spring fed rivers, I've come to believe clear line is best for either spinning or bait. When bait fishing, the added precaution of sinking the line between the terminal and bank is necessary, to reduce chances of reflection-spooking. I don't know about the 'perforation vibration theory', but you could be right. Up north we never use braid. Too many rocks. Also, it rips off scales quite consistently. Some strange anglers up here (no one I know) use wire leaders and braid lines for mahseer, a toothless fish. We've caught and released mahseer with long cuts on the lips and missing scales, especially in Pancheshwar area and couldn't figure out what the heck it was. Then my brother recovered a tired 10lb golden with a spinner in the mouth, 10" uncoated wire leader and some 30m of braid trailing behind it. It had cuts in the lips which corresponded to the leader. 'orrible. The fish recovered and was released in good form, after a bath in aquarist's anti-fungal solution.

Fluorocarbon leaders are definitely top hole, esp when spinning. But we've had spitouts just because the fish felt the stiff leader when bait fishing. Braid terminal end, a la carp?

Hooks- dark hooks, yeah, man. I thought stainless hooks would reflect colors from surroundings and hence, be more or less invisible. We use atta in various forms up north and chromed hooks are not really a problem. But then each river has it's peculiarities, doesn't it?

Well, that's that from up there,

cheers,

V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:27 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:42 am
Posts: 265
Location: Devon, England
Try making up your spiral leads as before, then cover them with glue and roll them in sand or fine gravel.

Interesting thinking JB, I'm going to do some myself now, I may be gone for some time :wink: .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:30 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:42 am
Posts: 265
Location: Devon, England
Missed posting any comment about your thoughts V, sorry.
In UK, there is a company called Pallatrax, they specialise in making weights from stones. They are rapidly becoming one of the biggest growing companies in UK angling and use the trade name 'Stonze' for their product.

The weights are all drilled and threaded with tubing and seem to make a big difference when targeting highly pressured fish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:32 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
That was a quick comback, Steve! :D

Anyway, thanks guys, for the feedback.

Steve: That glue idea is interesting. It will certainly work if the spring lead is 'set' and power gum is used as a stopper. But if i use the other method - spring lead over silicone tubing, tightening the lead to the line - then gluing the whole thing will be a no-no.

Intriguing, making leads from stones. I guess the granite pear bombs coming out soon will be called 'Stonehinge'? :lol:

Vedan: Yes, the stone idea is great, and so is the 'spike-the-thing-with-attar' technique (forgot about that trick!). My buddy George, who's a bit of a handy-man, uses dark brown rubber bands instead of thread. He uses one band around the stone, then another to tie the thing to the line. He prefers this over thread cos it doesn't hurt the line much. ("Rubber bands and plastic bags are God's gift to fishermen", is his daily sermon).

BTW, did you know that you can re-straighten kinked mono by drawing it between two pieces of rubber (eg flat pieces of bicycle tyre tubing)? You did? Well, okay...


Using wire leaders for mahseer? Wow, that's cruel! And I cant imagine walking around town with 30m of braid trailing behind me. While we are on this issue, maybe it's a good idea NOT to use stainless hooks. Darn, my fav hooks for Cauvery are 7/0 Gama Octopus, which are stainless. But the Daichii equivalent, in size 26 would be a good substitute, although I'm not sure of it's effectivness. And it's black!!!

Fluoro lines are stiff, yes, and they tend to flake off too under abrasion. For red mahseer, whenever I use fluoro for leaders, I always use about 10-lb higher (eg 40-lb fluoro instead of 30-lb normal mono).

But some of the new fluoro lines are getting better, softer too. I recently tried Berkley Vanish Transition for lure fishing. This new line is very visible above water, but is claimed to be almost invisible under. The results certainly are encouraging; lotsa fish!

But I find the Daiwa Crystal Clear a cheaper and dare I say stronger option. It comes in quarter lb spools, at around Rp270; good value. Invisibility is very good; try putting some line in a mineral water bottle, you'll see it disappear!

Invisibility is one thing, flash is another. You know, the 'polished skin' of the line can reflect the sun's rays in the water. Some anglers here take the shine off their lines by immersing them in plain tea (cold!) overnight. Or you could rub the shine off (at least the first few yards) with clay. Just like what fly fishermen do to their leaders using "Mud' or Fuller's Earth.

><<:>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:39 am
Posts: 1601
Location: Mumbai / India
Me heads spinning ..... lighten up guys ... u make out fishing to be like a Mission Impossible stunt ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:35 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Uttaranchal
Fred

Golden mahseer are Mission Impossible at the best of times :evil:

cheers,

v.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:05 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Sorry to rub you the wrong way, Fred. Specimen mahseer to me is a kind of holy grail in fishing, cos the whole process is so challenging: from locating, enticing it to bite, hooking, fighting, landing the fellow. Without the challenge, what is fishing but a mere pastime?

Actually, you're right too, Fred. Fishing is a personal thing. Some take it as an escapism. Others revel in the joy of having a jerk at the other end of the line. Others still see it as a lifetime passion. To each their own.

><<:>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:02 am 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Hong Kong
Fredfish wrote:
Me heads spinning ..... lighten up guys ... u make out fishing to be like a Mission Impossible stunt ...


I agree with Fred, somethimes we credit fish with a lot more intelligence, I guess we must be some of the "others" then :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:58 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:22 pm
Posts: 1658
Location: Kolkata,India
Camouflage doesn't work when you have some noisy and clumsy people around !!! :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:39 am
Posts: 1601
Location: Mumbai / India
Hey dont bother Junglebum ... you not rubbing me the wrong way ... if you were i would be running behind Gavin :lol: :D :D :D .. Everybody to his own ....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:22 pm
Posts: 1658
Location: Kolkata,India
Holy Fluff :shock: :shock:

LF rubbing up the Fredster and according to Freddie, it ain;t the wrong way :lol: :lol: :lol:

Rub-a-dub-dub... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:42 am
Posts: 265
Location: Devon, England
Hey JB, which end of the line is the jerk? You didn't quite explain that one :lol: :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:22 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Steve,

Er, both ends? :wink:

Yeah, we're all jerks! But here's one jerk who'd rather land a big mahseer than have one with Ms Jolie. :shock:

It's a bug. My buddies and I caught "mahseer fever" (at least the Malaysian version) some 15 years ago. The fish tested tackle, skill and my patience no end. It took me 15 days of fishing, spread over 5 trips and several months, before landing me a mahseer. Countless lines and hooks and rigs got tested until we found the right ones.

At one time, we went to extremes in camouflage. We didn't restrict it to just the tackle. We'd wear camo garb, camo rods, tent etc. Heck, we'd even buy camo undies if they had sold any. Then I started losing small camo items in the jungle; knives, torches etc. I'm now back to drab green hats, shirts and such; easier to live with!

Jokes aside, Fred, things like camouflage become important if you're hunting for specimen fish. It's easy to catch a kitten (except ms Jolie), but you need to perfect your approach if you're hunting an old tiger.

><<:>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:20 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:22 pm
Posts: 1658
Location: Kolkata,India
Hey JB, Much respect man !!
Am ok with all the camo stuff and the tested lines, but dont be going around saying anything about Ms Jolie [smilie=evil-sexor-lick.gif] ...
She's one hot mama [smilie=yum.gif]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:31 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Gavin,

Hey, we're all humans. One day, even the delectable Ms Jolie will need camouflage too 8)

><<:>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:44 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:22 pm
Posts: 1658
Location: Kolkata,India
:lol: :lol: :lol:

But till then, lets enjoy the sights..... :twisted: :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:01 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:39 am
Posts: 1601
Location: Mumbai / India
Hey JB to each his own .. no offense taken .. no offense meant ... Gav take a look at Jolie hands ... creepy man ... all bone and veins .... Brad is a very brave man to b able to live with her now ... he must be very courageous to go another 20ty ... unless he wants to make a horror movie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Hong Kong
I thought you guys had all made new years resolutions not to hijack threads :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:22 pm
Posts: 1658
Location: Kolkata,India
Whose hijacking ???

Just discussing with JB and the boys about the importance of camouflage and the need for it in the next 20 years.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:46 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Hong Kong
Oh yes, I did notice that :lol:

Im sure this is not what you meant, look closely it is Ms. Jolie:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:55 am 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Hong Kong
Hi JB and the Gang,

Reading through the thread, as a Saltwater angler and my very limited knowledge on the freshwater scene, could it be that perhaps freshwater fish, living inland and being in contact with terrestrial predators more constantly and for a longer time than their saltwater counterparts have developed or evolved a more cautious approach to feeding? Hence they are shyer etc.

I am purely a Salty, so perhaps someone who fishes equally in both conditions could advise.

Regards,

Bobby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:17 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Bobby,

Maybe you're right. Freshwater fish are more exposed I guess.
And the old (big) fish do not really get wiser (dont wanna upset your 'intelligence theory'!), but they collect more 'flee triggers'. Case in point:

Lee Wulff (one of the greatest fishermen that ever lived) once related how he was flying over the sea, when the shadow of the plane swept over this school of huge tuna. Immediately, the school veered and dived out of sight. He figured that this must have been a reflex response: when they were small, the tuna could have been harassed by seagulls. So, a shadow of this seagull still freaked them out, even though they have grown far bigger than these birds.

On the other extreme, big marlin have been known to chase and eat tiny prawns, even tho the energy spent on it is hardly compensated by the energy from the meat. When they were 'babies', prawns were part of their diet. So, this upholds your intelligence theory.

Anyway, I'm one of those who love a challenge; trying to catch difficult fish. Maybe that's also why carp fishermen naturally go for mahseer fishing?

><<:>

PS: That pic you posted remind me of this sculpture in The Park hotel in Bangalure, in the lobby. Saucy positions all over, very distracting...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:36 am 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Hong Kong
Hi JB,

I have a few books on Tuna and there are at least a couple that have discussed the airplane theory, according to the authors Bluefin began to associate "spotter planes" with the Tuna Harpooners and as soon as that happened the Tuna sounded. Bluefin Tuna could have a higher level of intelligence than other fish given they are warm blooded.

However the "trigger" theory what you have mentioned is also very true, most creatures get spooked when startled from above, Bluefin if they have a higher level of intelligence and memory would remember the gulls. Besides developing more flee triggers as you grow up, it is also our built in defense mechanism that we all carry in our genes I guess through our evolutionary process.

That pic of Ms. Jolie if full camouflage, wouldn’t mind if someone like that tried to startle me.

Bobby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:00 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 106
Bobby,

Yup, fishes get spooked by movement up above, yet dont give you a second glance when you are underwater. So sez a friend of mine, who used to spear fish in rivers. Actually this is one of the reasons why I started this thread; whether specimen/experienced fish get wary to some of our 'familiar ' rigs and such. The fact that we need to 'hide' ourselves at the waterside, is well known.

i guess there's another point to be made: if the usual approach/tactic/bait fails, try something different. In a sense, it's camouflage too.

><<:>


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