Sunday, January 8, 2012

17lbs Toman Record Broken On Christmas Eve!!!

Shawn and me did our usual fishing at our "backyard" spot on Christmas Eve. We are into the spot at first light and surface action was but a little boof here and there...

Then, we saw a few schools of Toman fry emerging from the cover so i casted my pencil lure right at them... twitch, twitch... BOOM! The mother Toman has come out from beneath the school to protect the baby fries! My Pencil lure went under the water and line peeled out on high drag. I gave the fishes a few setting of the hook as Toman have hardy and tough jaws.

This fish was QUICK and FAST! It took me on a joyride and it kept going for the snags. I had to slowly move back and thumb the spool a few times to keep it from going into the snags... Each time it tried, i prayed hard that the leader and hooks will yield. Shawn was remarking in the background... "Big sia! Big sia!"... I was thinking to myself that this fish could be huge... breath taking fight...

Finally we had colour and OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN.... It was huge! Both trebles were on the jaw securely so i had a peace of mind... in, out, in, out... This fish was not giving up without a fight... i kept trying to bring it in fast as i knew that hooks can drop off a Toman's mouth whenever it made such forceful lunges to and fro. I was right... as we were landing the fish, there was only one hook on!!!

The fish refused to open it's mouth and so i acted fast.... I grabbed the leader and yanked the fish out... Mind you... it was a huge bugger.... And success!!! The fish was successfully landed and hi fives were exchanged with Shawn... I stared at the boga scale in anticipation as i wondered how heavy this mama would be...

And it read... 18lbs!!! That's it! I broke my long long long long ago Toman a.k.a Snakehead record! My previous record was at 17lbs which was at least a few years back using bait...

Previous record a few years ago

Alas, we only had a lousy handphone camera but we did the usual photo taking... Shawn as accomodating as usual...

Tackle used: Shimano Bassterra 10-20lbs, Daiwa Tierra 3000 with Varivas Casting PE 2.


Now, the next "fish" was even was at 80kg.... landed...and released back into the wild... I copied Shawn's text from his blog... Hahaha... Shawn's next experience reminded me of this....

Shawn Blogged...
Now it was my turn. I casted out and the moment my $3 pencil lure hit the same school, I hooked up with an estimated 4Kg+ Toman. This was probably the dad. Unlike Nigel’s fish, my guy wasn’t trying to swim back to the school, he was swimming in every direction except to the school and to me.

Before I could react, he swam underneath a fallen tree (which had not been there before) and quickly wrapped itself around what I believe was branches. I repositioned myself a few times to try and gain leverage but the xZoga 20lb camo leader gave way yet again. Within seconds, the trashing had stopped and my lure floated up to the surface. The leader had been bitten through the loop knot itself.

Nigel skillfully retrieved my lure with his own while I retied my terminals, this time using Nigel’s 60lb leader (between us, we had nothing else as I had left my newly purchased 30lb xZoga FC leader in my vehicle). I also made my leader about a foot long instead of my usual 5 inches.

Nigel received no more hits at either spots during this time. With my newly tied rig, I casted out at L2 a few times and then at L1. After a few tries, I got bored and decided to try out a 4’6″ rod that I had also bought the day before.

I retied everything.

On my first cast out with my 4’6″ rod, I felt a short sharp pain in my back before feeling a general numbness in that area. I immediately knew that I had hit myself in the back but I was unsure if I was hooked. I slowly pulled the rod back to release the tension on the line and opened the bail arm. I asked Nigel to see if anything had hooked me.

As he played with the first hook, I told him that that one was “clear” but before I could finish that sentence, he had moved to the second and immediately I said “fuck”.

As he attempted to pull at it even further I told him to stop. I put my rod on the ground and asked him to check how deep it was. I was wearing a black dry fit shirt so it was hard to tell. When he tried pulling at it more, we both knew that the barb had gone in. Upon closer inspection and using guestimation, he too had virtually confirmed that the barb was well in.

I immediately took out a fag with my left hand and lit up. Analgesic, calming or just psycho symptomatic, it took my mind of the seriousness of the situation.

Without being very clear about what he was about to do (which in hindsight was a good thing and also thankfully was the right call) and my missing even the slightest hint of what he was about to do despite my asking all the right questions, he proceeded to push the hook further in to loop it out of the skin, like a fish hooked well and good. I had no idea what he was doing of course as all I felt was a sharp pain in my back. After about 45 minutes and some manly and I’m proud to say very controlled groans of pain (with a slightly bruised love handle caused by strong squeezes from my hand) but limited progress, we retreated to a shelter nearby…. after I reminded him to cover up the other treble with a treble cap.

I asked him to take a photo of my back but he ended up switching the cameras on my phone and took a picture of himself! lol.

Despite being unable to move my arm without causing pain and only being able to keep it in a position as if it was in a sling, I was still in good spirits as having been in a relatively similar but unrelated incident before, I knew I could either skip to the funny or look solemn. The only problem was that the adrenaline had not kicked in fully yet. Nigel managed to block out my groans of pain surprisingly well which was good for me.

We mused on our options including A & E, a clinic recommended by Nigel and continuing on with the “pull through” (although, at the time, I still had no idea that that was what he meant). Nigel also mentioned how he should have brought scissors as he was still flying blind with my black shirt still covering the injury. We were about to move off and walk back to my vehicle when I remembered that I had brought some knives with me (ironically for safety) so we set our things back down (or rather Nigel set everything back down as he was carrying all our stuff including rods) while he searched for it.

When he found it, we tested it on the front of my shirt. The kitchen utility knife turned out to be useless so he moved on the chopper. The chopper was only slightly better but feeling we had no choice, he used that to cut a heart shaped hole in my shirt. He swears it was unintentional. He also swears that it was because he had to cut far enough away from the injury site to stop me from feeling any pain. When I saw the photos later I tried to keep my mouth shut but I couldn’t help it and teased him for it. wahaha.


When he had gotten a clearer view of the situation, he informed me about the depth of the hook and once again very unclearly told me about what he going to continue doing. About 10 minutes later he apparently had managed to pull the hook and barb out of a freshly made hole in my skin. Again, I had no clue that he had well and truly hooked me like a fish and I only found out as we were halfway to my vehicle, after first asking him why if the barb and sharp point were out was the lure still hanging from my back.

We walked past morning people going to work and mused about the benefits of private transport in a situation like this (as opposed to public transport and appearing on stomp – a guy with a heart shaped hole in his open backed polo tee with a hanging lure) and we eventually reached the vehicle.

By now I had smoked about 5 sticks. I’m not saying they helped or that such a large amount of fags had helped more than a “normal amount”, but they definitely kept me distracted.


By now I was well aware of what was happening. The plan was to get a strong pair of pliers from his house to cut away the sharp end and pull the remaining part of the hook back out through the original hole. As we were loading up the vehicle, I remembered that I always carry my fishing gear with me and that I had a pair of strong Surecatch pliers. Nigel, who is normally Surecatch-phobic, had also commented on the apparent quality of the pliers only a few days ago.

All the gear was in the back and having a hatchback, I had to drive forward. As it was a tight parking space and being unable to squeeze myself into the drivers seat, I told Nigel to release the handbrake while I pushed the vehicle. He had some trouble releasing the handbrake so I gave it a go…. with my left hand… from the passenger seat. I found it extremely difficult but since I was intimately familiar with it, I managed to release it after some fidgeting. We both pushed it forward and when it had reached its desired mark, I pulled the handbrake.

Nigel took out the pliers and tested it on a similar lure that had similar hooks. The pliers appeared to work well although I suspect the barb was pushed back in to my skin at some point. I positioned myself while he attempted to break off the tip. After some effort, he managed to do so and I immediately could feel a weight of my back as he pulled the lure free. My arm remained in that sling-like position for a short while after, until I realised that the pain would no longer be present.


It took a while before the next photo was shot as we both consecutively triggered the one and only bug on my custom android rom… a bug which required a reboot.


Two small blood filled holes were all that remained. It was very undramatic, as Nigel was quick to point out, but thankfully so.

After a quick smoke and Nigel browsing through the photos on my phone (we both had forgotten to bring cameras) of both his massive Toman and my 80Kg human, I dropped Nigel back off at his place and drove back home to rest.

In the middle of the day, I heard from Nigel that he wanted to go back there again tomorrow so I signed up for revenge….

The End.

Known lures used:
Yozuri Tobimaru (Floating) – Orange
Sasuke 105
$3 Pencil Lure (1 hit but lost by me, 1 hit and landed by Nigel)

Eupro X-Power 6Ft ($77)/Some 4’6″ Rod + Ryobi Zauber loaded with 15lbs Jerry Brown Industrial One.
Shimano Basstera by Nigel.

xZoga 20lb camo leader with non slip mono loop/xZoga 30lb FC leader with a knot that I appear to have made up (can’t seem to find this supposedly common knot online) at swivel and snap ends.
Sasame 47Kg swivel to join main line and leader and Angler’s Pal Snap at the end of the leader.


Paddy Pike said...

Hi Guys,
First off congratulations on your new {PB} Personal Best Toman, Thats a great fish and it doese look huge,
Now i am no expert when it comes to hooking human flesh but thats got to be painful, And i am glad you got the pictures of the incident, It does happen a lot if you youtube it,
Glad you guys are ok,

Hedonist said...

i'm sorry to hear abt ur fren's injury but the pic of the heart shaped hole in the shirt and the narrative = Hilarious ! :D