A Tale from China 3 by Gareth Jackson

Having found myself with a spare couple of hours in the evening, I decided to head to a river that I had not been too for a number of months. This river in Zhongshan is actually next to the school I work at, however due to the school being closed due to the pandemic situation, I hadn’t visited in a long time. Normally I like to grab a hour here at lunch time so it would be nice to see how it was fishing as the school is due to open again in a couple of weeks time. This river is a little different to the other rivers in Zhongshan. It doesn’t seem to flow into the main river, rather it flows into a large reservoir which feeds the main river with a number of tributaries. It would be interesting to see how I got on.

I arrived at the river at about 4.30pm. The weather was actually cooler than normal but was still 29C’ with some patchy cloud. We had a lot of thunderstorms last week but today none were forecast which was a relief. The depth here is very shallow, only about 1ft deep at it deepest. Don’t let the depth fool you though, I have seen some very big fish here. The peg itself was about 10ft up a concrete wall. The river was is about 30 meters wide. When I arrived there was no one fishing on my bank, although there were about 10 people fishing opposite. The first thing I noticed was a slight bad smell from the water. This can happen here, as pollution levels can sometimes be bad. The water was quite coloured due to the rain but I could see a lot of fish moving.
Peg1.jpg Peg2.jpg

I stuck to my standard tactics. I fished a 4.6meter whip, 2BB waggler with 0.18mainline to 0.14 hooklength with a barbed 14 hook. Bait I used was swimstim paste again and imitation corn as a change bait. On my first cast I didn’t get any indication fishing at the maximum length of the whip. I decided to drop the bait in a bit closer. I immediately was getting bites and I got my first little tilapia in the net. The constant noise of the float hitting the water really brings the fish in here, and within 5 minutes I had literally hundreds of fish under my feet. I kept getting small tilapia about the half ounce mark all the time, a bite a chuck.

The beautiful thing about fishing this peg is that due to the depth of the water you can see what is in front of you at all times. All of a sudden I saw a large shoal of what wasn’t tilapia move in. I put the bait on top of this shoal and straight away I hooked one. Now this fish, I am not sure what it is. It looks like a cross between a chub and a dace. If anyone knows the true identity of this fish then please tell me. Chinese people tell me it’s a trout, however, it clearly looks nothing like that to me. I was very happy to land something other than a tilapia. This is a huge achievement here, like a bonus fish really.

whitetrout.jpg trout2.jpg

I kept getting a tilapia every put in. Looking into the water was very interesting. I saw some large tilapia about the 4lb mark, but I couldn’t get the bait anywhere near them without small tilapia getting in the way. I also saw two catfish about 2-3bls, and strangely enough a large goldfish which must have been 2lbs itself. Still pulling out tilapia one after the other on the paste I saw 3 large Koi Carp swimming together. Very interesting what is down there.
Having caught 36 tilipia (all about half an ounce except one red bellied one about 4ounces) and 1 other mystery fish, I decided to give the imitation corn a go. After 15 minutes trying nothing decent took the bait., just small tilapia knocking it all the time. For a session a little over a hour you can’t go wrong with this fishing. Plenty of bites, plenty of fish and lots of interesting things happening in the water. Next time I should bring some different kit and try to target some of the other more specimen fish in here, although the small tilapia seem to strike at anything. I will keep trying though.
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