A Tale from China 3 by Gareth Jackson

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Jan 8, 2009
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Bryan 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.
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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.
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Tilapia.jpg

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.
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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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