A Tale from China 4- the Mystery Fish by Gareth Jackson

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Jan 8, 2009
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Bryan Jackson
It was Saturday and I needed to go to work for a parents meeting in the morning. So to give me some extra motivation to get into work early, I decided to set the alarm clock a little earlier. I would have time for about one hours fishing before I needed to work. Luckily, there is a river right next to where I work. So what a perfect opportunity to have a short session. I would also benefit from fishing in the coolest part of the day. Temperatures have been getting to about 36 degrees at midday. I started fishing at 6:45 AM the temperature was already 29 degrees. The sun was out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
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This river is called the Xiao Ying Yong river. I find it to be one of the cleanest rivers in Zhongshan, it is always full of plenty of fish, although there are many species of fish in the river, there is one species that dominates, that is the tilapia. This bit of river is only about one foot deep. It has a nice, gentle, steady flow. It is roughly 40 yards wide.
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When I arrived at the river, I noticed it was teeming with fish. Most fish were tilapia, but there were a few different species too. Although I would be lucky to catch anything other than tilapia. They are fairly aggressive fish and really do like to attack the bait. There are so many of them that they usually out compete all the other fish in the river.

Today I was fishing with a brand new rod for a little over 10 pounds it felt nice and balanced. It was also a little longer the normal rods I have used down here. This enabled me to get better control, but the most important thing is that it fits into my bag. I started with a simple float set up a 2BB float on 6lb mainline to 5lb hook length. I used a size 12 micro-barbed hook. The bait I used was the trusty Swimstim paste. This paste stays on the hook very well and the fish seem to love it.
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I started off catching a few tilapia, but missing lots of bites too. For every one fish I caught, I missed about five bites. The bites are quick and sharp, also the fish seem very good knocking the paste off the hook and they seem to attack the paste in groups. After about one hour, I had just eight tilapia, but had also missed about 40 bites. I need to try and keep experimenting how to hook more fish.
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Just as I was about to go, I hooked something a little bigger. As I was playing the bigger fish in the water, I saw a flash of orange, what had I hooked? I thought it was a goldfish at first. But after seeing the shape of the fish, it was clearly not a goldfish. After I managed to get the fish onto the bank, I was in shock. I had no idea what this bright orange fish was, was it even native to the river. It was a huge shock to catch such a fish.
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Even though it's not the biggest fish in the world, it's certainly one of the most surprising that I have caught as in this river we just catch tilapia all day long. If you get another species, it really is an achievement. To get an orange fish was even more bizarre. Having looked at many pictures of fish on the internet, I am still unsure of the exact species of these fish that I have caught. If anybody knows what species of fish this is, then please let me know. This just shows what an amazing sport fishing is. You really never know what will happen next.