Toman Or Giant Snakehead Fishing Part 3
Fishing Toman on Softbaits
By: Phil Foo
When it comes to fishing toman, I have caught them with all sorts of lures. Yet softbaits remain my favourite bait for fishing them till this very day. Many years ago a friend (now late friend) and I had a fun contest between hard lures and soft baits. The one that catches the most tomans win. He was a very experienced hard lure angler, and I was then a newbie to softbaits, but I have caught plenty of fish with them.
[ Another advantage of using soft baits is that you can cast directly to where the fish surfaced and let it drop instead … ]
Softbaits out fished hard lures 3 to 1, meaning for every three tomans landed on softbaits, hard lures land one on average. The reason is because when he missed a fish that came up for air, I simply cast my softbait to where the fish surfaced and allowed the bait to dive down towards the fish. More often than not, it would take the bait. There were times when I gave him the first cast and when the fish did not hit, I would cast the softbait at the area and get a hit.
Softbaits are my favourite baits or lures for fishing giant snakeheads.
Another advantage of using soft baits is that you can cast directly to where the fish surfaced and let it drop instead of casting a diving lure a few feet behind the area where the fish surfaced, and retrieve it hoping that it gets to the fish in time. Most of the time the fish would have gone much lower before the diving lure got to where it earlier was.
Ok, what if the softbait reached the bottom without getting hit by the fish? What to do then? Of course, it is not always that the fish will take the bait. But what I usually do is to twitch the soft plastic upwards about a foot and allow to drop again. After a few times of twitching unsuccessfully, retrieve the bait, and keep an eye out for the next rise.
My favourite softbait for fishing giant snakeheads.
When there are no rises and no activities, blind casting with softbaits work well too. Casting them near structures and allowing them to sink to the bottom is a good way to fish tomans. What about snags at the bottom? Valid question. Softbaits can be rigged weedless by hiding the hook point right under the surface of the bait.
The hideout of giant snakeheads.
Some of my favourite softbaits are paddle tails, minnows, pogy, lizards, and frogs. Needless to say lizards and frogs are fished differently than the other baits. Another thing to note is that size does matter. I generally fish them on four to five inch softbaits (pogy, minnows, and other fish design baits). My favourite colours are fire tiger, dark colors, red heads, and natural colors.
Giant snakeheads just love softbaits. Well, softbaits do look really sexy underwater.
There you have it, fishing toman on softbaits. One thing I want to make clear is that catch, photograph, and release must be practised especially when it comes to toman. The reason is that they are slow to grow, their fries are easy meals to most fishes, and their numbers are already low. So, fish them but do not keep them. Release them back so that they can populate and also care for their young. This will ensure that we get to fish them for a long time. Stay tuned for Part 4.