GEUMHO LAKE SHORELINE BASSIN'
Shore fishing at South Korea's 'Lake Biwa'
The immensity of Geumho Lake makes it an extremely diverse lake for shore anglers. Its sheer size complicates matters because most of the productive spots are kilometres apart. Even short runs are not technically short, so to speak. Moving on from the areas we fished in the north lake during the morning, the ledge in the south lake where we were headed was actually a thirty minute long journey away.
The journey there was equally as interesting as the fishing itself because it did not end at the location where our vehicle was parked. To get within range of the ledge, we had to cross a busy highway on foot and climb over a guard rail with our gear. However, that was not all. We had to negotiate a near 45-degree embankment to get to the ledge below street level.
Beneath the steep bank lies what is essentially a couple of kilometres of prime looking shoreline. The ledge itself is situated right at the edge of a riprap shelf that is visible from street level and it stretches all the way to a barrage which separates Geumho Lake from the Yellow Sea. The area kind of reminds me of a less urbanized version of Singapore’s Marina Bay and that we were not far away from the Korea International F1 Circuit at Yeongam.
There are a two primary ways to fish a ledge from shore. First is the cast deep and retrieve back up the ledge. Second is the cast and retrieve parallel to the ledge. Either way, you want to look for shoreline irregularities and make a start from there. With clear skies and the wind blowing strongly, I focused my attention on a transition area at the end of the embankment.
The Senko alternative
With the Senko out of the picture, the alternative bait for me was a 6.5” Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm. This bait is as versatile as a Senko and there are various ways to fish it along the ledge. Based on water conditions, I decided to aim for underwater vegetation offshore with long casts and let it freefall all the way to the bottom, twitching it slightly with long pauses in between. My aim was to keep the bait on top of the submerged grass for as long as possible.
Amazingly enough once again, twenty minutes after hitting that particular spot on what was only my fourth cast, my bait got bitten. I picked up the slack line, set the hook and it was fish on! I landed the fish which measured 53cm on the tape and it came with some important clues in the form of strands of grass wrapped on my line. True to my predictions, the fish was staging just above the grass line and it must have inhaled my bait while it was caught up in the grass.
The deep and shallow divide
Although Mr. Kang and I were practically fishing in the same areas, our fishing styles were as different as day and night. I caught all my fish in deeper areas while Kang caught all of his predominantly shallow. Mr. Kang is a ‘power-
oriented’ angler and he prefers to target active fish wherever he fishes, especially during summer. Though I like to power-fish whenever the situation arises, over the years I have also learned ways to fish slow and that is basically the key to my successes when I was facing new water conditions at Geumho Lake.
Nobody likes to fish slowly when bass are predominantly active during summer. I fish slowly out of necessity and not by choice, especially during the post-spawn period where it pays to be methodical. Patience is a virtue when it comes to fishing weightless rigs because it is basically a long cycle technique that could take as long as five minutes in between casts.
The Senko annihilates bass that will not respond to other weighted baits. It is essentially a ‘do-nothing’ lure that shines when it falls through the water column. The same goes for the Kut Tail Worm that wriggles more than it shimmies on the fall. Once your bait is in the water, you need to commit to it or get burned for bailing out on long casts far too frequently.
Tackle tips for weightless rigs
My primary setup for weightless rigs starts with a Daiwa Tatula 702MHB, 7’ medium-heavy, fast action baitcasting rod that is paired with a Daiwa Alphas SV 105SH highspeed baitcasting reel spooled with 15lb-test Sunline Siglon 100% Fluorocarbon line. The weightless Texas-rigged Senko and Kut Tail Worm are heavy finesse lures and that
is why you need to fish it with adequately stout tackle.
Most of the time when I am using 5” Senko or 6.5” Kut Tail Worm, I prefer to use 2/0 or 3/0 size extra wide gap hooks. I prefer standard wire hooks because I believe it makes the bait freefall more naturally, which is crucial in triggering big bites in clear, open-water situations.
An outstanding day with more to come
All in all, that was by far one of my most outstanding days in South Korea. My strategies worked, we read the water conditions to near perfection and hit the right areas at the right time. In my opinion, South Korea is truly an underrated country that deserves more credit and attention when it comes to bass fishing.
Be sure to check out next month’s issue as I bring you more interesting insights into my first real experience on a tidal river bass fishery in South Korea. So, stay tuned as we get set for a full-on assault on the tributaries of the Yeongsan River delta in the South Jeolla Province.
Thank you for staying tuned. Fish hard, fish well and God bless.
We had to negotiate a bank
I caught this big bass on a weightless Texasrigged Kut Tail Worm in deep-water
We had to cross a busy highway to get to the ledge on the south lake
My biggest from the south lake measured 53cm
This is one of Mr. Kang’s biggest bass of the day
The Kut Tail Worm is as deadly as the Senko in clear water conditions
You do not need a bass boat to access prime fishing areas in South Korea as Kang reveals