Shore fish­ing at South Korea's 'Lake Biwa'

SA Bass - - Sa Bass / International - (Part 2) Words by Fish­ing­boy | http://the­fish­ing­ Im­ages by Fish­ing­boy and Kang Ho­hyeong

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

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