I have not been doing much haruan fishing for a long time. There was a time years ago when it was nearly a weekly affair fishing for them. And I put together numerous articles and photos of the haruan until the day came where I ran dry of ideas to write about haruan, haruan fishing and different ways of catching them.
Those intense haruan fishing days were mostly done with casting hard-bodied lures and soft plastics.
Team Mother Fishing
So recently when I received a WhatsApp message from Poh and my buddies from Team Mother Fishing, yes… go TMF! to check-out a spot in Broga – I decided to attempt catching some haruan on fly.
What a day it turned out to be. Everyone caught a decent number of fish and I had a blast catching haruan after haruan on fly.
Too bad there was no big snakeheads turned-up but the numbers made up for that. I landed eight and lost a couple more, all using a hopper fly (grasshopper imitation). I think the fly was tied by Dron Lee of Fly Tying Nation, I can’t remember. I went unprepared I have to admit with no poppers, no gurglers and no weedless flies that will come handy for the weedy waters.
How to Fish Topwater for Haruan
I fished the hopper fly as I would when fishing surface lures such as frogs, crankbaits and small poppers.
First off, identify likely haruan holding spots. These would often be structure, snags, and weed covered edges. Keep a lookout for signs of feeding fish (you can hear them feeding too) and fish coming up for air.
Cast the fly/lure to the spots identified, wait a couple of seconds, make a twitch/pop and wait another few seconds – then twitch/pop and retrieve.
When the lure lands with a plop on the water, it will attract the attention of snakeheads in that area. A curious haruan will then move in closer to inspect the possible prey, often cautiously. If you start your retrieve too soon the fish may not even have time to see your offering. If the fish sees your lure swimming away from a distance it may not want to waste energy chasing down a prey that is already out of strike range, preferring to conserve it energy for an easier prey and possibly not risking swimming out and exposing its ambush cover to other prey, or predators.
Wait For It
I have seen haruan come up close and eyeball the surface lure without striking. It may be wondering if that strange looking object is prey or otherwise.
The first twitch may trigger a reaction strike. The resuming retrieve will hopefully make the haruan think the prey is trying to swim away and make it strike out of instinct.
A hungry and aggressive haruan will often charge at the lure and strike soon after your lure lands on the surface before the prey gets away or another fish gets to it first, producing a surface splash that is most gratifying to all anglers.