Simple things you need to know about fishing rabbit fish. May be edited many times as I've might forget something.
Siganus or rabbitfish can be found in the tropical water from Indo-Pacific through eastern Mediterranean.
They are Herbivorous and feeds mostly on Algae. They live among shallow coral reefs and jetties.
There are many species and some of the species commonly found on Indonesian waters are:
1. Siganus Guttatus or Orange Spotted Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Tompel (See Pic 01)
2. Siganus Javus or Streaked Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Angin (See Pic 02)
3. Siganus Canaliculatus or White Spotted Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Susu / Lingkis (See Pic 03)
4. Siganus Virgatus or Barehead Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Kea2 / Kalung (See Pic 04)
5. Siganus Stellatus or Brown Spotted Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Lada (See Pic 05)
6. Siganus Vermiculatus or Vermiculated Spinefoot, or in Indonesian Baronang Batik (See Pic 06)
Though there are a couple of methods used to catch this fish, I will only discuss the method we locally called "Negek/Negeg".
1. Pole rod: A telescopic, antenna like rod, with no ring guides and real seat. Preferable length from 4.5 - 6.3 meters. With a medium to hard action (See Pic 07)
2. Line: 6 - 14lbs mono depending on the target size.
3. Float: A ball, diamond or UFO shape with a hole in the center that goes from top to bottom, is used to detect fish bite (See Pic 08)
4. Hooks: A 6 points or more multiple hooks. Size varies from # 5-9 (See Pic 09)
5. Stopper: Made from lead (0.1 x 1 cm) or rubber. In some cases (depending on the bait used), is needed to hold your bait (See Pic 10)
6. How to rig: (See Pic 11)
- A line is attached to the tip of the pole rod with a length depends on the water depth + 1 meter. This could varies from 2 m to max of rod length. If the line is longer than the rod length, it will be more difficult to land the fish
- Insert the float. Leave a space about 1 meter from the tip of the rod to the float. And insert a toothpick as thick as the hole in the float to hold maintain the position of the float
- Tie up the hook. You need a double line as long as 10cm at the hook's side to tie the hook if you are using baits other than pulverized rice. The function of the double line is to pinch the bait between it
- Wrap a lead stopper (sized 0.1 x 1cm) above the hook. Again, this is only needed when you used baits other than pulverized rice.The function is to tighten the pinched bait on the double line
- Since rabbit fish is a Herbivorous, the favorite baits are Algae, depending on the location, color varies from green to red. Algae can be find on the rocks or stones near the water and on the jetties (See Pic 12)
- Pulverized rice. Made from plain white rice or yellow rice. Put some warm rice on a thick plastic bag and squeeze/pulverize until they stick together (See Pic 13-15)
- Sliced of fish meat or prawns can also be use to replace Algae
Favorable depth is ranging from 2-6 meters.
- Under/near jetties (See Pic 16)
- Marina's wave breakers (See Pic 17-19)
- Rocky bottomed seas
V. Fishing steps
Once you have all the equipments needed and you have prepare the bait, you are ready to fish. Go to a fishing ground, a jetty perhaps. Chum the spot you want to fish with a hand full of regular unpulverized rice to gather the fish. Study the depth and set your rig.
Adjust your rig and your float so that the float will remain about 25cm above the surface while your bait is about 25cm from the bottom (See Pic 11).
Put the bait on. If you are using Algae or sliced fish, put some of it between the double line, not on the hooks but above the hooks and tighten the stopper. If you are using pulverized rice, take some and cover the whole hooks with a ball shaped pulverized rice (See Pic 20).
Now you wait, try not to move your hand holding the rod and concentrate on the float. Winds will blow your float left and right, but fish bites will vibrate your float up and down in a very fast movement like needle of sewing machines. Watch careful as this vibrates are sometimes very unnoticeable, depending on the size of the fish. And when it vibrates, strike hard with a sudden jolt movement. Do not be late. And you will feel the strong fight of a Rabbit fish.
Be extra careful when you are trying to release the fish from the hooks as the spines contains poison. Not seriously danger but very painful which will cure itself in an hour or so. GOOD LUCK.
Have a nice try ,
Edited by Ichang, 27 November 2008 - 03:38 AM.