Hong Kong has many reservoirs where the public can purchase fishing license, $30 and valid for 3 years per rod. Fishing season starts in September and closes in April.
Skygazers do exist in most reservoirs, however, catching one, especially on lure is another story. The fish is constantly on the move and chasing bait in open and near structure or at the mouth of stream/rivers feeding the reservoir. They are most active during dawn and dusk, and feed at mid and top water level. They take hard and soft plastic, from swim bait to surface lures like popper and stick bait. In China, Skygazers are like the Bass in America, game fish and well sort after by anglers.
The first Skygazer landed during the season was on Tournament Grade 702H (Double Tip MH & H), using the MH tip and paired with Daiwa Steez on 10lb fluorocarbon using a top water "doggie". The fish smashed the lure with a loud bang and dive deep and held its ground. The fight was not the best even though the fish was of good size, now if this was a Tarpon, we would be fighting for dear life. The fish has a weird lower lip, nearly 3-4 times the size of its upper lip and rock hard. The fish still had plenty of energy when landed.
On our second and other sessions, we decided to drop down our set up and use lighter gear to heighten the experience fighting with these lovely fish. The set ups used was Teton 622L, 602UL, 50UL & 522SUL paired with Daiwa Steez and Shimano Aldebaran BFS and we dropped the line to 6lb and we could have gone lower. Dropping the set up made the experience more interesting and increased bites and hook ups. In one session (1 hr), more than 8 fish landed, sizes ranging from 30/40cm to 60/70cm. We used BFS lures 3-4gm primarily and the best lure was the sinking stickbait that wobbles during pause as he descends.
The best set up by far was Teton 50FUL (TTC) paired with Aldebaran BFS on 6lb. Next season will attempt with 4lbs but will carry a heavier set up incase we run into trouble, i.e. the big boys weigh over 10kg like the ones Gong Lei catches in his infamous videos.
Top Tip: They are most active when post rainfall, especially around the mouth of the rivers feeding lakes/reservoirs - they like hunting the edges of dirty water marks.