The Toman is the largest member of the snakehead family found throughout the Asian Continent. The Giant Snakehead as it is also known, is a fiercesome looking fish, with a set of teeth to match.
The toman’s character is as mean as it looks. Stories abound about its ferocity and sometimes it is hard to separate the myth from the reality.

The diet of this species includes more than just the aquatic creatures, birds and even monkeys have fallen prey to large Giant Snakehead. There is even a story (or myth) of a man who was drowned by a toman with the girth of a 40 gallon drum. Though this may sound far-fetched, it only serves to show how feared the toman is as a predator!

These days, most fish caught are in the region of 3-6 kilos, though very occasionally toman in excess of 10 kilos are taken. Getting hooked to one of these fish is akin to hooking up a runaway train or bulldozer. The problem is that this fish will power off to the nearest submerged tree trunk to wrap the line and lure around it. Catching Giant Snakehead with lures is a straightforward affair of sight fishing.
The toman typically roll at the surface to take a breath at regular intervals. Just cast to the vicinity of the rising toman and crank steadily. If the thumping bite does not come on the first cast, keep casting in the same region, often they will get enticed to snap at the lure.

With this method, the shallow running Halcos like the Scorpion 125 STD or Laser Pro 120 STD would be ideal. However, when they are not rising or are not taking the shallow lures, changing to the deeper diving lures in the Halco range might do the trick.

I personally prefer to use the larger Halco Scorpion like the 125 for the toman. The toman easily bites through mono the heavy leader if they swallow the smaller lures and this does happen with big tomans. If the use of the smaller Scorpion range or the Tilsan range is preferred, then one would have to accept the risk of a bite off or use a short length of wire leader for the large toman.

The smaller Halco Tremblers have accumulated a following among the toman anglers, as they are compact with the necessary weight for easy distance casting. The tight vibrations and the loud noise the Tremblers obviously instigate the toman to hit them, in addition the robust Trembler can handle the mauling the toman hands out.

If the fish are not seen rising, but their snag ridden haunt is known, it is often worthwhile to cast the large Poltergeist 80 into the snag. The Poltergeist with its large bib gets the lure down into the strike zone fast and also bumps over the snags without hanging up.

By Chris Tan