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Saturday, December 30, 2006

So Long 2006, and Thanks for the Fish

Back to Secret place for another try, given that yesterday wasn't too bad at all. Last day of the year and hopefully with some luck, a KBL could make it for this year. Tide was to be 7.30am and so, I dragged myself up at 6am to prepare and we set off and reached the gate at about 7am. But to my disappointment, it was closed! No choice, we headed for CV first for some breakfast, and hopefully, the gate might be opened later.

Breakfast was a quick affair of carrot cake and some peanut pancakes. This was my first time in CV at this early hour, and it was quite refreshing. Most of the shops were closed but Changi Pro was opened, as well as some stalls in the hawker centre.
Could see some cycling folks gathering there for breakfast before some cycling event.

After breakfast, I drove back to the gate again and thankfully, it was opened. So, in another 5 minutes, we were back at the same spot again. I rigged 3 rods this time (bit kiasu), 1 lemax, 1 contender and my light tackle. Light tackle seemed to work better today with my light rig with prawn hooks. Seemed that the hooks would indeed affect the catch rate. D wanted to use the light rod and I allowed her. On her own, she did managed to get at least 2 pasir pasir.

I had with me some live prawns and a pack of worms. Unfortunately, the paper with the worms flew off halfway and landed into the sea. Luckily I got some pasir pasir and I cutted it up to use as bait for the light rod.

My lemax and contender were rigged with live prawns and worms. But no luck this morning, and I only managed to get some Spangled Emperors. 1 or 2 did put up some good fight, despite their small size. I think in total, I got about 4 or 5 of them.
One time, my line hit a snag and I thot it might be another ray. But after some yanking and pulling, the rig returned empty. Haz.

On my last try, I got an emperor again. The last Emperor, I took a shot and decided to release it, being my last fish for the year. As it touched the water, I could see it scooting off. Quite tough fishes. So final count, zero KBL this year. My next year target: KBL, Queenie, Tengerri and Barracuda and Good size Grouper.

I was feeling a bit strange that for this last 2 times here, I didn't see anyone. Normally the canel there would have one or two other people. Not sure if it is now illegal for people to enter. But on the way out, I finally saw some vans with people fishing. There was a bay area and seemed most people congregate here. Might be quite a productive spot.

Biggest Ray for the Year

I was pretty much stuck in Singapore as I only realized recently that my passport had less than 6 months validity after this Friday. So, all plans for kelong escapade was dashed. To console myself, I decided to try out Secret Spot again. The last attempt with Andrew and Elyn was quite promising. I tied some rigs with small hooks and came down after popping by CV for live prawns and dead fish meat.

On the way, saw a dog lying on the mud. Hmm, some kind of spa treatment. Seeing my car approaching, it stood up and walk away. Missed the shot of him inside the mud.

I rigged up 2 rods, lemax and light tackle. But light tackle didn't seem to work well again. I was suspecting that it could be my rod then. Might be my light action was not good for setting of small hooks. But not all was lost and I managed my first with a small wrasse.

Lemax on live prawns was having quite bit of action. I had a bell on and quite frequently, there would be sudden spurts of ringing indicating a bite. But prawns were either coming back headless or missing. However one time, I got lucky. I had thot as first that I hit a snag...and left the rod to handle my light tackle. But all of sudden, the rod took a dip and there was a strong pull. I picked up the rod and stuck and I was on to something big. It would peel my lines off the reel left and right. The rod was bending a nice parabolic and the fight was good. After 5 minutes, I managed to pull the fish up to the surface. I was hoping for a KBL, but to my surprise, it was a ray. This was to be my biggest yet, and it was quite a good fight. Seeing that the ray was quite big, I tried to pull it over to the sea wall to lift it up. Luckily I did that as while the ray was on the rocky incline, the line snapped at the swivel. (poor knotting skills) But the ray was safely landed.

Thereafter, I got a flathead and then some spangled emperors. Seeing the darkening sky, I packed and headed for CV for dinner. Very promising place, and the best was that there wasn't anyone else. I was tempted to come back here the next morning for another round. Hopefully, I would be able to get my KBL for the year by tomorrow, being the last day of the year 2006.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Recce in the West

I had driven here before but couldn't find any place for fishing. But someone posted that there was a spot and so off I went to do a little recce. I managed to find the spot, but ended up the spot was quite dirty, quite a bit of rubbish floating around. I drove a little and chance upon another spot where I spotted someone fishing. The water looked clean and promising at the mouth of the canel. I would try fishing here sometime. But the problem was that fishes here, I didn't think I would dare to eat, from all the pollution and industrial waste flowing into the water. Eating fish here is recipe for becoming X-men.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

SAF Yacht Club

TC asked to fish at the Yacht club since he was a member there. I came a little early after getting bait from CV, but I encountered a flat tyre when car was parked there. So, I had a crash course on how to change tyres and did it quite quickly. Luckily, spare tyre held up quite well and I could continue with the fishing.

TC came as I was changing tyres. When I was done, we went inside. Finally got chance to fish inside rather than outside. But to our surprise, the jetty was packed with people fishing. In fact, I think worse than Bedok jetty. We were all standing just a few metres away from each other. Hm...I thot this place was quite exclusive. Later on, someone on my right did a bad cast and crossed all the lines.

I was a little lucky and managed to get a strike on my light tackle. But I lost it the first time. I got a 2nd chance and this time, it felt strong and bigger. But to my disappointment, a Duri. But quite a good size..I think got 500g. Someone on my left had catch a duri earlier on. Later on the night, my rod did a dip and TC quickly grabbed it and passed it to me. It felt like a big fish. But as I was fighting, I thought it went under the jetty. After that, the line was rubbing against something and to my dismay, the 20 lb leader snapped, hooks and all. What a waste...but it might just have been another Duri.

Around 9pm, we packed as the night was not very promising. TC was impatient and didn't like the waiting kind of fishing. We later found out that the tide was actually coming up. No wonder no fish. Maybe we should have waited a little longer.

New Stuff - Lemax Platinium & Sienna 2500

I had been lagging behind in my postings due to all the festive laziness. Here goes. Got myself a Lemax Platinium for ~$50 to replace my Rapala which I had sold the day just before my kelong trip. This time round, wanted to try a different length, so went for a 6'6" one. First fish was a nice sized bream, not bad at all. Felt good and I used this rod to get my todak at the kelong.

I also gotten a Sienna yesterday. Had seen this at the tackle shop at West Coast, and quite liked the looks of it. Asked around and got it slightly cheaper at CV, Riverland. Spooled it with pink fireline and it felt cool. Haven't gotten the chance to wet it yet. Not too sure why I got this since I have only 2 spinning rod. But I thot a slightly bigger size than my current Aerlex would be a better fit for my 6'6". Just learnt from the uncle at Riverland that Sienna is the best amongst the budget shimano reels, the order being Alivio, Slade and Sienna. It felt very smooth with it four bearings. Also realized that my Aerlex and Navi are actually not budget reels, more high end than my Sienna. Unfortunately my Navi spool is now dented, still thinking if I should replace the spool.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Trip to Kong Kong

I had a day leave and I popped over to Malaysia for a recce. I also brought along my light setup just in case. I happened to be near to Kong Kong and so did a why not and drove there to see if I could remember the route there. Actually, it was quite easy as the road signs were clear enough. So, in no time, I reached Kong Kong.

The place was a mere shadow of its previous self. Used to be that it was rather popular haunt for seafood and all. But this morning, it was rather quiet and we were only the few people around. I asked if it was ok to fish around the jetty and it seemed ok to do that. In fact, there was an uncle with her granddaughter fishing near the chicken coop. Saw a few Scat which they caught.

I was tempted and setup my light rod. But unfortunately, I only had ready made surecatch apollo rigs. I thought it was due to that I didn't have much luck. Actually, I had a lot of bites, but everytime failed to hook up the fish. There was once that I had a strong take but failed to hook up. Only once did I managed and I thought my theory was quite correct as the fish was not pierced throught the mouth at all. Probably a combination of my light slow action rod and lousy hooks.

It started to rain a little and we packed up and proceeded on to Jusco for our lunch. On the way out, spied these bunch of fierce protective geese. I might come back to retry again.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ah Fatt Kelong

TC finally managed to persude me to go kelong fishing this coming friday. I grudingly agreed despite the short notice, only condition was that I didnt want to head back to Hotboys. Already, I had been there twice this year, and there were countless kelongs to go to, already four in the vicinity of Sibu. So it was to be decided that we would try out Ah Fatt Kelong, the first in the series of the Sibu Kelongs. From the forum, it had been given a good rating.

(if you're travelling towards the kelongs from Tg. Leman jetty. From the left is Ah Fatt, followed by HB, Ah Ngan, then Ah Yew is on the rightmost.)

The journey begins

That Friday morning saw us getting onto TC's car. He was a little late and we found that going into JB at 7+am was not a good idea. The Jam was about half an hour and by the time we touched down to JB, I thought it was about 8pm. We had a quick Mac bf near to the one in Carrefour. But we were going to be ready late, (eta 10.30am). TC made a call to inform and it didn't seem to be a problem. There was an 11am boat. So, the timing was quite ok. Soon we were on the boat heading for the kelong.

Girl and Puffer = Power Puff Girl

Lots of this fish (selar papan)

My first rabbit fish

TC's first rabbit

My bream

Upon reaching the kelong, we unpacked and set about to do some easy fishing. TC got the first catch of the day with a kunning? like fish. I took a little longer but got quite a nice bream on my first catch. Not to bad. Bait for the day was sotong. The kelong sotong seemed effective and our icebox were soon piling up the body counts.

My two todaks for the trip

One pic with my todak for his luck (He was indeed lucky the next day)

But I wasn't quite satisfied in getting the same type of fishes and after a while, I rigged up my todak rig in an attempt to get my very first one. For some unknown reason, Mr todak wasn't interested in my bait fish on float. I thot about this for a while and decided to make the offering more juicy by filleting the fish and pegging it onto my gang hooks. The effect of the change was almost immediate. The moment the bait hit the water, a todak struck and dragged the line out from my almost free spool. The zinging sound was very exciting and in my haste and clumsiness, I took too long to strike and todak managed to come loose after some acrobatic jumps. But that fueled our hopes of hitting a todak that day, and I tried again and todak come round again for a second helping. This time round, I was a little more rehearsed, and did everything quite rightly. Locked bail, tighten drag, reeled in. And in a smooth swipe, my first todak landed on the deck, and I was all smiles all over. But the todak was a fiesty fighter and its awesome teeths were quite a dangerous weapon against anyone trying to get near. Someone told us that we need to give mr todak a few whack with the piece of solid wood on the floor. He did it for us and we were shocked that we had to cobble the poor fish senseless. But better him than us.

So, pictures were taken. Todak was rather large, I thought about 2 feet. Quite an impressive catch. TC now was all fired up about todak catching and abandoned his easy game of catching tiny fishes. I rigged up a set for him and off he had a go at todak fishing. Meanwhile, I managed to get another todak on hook and got it on the deck without much problems. TC got a few todaks having a go at the bait but he wasn't able to complete the action and the todaks managed to elude him for that day. I ran out of rig and that was the end of todak fishing that day.


My first sotong for the night

TC's first sotong

Very soon, it was dusk and after dinner, I rigged up my sotong jig and the white rabbit jig for wolf herrings. But there was no luck for wolf herrings that night. I casted a few tenths of times, but no strikes at all. TC also had a go but also no luck. We went back to sotong jigging. Someone catch the first sotong effortlessly, like just trying for about 5 minutes. So, all sotong jigs went down the well and very soon, everyone was trying for one. But sotong was not in season, and the catches were quite few. I myself only got 2, and TC happily did manage his first one.

It started to drizzle and soon fishing was impossible. We went to catch some sleep hoping to come back to the fishing later in the night. I woke up and fished for a while, trying for more sotongs, but still no luck at all. The water in the night was full of todaks, looking for supper. I didn't want to do any messy fishing as we had taken our baths. But the rain came again and we had to abandon the idea of fishing at night. But the good thing was that we managed to have a good night sleep.

TC's first todak (garfish)


The next morning, I thought we woke around 7am. TC was again doing his easy tiny fish fishing. After breakfast, I told him to setup the float to try for todaks again. A wanted to have a go too and I rigged up for everyone. TC was dead lucky this time, I manged to capture his crowning glory moment on video. Todak came and struck. Reel went zinging and TC in his clumsiness did get the todak hook set and was soon reeling it in. But on the way, the line went round someone's rod and around a pole. Poor todak was hanging in mid air struggling while he took quite a while to untangle the line. But luck was on his side, and todak didn't escape and very soon it was on deck. This memory would be permanently etched into his mind and I foresee that he would soon be visiting tackle shops for more accessories.

Where is my todak?

A didn't have any luck and suddenly, the todaks went quiet and didn't want to take the bait. Sun was out and the weather soon got quite hot for fishing. A gave up soon after, but resolved to take her revenge on the next trip. We packed up, laid out the fishes for a final photo and went for baths.

My total catches

Total loot

Girl catching todak with bare hands

Eric and Jennifer

Very surprisingly, I met Eric again on the kelong when the next batch arrived. Was it fate or what, but 3 times I had been to kelong, 3 times I met him. I finally got all their names correct and it was quite embarassing that I kept calling them the wrong names. So they were Dalphin (Eric's wife), Jennifer and her daughter Jamie. D had fun with some of his niece and nephews.

We left the kelong around 1pm and from the jetty made our way back to JB. Due to the Jam again, we only reached home around 6pm.

Karaoke "room"

Easy fishing corner

Wash basins


Sotong well

Dining area


Sibu island in the background