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Friday, March 31, 2006

New Reel - Shimano Alivio 4000FA

Just got this from a forumer. Selling cheap, $30, hardly used. Found out later that a new one is $45. Good deal. Planning for a 8 ft LOOMIS spinning, but couldn't find a spinning one and settled for a bc one. But later turned out to be a 9 footer and a lucky rod. :))

Review from
"The first thing you will notice about this reel is the classic beauty of the elegant lack matt body and burnished metal inserts. It looks expensive - but nothing could be further from the truth. Alivio is the entry level of the P3 range and whilst the cost may be very affordable the quality is definitely not cheap. The high performance aluminium spool has immense strength. The new rotor, with the special shape, turns with unbelievable smoothness and the one ball bearing and one roller bearing work together in perfect harmony with the gears to give a performance you will struggle to find at this price from any other manufacturer. At an entry-level price you have a strong and reliable reel that will perform well - session after session, year after year."

S.S.C Shimano smooth cast system
1 stainless steel ball bearing + 1 roller bearing
Dyna Balance System
Super Stopper II
Oversized Power roller
Long life Bail Spring
Powerful, smooth and precise front drag

Gear Ratio=4:6:1
Ball bearing=1
Roller bearing=1
Line capacity(lb/yd)=8/240 10/200 12/160

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Stuff from Japan

Things I picked up from Sansui, Shinbuya, Tokyo on end Mar 06 trip there. Berkley Gulp, the 400x power scent rubber bait, can't find in Singapore. The rest, not so sure, but I have never seen it before.

Not cheap, all these already costed me > 53,000 Yen.(around $70+)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tuas, Tanah Merah, Yishun Dam

Went to check out for any potential spots in the Tuas area. Armed with my trusty map, I drove to the Tuas end, near to the 2nd Link. Have never been here before. Surprisingly, it is a very very large place. However, all the beach area seems to be inaccessabile. There were fences all over and most of the areas are blocked by factories. Some places also blocked by police post and and ?giant cement cubes?. Legoland is here. Don't seem to have any place for fishing. Only thing interesting was that we spotted a Kingfisher perched on the railings. Nice bird.

Weather was kind of kooky today. A while rain, a while hot. Decided to go check out the Tanah Merah area. After a long drive from the west to the end side of Singapore, we arrived there around 3pm. The rain had stopped and not much people was around. However, the tide was low (I think at the lowest). Couldn't do any luring there. Walking to the canel mouth, the beach area looked bigger than when I was there the first time. 2 malay guys, a father and son team, were doing netcasting. D got excited collecting some sea snails and it occupied her for a while. I went to look around the area and discoved a big beach area on the right. There seemed to be some sort of club at the other end. The beach is kind of dirty with rubbish of water bottles, plastic bags etc.., but not as bad as places like Semb Park.

I tracked along the rocky shore and saw mudskippers running away. Me and D decided to try to catch one. But these buggers were too fast. They are actually quite nimble. We gave up and D went back to her snails collection. I walked to the other side where the 2 malay guys were doing netcasting. Saw them throwing away some unwanted fishes on the floor. They were scats, just like the one I "caught" last night. But poor things, they were left to die on the hot sand. I walked along the canel beach and found 2 small dead fishes. But still quite fresh as the color are still bright. I picked it up and went back to D. I told her that I caught the fishes with my hands. :).

She was excited and we took some pictures. She "buried" the 2 fishes after. We went back to the canal beach to look at the Malays casting net. On the way, we saw the 2 scats on the floor. I decided to try to help them get back to the water. However, due to the sharp spines on the back, it was dangerous to pick it up. With my slipper, I flipped it towards the water. With a few deft flips, they were back in the water and swimming hurriedly away. That felt good. Don't think it is good to kill unnecessarily.

When we returned to the car, I got a scare. The car wouldn't start. Turned the key and the electronics went funny. Not in the bermuda triangle right? I tried igniting a couple of times and even got out to look at my car engine (for the first time). Then I noticed that the lights were on. I realized that I had left the lights on and forgot to off it.(it was raining on the way here and at one point, I had turned it on) Due to that, the battery had drained out. Realizing what happened, I tried again. Thank goodness, after a few tries, the car roared to life. Phew!

On the way back, I stopped by Yishun Dam to check out the place. Seeing a car making a left turn into a dirt trail, I decided to follow. At the end of it was a small fishing village. There were boats parked there. Hm, interesting. Places like this hardly exists anymore. There was even a good old fashion well that someone was taking water from.

So fast. The weekend had ended. And the elusive saltwater fishes had still eluded me. Sea so big, but I couldn't even catch one tiny weeny one.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Secret Spot and Tanjong Rhu

I had actually plan to go Tanah Merah canel. Recced the place 2 days back and found it to be quite a good spot. But on the way, there was a downpour. Stopped by Changi for some food and to wait out the rain. Got some live prawns and sarong to try baiting also. As we were going there, I decided to check out a spot that was mentioned in the forum.

The directions were not specific, as it was a secret spot. But I roughly know where and tried an opening that look promising. Bingo, got into the right entrance. Surprising, there weren't any no entry signs. So, I don't think it is illegal afterall.

Reach there after a long slow drive. Road was rough and bumpy. Not a soul in sight. A few heavy trucks passed by and must have been wondering what a private car is doing inside the area. I headed towards the sea and managed to find the way there.

Tide was low and the water breaker was exposed. Too far to do any casting. However A found the low tide to her advantage. She could pick top shells from the along the shore. In no time, we got a bucketful of top shells. D was excited and wanted to follow. But the rocks were very slippery and I disallowed her from going down to the sea bed.

Then to our surprise, a van drove up next to us. A truckload of thai workers. They came here with nettings equipment and all. But after "fishing" around our spot, they moved to a further spot to our left, leaving us the place all to ourselves again. Another few vehicles came by and they all seemed to move further down. Maybe the spot there was better.

I tried luring and baiting. But no luck. The live prawns were untouched even after parking there for 30 minutes. Tide was coming in and at times, the waves were pretty rough. The sun was setting, and it was quite a pretty sight. However, daylight was fast going away. I had to pack up as it would be quite dark over there. No source of light near to us.

Left the spot around 7pm and made the long drive out. It was already very dark and my headlights lighted the landscape with an eerie quiet silence. Along the way, there were packs of dogs. They chased after my car and actually kept up with the following for quite a distance. Imagine if you had walked in. Would surely be attacked by the wild dogs.

I still had some prawns left and decided to move on to Tanjong Rhu to use the remaining prawns. From what I read, it was probably not a great spot. But no harm trying. At least, it would be comfortable there.

Reached there and rigged up my line. After a while, there was a slight movement detected and quickly grabbed and pulled to set the hook. Upon reeling in, no movement felt. Should have been a false alarm. Nevertheless, reeled the line in to check. To my surprise, there was a small fish (scat).

Just read yesterday that they have sharp venomous spines. So I was careful not to touch it. Upon closer examination, I didn't actually hook the bugger up. It was rigged by another baiter, and my guess was that he used it as a bait. Somehow, the line got tangled with mine and I managed to pull it up. I unhooked the poor fish. When I left the place, I released it back into the water. Score is still ZERO. This fish don't count.

Spotted Scat/Kim Kor

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Changi (Point) Ferry Terminal

CK recommended me this place (Changi Ferry Terminal). I came here for a recee and found it quite comfortable. Not too many ppl and nice clean enviromnemt. Good lighting and facilities, with tables, chairs and toilet nearby. In addition, near to the hawker centre. No problem for food and drinks. Carpark also free and nearby. Not bad.

High tide tonight was 9pm. Reached here around 8pm and starting casting. Just luring this time. Water looked pretty dirty but couldn't see clearly since it was nighttime. But still cleaner than Semb Park. Cast and cast, but nothing. For some reason, my BC reel kept getting "beehoon"ed. Fed-up, rigged up my light tackle for more hassle free fishing. Also nothing.

Moved around the shoreline to try different locations. Quite a lot of couples strolling on the park. Most of them never see a lure before. One couple even came up to look closely at my deep diver. Had a chat to them to explain that this is "bluff" fish.

One cast, I thot I got a hook up when I felt a tug. Pulled in, but didn't feel any struggle. False alarm. But cannot be snag as the line still far. Turned out to be plastic bag. Groupies around the park came to have a look seeing my action and my rod bending and all. Thot I got big fish. Got a scare as I was pulling in, as the line broke. Bag was filled with water, so quite heavy. Mine was only a 6lb line. Max, can only lift around 3kg. Not sure if due to my poor skill in tying albright knot. But luckily, it was already on the rocks. Had to go over the railings to retrieve the lure.

My deep diver lure also on one occasion got snagged. Tried pulling left and right. Thot gone case...but thank heavens, after about 5 minutes, it got free again. *Phew*. Ok, enough. Don't want to lose anymore lure.

Tide going down. No fish means no fish. Didn't see any of the baiters got anything also. Around 11pm, packed up. On the way out, went to chat with one of the young boy. Asked "got fish or not?". He also shooked his head.

Fishless for about 2 weeks already. :(

[Afternote: I realized that this is not Changi Ferry Terminal. It is Changi Point Ferry Terminal instead.]

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sembawang Park (Beach)

This afternoon, I had to go Semb Park again. But this time, it is at the Jetty side. Friend of ours booked a BBQ pit for a birthday party. I got my gear and try out at the side on the right of the beach. The left side was filled with people fishing and not an free spot was available. The Jetty was full of people doing crabbing. Not likely to be a good area. Probably very snaggy too. It was high tide and the water level was rather high. But the water was very stinky and loads of rubbish floating around. Even got a dead catfish (quite big). My guess is that the rubbish is from the canel. I parked myself next to a red rubbish bin and started casting.

On one of my cast, reel got "beehoon"ed rather badly. (term for line entangling badly on the reel, usually a bait caster). As I was fiddling to fix the beehoon, I had forgotten that the lure was a sinking lure. By the time I got the reel fixed, when I retrieved in, lure hitted a snag. Arrgghh! The new red head yozuri. Not again?? Can't believe it. Lesson learnt: Never let a sinking lure sink! Got out my lure retriever but it didn't help. Line broke when I was pulling back the retreiver. But I thot I might be able to get back the lure when the tide goes down. Ok, just have to wait around. Got to time to lose anyway. I recced around the area and found a spot at the far right where there are less people. Might be a better spot to lure. Try for while but nothing. There was a bit of rain but it stopped as quickly as it came. Went back to the original spot, saw the tide going down. Good, stood around there to wait for the tide to go down.

As the tide receded, the water became better and cleaner. At times, it was rather clear and I could see the lure from a distance of 20-30 metres. On one cast, I saw a sotong a little bigger than my lure chasing after it and when I stopped, it actually attacked it! But it was too small to get itself hooked. It would surely be a "blur" sotong after that. It actually did this another time. Just goes to show that luring does work. Just that, semb park, no fishes around. Not surprising. Poor water quality (quite a bit of oil slick from the nearby shipping dock), lots of crowd...not a place any self respecting fish would visit.

Waited until around 7.30pm and yet no sign of my lure. Found many heavy duty broken nettings on the beach during low. Those netters were such an inconsiderate lot. Actually very dangerous for people who swims in the sea as there are many fishing hooks caught by it and countless sharpish junk. Too bad the line broke, else I could have traced the location. Day light is dimming and it was getting really dark. Haz, after such a long wait and yet couldn't recover my lure. Rats and double rats.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sembawang Park (Bottle tree)

Went to try out Semb Park Bottle tree canel. Don't think it is a good fishing spot, but trying it out nevertheless as it was rather near to our houses. Furthermore, high tide is around 1-2am. Just nice for a nite out adventure. Arranged with TC to meet 11pm at Yishun Tackle shop (Sincere) to pick up some live prawns for bait. Surprisingly, the shop was quite packed with fishos picking up bait for their night fishing. His wifey decided to come along to check check. After the Lab Park experience, I got an air pump to help keep the prawns alive and kicking. Was intially worried about the lightning but to our surprise, when we reached there, it was brightly lit and populated with scores of families doing a nite out of fishing fun.

We parked ourselves beside a park bench and it was actually rather comfortable. Only complaint was that it was rather stinky at times. (well, canel right?) Helped Tc to setup his fishing gear with all the lighting sticks, bells and whistles. Rather pro, TC and wife was impressed. The area was rather confined and I couldn't do any fair bit of luring without crossing into other people's line. My lure only succeeded to fool TC and wife. They thought my incoming lure was a fish. *grin*. Not once, but twice. The malay family next to us was very noisy, more like a night out than coming here for fishing.

The whole night was rather uneventful. TC got this fierce action of casting but the line ended up only 10 metres away (pic). Luckily he was not throwing a grenade. Got a few false alarms, like the bells going off cos I crossed over one of the lines. A few times, we saw the rod tip dipped a little and then nothing. Checking the prawns, we would find only half of it. Should have some small bait stealers. The guy further caught small fishes and a catfish. (not sure if that was his bait). But he using serious looking 12 ft surf rod, when the canel is barely 50 metres across. Throw too hard, it will land over the bushes on the other side. (maybe can hook up a monkey or two).

After using our last bit of prawn, we decided to call it a day and headed for home. Used live prawns and yet yielded nothing. *Sigh*. What better could we do in terms of attracting fishes? Already the most expensive and delicious meal for free roaming saltwater fishes.

But all in all, a good night adventure.

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Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Went to check out this place. According to man from SeaTackle, CK, can get queenies, barracuda Reached there already low tide. The water breaker was exposed and it looked like a good place to park there for casting. I took out my rod while A and D went to the adjoining beach to play with sand.

The area at the breakwater was very slippery with algae and I couldn't get near without risking slipping and injuring myself. There was an old couple picking top shells and the woman actually walked bare footed on the breakwater. Humm..must know Qing Gong one. The place looked ok to fish if the tide is higher on the edge beside the jetty. Right now, the sea was too far away to land the lure at a good distance. Not to mentioned the rocky edge when retrieving the lure. Bound to hit a snag.

There was a pack of dogs at the further end of the beach and they started barking to try scare us away. One even edged nearer to threaten us. Good thing they kept their distance and seemed to backed off if you pick something to throw at them. The water trapped inland was good for some shore seashells picking but I heard got sandflies here. True enough, A and D got bitten and so we moved off after a while. Good thing I had my stingnose with me.

Will revisit this place again.

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Reel - Shimano Navi XT 1000

Got from Seatackle. Recommended as a light tackle set together with a Ryobi rod. All in all, about $150. Felt good and could cast a light lure pretty far. Only qualms is the 6lb line is very thin. Don't feel very confident about it holding up to a fish, especially a big one. Never know right? :)

Review from
"Navi XT is an ultra light spinning reel for the beginner angler. It is kept simple but still features all needed functions plus much more. Aluminum spool, Shimano’s Power Roller system to reduce line twist and SBL system to improve the anti-reverse feature."

Specs on the box
Gear Ratio=5:2:1
Ball bearing=3
Roller bearing=1
Line capacity(kg/m)1.5/130 2/100 3/65
SHIP (Super HIgh Power System)
Power Roller
Super Stopper II

Labrador Park

Went Labrador to attempt to get my first salty (saltwater fish). Really determined, hence decided to do baiting. (legal there). Dropped by Changi Pro to get 10 milkfish and 10 live prawns. Reached there in the evening around 6pm. Quite pleasant after the upgrade. Saw a bunch of squirrels playing around a tree. Not spooky of people. Reminded me of the time in Germany when I encountered playful squirrels in the park. Not something you see everyday in urban singapore.

Tide was low, will take a while to come up again (I estimated to be around 10-11pm). Not much people and to our good fortune, there was a shelter available. Lab park has good facilities, there is even a tap with running water. Looked like we were set for the night. Started hooking up live prawns. Took a bit of skill and _cruelty_ to pierce the hook through their tail end. Started dropping lines into the sea. I did a bit of luring with light tackle (newly bought :)) but found it to be fruitless after a while.

Around 7pm, one of the rod went "ttting ttting" (from the fishing bell). Woah, got a fish. Everyone was excited. I quickly grabbed the rod and started to pull the fish in. Not very big, but I think should be a good sized something. It was getting dark and I couldn't quite see what it was. When it reached the bottom part of the jetty, it did a aerial jump and to our dismay, managed to escape. Haz! And I thot I had it for sure. Amy caught a glimpse of it and said that it had a flat whitesh head. Dunno what.

The prawns all started dying. Looked like an air pump would be needed to keep them alive. We quickly used up all the prawns and started using the milkfish. Hooking fish seems a little more cruel. Maybe I will stick to prawns instead in future.

Around 9pm, people started coming to the jetty in loads. Guess that they must have read the tide info. There was a bunch of 5-6 middle aged man and they started occupying the whole stretch of the jetty near to my shelter. Serious surfcaster type with 12 ft rods (at a jetty?) and what nots cheapo equipment. Some of the lines got like 10 hooks. Irritating, cos they while dropping lines everywhere near to me. One of them got a big hookup as I passed by on my way to the loo. His rod when "ttting ttting". He yanked and pulled the rod with such a force (and his is a 12 footer rod), that the line broke. Of cos man. Pulling teeth for the fish or what? Looked like bunch of newbies.

Another family bunch of hokkien spewing people came (with trolley load of stuff, mind you) and to our surprise, started to park themselves in our shelter. Come on, the whole jetty was relatively unoccupied, why was it that they all have to stationed themselves here? I was quite pissed but seeing a pregnant womanfolk, I cleared the bench for her to sit down. Again, lines started dropping all over my area effectively breaking rule #1, never fish in an overcrowded area with bunch of hokkien spewing smoking people. True enough, I didn't get anymore hookup for the rest of the night.

There was a display of fireworks somewhere in the direction of Sentosa. Not sure what that was for. At one point, star cruise passed by creating quite a beautiful display of xmas tree lights and shimmery movement. Certainly looked like an expensive boat.

The bunch of hokkien jokers started smoking and blaring loud chinese mandarin pop. They now even had a 4 man tent right in front of me. The wind was blowing my side and I got blasted with their nicotine laden breath. I got pretty upset. Gave them the coughing act. (but it didn't stop them) At the end of the jetty, some couple was providing a free show with their romantic kissing and necking under the yellow light. Did they actually think that no one could see them???

Decided to pack up and call it a night. Bait all used up and nothing caught. Maybe another night. The fishing was alot better before the whole bunch of inconsiderate people arrived. Next time bring constentinal wire and wire up the area. Too bad about the first fish. Should have gotten that prize. First salty will have to wait for another day.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fish #4, #5

Just got the middive lure from Sincere Tackle. Lived up to its reputation. Good lure, first use and got me something after like the 4th cast. Ah lau on my right using live bait catfish didn't get anything. Could see his fruss face.

Pink humbug just got in the morning from Sincere worked too! Hmm, good day. The two lures that I just bought this morning got results straight away. Got a baby toman, very cute. But unfortunately, the hooks got it eyes. Not sure if the eyes are damaged. Keeping it in my tank for observation.

On one cast, Pink humbug got stuck on the weeds here...crawled under small hole in fence to retrieve the lure. Immediately, got a middle aged guy from PUB came out from the bushes to say that I couldn't fish beyond the fence. Told him not fishing but trying to untangle my lure from the weeds. they are actually around. Complained to him about the people using bait. (Info - Reservior can only use artificial bait legally. But don't think anyone is following it.)

Encountered a monster fish here that took my red head yozuri (my best lure!). Felt an attack. It might have run into a hole. Definitely not a snag. Lossening the line a little, I could feel it pulling it deeper. I suspected it to be a soon hock or maybe a grouper. Bottom feeding fishes. Tried to pull it out but line knot came undone. Evident from the curly lines at the end. Haz, must learn to try better knots. There goes my favourite lure. Lost a total of 4 lures here. But found a "Madpepper" lure here. Never heard before but looked expensive. A bit banged up with missing hooks. But with a little makeover, still usuable.

[Top] Pink Hambug [Bottom] MadPepper found in KR (added the hooks)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The 2 That Got Away

Went to LSR for more training on PB catching. Trying clouser fly this time. Got 2 catches...small size PB. But hook slipped out when reeling them in. Hook not sharp enough?


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fish #3

Teng Chin pestering me to bring him fishing. Ok, arranged to go early (like 6.30am!). Don't even wake up this early for work.
Last week's fishing, got a fat 0.

No action in the morning. Bunch of overnighters using live bait got some pretty big fishes. (soon hock, tilapia). About 9am, suddenly everyone started hooking up peacocks. My lures not doing anything. Trying out my polarfibre fly but not working. Maybe battery flat or something. This 40ish man with bicycle came and hooked up fishes after fishes. The resident expert. We went to chat with him. Asked him how come mine don't work. He said my fly not fresh enough!!. Kena suan.

Kind of desparate. Not even a single catch. My BC reel jammed. Teng Chin passed me back my spinining rod. Ok, time for secret weapon. My red head yozuri. After a couple of throws, finally, got something. Haha! My 2nd PB. (peacock bass). But still very small. Nevertheless, felt good.