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Friday, May 26, 2006

Singapore River

It had been quite a while since I fished due to the busy weekend. Today, I had a off day and needed to scratch the itch. I was actually planning to head down early to tanah merah but due to D having to see the teacher in school, by the time we set off, it was already past the high tide. I thot to do a simple session at Api Api again, since the last time wasn't too good.

We packed lunch and got there around 1pm. By that time, the water was already receding. Nevertheless, I setup the rods and casted away with some prawn meat that I got from the market. (no choice, didn't want to run to changi v to get live prawns).
Today being a Friday, the place was really quite empty except for a man doing crabbing. But just a few minutes into the fishing, the sky turned dark and was threathening to rain. Remembering the last incident, I decided to pack and go. Anyway, the mood wasn't there.

So, the plan was changed to fish at night. From the forum, saw that someone had caught a nice grouper at Singapore River. Hm, that sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try.

Reaching there, I parked at the OUB carpark. I was dressed in my usual shorts and certainly looked out of place in such a up market area. We went for dinner at the hawker centre nearby and proceeded to get the gear to fish by the big iron bird.

The place was nice, with many a couple walking around, sitting on the sea wall, enjoying the atmosphere and the scenery. Everyone stared at me, the funny guy with a fishing rod. Well, that was understandable, as I was the only one fishing there.
When I first cast off my float with my lighted stick, the people around cheered, having never seen such a sight before. :)

The water was pretty choppy due to the boats coming and going. I was sure that my live prawns got a headache from all the see sawing waves. Once I almost fished a boat as I threw too close to a boat within my path of my projectile. Luckily, it just landed right beside the boat. :P The boats stopped operating around 11pm and from then, the water was calmer and more condusive for fishing. However, throughout the whole session, I didn't even feel a bite. The prawns that I throw in, after half hour later, they were still there, alive and kicking. Didn't even have bait stealer (small fishes) to kill them.

There was this bunch of chinese national just next to me. I really couldn't believe one of the guy. After every sentence he uttered, he would spit on the floor. He would say "blah blah blah..." and then "spit spit spit..." and then "blah blah blah..." and "spit spit spit...". Goodness. And again, smoke smoke and throw the butt on the floor. Actually, I wonder how the river can be so clean. Must be alot of workers doing area cleaning everyday.

While I was fishing, there was this bald headed ang moh who came to sit down and talked to me. We chatted a little and I found out that he was into fly fishing. I recommended him to go check out the CoHo shop at beach road. After a while, he said his byes byes and left.

Around 12pm, D began to feel sleepy from the medication that she took for her persistent cough. Well, ok. I packed up and proceeded home. Good experience here. I was thinking that the security would come chase me away, but it seemed that it was ok to fish. But no matter, there wasn't much fishes in this river, otherwise, you would see a long queue a long time ago.

When I left the carpark, I found that the parking costed me $6.40! Wow, not cheap at all. Must be another per entry charge when passed midnight.

Another fishless day. :(

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New lures - Crystal Minnows

After selling some of my not-so-good-to-use lures, I needed to restock. Since I had success with the yozuri floating lures, I popped down to SeaTackle to add these to my collection.

Yozuri crystal minnows - 90mm/7.5g/Floating 12-18 inches.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Kranji, My Lure Graveyard

Set off to kranji for a revenge, since I didn't get anything last week.
Reaching there, there was only 1 other guy fishing, so almost had the whole place to ourselves. That is becos the weather didn't look good, looking like it was about to rain. We parked ourselves under a shelter for good measure.

I throw my newly aquired weighted float with my berkley gulp to see if any fishes will take it. From the advert, it was supposed to be made from fish food, blended into this plastic jelly like material. Few occasions, I actually saw that the tail was bitten off, so maybe it might work.

I did some luring for a while and didn't get anything again. The conditions didn't seem right. Windy, choppy waters. Not sure if I am right, but conditions like this, fishes run into deeper waters. And then the worst thing happened again. My middive got stuck in the rocks. This place had already "consumed" 4 of my lures. This looked like another casualty. Damn! I pulled left, pulled right, but it was stuck solid. In desparation, I waded into the water as the spot wasn't too far off the bank. This is the second time I had waded into a public reservoir. First was in Bedok reservoir. The place was pretty dangerous, as the rocks were extremely slippery. But thanks heavens, but a few attempts at poking at it with my rod, the lure got loosen and was recovered. Heng! After this, I decided not to risk it anymore. Decided to pack up and go.

At this point, big groups of chinese nationals came and started setting up rods _everywhere_. And smoking too. Good thing I was packing, sure wouldn't enjoy the fishing from then on.

Go back to sleep better.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ribbon for Mother's Day

I finally made it to Marina Promenade today, after all the procastinations. Anyway, it was about time for dinner and the Makansutra Hawker centre was there. I had never tried it before, so today was a good time. But we were there too early and all the stalls were still yet to open. So, we walked around, enjoying the scenary of couples and students buzzing around the esplanade. It was a very young and trendy place completed with a Durian Building. I explored a little further down and saw a lone man fishing below the sea wall. Not sure what he was using, but he didn't seem to have much luck. I was tempted to run back to Marina Square carpark to grab my rod and try to do some luring. The place didn't look that bad, even though it was low tide. There was some kind of water breaker below the sea wall that enabled you to stand on to cast. But it looked very rocky, must be sangkot heaven. After walking around, and the hawker centre being not ready and all, I decided to do that and went back to the carpark to get my rod and stuff.

Tried for a little while and true enough my lure got snagged. The place was really rocky and my x-rap lure was stuck for quite a while. I though that's it. But after some pulling and jerking (and swearing), it managed to free itself and was in business again. I casted a few more times, and what did you know? It got snagged again. Jeez..but this time, no matter how I yanked and pulled, it would'nt come loose. In the end, I had to sniped off the line. [Place: 1 Lure/Me: 0] :(. Undaunted, I retied the line with my yozuri crystal minnow this time. I figured that the place could only use floating lure. Any divers would surely be a goner. My crystal minnow seemed to work without getting too low into the rocks. I used it walking up and down the water breaker trying out different spots. Few times, the Duck tour boat went past and I must had been an ususual sight for those "ang mohs" tourists.

A and D were by this time very hungry and so I ended my session when they stopped believing me about my "5 mins". May come here to try again. Parking is ok on a weekday. $2 per entry after 6pm.

After a good (BUT expensive) dinner, I drove up to changi village to do some night fishing, which was my original intention. I had wanted very much to get a decent KBL and that night before, we saw this uncle catching one. So, confirmed this place will have KBL. I got about 200 gms of prawns as I was intenting to focus on floating only. I setup one rod, rigged a float and casted away. But I realized that my floating setup was not good enough. Hmm, I then went to Changi Pro to get a decent float and light stick. (This is the good thing about fishing here. Want anything, the shop is just round the corner. Maybe can SMS and they will deliver...keke). After fixing up, the setup looked more professional. With the heavy weighted float, I could cast pretty far, quite near to the boats. The logic is that KBL is a fish that will hide along structures to ambush its prey. The bridge was the best location, but it was really packed up there and also quite narrow. I was limited to trying my luck around the boats area. But the heavy traffic of the boats coming and going was not too good for catching a fish.

After parking my rod, I would usually play around with my lures to try my luck. However, so far, it had not been very fruitful. Today should not be any exception. So, I was just casting, pulling back, casting, pulling without expecting anything when out of the blue, WHAM, something took my lure! Wow, it wasn't too heavy and I quickly managed to pull it out of the water. When I looked, there it was a longish fish that was pretty big. (for me). After some hesitation, I lifted the fish and swung it over the fence. Haha, got it. So, rounds of pictures and some of the fishing folks came over to see my prize.

The fish looked really fierce, with sharp fine teeth. It struggled hard for a while. When I tried to unhook it, I found that the hooks were deeply embedded in its throat. Any attempts to unhook it, it would struggle hard, wildy flapping its long shiny tail. I decided that it was too difficult to do it and went on to put the fish in the icebox, together with the lure. But very strange, when we next opened the icebox, the fish somehow managed to spit out the lure. *??*. But by then, it died already.

After that, no more action from anyone. And definitely no KBL. A bit disappointed, but at least I had a prize. And on lure too. :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Small "LongKang" Fishes

Was still thinking of running down to check out Marina Promenade...but parking there is a problem. Went yishun for breakfast and got quite bit of bait. Live prawns, sorong worms, fishmeat (dunno what fish). On the way there, the traffic to CTE seemed quite heavy. Decided to make a detour and ended up in Tanah Merah Canal instead. To my surprise, there wasn't much people. Not sure if it was due to today being Vesak Day. Might be all the fishing people all buddhist. No killing for the day, I supposed.

Anyway, found a cool spot and I parked my car there. Too bad, the better spot near the canal mouth was taken up by a group of boys. So, decided just to fish at the bridge area, where the car is parked. Very convenient..and actually quite comfortable too. There was shade to hide away from the hot sun, and not much problems from insects. D also found the place quite fun as she busied herself collecting wood to make a tree house. (ambitous).

I setup 3 rods together, 1 with small sabiki hooks, 1 with size 16 sabiki hooks and 1 with size 3 hooks for floating (with live prawns). First, I concentrated on the light tackle and just get some fishes before trying others. The result not bad. Throw, 30 secs, you can feel bites. At the start, I kept getting bites, but couldn't manage to hook up anything. But lately, it got better, I started with a small Pink Ear Emperor (Leng Jiam), and caught a few more later. They seemed to like the fish meat bait that I was using. With my medium rod (better hooks), I baited with sarong worms. With that, I got some kelong chi (tigerperch) and again, some Oriental Salligo, just like the ones I caught the last time. In total, D "caught" 2, and I the rest.

Midway, as the tide was dropping, I spied a snake swimming to the sea. Wow, cool...and I quickly called D to take a picture. I had half a mind to try to foul hook it, but what would I do with a snake? Too bad the picture didn't turn out, with D's lousy photographing skill.

The floating with Live prawns no luck again. All these live prawns, so far, only got me a big catfish, that's all. Need to read up more on this rig. As I was pulling up once, I saw the small fishes attacking the prawns. Hm, like this, maybe luring would work.

Again, I was abruptly interrupted when it started dropping rain. But good thing that I was just beside the car. We quickly packed and moved off. Driving out, it really started to pour, lucky. I had a good mind to run down to Marina Promenade later in the evening, but after some shopping, it started to drizzle again. Oh well, a bit tired anyway. Headed for home.

Catches of the day to fill a dinner plate

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Crabby day

Wanted to try out Marina Promenade actually, but alas, forgot the air pump. Anyway, figured that the area there would be packed. The traffic, I meant. So, detoured to Changi Village for dinner and thereafter, to get some dead bait meat. I was thinking perphaps to try out the changi carparks, the ones that I have not been to. But as I was crossing the bridge of Changi Ferry Pt Terminal to the carpark, we saw someone fishing on the bridge (as usual, there were quite a lot of people). And this fellow, he caught a KBL (seabass). Wow, seeing that, saliva dripping. I had not the good fortune to land one of these yet. So, ended up, decided to fish around the area. Not on the bridge, but on the opposite side of the ferry terminal.

Like the last time, there wasn't much people. Actually, I quite like this place. It is pleasant, clean, well lighted and best still, not much fishing people around. Across the park on the terminal side, there is a sort of a beer garden that played nice sentimental music. This, you wouldn't get it anywhere else. To have "piped-in" music while fishing. Nice.

I setup and quickly baited my hooks with dead prawn meat. After casting, barely 1 minute, I felt a bite. So, I struck hard, but upon reeling up, didn't get anything. This happened a few times. Quite strange, was my hooks too big? After a few attempts, there was one time that I struck quite hard. And well, well, well...I got a flower crab. The crab looked quite unusual as it had live barnacles on it. :)...5 minutes later, I got another one. And this one is quite big. Almost the size that you would get from the market for a flower crab. I left the 2 crabs together in the icebox, and when I next looked, the bigger crab actually attacked the smaller crab and sniped off its pinchers. Must be an angry crab.

Suddenly, the place started dizzling. Decided to pack up and tried to make a run for the car. But after packing, the rain kind of subsided. Haz, but already packed, so headed for home. Still fishless...but at least, got something.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fishes All Gone for Election

Quite a bad weekend. Yesterday wanted to try Changi Boardwalk but upon reaching there, packed like sardine. All people standing shoulder to shoulder. I walked one round with everyone staring and decided that the vibe was not right. Is this place really that so good? Saw someone double hooked croakers. (Just like the one I had)Actually quite hard to get to. Parking also a problem. The boardwalk distance to the sea, is not very much better than from the beach. On the way out, an old malay man asked me if I am going as he had saw me just arrived. "Yeah", I said.

And weather was bad. Rained a little when we got back in the car. Decided to move on to Api Api, my "SureCatch" location so far. No one was there, as clouds were darken and threatening to rain. But that couldn't be, I thot, as the floor was wet from an earlier rainfall. So, took my chances and setup. Weather improved a little and a big group of chinese nationals came to fish around me. They were quite irritating as some were smoking and talking very loudly. And the bells on the their rod kept ringing. That's one problem with using bells. I have since put some blue tack on mine to make it softer. It does get on other fishos' nerve. But their luck was quite good as they landed a few fishes, but I think all "ah sengs". Luck for mine was rock bottom, couldn't even get a single bite even though I was holding on to the rod. Quite unusual...Could it be something wrong with the sotong that I got? But to make things worst, it started pouring without warning. Those "run for cover even 100 m dash cannot make it" type. I had to pack in a hurry and was all soaking wet by the time we ran back to the car. The things were all wet and messy as there wasn't any time to pack up properly. Truely one of the very worst day of fishing ever. :(

Today, wanted to try somewhere new. I had not been fishing at reservoir for a long time and today, tide was not favourable. So, I decided to check out a new place at Ponggol Pond to do luring. The pond is at Ponggol Park, beside Hougang Ave 10. Upon reaching there, the place was quite nice actually, with a upmarket kind of coffee shop at one end. Despite a very hot afternoon, there were shady places along the pond to hide away from the heat. However, after staying for a while, it was clear that this was a fishless place. Saw some uncle baiting, but even they also gave up and cycled off shortly.

Tried all my lures but not even a single bite. D went to the bank to use net to scoop up some little fishes and prawn. But at the end, she only brought home 1 tiny prawn in a BIG plastic bag. We went to have some drinks to cool down and later headed for Kranji reservoir. After the little toman I caught the last time, I was hopely for some catches here today.

The whole range of my weaponary that I tried today

I think I was there from 4pm till around 6.30pm. All these time, I used up all my weaponary of lures..from cheap cheap river2sea one to very expensive Megabass one..but what would you know, not even a tiny fish. I think I felt only 1 bite attempt after casting for a few hundred times.

"Lurer" that lost to the "netter"

There was a group of ah laus using bait and managed to catch 1 (I think PB). D kept catching tiny fishes and prawns with her net. Feeling very confident, she started boasting and challenged me with her catches. She would say, "Oh, I have 17 prawns already", "Oh, I have 18 prawns already, Daddy, you zero!". "Don't use your rod lah, must use net to catch fishes". 8-|...Kena suan by her. Seeing the sun setting and daylight dimming, I decided to pack up and go. Well, a total blank this weekend. What the Fish!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Flat fish in Tanah Merah

I must be getting better. Today, I visited Tanah Merah Canal and managed to get a decent catch (according to my standard) in a short time. I had long wanted to fish at this spot, but due to the unfriendly enviroment, had not come here till now. The place was quite ok actually, except that fishing in the night here would really be roughing it out. No lights, no toilet, far away from anyone and probably haunted too. For today, we went to the other side for shaded area near the mouth of the canal as it was quite a hot day.

I didn't bring much bait today as I didn't intend to do fishing for long. Weather was pretty hot and while I was there, I was perspiring profusely. Good for losing weight. So, all I got was just a small pack of sarong worms when I got from changi village on the way there.

This time, I only setup two rods, as I wanted to concentrate more on getting small fishes. The other rod, I used big size 3 hooks and primed it with full length of sarong worms. It got a few bites but I was too late to set the hook. For the smaller rod with the jigging hooks that I reused from yesterday, I cut up the sarong worms into small parts and baited the hooks. I held on the small rod most of the time and there were indeed quite a few bites. On 2 occasions, I managed to hook up small silver fishes. It was just like the Pasir Pasir that I got yesterday, but it had some spots on the body. They were later IDed as Oriental Sillago.

Oriental Sillago (Sillago Aeolus)

Midway, D got bored and wanted to fish. I told her to hold the smaller rod and I went to tend to the 9 footer. I had run out of bait and since one of the sillago died (it got pierced in the head by my 9 footer), I cutted it up and used it as bait. D played with the rod for a while and later said she wanted to put a bell on it. I got quite annoyed and told her to just leave the rod there. Shortly after she had placed the rod on the railings, to my surprise the rod tip started to shake quite strongly. I shouted and asked her to pick up the rod to strike. She did, but her strike was quite weak, so it probably didn't do any good. But when we reeled in, there it was, our 3rd sillago. haha, not bad.

Side view of the flounder. Too bad this is not an electronic product.

Largetooth Flounder (Pseudorhombus Arsius)

Later, I felt a bite on my 9 footer and I pulled back. But thereafter, I didn't feel anything. To my surprise, when I reeled in, I saw this flounder at the end of the line. Wow, quite excited since I had never caught a flounder before. I just saw this fish yesterday when the uncle caught it. But mine was bigger. I took some pics of it in the water and when I pulled it out of the water, it struggled quite violently. Not a bad figher. I tried to extract the hook but the hook was setted quite deeply. It actually swallowed the whole hook (size 3!). I could't qet it out and I think it died while I was trying to. Too bad, it would be interesting to have it in the aquarium. Interestingly, this fish has got 2 eyes on one side of the body. The eyes were on the top side, quite close together. If that is so, why would it need 2 eyes, I wondered? Salligo meat I read somewhere is a good bait for stringrays. Well, this fish is quite close to a stringray. :)

After this, I had run out of bait and also A and D were not too comfortable due to the mosquitos. Well, enough for today, so I packed up to go. I later read somewhere in the forum that someone caught a Queenie in tanah merah. Wow, I want...