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Monday, August 28, 2006

Pet Trevally

This fellow that I got 2 weeks ago at Kallang river, had been growing up quite nicely. Quite a tough fellow. Even though my water was not that clean, it managed to survive. Quite difficult to get a good photo, as it wouldn't stop moving. I might release it back into the sea soon so took a shot for memories.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sembawang Park

Today, I added another tick to my lifespan. To celebrate this, it would be very nice to get a barra. It had eluded me all this time. Tide was to be around 2pm and I didn't feel like running far. After D's swimming, I thought it would be good to spend an early afternoon at Sembawang Park. I went there early around 10am and had the good luck to get a bench. A would pack lunch and we would fish till around 2pm and head for some other activity to mark this occasion.

So reaching there, I realized that I had forgotten my rod stand. So, not much choice but to "borrow" the rubbish bin as a support. I could only use 1 rod like this, and I rigged up the big 9 footer. Tide was slowly creeping up and the place got more crowded towards the afternoon. I was shooting out leftover live prawns from my previous night batch, but all the while, nothing at all. Sometimes, upon pulling back the line, the prawns would be half eaten. Likely to be the work of crabs.

There was some kind of shipping operation going on. A boat came over to drag some metal containers over to the shipyard. Luckily, my line was not in the way.

A chinese and a malay man came and parked themselves on my right. Chinese man was using a simple rig with small hooks and he managed to get a tiny bait fish. For the whole session, that was the only fish I had seen. The malay was more pro. I chatted with him later and found out that he was using a Holiday spin with a Biomaster 8000. The biomaster was impresseive. His rod could cast pretty far, some 100 metres away. He was using dead sotong as baits. Seeing his setup, I was very tempted to get hold of my surfleader.

One time, some ang moh (I think) swam across the sea right in front of all the surf rods. Goodness, didn't he know that he was right in the casting zone like a sitting duck? Very dangerous.

I got into trouble with my abu D5 and got a very bad birdnest. It was so bad that I finally decided to snip off the lines, thereby losing about 1/2 a spool of lines. Worse is, a tiny bit of line somehow got trapped into the spool and when I cast one time, it went barely 50 metres. It was so embarassing as the 2 guys must be thinking that I was some kind of newbie. My theory was that the bit of line was acting like a brake and due to that, I couldn't cast far. So, after that, I had basically reduce my chance of a fish drastically, as the beach area was rather shallow. To compensate, I rigged up my Rapala and casted out smaller prawns. But that didn't have any luck too. I rigged up my light tackle for a short while, but no luck with it either.

During this time, D was having fun swimming around the beach area and playing with some new found malay friends.

Around 3pm, tide was already going down. An old malay couple came by and decided to park themselves right in front of my bench and blaring loud music!, decided to pack and gave up my bench to the malay guy on my right. By now, we were quite friendly with each other and I passed him all my unused prawns. So much for the barra, even 1 ikan bilis also didn't have. :(

After that, I headed to Sentosa for dinner and had a bit of fun. First time driving there, and I was impressed with the new additions and facilities springing up all over Palawan beach. Dinner was a curry fish head at the newly opened Foodcourt. Too bad that fishing is now out of bounds. If not, I would certainly be a regular there.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Changi Naval Base

I was pretty undecided where to head for today but I had to run down to the east to sell some stuff. Since already there, I ran through all the places mentally and realized that I had yet to try out Changi Naval Base. I had tried to locate the area previously but was quite unsuccessful. But from some descriptions from the forum, I now had some inkling where it might be.

Around 4+pm, I headed there and was quite lucky to be spot on the area. The place looked quite promising. Since it was a little overcast today, the weather was nicely cool and breezy. Wind was quite strong and the water was choppy. But the place looked clean enough and best of all, there were lots of space. I setup my things near the seawall and dropped 3 lines for 2 apollos and 1 light tackle. I had forgotten to bring my rod holder, but A made a make shift one which was quite usable. I also got bitten by sand flies and I quickly sprayed some OFF. After that, it was quite ok and never bothered me from then on.

Dinner was to be the stingray that we had gotten last night. Pretty delicious.

But it was clear that the fishes were not biting today. Anyway, tide was on the way down, so that might be a good reason. Even my light tackle wasn't registering any hits. TC called me around 5+pm and I asked him to come join me.

TC came and after some time and stayed for awhile. During that time, I managed a lucky strike on a small fish. (cardinal). I tried to release it but unfortunately, my hands slipped on the slimy body and I ended up throwing the fish onto the rocks. Haz, sure to die. After that, we left for Changi V for his dinner and for myself to stock up on more baits. (in case the fishes started to bite). A and D would remain to guard the fort. While we were there, A informed that the big rod got a fish, as well the neighbouring group. When we returned, I saw that it was quite a good size Emperor. From their descriptions, the other group should have gotten an ACK (snapper).

That seemed to liven things up a little and my hopes were quite high. But throughout the evening, nothing at all. Another group came and setup on my left and it was starting to get a little crampy. TC left around 10+pm. The place was getting quite dark and not so fising friendly after the club beside us turned off the lights. I decided to call it a day, and started to pack and make our way home.

Not too bad for a first time try there. At least we didn't return empty handed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Ray of Hope

The night before, Pica Frnz met up at east coast car park G to spring a surprise on me. Interestingly, that's where the famous 6 pipes is. I had known about this place, but as it would be very dark at night, I had never try fishing here.

Tonight, I decided to give it a shot, and packed all my stuff there. It would be good cycling ground for D as well. In fact, I recently discovered that if you cycled straight on, you would emerge from the Safra club at Tenah Merah. So, after work, we headed for Changi V ("Again!", said D) for dinner and baits.

We reached the place around 10pm. High tide was to be 12am. As we were walking there, I thought why not just fish around the canel area, leading from the 6 pipes inland. The area there was quite brightly lit and the cemented floor is nice and comfy. So, ok, I parked all the things there and in no time, casted out 2 apollo rigs and 1 floater.

The water at that time was quite rough, so much so that my rod was dipping up and down. Seeing such a strong current, hopes were a bit dashed, as likely to be quite fishless. In fact, that place was rather quiet. There were a few bells but upon retreive, nothing.

But I was lucky tonight. For some reason, a stingray went for my prawn at around 12am. The rod rang and I thot it was another false alarm. But when I retreived back, the reactive force was very strong. In fact, this would be the strongest that I had felt for my contender. My rod was bending like nobody's business. An uncle came over to look at my commotion and when we realized that it was a ray, he helped to lift it up with his hands on the line. I was quite afraid that the line would give way, but it being a 20 lb line, it held fast. So, about 10 minutes later, we managed to get the ray up. The tail was very long. With the help of the man, I held down the tail and A went to get the cutter to nip it off. Surprisingly, we couldn't find any sting on the ray. This handsome fellow was spotted like a leopard, quite unlike the brown ray that I caught at Pasir Ris. And it was quite a sizeable one. Good size for a table fare.

After that ray, nothing at all through the night. My prawns were coming back intact and kicking. Some malay guys came over to asked about what fish I had. I showed them the ray and they were impressed. They quickly put out their rod near my area, hoping to get one themselves. But I didn't think anyone got any. I was just lucky. The place itself, didn't give me a good feeling as the action was too slow. It would probably be better further up, nearer to the 6 pipes but when I walked by, I could see that it was full house with surf casting rods all over.

I packed up around 2.30am. By then, D was already very tired and grouchy. I took some proper pictures, and A went on to cut it up and prepared it for a sumptous meal.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lucky Spot Zero

Was a really bad mood day. The plan was to go ConCourse get some birthday stuff for D. So, thot I would just wait at kallang park, do a little bit of fishing while the rest go do some shopping at concourse. But the plan was quite messed up. Anyway, I managed to get the good spot. But not much people were fishing. Weather was hot, as expected. I took refuge under the bridge. D did more cycling around with her "sweet pea" here. Tide was already down and the conditions were quite bad.

There was an uncle at the support of the bridge. Not sure how he managed to get there. I think he was using a styrofoam board to paddle over. Interesting. Someone one came to chit chat with me about whether got fish, the places he tried etc..

I stayed there around 2 hours trying with fish meat and sarongs. But nary a bite. Just small nibblings. Very much a waste of time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lucky Spot

Not so much for me, but for someone else.

Today, one of those "don't know why bad mood" day. Looking at the tide, high to be at 10pm. Just nice for a nice evening fishing till midnight there about. I had been itching to return to my lucky spot, the place at the kallang river where I got my first Chermin. But before heading there, we went to look see for bicycle for D, for her birthday present. She had been asking for a bicycle, and I thought to get a foldable one, so that we could put it into the car and bring it whereever we go. I did some research on the net and decided on this Dahon "sweet pea" model. Apparently, this was the best foldable bike there was. And the design was very nice too. I called a few dealers and found the price to be $300-$350. Goodness, not cheap at all. But thinking that this was to be a long term investment, I decided to get it after all. More details here

We headed for this place in Choa Chu Kang. A little obscure place. In fact, that place was called "ULU bicycle". The owner turned out to be a good salesman and offered very good and knowledgable service. So, we got it and D was happy as a lark. So, of cos we had to head for a cycable place next. Kallang park seemed to fit the bill and we made a detour to beach road to have dinner and pick up baits.

We arrived there around 5.30pm and the place was nice and cool. And not much of a crowd too. I parked myself away from the people near the bridge. As usual, that was the popular spot and was always occupied. From that place, I casted and found that it was a bad mistake. Spent around an hour plus battling with snagged lines. Later realised that that patch there, was just in front of the rocks. I should have known, as the last time I was there, I could see the rocks during the low tide. Stupid me. So, I moved a little to my left and the fishing got better. There were numerous bites before but I couldn't get the fish up as the rig was always snagging. Around 8pm, I still had not gotten my first catch, and had lost quite a few rigs.

Meanwhile D busied herself cycling round the place with her spanking new bike. She kaypoed around those people on the bridge and brought back to me a dead silvery fish. While, by this time, I was running low on baits and I cut it up to use as fish meat.

That seemed to turn my luck a little, and I managed to hook up a flat head on my Rapala with apollo rig on the fish meat. And a little while later, I got a small fish again on this rod and to my surprise, it was a grouper. Haha, my first grouper (that baby one I got in kelong didn't count). But this was quite a small one, around a palm size. I had wanted to release it but the hook was in too deep and we had to yank it out. I didn't think the grouper could survive thereafter and so we put it into the ice box. Darn, if only I could keep it in my tank. Should be quite impressive. Wow, seemed that the fish meat was quite power as a bait.

My light tackle now got sometime and when we got it up, it was that exact silvery fish. [Afternote: It is a Bumpnose Trevally!] It looked quite interesting and I decided to keep it. We collected some water and kept it alive. Another while later, I got another. This one was to be a stargazer (kuku). Although edible, I would rather not try my luck as this fish's spikes are quite poisonous. We tried to unhook it but the moment I stick my pliers into the mouth, it would bite it. Fierce. No matter then. I just cut the line and dropped it back to the sea.

Half way through, I was running out of bait. I asked A to use D's new bike to get to beach road to get me some baits. From there, it really wasn't too far. A managed in about 15 minutes, to and fro. Actually the location here was quite good. No mozzies and quite near to amenities.

There were two people on my right fishing, and one of them came over when I got the flat head. We did chat a little. Seemed like an educated chap, unlike the uncles and ah bengs around the bridge. He got lucky and hooked a very nice ACK around 9+pm. From the looks of it, it should be around 1-2 kg. So sad it wasn't me. :(

Around 11pm, the tide started to go down and we got see the rocks being exposed. Enough was enough. I packed up and proceeded home.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pandan Canel

No serious fishing again for today as I had a forum meetup with the Pica gang. As the meetup was at Clementi, I thought of sneaking some little time to check out the pandan canal. So, we had lunch at around Clement 340+, next to the canal itself. While D was eating, I quickly setup my light rod and baited it with some sarongs that I bought earlier on at Sincere. Went down to the canal and casted. Some other group of girls were around there practising their roller blading.

But despite waiting a while, nothing. Line kept getting snagged on something below the water. Might be some debris below. Reel also starting to be quite sticky, would need to do some maintenance soon. So, gave up after a while. But visual inspection showed quite a lot of bubble rises; usually a sign of fishes. I was also thinking that I might have used the wrong bait. Water here is fresh long kang water, so it might be that these fishes were not to keen in sarong worms. Same effect at Pontong Pasir canal.

I packed up after a while and called it a day. D played a little with her playground there, and we proceeded on to our Pica meet.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Tough morning cracking my head on my homework. So, come evening, needed to get a fix. But timing was all wiry, low tide to hit around 7pm. So, no where would be good. Drove around aimlessly and then decided on impulse to try out the canel outside the Laguna Country Club. I had passed there a few times behind and had seen a few people fishing there. Under the tree, the spot looked shady and quite fishable.

So, reached there, illegal parked on the double yellow line. Got to the spot under the tree and setup. No one was here, not surprisingly, as the water level was quite low already. Already, not intending to do any serious stuff, just testing water. I got up my light tackle and used dead prawn meat.

After casting, the action seemed quite instant. But the few times I pulled, nothing came out of the water. I thought it quite strange but later figured that it was due to the quick running water and the the amount of loose debris floating through it. But I got lucky one time, and hooked up a Kelong chi. This one, was one of the larger ones that I had ever gotten. Hmm, not too bad. At least it wasn't a cat. I tried a bit of luring too, but got no results.

I stayed for about an hour or so, and the water level really became quite low. So no point staying. But as I was packing, we heard a loud splash and A said she saw a whitish fish. Wow, could that be my KBL? But no matter, another time another day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hook on Me

One of the indicators that you are improving is that of the choice of hooks. I had started with the normal surecatch ones, but of late, I have been getting fussy about quality hooks for my rig. There is nothing like having full confidence in the choice of hooks being able to do the job. If you examine closely, there is indeed a big difference in the sharpness and the strength of the more expensive ones. To date, these are the hooks that I have been using. I am still experimenting with the hook types (Bait hooks, Circle, O Shaughnessy etc.), as well as the hook size.

Sungei Api Api Night

TGIF, best time for some fishing due to lesser crowd. After work, drove to changi v for dinner and bait and proceeded to api api to try my luck again. At first thot of going to the boardwalk. Not satisfied the last time there, as it was total 0. But from the number of anglers in the tackle shop, it felt that the area there would be crowded. So, decided to head for Api Api instead. The last few times, wasn't very productive. It had been catfishes and more catfishes. But I had read from forum that there should be KBLs here. From the looks of it, it did look like a good KBL spot, being a river mouth inlet leading to a mangrove swamp. So, trying luck again in my KBL quest.

High tide was to be 12am, so reaching there around 10pm was the best timing. Tide today was very high. In all my trips here, the water level was the highest. There was a bunch of malay teens doing netcasting and fishing and they practically took the whole bridge facing the sea. Their radio was also on very loudy blaring away at some irritating music. I setup my rods and parked my rods where they were not using (even though some things were around that area). All the casting of net I thought spooked away the fishes. One time, net got stucked and Malay boy jumped into the water from the brigde! Catch wasn't good. But from the catches from the guy's net, I could see that there were lots of small silvery fish.(can't ID) No wonder my light tackle wasn't working well, as the fishes were way too small. Only 1 time, my rapala on apollo with worms rang out. I ran over, strike and it did feel like an ok catch. But to my dismay, it was only a catfish (again!). I had another catch of a puffer fish on prawn meat with my light tackle, but that was it. I also rigged up a KBL floating rig and another on apollow with live prawns. But throughout the session, no luck in getting any.

Around 12+am, the water looked great. High level, smooth current. I took out my luring rod and tried some luring. But no luck again at all. My nice rod was great to use and I could easily throw the lure about 3/4 of the river mouth. I could hear some splashes of fishes, but that was about it. I stayed till around 2am and called it a day. By then, A and D were dead sleepy.

Not a productive night, but generally, a good try. But I find it strange that there would be times when the tide is good, but no fish. This is setting me thinking...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

National Day Diamond

Today, was our Nation 41st birthday. I had won 2 lucky tickets for the parade and so the plan for the day was to have A and D attend the birthday bash, while I would be fishing somewhere nearby.

We left the house early, around 11am, so that we could find a good lot to park and later walk to the stadium. Most of the roads round there would be close from 2pm, so we circled around to find the best location. After a while, we settled down with the Kallang river park, as from there, it was just a 10-15 minutes walk to the stadium. I noted that the area under the nicoll highway flyover looked interesting for some fishing. In fact, there were already some rods in that vicinity.

We walked there and found that there was another group of boys/uncles fishing already. I setup my light tackle, as usual to test out the water. While I was playing with the sabiki hooks, the other group caught some fishes, one of which was quite decent. From a distance, it looked like a good size Grunter. The man thought it was a KBL and shouted out, but realized his mistake soon after.

My light tackle was coming out of the water with baits taken, although there wasn't any catches. It was a good sign. Maybe it was just that I was using a bit larger hooks, hence no catches. I setup my Contender and my Rapala also, one on my apollo rig, and the other on my KBL floating rig. I was still hoping for my first KBL.

A man came on a bicycle and parked himself next to me. Later, he started chit chatting with me and I realized he is a china man, although didn't look like it. He was nice, and quite a good company. I tried hard to follow his strong "tsing tao" accent but only managed to understand him about 50%.

A brought D to the toilet and I had to guard the things. So, I was quite a distance away from the rods. All of a sudden, my rod rang out (the bells) and did a strong jump (almost dropped into the sea here). Something had taken the prawns and it felt like a biggie. Luckily, I had set the drag correctly and the rod didn't fall into the water. I ran over and did a strike and immediately, it was a hookup. The pull was quite strong and my reel was going ziip ziip....with lines pulling off. But it got tired after a while and I managed to bring it to the edge of the water. I was quite curious as to what fish this was, half expecting another catfish.

But to my surprise, it was a chermin. Wow, for the water here, I would never have expected a chermin (diamond trevally). I thought these fishes are out in the open sea. I lifted it out of the water and it was struggling. To my good luck, the hooks held firm and I did manage to lift it out and land it on the ground. The china man came over to help me and he did all the unhooking and putting the fish near my icebox. Haha, after that, he was quite chatty to me.

During the hookup, the fish ran round the other group lines and one of them came over to untangle the mess. For a while, we were not sure if it was my hook or his that got the fish. But it was later confirmed that the hookup was mine. Anyway, he told me that he also know that his rig would not be able to get a chermin, as he was using worms. He seemed quite a knowledgable fisho. Quite a nice chap actually. On the way back, we exchanged smiles.

A and D came back and was surprised to see my catch. But what a waste that they had missed the action. I re-baited the rod and went about with my other rods. About 15 minutes later, I got another strong pull on my rod. Wow, it was incredible. This one felt like a big fish the first one. But I managed to subdue this fish quite quickly as it swim over to my right side where I had space to pull it in. I lifted it up and to my surprise again, it was another chermin! What luck. But this one is smaller as we can tell from the size. This time, A and D saw the action and came to help. D was very excited and wanted to take pics with it too. I let her hold on to the fish and we snapped a few pics for memories. The fish although looking quite spikely, is actually quite a tame fish. No sharp teeth and spines or anything.

Shortly after, A and D went to the stadium for the parade. By this time, the tide had already gone down quite a bit and you could already see the sandy floor. The action quieten down and there were no more bites. The china man rod did some bending but I felt that he struck too late. By the time he pulled back, the prawn was already eaten. (he was using dead prawns).

Seeing a crowd gathering to watch the fireworks from the stadium, I felt that I had enough for the day and packed. I put the things into the car and waited out for the parade to end. Back home, we cooked one of it and tasted real good.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ferry Terminal Bridge

Tonight being a holiday eve, drove to Changi V Ferry terminal again. We went to the same bench that we were at last week, being the only available small area that was unoccupied. But to my disgust, as I was setting up, a malay guy rushed over to my side and parked his 2 rods there. I was quite annoyed at such "kiasu" behaviour. Since there was no more space, we then moved to the area nearer to the bridge. For some reason, it was empty. But then, it might be a better place here as most of the regulars fish from the bridge.

I tried out the KBL floating rig again. In fact, the rig done by Paul (the uncle last week) was still with me. I just only had to put on the float and the hooks. I setup another rod with the same setup for better chance. And as usual, light tackle went up for testing the water.

To my surprise, light tackle registered no action at all on prawns. My floater, one got stuck and after some yanking, I realized that it was caught on a rubbish line and hooks. The other floater also got stuck, but it being a 25 lbs line, I yanked it out easily and found an eel on the other end. Just a small one, about the same as the one that I caught the last time. It was deeply embedded on the circle hook. Tried as I might, I couldn't unhook the poor fellow. In the end, I cut the line and threw the eel back into the water. Not sure if it would survive.

The whole evening, it was very quiet. No one else caught anything. I decided to packed up around 12am and headed back home. Not very enjoyable fishing for the night. Till now, the KBL still eluded me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yishun Dam and Pasir Ris Park

This morning's high tide was about 10am. I thought it would be a good opportunity to run over to Yishun Dam to give it a try as D would be having her swimming lesson around that area. Till now, I had yet to try out the fishing there. A dropped me off there and proceeded to send D for her lesson. There were only 2 only guys there. There rest of the people were further up, across the opposite bank. The place was shelterless, and would be terribly hot, but the weather was quite cool due to the darkening clouds.

I tried the area towards the open sea. As usual, I set up my light tackle to test if there were any small fishes in the vicinity. This would usually give a good indicator if the place was good. Small fishes = big fishes around. I used the dead prawns that I had from last night. But having defrosted it a few times, it might not be that fresh. The container of worms that the guy gave me on Friday, I left it in the car the night before. Upon opening, I discovered the worms had died. Well, so, bait was just only prawns. I waited for about 15 minutes, but no action in that direction. Someone across the bank caught sometime as they were shouting about some big fish. I changed area and casted towards the dam opening. My light rod responded very quickly, and when I reeled up, glass fish. This place was full of it. I hooked one up as live bait on a cable car rig with my Rapala. There were some todaks swimming around. I was hoping that they would be interested in the glass fish bait. But no luck.

some dragonflies flying around landing on my rod

The sun came out around 10.30am. I decided not to stay here as it wasn't too comfortable, under the hot sun and all. I packed up and when I retreived the line, I found a new fish that I hadn't gotten before. Looked like some sort of goby. I released it and we moved off to another place.

We picked D up from her swimming pool and headed for Pasir Ris Park. It started to rain, and from the looks of it, the eastern part seemed ok. The area around Pasir Ris park (elias area) wasn't raining. We positioned ourselves at a shelter on the right side of the sungie api api river for good measure. Luckily we did that as it rained heavily as I was setting up. Rain lasted about half an hour. It had been a very rainy weekend.

I went on to try out the fishing from the beach area and so, avoided the fishing from the bridge. But alas, no action at all during the period. At a distance, you could spot the bait fishes moving around in a school. But they were too far away for me to cast near them. For the first time, I rigged up my own apollo rig, and it looked quite pro. As I was retreiving the apollo rig on my Rapala, the line got stuck and felt heavy. I thought it was a goner and pulled and tighten my drag. Strangely, I could feel it moving a little. Might be a plastic bag. For about 5 minutes, it took quite a good effort to drag the line back, and to my utmost surprise, I had hooked a stingray. Fantastic, as this was my very first. It was quite amazing that this little fellow could give me such a strong counterforce on my line. And funny, it didn't even fight at all, more like a dead weight on the sea floor. On closer inspection, it was foul hooked around the eye area. Wow, very lucky. It wasn't even going for my worm bait. Must had accidently hooked it when my line dragged over where it was. Incidentally, on my other hook, there was a strange looking coral like thing. [afternote: sea pen]

sea pen

We collected some water and decided to keep it. I used my pliers to remove the sting from the ray and thereafter, it was quite safe to handle.

Shortly after this, I packed and went home. Already, the ray was quite a good reward. :)

ray "happily" in my tank