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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Six Pipes Sunday

This morning was a rather hot day, so I thought maybe Tanah Merah Canel would be a good idea. I had not been there recently and we proceeded there after D's swimming lesson.

Upon reaching the place, I was shocked to find that the dirt track entrance had been blocked by some cement pillars. Ouch, there goes a fishable place. Due to that, there wasn't anyone there, which once a upon a time used to be quite crowded. I drove up and down hoping to find a parkable place, but unfortunately, the road there was quite narrow and there wasn't anywhere to stop the car nearby. Darn, I would need to try somewhere else then.

A suggested the Six pipes area, where I had my 2nd Ray. No a bad idea, since I hadn't tried it during the day. We reached there and found a shady spot to put our things. D had lunch and did some cycling while I setup my surf leader. This was the few time that I had used this, and today, I quite got the hang of it and was beginning to find it enjoyable. I managed to cast live prawns without hitting too hard and it did go a little further than all the uncles there.

The place was occupied by a group of uncles and I asked permission to cast my line on the right. They were quite friendly and was ok for me to share the spot. I chatted a little with them, the usual stuff. Looking around, I realized that they had some nice catches, which they tied up with a rope to the sea. There was a about 2 kg Trevally (GT?) and a quite a large ray. Wow! I wished I had caught the Trevally, it was such a nice fish. It fact, about half hour I was there, an uncle caught another one. Fantastic. According to him, there were lots here a few months back, but recently, it had died down.

In front of the Jetty, there was quite a bit of activity from the sailing club. In fact, they were dangerously close to the fishing area. Luckiliy for them, I was no expert long distance caster yet, otherwise, it would definitely be very dangerous for them.

I was hoping that luck would be on me and I might just get one on my live prawns. The uncles were just using dead prawn meat and short rod on Apollo :O. But no luck for GT this time, but I managed to "accidentally" pull up a flounder. With my surfleader, the fellow was too light to be felt. So I was pleasantly surprised to find it at the other end. That was on a LSBF rig. This was to be my first on my Surfleader. Not a fantastic catch, but not a bad fish either.

About one and half hour at the place, it turned dark (although very cooling) and seemed like rain. I looked at the changi area and indeed it was raining. Looking at the direction of the wind, my guess was that rain would be coming. So, reluctantly, I packed and moved out of the area. True enough, it started light drizzle on the way out.

Quite a good place all in all. I shall be trying out more of this place again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mad Catter

Would be needing to run in MY tomorrow early, so didn't want to go anywhere far. So figured that somewhere around North would do. D had some homework to complete, therefore, it had to be somewhere bright as well. BottleTree canel fitted the bill and we headed there after picking up some bait from Sincere.

The tide was picking up and at times, the water was a little stinky. Near the place where we sat, some dirty water was coming out from a pipe into the canel. It was a wonder that there were fishes in the water at all. Anyhow, cats are very tough animals, and could survive in all sorts of water condition.

D got to play with her fire sparklers after she finished her homework. The place tonight was relatively empty, and we even have gotten the nice bench right at the end of the park, after the family occupying it went home. For a moment, it was quite spooky if it had not been for the bright lamp posts around.

I had expected to be getting Cats here, and lots of it. No surprise that it was the case. And the bites were fast in between and it was no sweat to be picking up one after another cats. All in all, I got about 20+ cats, even without trying hard. And on one rod. Anyone starting fishing and fairly impatient, this would be the place to come.

i was hoping for maybe 1 or 2 KBL, but turned out to be wishful thinking. Surely there must be some other species of fishes around in the dark murky water. We packed around 11pm, and even though it was the high tide at that time, I had enough of cats.

Admirality Goby

Had to clear some leave today as I had quite alot of time to clear before the year end, by which time it would be forfeited. But being a Friday, I couldn't use the car and the only option for a spot of fishing would be the back of my house, at Admirality road area, some 15 minutes walk away. The last few times, it had been quite bad, hopefully, the luck would turn today.

As I had to walk, I could only bring along very little stuff, 1 bag and an icebox. Using some milkfish meat and some dead prawn as bait, I rigged up my light tackle and my rapala. But there wasn't much action, instead, I was pulling up plastic bags after plastic bags. At the end of the session, I think I had about 6-7 plastic bags, once even a double hook up. This place here must be really very dirty at the bottom, full of all kinds of rubbish.

On one "powerful" cast, my line whizzed past a tree branch and got hung there. As I was jerking it to pull it free, I must had accidentally strike on a fish. When I pulled back the line to check on the bait, there it was, a fish at the other end. Quite an amazing catch. It was a big goby, just like the one that I had before. Not much use for it and I released it back to the sea.

Caught this pic of a dragonfly resting on my rod tip. Strange, they seemed to like to do that. This wasn't the first time I had seen it. Does a fishing rod tip look like a flower? Another interesting scene was that a monitor lizard was swimming across towards the causeway. That was one sure way of beating the Jam. Interestingly, the causeway itself was rather jam at this time, at least for the lorry lane. In fact, the very impatient truck drivers were honking their horns like nobody's business, causing quite a din. Luckily I don't stay too close.

After my 7th or so plastic bag, I had enough and packed. On the way back, I spied this snake skin on the road. Wow, quite a wild side of Marsiling, this area.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Me and the Charcoal factory

We had a Pica gathering Sat and I could only squeeze a little time to fish before meeting them up. Since the meeting point was to be west coast Mac, a short fishing at labrador would have to do.

I reached there around 4pm and as usual, the place was quite comfortable. The weather was nice, but looked like rain anytime soon. I rigged up only 1 rod as I only wanted to do light fishing. But as per the last time, it was snag heaven here. I spent most of the time trying to unsnagged my rig, but luckily, I didn't lose much, except for 1 rig and 1 hook that became bent out of shape due to me pulling hard to unsnag it.

Barely half an hour into the fishing, rain came pouring and we ran for the shelther and I proceeded to pack and be done with it. Rain stopped eventually and we made it to west coast park early to wait out the others. So, it was to be another zero.

During the meet, Andrew told me that Labrador was actually quite a good spot, except that you would need to surfcast, beyond the rocky area. And upon retreive, would need to pull the line back fast to avoid the snaggy rocks. Well..

Today, I really really need to just catch something. From my chit chats with some people while fishing, they mentioned that the charcoal factory was a good spot. I had come over to recee the place before, but it looked quite uncomfortable. And further more, there were dogs around. I thought I would give it a try today and headed for the charcoal factory. As per last time, there was a barrier stating only authorized cars allowed/ no parking/trespassers will be prosecuted etc etc...Ignoring all that, I drove on and parked myself at the charcoal factory. Some other cars came by and it seemed to be ok to be fishing here. Surprising, the dogs didn't bother us and kept to themselves. It looked like they were quite used to people fishing around this area.

I setup only 2 rods, my rapala and my light tackle. A couple in a Merc came a little later and setup beside me. The water didn't look that great, kind of murky. Furthermore, there was the frequent wake boarders that would go up and down the river. Everytime it went by, the water would break up in waves of torrent water. Like this, didn't look like a good spot.

Nevertheless, luck was with me today and I managed to land a small ray on my light tackle about half hour later. It was an encouragement and I was happy that my record was improving. Another half hour, I landed another fish, this time a tripod, (aka helicopter). A while later, my rapala got a strike, and another small ray. I only kept the first ray for phototaking back home, and realized the other 2 back into the river. Couple in Merc got quite unhappy that they were not catching anything and went home shortly. :P

The bait that I got from Yishun wasn't that fresh and I had to throw most of it away. Someone came around and gave us quite a few Sillago (pasir pasir) from his catches. He seemed disappointed as if the sillagos to him was like not good catches. Seeing that I had already gotten something, I call it a day around 2pm and we went away looking for drinks.

We stopped by Downtown east for that, and D had her fun with some handicraft and we shopped a little. Thereafter, we drove out and couldn't decide where to go. A suggested going to collect top shells and we passed by this "secret spot" near changi coast road and thot of trying it again. (we collected lots the last time) A drove in and we made our way to the previous spot that we had gone to. There were a couple of cars around, I think for marriage photo taking. There were also some dirt bikes doing their practices and stunts.

Unfortunately the way in seemed to have changed due to somemore construction and we had to recee around a little before we could find the way to the sea. And we managed to come to this very nice spot where it was clean and there wasn't a soul in sight. It looked very fishable and I rigged up my rapala to try it out. Since I didn't have any worms, I cut up the pasir pasir that the guy at the charcoal factory had given us. So I cast away and waited. And the wait wasn't that long. It was like 10-15 minutes and I had a bite. The fight was fun and when I finally saw the fish at the other end, it was an Emperor.

Good. I rebaited and cast again. And not too long (another 10-15 minutes) later, I had another bite. But this one got away as my rig snagged on the rocks. The area was quite snaggy too. I lost 2 rigs here. I re rigged and tried again, and then another bite and after a brief fight, another Emperor. :). By that time, it was gradually getting dark and we packed and prepared to make our way out in the darkness.

This is a nice spot and I must really bring the Pica gang here for a picnic. Vinz called suddenly and we went down to Chong Pang Nasi Lemak for a kopi session and my fish stories of the big one that got away.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Safra Club Algae

Another dismal day. My luck had been going down the drain, and rather a bad fishing weekend. Headed for Safra Club at Tanah Merah as we wanted a shady place, as well as somewhere that D could do a bit of cycling. So after D's swimming, drove straight with leftover baits from last night.

Since it was day time, I had no problem rigging up my big surf rod. I had prepared a rig with an impact shield, as well as gotten some milkfish(dead) as bait. Rigged up everything, bait hook on impact shield and casted. Line didn't go far but no matter, it was in the sea. I left it there and prepared my other rods on apollo with live prawns and worms. Water was kind of choppy and strangely, everytime I was here, it was like this.

When I next checked my bait, it was all covered with green algae. So much that even the prawns were camouflage in thick green algae. How to catch fish like this? when even the predator cannot see the bait. Haz, so it was no surprise that I was to leave the place later with a big fat zero.

Big surf rod wasn't producing any thing either. Bait fish also ended up in thick wad of algae. Furthermore, the bait was like disintegrated, and totally looked unappetizing. Seems like this surf casting thingy wasn' that easy. I packed up the rod after 3 throws and decided to concentrate on my 6 footers.

We stayed till around 3pm when it suddenly rained. I had to quickly packed and got myself pretty wet in the process. First time that I was leaving this place without any catches.

Well, a bad fishing weekend. So much for super high tide weekend. But that should make any next catches all the better. Fishing is a quite a mental thing. If it was that easy, it wouldn't be so fun.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No Fishing

Tonight was supposed to be a record tide of 3.3m, and should be pretty good for fishing. I thought to try out Changi Naval Base again but my only worry was that it might get pretty dark. I reached the area around 7.30pm and already, the light was fast fading. I tried to setup my 2 big rods and after 10 minutes, gave up. It was just too dark and uncomfortable to do it. Even the lights from the club was not on. I decided to pack up and look for somewhere else.

I drove a little further and went out to East Coast car park G. The last time I was there, it looked quite and might be good for some surfcasting along the shore. So, unloaded again, walked in with all my barang. But to my great surprise, the place was like a carnival. Geesh...packed full with people camping and having a good time.

I thought for a while and decided to quit and go home. Maybe would do it tomorrow. Night fishing was getting quite difficult. :(

Friday, September 08, 2006

Changi Coastal Walk

Decided to head for Changi Coastal Walk area to try out. It is just after the Ferry Terminal heading towards the Changi Boardwalk area at the Sailing club. I had often seen this shelter beside the botak tree and also quite prominent on the boat to Ubin. Poor tree was decorated with fishing lines and sangkok weights and hooks. On previous visits, the area sure looked very snaggy and true enough, this was snag central.

But good thing was: The shelter was unoccupied and we had it all to ourselves. I guessed we must had been pretty early, so there wasn't anyone fishing around, except for a chinese uncle to my left. I unpacked and setup 3 rods, 1 floater (as usual), 1 apollo on size 4 hooks and another apollo on size 8 hooks. The tide was low, but I could see it on the way up, as the rocks slowly got covered up by the incoming water.

I got snagged on my floater after about 30 minutes and I had to lose it. The other two lines also got snagged, but luckily, each time I managed to unsnagged it without having to cut the lines. There were some bites, but overall, very slow night. I caught 1 catfish (eeltail) about 10pm and another shortly after. Around 11pm+, the water got really high and more people arrived to fish around the area.

Someone came to the shelter and started claiming a bench. No matter, still lots of space. But he also started casting around my area, and I had to narrowed down my cast window to quite a small one. Anyway, I got an unexpected call from G, and I invited him down for coffee and chit chat. Ater he arrived, I didn't attend to the rods that much and we spent more time talking. Anyway, the action was non-existant and nobody did catch anything, so maybe my 2 cats were already not bad.

I packed up around 1pm and G showed me around the ah quah area. Hey, I had been here so frequently, but this was the first time that I had seen them. So, they actually hang out around the carpark near to the ferry terminal. No wonder. So of them really looked downright like a very pretty woman. Goodness. I told D that they were actually man and she got quite a shock that man would dress like woman. Heh, she had a lot to learn in due time about our world and all the crazy stuff in it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kallang Park Thursday

Sneaked in a little leave for tomorrow just to spend more time with D for her school hols, so after work, went to Kallang for night fishing. The last time there during the night, it was quite productive, some varied small catches. So it was with high hopes when I arrived at the location. High tide was to be around 11pm, quite a good timing.

Tonight, being a thursday, there wasn't much people fishing around. There were a bunch of uncles at the favourite "under the bridge" corner and I parked myself a little further up. Up went 3 rods, 1 floating on live prawns, 1 apollo on kelong sotong and 1 light tackle on dead prawn meat or small pieces of sotong. I managed to get hold of some kelong sotong at Sincere and it was my first time using sotong as bait.

But the night was slow, and there weren't any catches. I caught about 4 plastic bag though. I wasn't quite in form too, ending up with rigs that didn't look good and badly presented bait. This was to last almost the whole night until around 12+am, I finally landed a small sembilang/ catfish. (Those with mouse head and striped body) Well, at least it wasn't going to be another zero. I released it and was hoping for another but totally no luck. Just as I was making my last retreive on my apollo and dragging the bait back to me, something whacked it and attacked the sotong bait like a lure. I was stunned and didn't react well. The fish made an aerial jump and managed to shake off the hook and landed into the water with a splash. I couldn't forgive myself for missing that chance as the fish was certainly a fairly big one. Even the ah pehs at the corner came over to have a look as they too heard the big splash. Arrrggh! After that, I casted a few more times hoping for the same stroke of luck and worked my sotong bait like a lure, but alas, it was only that one chance.

I went home tonight a very disappointed man. :(

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ubin Whitings

Pica Frnz had been planning this for some time, and finally, we were all together gathered at changi v carpark, all raring to go for the Ubin Trip. We met early at car park 1 and was to gather for an early morning breakfast at the hawker centre. From there, we stocked up on bait and made our way to Ubin around 9.30am. Vinz was the latest to arrived. Once all were gathered, we duly made our way to the ferry terminal and in no time, disembarked at Ubin jetty. The boat trip only took about 10 minutes.

We were thinking at some would head for mama beach first via taxi, but the taxis there were not keen to take such a few people. So, we decided to load up our barangs behind our bicycles and manually cycled on human power all the way there. Surprisingly, it actually worked and we reached the beach within 30 minutes without much difficulty.

The area there was rather clean and coupled with a toilet, it was quite comfortable. Only gripe was the sun, as it was really very hot. We setup and others who were not fishing gathered under the shade for chit chat. Vinz and friend went to cycle around to explore the island.

I took the first fish of the day, a sillago with my light tackle. Alvin got lucky and hooked up a chaoxi shortly after we started. That spurred everyone one and the spot did indeed felt promising. But after that, my luck went down and I didn't get anymore until much later, finishing with a tripod fish. Andrew and elyn were the very expert as they kept hooking up sillago one after the other. All in all, I think they got about 20 of it, in various sizes.

Gary had a go with Alvin's antique rod and once, he had this interesting gar fish going for his prawn. But it's mouth were too small and there was no hook up. But we could see the gar fish lifting it's beak out of the water together with the prawn.

The spot was indeed promising as we haven't even got to the high tide yet. One thing for sure, this was sillago heaven. Thankfully, there weren't any catfishes around.

We left the place around 4.30pm and headed back to Singapore. From there, we had a hearty dinner and some more jokes and chit chat. Everyone's faces were lobster red. It had been a tiring day, but it was great fun.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Toys

After much research, I finally did it and got myself a surfcasting set. But actually, after getting it, I would have done better with the low end rod. It was just too much money for something that I wouldn't do too often. It definitely broke the bank this month, and I was joking that I had to eat tambans for meals for the rest of the month.

I also made a mistake of spooling a line that I didn't quite like. Quite a waste of $15. Anyway, after getting the rod, I went to changi beach and tried it out. But my first effort was a dismay. I didn't think that the line went beyond 50 metres. Ok, might be wrong technic. Another try, and it was much better. But the baits were all flying all over. I could see that it would be quite a challenge. And the rod at 4.05 metres, wasn't quite easy to handle. The beach got a little crowded with children playing and I didn't want to risk it and packed up soon after.

Will need more training on this.