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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bad Fishing Spell

A series of bad fishing spell:-

Date: 27 Oct night (4 hours bef high tide)
Location: Canel before 6 pipes where I had my lucky stingray.
Method: Rapala/LSBF, Contender/Apollo
Catches: 2 catfishes.

Date: 28 Oct evening (low tide)
Location: Car park 5.
Method: Loomis/LSBF, Rapala/Apollo
Catches: Nothing.

Date 4 Nov 06 evening (low tide)
Location: Ponggol 17th
Method: Surf leader/LSBF, Ryobi/Sabiki, Rapala/Apollo
Catches: 1 tripod

Date 5 Nov 06 morning (high tide)
Location: Bottle tree
Method: floating with adjusting rig. Worms.
Catches: Nothing.
Comments: Interestingly, saw some uncles fishing and throwing bread. Small fishes looking like "orh her" (milkfish) going for bread. Want to try fishing with bread some time in the near future.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Recce and Carpark 5

It was the eve of Deepavali and OPC cars could drive from 3pm. I took a day leave and spent the day sleeping. D had school that day, so we couldnt go far, as we had to pick her from school around 6pm. We drove out to Lim chu kang/Kranji area for some recce. It started to rain a little and that helped to clear the haze a little. I took a left at Bahtera road and wanted to check out the place again. This was the sea area around the Sarimbun Reservior. The beach there was quite dirty with quite bit of rubbish, but still fishable. However, there looked like sand flies spot and I quickly made a retreat upon spotting them. I already had quite a lot of sand flies bites from my many outings.

We drove down to Neo tiew area and entered kranji reservoir. That day, we only tried the Kranji Park near the entrance. I wanted to look see what was at the end of the park. The water today was so clear that we could see the fishes in the water. A toman here, a luo han there. Interesting! I was so tempted to run back to the car to take my fishing gear...but decided against it. There were 2 uncles catching Yabies. We stopped by the jetty to have a look, but man, it wasn't easy. We waited like for 15 minutes and still nothing from them. I gave up and went back to the car.

The Picanto people wanted to meet up at CV that night and I popped over to CV after picking up D. We had dinner, picked up some bait. Gary and Irene came over too for dinner and we sat with them till they were done. From there, up the road and parked at carpark 5. The place was quite empty and we got a seat, put out some floor mat and we were in business.

I rigged up a single rod with my loomis and cast out just for luck. Through the short night, 1 miss, 1 catch (a sembilang) and another miss. We packed around 11.30pm as we had to go JB the next day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Secret Spot Pasir2

Finally got some time to try out the secret spot seriously. The day before, I was there was with Picanto friends , and didn't have time to fish properly. TC had been asking me to bring him wet his new rod and reels and today, being a Sunday, it felt like a good idea to revisit this promising location. I had spotted quite a lot of bait fishes around yesterday, so it should be good.

We passed through CV to pick up some baits and stuff and reached the place around 10am. Due to the haze, it was quite cloudy and not hot at all. There were 3 uncles fishing that location, and we parked ourselves just beside the canel.

Out went 2 rods, one on size 4 apollo and the other light tackle on tamban hooks. However, the tamban hooks were quite big and due to that, I concentrated on the main rod. Today, bait was mainly worms. We bought a pack of bread too, but found that the fishes were not taking, so ended up didn't use it. There were bites after bites, but everytime I struck, nothing. Thinking that the fishes were smaller than I expected, I downsized the hooks until I was using about size 8. And this was to go on for the next 3 hours. It was only due to my strong persistence that I finally got a small pasir pasir on size 8 hooks.

TC had given up by then and went under the tree for shade. After getting the small fish, I had enough and we packed and headed for home. Very strange experience today. Usually with this amount of bites, I should have gotten quite a fair bit of fishes, even if they were to be small ones.

Too bad for this place here. It had looked so promising. Wondering if I was doing something wrong.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Changi Car Park 4

After D's swimming lesson today, we went down to changi car park 4 for D to get her lunch, and some lunchtime fishing for me. I had not been to this car park before, but it was actually just a short distance away from the Car park 5. Today, it was rather quiet and empty, due to the fasting month. It went to show that most park users were Malays. :P.

But the water was infested with seaweed. I would pull up chunks of seaweed wrapped around my live prawns. I was using a running sinker but decided to take out the sinker and let the prawn float weightless around. After setting that up, I rigged up my light tackle to test out the water.

For the sabiki rig, I had to try to cast far, away from the algae. Luckily it worked sometimes and I managed to myself 2 sillagos, 1 tripod, 1 sembilang (cat fish). I missed a silvery kind of fish. (Sigh, I like silvery fishes). My rod with the live prawn managed to get a 500g thereabout Gemang (cat fish). Strangely, it was caught using the exact method at Car park 5. ie running sinker, circle hook, live prawns.

2 uncles were walking around when they saw me caught the gemang. They returned a short while later and I could hear them exclaimed that I got another one when I hit the tripod. They must had been impressed. But sadly, I had been catching quite a bit of sillagos, tripods and catfishes. Very tired of it.

I stopped around 2pm and had wanted to head home. My homework was weighing heavily on my mind. I got lazy on Sat and didn't do anything and the dreaded dateline was creeping nearer. But since we were near to the secret place, I decided to do some recceing to see if I could find if there was any way to route to the secret place. The original easy route had been blocked by some new construction. I drove around, trying various route but no luck. But to my surprise, I saw a few cars inside the area. There must then be another road in after all. After some failed exploration, it occurred to me that it might accessible via another entrance. I head out and drove down the road and tried a few different entrances. And Bingo! I managed to find it and confirmed that it was correct when I passed by some people with fishing rods. :).

I drove around and managed to re-route to the original secret place. But the road was quite rough and I might not want to bring the whole gang there. After the trip, my car was very dusty and the tires definitley looked 4WD. There was another spot that looked quite clean and nice. I thought that might be a better choice as there was no need to drive too deep in.

We stopped at a corner beside the canel that cut across the 2 sections of the area. As it was low tide, D and A wanted to picked top shells. I obliged and at the same time, rigged up my 6 footer to try the water. A picked up a stranded Scat trapped in the low tide and release it into the sea. But luck was not with me and I got snagged 2 times without catching anything. Due to the un-prepareness, I decided to stop and made our way out. Next week high tide might be better.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Surfcasting at Labrador

I had a chance meeting with Gary at AquaStar, and we agreed to meet up later for dinner. He had just bought some fishes and had to run back to release it into his chapalang tank. I said ok, and decided to meet at Labrador Park. I reached there around 5ish and setup my long rod. The tide was really low and you could see the rocks extending quite a few 10/20 metres from the sea wall. No wonder my light tackle here would always get sangkut. The air was particularly hazy that day and actually, it was quite bad to be out in the open. But it being the mooncake festival, there were scores of gathering with lanterns and sparkle sticks.

Using my surfleader was quite a different story. I was able to cast quite far and no problems with snags. I had gotten some worms and was primarily using them. But throughout the evening, no catches at all. The only one being a lucky catch of a 10 cm long Yellowbar Sandperch. The size 1 hook went through its mouth and out the gills, without piercing him at all. Really didn't know how this was at all possible. Indeed, it would require a good technique to perform this trick. :P As this was my first sandperch, I was satisfied.

I was hoping that with my long rod, it would be productive. But I heard that they were moving some corals at that area. Due to the that, the jetty was closed for night fishing. It might be because of this that the fishes weren't there. It was quite bad as I could pull back untouched worms on my hooks, after 20 minutes.

Gary came as it started to get dark. We chatted a while and packed and moved off for dinner. I brought him to c328 to intro him the most popular fish shop in the whole of singapore. For a aquarium fanatic like him, it was an eye opener.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kranji Reservoir

I swore that I wasn't thinking of the F word, but today being Children day, D got to choose where to go. I had lots of leave anyway and I took the day off to spend more time with her. She initially wanted to do Wild Wild Wet, but I didn't see any fun in being Wild and Wet. And it would be very expensive for the whole gang to enter but not swim. Her second choice being wanting to go reservoir to catch fishes with her primitive net the old fashion way. That sounded like a good idea and F is for fishing. I tugged along a single rod and my luring barangs.

We made our way to Kranji and I realized that there was another fishing ground at the reservoir that was permitted to fish. We had not been there before so trying it out was a pretty good idea. From looks of it, it was much cleaner than the other area and quite comfy too. Furthermore, there was a jetty to fish from. We settled down on a chair under a shady tree and D went to do her net and tiny fish thing, while I tried some luring from the jetty.

The luring was mostly throw, nothing, throw nothing. No strikes at all. But an hour later, I spied a school of about 50 juvenile tomans swimming around the Jetty. It was an interesting sight as I didn't know that tomans actually do the schooling thing. Wasting no time, I cast my lure over slightly beyond the school and pulled it through the area of activity. Sure enough, there was a hookup and I managed a single catch by foul hooking its body. As I did not had any pliers, (lost at the kelong), I wasted some precious time to unhook the fish with my scissors. By the time I got back to the Jetty spot, the school had moved on further down. Cast again, an another strike. But it got lost on the way in. Another cast, yet another strike. As I was reeling in, D and I saw 2 giant toman of about 4 ft in length going after the baby one on the hook. I shhssed D and asked her to keep quiet. I paused the pulling in and waited. Hmm, I wasn't too sure if the momma and pappa toman were actually looking to attack or protect. If they attacked, I wasn't too sure that my 10 lbs fireline would be able to take it. But as I waited for 5 minutes, they didn't appear again. So, probably were protecting the school. Interesting. After I unhook the 2nd toman and got back to the spot, the school was no where to be found. Had it not been, I could easily had gotten 10 or more.

After that, no more action. I did some trying on my deep diver and feather jig. But nothing. I did spied some giant sucker fish coming up to the surface for air. But I didn't think that the lure was going to attract them, they being the scavenger sort of fish.

Another family came and did some baiter in broad day light. D irritated them by reading the "No baiting" sign at the park. D soon got bored of playing around the area and we packed and moved to Yishun for some drinks. The 2 baby tomans, I released it as I didn't have any use for it. D wanted to keep them but I said No. Good interesting luring experience today

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hot Boys Part 2

This had been in the plan for a while to organise one for colleagues in the office. Response was not too bad, so today saw 9 of us trekking up our northern neighbour at the wee hours of the morning. The expedition comprised of Shirli and LaoGong, the 3 Js, Jeff, Juliana and Justin, Michael from Sales, Dennis the Menace, Teng Chin and I. Since mine was an OPC, I would had to cross the borderline by 7am. Everyone was surprisingly punctual and by the time I came out of the lift, almost everyone was already there was there with that half asleep face waiting at the void deck.

Danga Bay.

We loaded up and passed the infamous Woodlands custom smoothly. Since it was still quite early, I routed them to Danga Bay for a quick breakfast and some morning coffee quickie. But only a single stall was open due to the fasting month. So, everyone just had to content with having Nasi Goreng for breakfast. The food was so so but fussy Jeff gave it the thumbs down.

Landmark enroute to Tanjong Leman.

On the boat.

Around 7.30am, we moved off to Tanjong Leman jetty. The ride there was quite busy at the earlier stretch but everyone was complaining that I was moving too slow. The traffic eased off during the later stage and we reached the jetty a little late. But no matter, as the boat had to wait for another group of late comers. So it was that we waited for another half hour before boarding the boat. Some had more food and a little shopping around the very small number of souvenir shops.

The boat ride there was to take another half hour. Weather today was very cooling due to the cloudy skies. In fact, for the whole duration of the trip, weather was very good. Mr sun had decided to take a break. Only thing was that flash rain that came and went away in an instant.

Reaching the Kelong, first time to do was to fish. Everyone settled in and started rigging up the rods. Michael was first and had a good run with some decent catches of parrot fishes and what nots. All these on the worms that I smuggled in from Singapore. I had also brought in $10 worth of prawns, but we thought of using it during the night and didn't touch much of it.

Demostration #1.

Diligent students.

Shirli's first catch.

The fishing master.

TC's string of 3. He was a happy man.

For the rest who were fishing for the first time, most had their virgin catches without much difficulty. There was a sudden wave of tambans they had fun catching them. Only Juliana and Justin was not getting anything due to the difficulty with casting and the line getting entangled. But the effort paid off and Juliana finally got a nice rabbit fish and Justin a sergeant (sort of a damselfish). I didn't have much time to fish having to help around with the lines and stuff. But I wasn't quite interested in the smaller fishes, hoping instead to get the biggies. My target for this trip was to get my first Sotong and my first wolf herring (belt fish). A todak would be nice, but that was not on the priority list.

My long rod on prawns didn't seem to get anything and was eventually only managed to get a small indian snapper. (There were lots of indian snapper, although quite small size). The other common catches were pink ear Emperor and Spangled Emperor. These were quite good fighters and was a joy to catch, especially on my light tackle. They seemed to take sotong strips readily.

Nice pose on a spangled Emperor.

My giant sillago. TC wanted to pay $10 for it.

I managed to get quite a big sillago (my biggest ever). I got tired of small fishes after a while and setup a cable car rig. Michael and TC passed some live catches and I pinned it on a line and slided it down. On my first try, we saw a todak hit the bait the moment it touched water. I tried to strike but could get a good hook up and it got away. Darn #1. I rigged another and went off to play with my long casting surfleader. In the midst, Teng Chin found me and told me that everyone was looking high and low for me. Seemed that my cable car had a catch. We ran there and Michael was holding on to the line. But since I was using a baitcaster, he didn't know how to operate it. But there wasn't any fight and I was just pulling in the line. Strangly, a fish seemed to be following the line in. To my horrors, there actually was a todak on my line. I tried to strike but it was too late and ineffective. It did an impressive aerial jump, and waved goodbye to me. Darn #2.

Soon it was comming to evening time and I setup my white rabbit jig, hoping for a wolf herring. I casted a few thousand times and on one attempt, I felt a resistence and I struck. Sure enough, there was a wolf herring and in my zeal as I reeled in, it did an aerial jump and managed to throw the hook. Darn #3. Man, this was not my day.

Giant Squid!

Disappointed, I tried catching sotong. But tried as I may, no sotong. I asked around from the kitchen helpers and confirmed that my rig is correct. But cast after cast, and still no sotong. I was so disappointed and broken. Jeff laughed at me saying that I should be enjoying myself. Darn #4. Later in the night, someone finally caught a sotong, and a green eye one no less. Encouraged, I immediately immediately went back to my sotong jigging. But STILL no sotong for me. A girl had the most impressive catch of a monster squid and it actually needed a net to get it up. Wow, everyone in the kelong came around to get a glimpse. Incredible.

Most the guys tucked in early and it was left with Michael, TC and me continuing the fishing. I tried my sotong jigging until around 12.30am and I gave up and tried to get some sleep. There was a loud karaoke session going on and most didn't have any good rest. The fishes were not quite biting too due to the loud din. I couldn't be fishing through the night as I had to drive tomorrow. So a shuteye was compulsory. But unfortunately, shuteye was quite impossible as M and TC were quite noisy snorers. I struggled a bit and decided to give my sotong jiggin another try. Sitting on the chair by the kelong well, I did a zombified cast and retrieve routine. So there I was just throwing and retreiving as if it was just an exercise and there was suddenly an incredible feeling of a bite. Instinctively, I gave a light tug and looked into the well. There was a cloud of black ink as I reeled it up and at the other end, was the most beautiful catch ever. A Sotong! Some people came over to look and as I was holding it, it "peeded" onto my legs. Yucks! I was so excited that I took the sotong and went to Jeff to show to him. Waking up grudingly, he helped take some pics for good memories. But unfortunately, the pics were only from my HP. (poor quality). Mr photographer was already in dreamland by now.

Feeling charged, I went back to my wolf herring hunt and cast a few more hundred times. I was trying it out on the platform where a chinese guy and 2 ozzies where there doing their fishing. On one bad cast, I crossed their rods and I apologised and changed direction. They were jokingly say that I might catch a fish after casting in the wrong direction. I was hoping so too and smiled politely. But nope, still no catch. But due to that, I casted the line at the usual stretch that our group fished mostly. On the second cast, I got an electrifying hit. One thing about wolf herrings was that they were fierce predators (hence the wolf name) and would hit a lure with force. Wow, I struck a few times just to make sure and I reeled in very fast before the creature realized what happened and to do the aerial dance. Luck was with me and I managed to pull it in fast and swung it up onto the kelong floor. The moment it landed on the floor, I was filled with relief. Finally!!!. I fell onto the floor to give thanks to whoever up there. The Ozzies all came over to have a look and they were all duly impressed. The fish was bleeding quite badly from the jig. I had a few pics taken and rushed off to show the guys. So excited was I that I actually woke TC and Juliana from their beautiful slumber just to see my catch. (sorry!)

So, it came to past that I managed to achieve my target (my so called KPIs) and made my stay here worthwhile. After that, I went to catch forty winks to make sure that I had enough rest. Mission accomplised, I was feeling restful and contented. Dream was wolf herring chasing the blur sotongs round and round the coconut tree)

The next morning, M was the first to start fishing. He was certainly a certified fishing nut. I followed but didn't quite do any serious fishing. The kelong had a boat going to the Sibu island beach and I decided to go along to see what the island looked like. Some of us came along. M and TC was still very much into the fishing and didn't waste any time.

Looking for shells.

The "ah beng" reading a book.

Reaching the island jetty.

Sibu football field

The island was quite smallish and only took a 5 minutes walk to trek over to the other end from the jetty. The beach was quite nice, although not the best. Many coral stones and sea shells for the picking. Ah meng took us a rocky end and it looked quite interesting. But unfortunately, we were all bitten by some insects (I didn't think it was sandflies) and it itched quite badly. [edit: confirmed was sandflies]

Counting our harvest.

We returned to the kelong around 11+am and we started packing and got ready for lunch. Money was all to be paid up and we settled all the payment. Lunch was quite good and we had a nice chat while waiting for the boat to arrived.

The journey back was uneventful and we managed to hit Singapore around 5pm. By then, I was quite tired already. All in all, it was a good trip and everyone enjoyed it. I was sure that many would come again in the near future.

At the Jetty.

View of the whole kelong.

The Kelong front.

Colorful fish. Whitecheek Monocle Bream.

Butterfly Whiptail.

File fish, Kunning, Emperor, Golden Snapper, Tamban

Rabbit Fish.

Saw-jawed Monocle Bream.

Yummy Supper. Thumbs up.

Another TC catch.

Another nice fish.

Eh, how does this thing work?

Another pretty fish

Nice looking fish. [Indo-pacific King Mackerel]

The kelong well

"Jeff" Chow

The long jetty of Palau Sibu.

Nice top shell

Sandflies attack!

Reading the "Dummies guide to kelong".

"Mount Fuji"

Server down?

Dennis discovered my camera's Macro mode.

Colorful wild grass.

Pirates of the Carribean.