TC finally managed to persude me to go kelong fishing this coming friday. I grudingly agreed despite the short notice, only condition was that I didnt want to head back to Hotboys. Already, I had been there twice this year, and there were countless kelongs to go to, already four in the vicinity of Sibu. So it was to be decided that we would try out Ah Fatt Kelong, the first in the series of the Sibu Kelongs. From the forum, it had been given a good rating.
(if you're travelling towards the kelongs from Tg. Leman jetty. From the left is Ah Fatt, followed by HB, Ah Ngan, then Ah Yew is on the rightmost.)
The journey begins
That Friday morning saw us getting onto TC's car. He was a little late and we found that going into JB at 7+am was not a good idea. The Jam was about half an hour and by the time we touched down to JB, I thought it was about 8pm. We had a quick Mac bf near to the one in Carrefour. But we were going to be ready late, (eta 10.30am). TC made a call to inform and it didn't seem to be a problem. There was an 11am boat. So, the timing was quite ok. Soon we were on the boat heading for the kelong.
Girl and Puffer = Power Puff Girl
Lots of this fish (selar papan)
My first rabbit fish
TC's first rabbit
Upon reaching the kelong, we unpacked and set about to do some easy fishing. TC got the first catch of the day with a kunning? like fish. I took a little longer but got quite a nice bream on my first catch. Not to bad. Bait for the day was sotong. The kelong sotong seemed effective and our icebox were soon piling up the body counts.
My two todaks for the trip
One pic with my todak for his luck (He was indeed lucky the next day)
But I wasn't quite satisfied in getting the same type of fishes and after a while, I rigged up my todak rig in an attempt to get my very first one. For some unknown reason, Mr todak wasn't interested in my bait fish on float. I thot about this for a while and decided to make the offering more juicy by filleting the fish and pegging it onto my gang hooks. The effect of the change was almost immediate. The moment the bait hit the water, a todak struck and dragged the line out from my almost free spool. The zinging sound was very exciting and in my haste and clumsiness, I took too long to strike and todak managed to come loose after some acrobatic jumps. But that fueled our hopes of hitting a todak that day, and I tried again and todak come round again for a second helping. This time round, I was a little more rehearsed, and did everything quite rightly. Locked bail, tighten drag, reeled in. And in a smooth swipe, my first todak landed on the deck, and I was all smiles all over. But the todak was a fiesty fighter and its awesome teeths were quite a dangerous weapon against anyone trying to get near. Someone told us that we need to give mr todak a few whack with the piece of solid wood on the floor. He did it for us and we were shocked that we had to cobble the poor fish senseless. But better him than us.
So, pictures were taken. Todak was rather large, I thought about 2 feet. Quite an impressive catch. TC now was all fired up about todak catching and abandoned his easy game of catching tiny fishes. I rigged up a set for him and off he had a go at todak fishing. Meanwhile, I managed to get another todak on hook and got it on the deck without much problems. TC got a few todaks having a go at the bait but he wasn't able to complete the action and the todaks managed to elude him for that day. I ran out of rig and that was the end of todak fishing that day.
My first sotong for the night
TC's first sotong
Very soon, it was dusk and after dinner, I rigged up my sotong jig and the white rabbit jig for wolf herrings. But there was no luck for wolf herrings that night. I casted a few tenths of times, but no strikes at all. TC also had a go but also no luck. We went back to sotong jigging. Someone catch the first sotong effortlessly, like just trying for about 5 minutes. So, all sotong jigs went down the well and very soon, everyone was trying for one. But sotong was not in season, and the catches were quite few. I myself only got 2, and TC happily did manage his first one.
It started to drizzle and soon fishing was impossible. We went to catch some sleep hoping to come back to the fishing later in the night. I woke up and fished for a while, trying for more sotongs, but still no luck at all. The water in the night was full of todaks, looking for supper. I didn't want to do any messy fishing as we had taken our baths. But the rain came again and we had to abandon the idea of fishing at night. But the good thing was that we managed to have a good night sleep.
TC's first todak (garfish)
The next morning, I thought we woke around 7am. TC was again doing his easy tiny fish fishing. After breakfast, I told him to setup the float to try for todaks again. A wanted to have a go too and I rigged up for everyone. TC was dead lucky this time, I manged to capture his crowning glory moment on video. Todak came and struck. Reel went zinging and TC in his clumsiness did get the todak hook set and was soon reeling it in. But on the way, the line went round someone's rod and around a pole. Poor todak was hanging in mid air struggling while he took quite a while to untangle the line. But luck was on his side, and todak didn't escape and very soon it was on deck. This memory would be permanently etched into his mind and I foresee that he would soon be visiting tackle shops for more accessories.
Where is my todak?
A didn't have any luck and suddenly, the todaks went quiet and didn't want to take the bait. Sun was out and the weather soon got quite hot for fishing. A gave up soon after, but resolved to take her revenge on the next trip. We packed up, laid out the fishes for a final photo and went for baths.
My total catches
Girl catching todak with bare hands
Eric and Jennifer
Very surprisingly, I met Eric again on the kelong when the next batch arrived. Was it fate or what, but 3 times I had been to kelong, 3 times I met him. I finally got all their names correct and it was quite embarassing that I kept calling them the wrong names. So they were Dalphin (Eric's wife), Jennifer and her daughter Jamie. D had fun with some of his niece and nephews.
We left the kelong around 1pm and from the jetty made our way back to JB. Due to the Jam again, we only reached home around 6pm.
Easy fishing corner
Sibu island in the background