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Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Fish of the Year

We wanted to catch the fireworks for the new year. Since the celebration was at Vivocity, the idea was to try to get a glimpse of it from Lab Park. We got there around 8.30pm and by then, the car parks were already full. Apparently, everyone else also had the same bright idea. In fact at the pavilion, the atmosphere was carnival like, with children running all over the place.

I brought along my rods and set it up with a grub. The plan was to do some luring until the final countdown. But the fishing area, were all fully occupied in one long row. I managed to squeeze myself between 2 surfcasters again, the trick being not to cross their lines. The tide was quite low but I couldn't move down the rocks to cast as it was very slippery and dangerous. Luckily, the person on my left moved away and I have a wider casting angle. I must had been doing at the rate of 3 cast per minute, and had gone on for one and half hours. That should put me somewhere between 270 casts for tonight.

Grub finally got stuck in the rocks, and I had to snap the line. Next change was to my trusty crystal minnow. And first cast from this fellow, the line came back with something vibrating like a broken portable massager. I was quite puzzled at first but on closer look, I realised I got a fish. A very small mudskipper. That must had been some record. To think that a fellow that small would go for a lure that big. Having gotten this, nothing else is impossible. I unhooked the tiny fellow and released it.

Feeling all re-engerised, I made a couple hundred more cast. But nothing else was biting till the countdown. Still, I was glad that I wasn't going back empty handed. A fish is still a fish.

The countdown was over as soon as it started. No loud shouting of 8,7,6....etc. All I knew was suddenly, there were fireworks in the sky. But the viewing angle was bad as it was mostly blocked by an island in between. The fireworks were over in 5 minutes. Quite a disappointment for all of us.

After that, everyone was scrambling to get out of the area. Needless to say, leading to a huge jam on the way out. We had to wait in the car for about an hour before the traffic cleared.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dragon Tooth Gate

What eating too much candy will do to your tooth

I hadn't really try out the new Lab Park Extension during the day, and decided to swing by. But reaching there, people was jammed packed with people, and scorching hot. The new extension was pretty shelterless, and hence I walked a little down the towards the old park.

I managed to find a little spot between two surfcasters just at the Dragon Tooth Gate sculpture, and did some fishing with prawn meat. But totally zero bites at all. And also nothing despite downsizing my hooks all the way to size 8. The terrain here also very trickly. Throw too near, sangkot as there are lots of rocks just in front of the railings. So need to cast far. Water was choppy and I couldn't feel any bites throughout the afternoon. But I spied some small todaks jumping around the water, which was a good sign. Water was quite clear too.

Actually a nice luring spot, standing on the rock

After a while, surfcaster on the right left. I decided to do some luring. So climbed over the railings and stood on the rock for some casting. First cast, saw a todak following my lure. Quite encouraging. But after that, cast and cast and nothing was biting.

The weather took a sudden turn, and started raining cats and dogs. I hardly had time to pack, and we were all soaked to the skin. But the children found it fun and was quite an experience.

*Sigh* Another fishless day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

LPR Ranger

Mr Ranger in green

Just went for a quiet Xmas afternoon in the park. Naturally, I took out my rod for some casting exercise. This place had not been very productive, having only caught 2 Tomans here before. But the terrain was quite flat and shallow with no weeds and hiding place ie. Not likely to have fish.

I played cheat a little and went to the further end for casting, slightly beyond the legal grounds. There the water deeper and had better chance. But along came the Ranger and asked to see my lure (was using a grub). He must have took that I was using live bait. Seeing that it was a plastic thingy, he just gave me a warning politely and asked me to fish within the legal area OR else will book me. I gingerly obeyed, relieved that he didn't give me a ticket.

A group of family with some noisey kids came along and saw me fishing just outside the signboard. Little boy turned around and scowled at me saying "You break the rules!". Yeah yeah...>:(

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Xmas Mr Cat

I had planned to head for Ubin Jetty to do a spot of light fishing. But alas, I had a prior meeting that ended a little late. By the time I got to changi, it was already about 8pm. Ferry to Ubin not likely to be still operating. No choice. Decided then to head for BJT, our famous fishing/blading jetty.

It had been almost 2 years full cycle, when all this fishing craze started within me. I was here end of 2005, doing a countdown when I noticed everyone fishing. Someone had gotten an octopus, and I found it quite relaxing and interesting. Today, I wasn't too sure if it would be packed due to the Xmas hols. When I reached there, it was indeed very crowded. But I was lucky to find an open spot, quite near the far end.

But I was absent minded and forgot to buy batteries for my pump. Without that, my live prawns didn't have long to live. Not much of an option, but to use them until they run out of breath and keel over.

Tide was coming up and the weather was unusually nice. We chanced upon our Pica Frnz, Su and Isham. They were camping there overnight along the beach near the toilet area. We chatted a little and I jokingly said to bring my catches for them to bbq. But at that time, still nothing yet.

However, shortly after they left, I got a bite and managed to hook it. Up came a 500-800g Duri that was quite strong for its size. It even managed to spool out my line a little from my Zauber. Not a very good catch, but still Duris are a lot better than the other slimy variety.

After that, I had quite a few dull taps, but couldn't quite get the fishes. It appeared that those at the bottom of the jetty were quite clever, and would just bite at the edge of the bait. Every so often, I would bring up the bait with just the frontal part or the back part nibbled off.

Around 1pm, I ran out of prawns and A and D were already quite tired. We packed and called it a night. I looked for Su and Isham to give them the fish, but couldn't find them anyway near the shore. There were too many campers to single them out.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Recce - Spot at Lor Halus

I had very much wanted to fish today, given that I had not done so for the long weekends. But the tide was unfavourable. The weather was hot and being the afternoon, I didn't want to get scorched by the sun. I drove around and decided to visit the old charcoal factory. The last time there, some shade was possible. However reaching there, water was low like anything. Though I fished for a little while, I gave up. It was just not worth the time. Furthermore, someone else was wakeboarding in the dirty river.

I drove around with my GPS, and chanced upon a possible spot. A few people were fishing there. But the ground was rough, and I had to bash into some forestation to get there. Being lowtide, fishing seemed crazy at that time too.

New Stuff - Boga and Old School Crystal Minnow

I had lost this sometime back and never could find a replacement anywhere else. This was the one that got me my first decent catch of a ribbon at Changi waters. Finally found this at the new tackle shop at Yishun 731. Lure is the old design, with the flat mirror surface. The new ones got all the serrated finishing. Was thinking to buy or not, but since hard to find, got it at about $10.

Also saw that the boga was very cheap at $13, and finally bought my first ever boga. Boga is useful for the weighing mechanism, and not so much for lip gripping the fish. For gripping the fish, a normal plier would do. With the weigh, one could adjust the drag more accurately.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Stuff - Jigs

Was at Fisherman that day and had gotten some jigs. (Well, I had recently bought a jigging rod, hadn't I?). It was timely to start collecting some jigs. It might just come in handy soon.

Featured here also a jig I got a month back. Duel Salty Rubber. Tried in Kelong but yielded nothing.

Yozuri Blanka 40g

Duel Tamentai 28g

Salty Rubber 40g

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Recce - Cemetary spot

No plans for fishing today, but just a lazy afternoon driving around. I was curious about another fish icon on my GPS, this time in Singapore itself. Looking at the map, it was deep into our renown Chua Chu Kang cemetary. After lunch at Jurong Point, I drove over to have a look see.

One of the many tracks

Now this place, never come at night. I am sure it would be downright spooky. But in the bright afternoon, it was in fact quite a nice and peaceful place. Maybe in 20-30 years time, I would have a spot here.

It's true. Birds of a feather, flock together

Aw, the way in is blocked

There were a large gathering of Heron just flocking around that area. They are beautiful birds, and we snapped quite a number of pictures of them. Following the directions on my GPS, alas the way to the fish icon was blocked by a authoritative fence with an army no trespassing sign. The entrance was just outside of the National Shooting Centre. From where we were, there were shootings going on for sure. Oh, there even was a bus service in.

I almost e-brake upon seeing this

It looked like the place was a live firing area, and certainly doesn't looked safe. Disappointed, I drove around to see if there was perhaps another way in. But no luck at all. However around a certain stretch, I saw a familiar sight, someone fishing! I was curious enough to stop the car and came down to have a look.

Walking nearer to him, I exchanged greetings, spurting the usual "got fish or not" type of questions. Man was quite friendly and said no fish today, due to the constant raining. From the canal entrance, I could see a long dirt path down. I asked man politely where it lead to and was told that it would lead to Poyan reservoir. But the way in was deep and would need about half an hour. This reservoir, I am sure that lots of Singaporeans didn't even know about.

From here, a long interesting way in

Opposite a disused army camp?

I was very curious as to what I would find at the end, and decided to make a trek in. With my camera, I took a slow walk down and was prepared to do the half hour walk. The road in, I was to find out, was quite rough. There were no proper tracks, but more like muddy field dirt path. My sandal got quite dirty and needed a wash when I returned. But the water along the way was full of activities. For sure there were plentiful of tomans and haruan in this area. I even once saw one sticking up the head for air.

Canal beside these residents

Something here

Dead end (for my slippers)

About 10 mins in, I came to a sort of dead end. To go further, I needed to have proper tracking shoes or army boots. I was just on my slippers and it wasn't safe to proceed. I made the turn back and went back to the man fishing to chat more. He was doing live baiting with 3 rods. One with a tosat, one with worm and the other, I wasn't sure. He told me that he just missed one. Man seemed experienced in this kind of fishing.

After that, I drove out and right into a "jam" at the muslim cemetary. I think due to the coming Hari something holiday, lots of them were there to visit their family grave. Never thot that a cemetary could be that busy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New toys - Sail fish tackle

I had wanted for the longest time to fill up this gap in my tackle collection. Amongst all my rods and reels, none was suitable for big game fishing, the likes of TP boat fishing or Rompin sail fishing.

I had researched quite long, and almost settled for a Shimano Blue Rose coupled with a Shimano Ocea Jigger 4000p. But after thinking about it, I very much wanted a lever drag reel, not having owned one before. But lever drag reels are limited, and the good ones cost an arm and leg.

I walked into Riverland this evening and asked for some recommendations. They took out a Shimano Tyrnos, an Okuma Titus, Shimano TLD 2speed and Avet. To my surprise, the Tyrnos was just around the $350+ region. Quite affordable, comparing to a $650 for a jigger. Okuma I wasn't too sure of the brandname, but actually it looked quite good. The feature was that it has a lever wind, not a common feature for such a reel. TLD looked too blackish for my liking. Avet design wasn't my style, but it was also expensive at $500+. I asked what could be paired with a Tyrnos and I was shown a Daiwa Monster Mesh, a Loomis rod and something else. The Monster mesh caught my eye as it was quite thin for a PE 6 rod. The look and design was quite nice too. And price was attractive, at $257, almost the same as my jigwrex.

So I settled for this combo which I felt was quite good. Tyrnos looked like a Torium except for being a lever drag version. Capacity was very big, and it didn't have a lever wind. I later found out that it could spool in 500m for my 50lbs braid. Not having a lever wind, I would need to get used to. Also, cheap also meant that it was a 1 speed reel, compared to a 2speed reel for some. As for lines, I was shown some, and the boss recommended a good line from Japan. The colors were nice but I didn't quite know how much I needed. Ended up that I had to reel in 500m of lines, and that was 5 spools of 100m at $36 each. Wow, that was alot and really broke the bank for $188 just for the lines. *faint*

But no choice, just had to bite the bullet for now. Big fish meant big equipment and big money needed to be invested. After this, I am all geared for the coming Rompin Trip. Now I only need to add saltwater and stir, and that phone call.

Monster Mesh

Top guide

SIC Guide


Butt joint


Fuji Reel seat

Guide wrap

Whole setup

Reel on rod

Tyrnos specs

Front plate

Front plate closeup

Rod clamps

Gear ratio

The most expensive lines. I could use it to hang myself

Model number