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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ah Yew - Sotong Extravegansa

This must be some sort of record. Barely 1 week after my last Kelong trip at Acheh, I was out again to another one. This time heading for Ah Yew Kelong. I had been trying to get the PFs together for an overnight trip at a kelong, but alas the plan was quite unsuccessful. I had thot that the drive was just nice for an exotic adventure as such, and also fairly cheap too. But I guess most were not so kelong minded. In the end, it was only Andrew, Elyn and 2 other of their friends, Abua and Zailani, joined my family for an outing to Sibu again.

I had suggested Ah Yew as the last time I was there, the place were undergoing some re-building, and the kelong would be the biggest of all 4, and the facilities the newest. My last trip wasn't a very good one in terms of fishing, but it was nice and quiet and rather comfortable.

I met up with the gang at woodlands pool and after a brief intro, dashed out towards the custom to beat the 7am dateline as all 3 cars were OPCs. Clearing the custom was a breeze with only a 3-4 car queue. Road up was ok, but I had a very close shave with a merging lane and I almost crashed into a long trailer as I ran out of road on the right side. But my 9 lives were still holding up and I got by unscathed.

Sedili way

Country road

Country road


We reached the jetty rather early and quite on time for a good slow breakfast. The grouchy looking boatman signalled us to the boat around 9.40am and soon we were on the way there. True enough, construction was still going on. This time in fact, we were in the midst of some on-going piling work. There were workers around and even in the water, pushing this and that log here and there. Due to that, our fishing area was quite squeezed as some areas would be hindered by some logs.

Our bunk

Our beds

First catch of the day

But it wasn't too crowded, about 30 pax of people on the kelong. I had expected a much smaller number, but it was not to be. But still, 30 pax was quite ok. We settled down, and quickly setup to get to the fishing. However, we were to discover that this trip was going to be tamban-less, and it was true throughout the entire trip. I must had only gotten less than 3 tambans for the whole duration. We had some lucky haul of selars and kunings, but not many. I think in total less than 10. So, live baiting was quite a dismay. I had thrown out some large sized selar, but I think they were too big for bait. However, I had 1 very strong take where my rod made a jump. But when I held the rod, it was gone, cut at the mainline. What the hell was that? I wondered.

Relax one corner

Zailani with his 100lb handline for Marlin

Abu and Zailani

Abu and Zailani had brought along sarong worms and some dead prawn for bait. The worms weren't as effective, but the dead prawn meat managed to get D some good sized selars (which I tossed out as bait). They busied themselves with apollo rigs and caught mainly emperors, and later on, a couple of leatherjackets.

Due to the poor catch of baitfishes, we spent most of the time under the hot sun getting Emperors. There was an infinite amount at the bottom and it was almost guaranteed that you would catch them. Heck, you could even get a few basketful, if you wanted.

Sibu sunset

Her very first sotong

D with her first Sotong

Came night after a beautiful sunset, jigging was again poor and non-existant. Even the "orange/yellow" fish were not even around. The other group were having a good catch of sotongs. I changed my rig and joined them. After getting my first sotong of the night, D was excited and wanted to try. I taught her how to do it and she was elated when her jig finally connected with 1. Andrew and Elyn also had quite a few catches. I tagged 2 sotongs that I caught onto my bottom rig and waited. And indeed there was a strike, this time again at the same 9 footer, and wired too. However, my wire was only 10lbs. The bells rang, and when I held it, lines were spooling out. I tighten the line to take up the slack and strike, but again, to my dismay, the line came back empty, snapped at the wire. Argh! Another one that got away.

Our barra corner during the nite

Small barras from last night. (todak wasn't ours)

Late into the night, Andrew suggested to try jigging and fishing on the other side. I went with him, but jigging was another 0 result effort. He went on to try some lumi rubber lures, and I thought of trying to get parangs and cast a dead tamban (my only one at that time) and let it drift. There was bite, and then followed by a strong strike. My tamban came back up half eaten. We thought it might have been a parang. Unhappy, I tossed out the remaining selars, kunings. And I eventually got hold of the culprit. It was no parang, but a foot long barracuda. It seemed that there was a school of them. As we were short of good fishes, I tossed out too a small barra that I had earlier gotten on jig. We wanted to know if they do eat their own kind. The answer was, yes, they do. I caught 2 more, and Andrew did land 1. Then we ran out of bait, and the school was gone. By then, it was already quite late (around 1am) and I crawled to the bad for some shut-eye.

Rows of Sotong (this was only a small portion of it all)

The next morning around 5am, we woke up and found the other jigging for sotong. On the kelong floor were rows and rows of sotong catches. Man, they were really making a killing there. We joined in, and managed to catch a few more sotong. D got her second one at this time.

Sotong on string

What a whole night fishing will do to you

I did some luring but result was 0. Tried jigging, and result as another 0. Around 7+am, I tried my sotong jig at the bottom and to my surprise, there was a dull tug, and then a strong bite, and I hauled up my first ever sotong in the daytime. A few minutes later, I got another one. Soon, everyone was around me sotong jigging. 3 girls from the other group also had some catches, one of which was quite a big one.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Free as a bird

Sea gulls having a kopi break and chit chat

Imitation of a sea gull

During the morning, some sea gulls paid us a visit. It was nice to see these birds circling round our kelong. Their flight was graceful and added a nice touch to a beautiful cool morning. Then out of the blue, a rainbow formed right in form of us and made a beautiful picture. We scrambled for our cameras to take some shots, and then it faded away. It was a nice morning indeed.

Orange fish..damn hard to catch

Splitting the loot

Again, I tossed out 1 sotong for my bottom, 1 big selar for my 9 footer and drifted a small kuning that D managed to get on a barra rig. But for all my attempts, nothing. around 10am, the sun came out strong and hard, and fishing was quite uncomfortable. By then, my sotongs on my rigs were dead. We packed up and got ready to leave.


Our group had the good luck to take the speed boat.

Going back on a speedboat

After a fairly decent lunch (the best during the trip, which generally was aweful), we were assigned to return via Speedboat. And it was surely a speedboat alright. Andrew timed the trip and it took an amazing 8 mins, as opposed by 30 mins via the normal bumboat. D enjoyed the ride very much and was giggling away at every bump during the ride.

Abu's car riding away into the sunset.

This time again, baitfishes were hard to get. But this was compensated by the good catches of sotong. This was my first kelong trip that I had seen so many of them. it was so plentiful that you could see them swimming around in schools. The visual aspect of catching them made it very thrilling as one would could actually see them attacked the lure. The fight was also quite fun, and a good size one would bend a normal rod. The reaction was that it would shoot out its ink and cloud the water, and squirty squirt out any remaining ink on unsuspecting people. The sound effect of the squirting was quite musical to hear, some sort like a "chut chut" sound. D was thrilled to see a live one so close at hand. And to experience catching a live one, that must count for something.

This trip, though no biggies, I think it was a fair and enjoyable. Andrew and gang were definitely great fishing company. If only the rest of the PFs were there as it was a decent driving adventure by itself. I had used the scenic Sedili road and the view and drive was very pleasant. On the way back, we stopped by Jusco at Permas for some Gu Nee Hoon shopping and sushi, and then for a cheap and good RM7 snow wash. Road back to via the causeway checkpoint was no sweat as it was rather clear. But on the road leading to the counters, we had a strange encounter with a MY car heading the opposite way on a one way road. !? Policemen were around the car, and we had to detour around. How did she get there?

Girl on kelong bed

Pricelist for the mama shop


Rustic looking Anchor

Battle station

3 amigos

Rod that missed 2 times

I handsome or not?

Speeding away

Barracuda fish porridge..soft and tasty

Just missed it

Baitfish with slashmarks by a todak?

Andrew and Elyn

D with her favourite rod

Kitchen well


A First Sotong

Kelong rainbow

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