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Saturday, June 30, 2007

New place - Laman Tasik

Had to do car servicing today, and popped into JB before 7am, being a Sat. But strangely, the traffic was very heavy today, and I actually pass the checkpoint after 7am. Was worried that the police would start booking us for overshooting the allowed OPC timings. But there were lots of OPC cars in the same dilema.

Servicing was rather quick today, at my request. By 10+am, it was already done. I recced around Tm. Molek area for a little while, and chanced upon this "Laman Tasik". Tasik, I think was the malay term for pond or something. The area looked like a garden, and was quite nicely done up. We walked a little, and didn't see any "No fishing" sign. I eagerly grabbed my rods, and setup at the area far from the main crowd.

There were 2 children fishing. One with a cheap rod, and one with a wooden pole tied with string. They were using small worms, and in their pail, was a small peacock. They said it was a Jepun.

I thought that was quite promising and started to cast out my lures. Weather was overcast, but for some reasons, I was perspiring. The children must had been impressed with this uncle with his high tech fishing gear. But I cast after cast, nothng was biting. Quite embarassing. The children at least did better.
One cast, my lure got snagged on a wood branch and when I tighten the drag, the line snapped. But it was quite close to the banks, just about 3 metres away. I ignored it for a while and changed to my pink humbug. But that also didn't do any good.

After some 50-100 cast, I gave up. I did saw some small fishes chasing my lure, but they were too tiny. The idea of leaving my yellow middive here wasn't too acceptable, especially when it was within plain sight. I thought of the idea of tying my 2 rods together to get an effective length of more than 3m. I could just barely touch the lure with this filmsy rig. One attempt, the rod tip got stuck with the lure, and I was in this precarious position of not being able to move back, and not being able to move forward. But luckily, it disengaged and I got try again. After a few attempts, I managed to shake the lure free, and viola! I got it back. :)

We had some drinks and left the place to proceed for our JB shopping. Even though no luck, it was a good tryout in a brand new place. It just occured to me..I had been fishless for quite a long time already. My last catch was the squid at Dayang. Hmm...

Snow Wash on the way back

Friday, June 15, 2007

Day Off Luring at LSR

It was back to LSR for a quick luring exercise. Today, I had to walk being a normal weekday. From Khatib MRT, it was quite a distance. I would put it at 1Km from the Jetty. Reaching there, the weather was nice and cool at around 4+pm. Water was murky, and I was hauling up lots of weeds. Tried out my 2 new river2sea lures, the yellow middive, and the yellow crankbait. Crankbait action was kind of weak, and didn't have any takers. The Middive also didn't work today. After 1/2 hour, no action at the Jetty. Only once saw a lethargic PB coming to sniff at my lure.

Moved to the boating area, cast and cast. Again, pulling in lots of weeds. Saw a man using live catfish for Tomans at the boat jetty. PBs all not around. Where the hell they gone to? 6pm, gave up, packed and go.

Had been fishless for the last 3 consecutive sessions. :(

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Day Off Fishing at SAFYC


Monitor Lizard

I was on a whole stretch of leaves as I needed to look after D, as A headed back home. I thought today to be a good opportunity to fish during the weekdays, something that I didn't get to do often. Morning, tide was around 10am. D and I had a quick breakfast and headed down to Admiralty West, which was just near to my house.

I had been here a few times, and during the high tide, there would quite a bit of bait fish activities around. One could see lots of mullets and half beaks around. Just beyond my casting distance, there would be big patches of ripples of bait fishes moving around. I tried to use "shakey worms", as D would call it. Basically, just a soft plastic on jighead. However, first one, throw and got snagged the first cast. Throw a few more times, need to snapped off the line. Rigged another one, throw and got snagged again. In the end, gave up. Use my tiniest lure that I got from Japan. Lure action looked good, but no effect. Nothing. Only spied quite a few monitor lizard hanging around the edge. Interesting.

At night, I packed up my fishing gear and headed for SAFYC. Just wanted a comfy place for fishing, since D would have to accompany me. I parked my stuff and setup. But strangely, the Tackle shop man didn't come to ask for the fee. I had thot that maybe tonight was free. But fat chance...he came around just when I was about to go. He said he was waiting for me to "register" at the shop. The way he said it, it was as if I was trying to cheat. Hmm...not too happy about it. He was generally a nice man, but he kind of eyed me suspiciously, few times asking if I had thrown the hooks on the floor (which was left by some earlier anglers). Think this would be the last time that I would come here. The fishing wasn't too great anyway.

Throughout the night, no action. Few sparse bites. All in all, quite a boring night. Nothing interesting. Around 11.30pm, I packed. D by then was already quite tired.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

1st Boat Fishing Trip

I chanced upon a post on the forum asking for people to join in a cost sharing boat trip around changi. I had been waiting for the longest time to be invited, but unfortunately, I didn't have that many fishing friends who have the time to make one. So, I thought to just invite myself and try out for a first hand experience. From what I read of the CRs, usually the catches were quite productive.

The contact person was Salleh. At first, I was quite apprehensive that I might have to fish for the whole day on the boat with a bunch of Mat rockers. But my fears were quickly dispelled when I finally met them face to face that Sat morning. Salleh turned out a be quite a easy going, joker type fatherly person. He certainly took very good care of the arrangments and all. With him that morning, I also came to know Joseph. During the trip, he was very helpful with teaching me how to do a proper boating heavy duty rig, and re-tied one for me.

Starting Point (Changi ferry terminal)

Most of the gang

We proceeded to the boat, to wait for another 3 person. To my utmost surprise, it was none other than Des T, the fishing legend in the forum, quite fondly known as the todak killer. :). He came along with Jeffrey and Jonathan. I was also to find out that Jonathan was no other than Nimo, also from the FK forum. He had many a catch report on his fishing trips to Kelongs. Jeffrey, I am not too sure if he was from FK...but he was a very decent and gentlemanly guy. During the trip, he turned out to be the champion with 3 good catches.

Off we go a fishing..

Refueling point

We got Ice and Prawns from here

Live Prawn bait well

We set off from the jetty around 8.15am in high spirits. Ah Pong turned out to be quite a stylo milo boatman, with Oakly sunglasses no less.:P Certainly, the expectation was that we would be catching lots of fish. The weather was very cooling during that time and the trip was very breezey and enjoyable. My initial fears of me not being able to hold up with the constant boat rocking was soon unfounded. It turned out that I was quite adaptable during the whole duration. Although after my return, while I was having dinner, I was still feeling that everything was moving up and down.

Desmond yellow vibrator

Desmond was feeling experimental and came with a niffy yellowish gadget. Plonked in a small AAA battery, and the whole thing was set vibrating. The main idea was that it would attract fishes to come investigate the source of the vibration. The gadget look like a tiny submarine, and it was rather useful with its double purpose as a weight.

My JigWrex in action

I was using my JigWrex for the first time on my Freams. However, my freams was spooled with a 25lbs mono. After having been used to braid for some time, I was quite unused to using Mono again. I totally couldn't feel anything bites or nibbles at all. Furthermore, I was using a PE2-4, quite stiff from my regular fishing. For the whole day, the fishing experience was like dropping a line and waiting and waiting.

First spot, Jeffrey was the first to start the fish body count, and hauled up 2 nice Grunters, one after the other. The rest of us didn't get anything. Boatman had a hit with a grouper. This Boatman seemed very experienced with getting groupers. He got a couple during the trip. After a while, changed spot. This spot changing would happen quite a lot of times, especially about 10 mins into the spot with no fishes.

I got something that was pulling out my line. However, the old hands knew that it wasn't a fish from the constant pull. I had snagged my rig on some coral rocks, and Joseph helped me to snap the line. Leaving it like this, it would spool and empty the reel in no time, due to the drifting boat.

The heat...the heat...

The weather came out really really hot, and we were all getting charred from the UV heat wave. It was something like 35C. Soon, everyone was huddled together under the shady side with the fishing. I really need to stop going fishing with my t-shirt and shorts. The rest of the regulars were donned out in body covering attire. I also need to get that fishing hat with the Japanese soldier look, that have the trailing cloth behind for the ears and neck.

Desmond changed tactics and whipped up a funny looking contraption that look like a pair of green chopsticks. (Darn, forgot to get a pic). According to him, it was meant as a snaggless weight. How resourceful of him. He sure had many bags of tricks up his sleeves.

Sotong hiding under debris

During our constant movement from one spot to another, there were 2 interesting sightings. One was that of a small queenfish hiding under a coconut. (hmm, maybe indian Queenie). The other was that of a "smart" green eye sotong taking shade from the blazing heat under some floating debris.

Joseph with his Grouper

You hook me, I bite you

Jeffrey with his nice "dunno what" shark

"Dunno what" shark

Desmond biggest fish. See his happy face

Salleh with a nice Grouper. This pic is good enough for a Fishing Magazine Cover.

The funny structure

From the rest of the trip, After Jeffrey's catch, Joseph got a nice grouper. Jeffrey got a good catch thereafter of a Shark. It circled round the water, and had ALL of our lines tangled up in a bad mess. Everyone had to re-rigged after that. Desmond, while targeting for Todaks or Queenfish, got a large Kelong Chi instead. Salleh finally got a nice Grouper, and then another Gelema. I was the last to hit the ACK, at the final spot before returning. Boatman followed with another ACK after mine. Johnathan unfortunately got no luck. However he did have a few quite bites whereby the prawns returned headless.

Salleh with his Gelema on Prawn Meat

Another boat fishing next to us.

Finally, something to show

Soon, it was times up. Salleh did a good job of distributing the catches. He was generous with me, and gave me 3 fishes to bring home to brag. I supposed that this trip was a rather unproductive one. From what I gathered from the rest, most times the catch rate would be far more than this. Probably it was due to the tide timings. Cause we were mostly fishing during the low tide. But no matter, if fishing was that easy, it wouldn't be fishing. It was an interesting experience, and something that I would certainly look forward to do again. And to get to know these fishing legends and fish alongside with them, it was a great honour.

Misc Pics:-

Approaching the fish farm at Ubin

The closest I had been near a buoy. Any closer will be "Boing"

Full battle station

Since no Todak, Desmond desparately comtemplating hitting the barge

Ah Pong the boatman, with yet another catch

Boat with the high tech instrumentation

My first fish ever for my JigWrex

Somebody's Grand Piano is in there

Fish said "Yahoo!"

Nimo planning out his next strategy, while Salleh took a toilet break

Jeffrey's Shark

Salleh's Grouper

Thursday, June 07, 2007

New Stuff - Jigwrex

I had planned for my very first boat trip, and had to get a boat rod. I had been eyeing this Jigwrex from Shimano for the longest time already. Nice finishing, good design, solid looking rod. At first I thought was around $220+...but turned out that lowest in CV was $252 for a PE 2-4 one. Bit the bullet and got it. This rod would be a perfect match for my underused Freams 4500J. Finally, I was all geared up for my Sat trip.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Kelong Acheh - Sightings

Since Eric had some lessons to attend to on Sat, his original plan of going Sibu could not be carried out. He suggested to try out Acheh, from Sun - Mon. I had agreed, since I had lots of leaves to clear anyway. His Dad was supposed to be coming along, but last minute had to cancel due to him not feeling too well. I thot then to bring A and D to Acheh, since the last time, I had gone alone with TC.

Being a Sunday, there wasn't any need to beat the OPC timings. Also, the lady boss Farah said to come later as the kelong was fully occupied. It was better to wait for the previous group to leave first. So, our target was to arrive around 11+am.

D with her new Lifevest

We had a leisurely drive up, stopping at Macdonalds for Big Breakfast. Our next checkpoint was to stopover at Mersing. Eric mentioned about a tackle shop he had visited some time back. Upon arriving, we were delighted to find that it was still in business and had just opened. I bought some misc stuff, and a life jacket for D. With our frequent trips to Kelongs, I was always worrying about her falling into the water.

Busy Jetty

We reached the jetty around 11.30am. The weather then was burning hot. To my surprise, I was approached by a man asking for parking fee of RM5. I didn't have to pay the last time, and I wasn't too sure if he was pulling a fast one. Anyway, for a couple of dollars, I did not want to risk upsetting the locals. Car would be quite vulnerable for a day. So, I gingerly paid up, and we moved to the jetty end to wait out our ride.

Free fishing here.

There were scores of people fishing, and the jetty itself was quite crowded. The last time I was here was on a Friday. This was quite a mark difference in terms of the crowd and activities on the jetty. A man with a rod had a line burst from a strong strike. Wow, there must be some serious sized fish around here. (This was to be confirmed the day after).

We reached there and saw the Farah sitting at her favourite corner. We wanted to have the room next to the big casting area, so we were told to wait till they move out later. Not to waste time, we setup our rods and proceed to test out the water condition.

Tiny Todak

Tambans again seemed to be scarce. "Orange" fish also not that abundant, though they are around. Eric, as usual caught the first fish. A tiny todak on his tamban hooks. I also got a take of todak that went for my fish I caught on jig. With quick thinking, I yanked the lines to set the hook and quickly hauled it up before the line break. Strangely, that was to be the only todak that I caught the whole trip. (on a thin tamban #6 jig). I noticed a strange phenonemon this time round. The todaks were quite receptive to taking the "orange" fish. In fact, it was quite guaranteed that they would take a floating rig with it as bait. Given the poor tamban fishing, I tried to have some fun with todaks. I had quite a number of takes but somehow, I couldn't manage to get any. The lines would usually burst. Tying steel leader also didn't seem to help. Even they would burst. This was really baffling.

Nearing to dinner time, I had rested my rod with a float and an "orange' fish bait. It being dinner, I left the rod unattended on free spool. That was to be a serious mistake. Returning from dinner, I found the rod missing without a trace. Strange, could it have fallen in the water? Eric and I walked around the kelong trying to spot it with no luck. But the possibility of it spooling out a whole 100-200 meters of line and eventually being dragged overboard was quite unlikely. But this was to be confirmed that it was the case later....

Moon over Acheh

Big Sotong. (eh...lower part of the picture)

Foot long sotong

During the night, I took out my trusty Yozuri shrimp hunters and check out for sotongs. Given my last encounter with them, I was hoping to continue the trend of getting a few. And what you know, it worked and I pulled out my first sotong in about 5 minutes. Feeling all pysched up, Eric and D joined me in the sotong hunt. I was to have another lucky strike 5 minutes later. This time, the sotong was the biggest I had ever caught (600g). Even tightening my Record drag, I couldn't quite lift it out of the water. It shot up no less than 10 jets of water. I had to resort to using hand to pull up the line. It was then all hi5s and photo session.

Arrow Squid

But strangely, after that, all quieten down. We could see the sotongs, but for some reasons, they were not taking. I later figured out that my leader was probably too thick. I changed to a 4lbs leader, and I got 2 hits after that. One being an arrow squid. By then, it was already like 12.30am, and I crawled to bed for some shuteyes.

Beautiful morning

The next morning, I tried squidding again, but they were not quite around. Darn, there went my plans to bring back a bagful. I only managed to get one miserable piece. Daybreak, I tried some luring. But again, as with everything else, no luck. This kelong, no Emperors, no Parangs, no Barras (this time). But in the late morning, things got interesting. For some reasons, suddenly there were huge shoals of bait fishes all around the kelongs, but at a distance. We could see the birds flying around. I also spied twice a Cobia chasing the baitfishes just 30 metres from the kelong. All very good signs of a good fishing spot. But maybe just our luck, there were no interesting catches all day.

But as if to compensate, out of the blue, we saw a most unforgettable sight. Dolphins! There was like a school of them some 100-200 metres away, doing the arching motion that dolphins do. We were all dumbfounded. This was not something seen in recent years, I guessed. Dolphin sightings in Malaysia must be a very rare thing. It fact, they hung around for quite sometime, playing in the waters around us. To my good fortune, I managed to record it on video.

"Search party" for my missing rod.

The newly arrived group was making preparations to visit the island nearby. A spotted my float that I used with todak rod some 200 metres away. We were quite excited that there was a chance that I might be able to retreive the rod, if the line was still linked to it. Seeing that the boat was enroute that way, we asked if they would kindly moor to the float and attempt to get back my rod. It was indeed nice of the staff to try that. They reached the float and was pulling up my pink firelines. That gave us some hope that the rod could be gotten back. However, to our dismay, the line broke. Probably the rod was stucked solid underwater. Well, too bad. But that made it very likely that my rod was dragged overboard the kelong by a fast running todak? that spooled the entire spool of fireline and then yanked the rod over into the deep blue. Dramatic!

Tarzan with Stingray


The Sting of the Stingray

Girl with Stingray

At the later part of the day, Eric's rod got a take with some twitching. He thought it to be a small fish, but when it surfaced, it was a Stingray. Although just a small one, it was a good story to add to our trip.

Sun came out really hot, and I soon packed. We left the kelong at about 12pm. Reaching the jetty, not sure due to what reason, a fish jumped out of the water. I was kindof seated down on the left of Eric. We were just chatting and suddenly Eric gave a Whoa! and I turned to look and managed to see a 2-3 kg fish in mid air on the way down. I would put it at a 1m jump. That was sure a jumper. Eric said that it was a triple tail. Wow.

D needed to go to the loo. While waiting for her, Eric and I sighted a monitor lizard crossing the road. Wow again.

This trip, although no commendable catches, was quite special for some really rare sightings. Eric wasn't quite in the mood to fish, being more worried about his preparations for his work. But I think all in all, it was still quite a memorable one.

The other kelong we could see from ours

Baby Tenggiri with sharp teeth

A's fingers got chewed by a baby tenggiri with sharp teeth


Squid 'O glasses