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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

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