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Friday, August 31, 2007

Changi Car Park 5

Today seemed like a good late night fishing. Weather was superb, considering that it had been raining incessantly for the past few days. Moon was out in its almost full glory. After 7pm, I drove up to Pasir Ris for dinner, planning to move to SAFYC at changi naval base for a spot of comfortable fishing till late. Reaching there, we were told that fishing now would cost $16 for two rods. Holy Toledo! It was only $7 for 2 rods the last time. Furthermore, I didn't get bait at CV, thinking to support him and get the 100g for $4 prawns. Hearing that, I decided to pack up and proceed elsewhere. It wasn't like the place was a super productive spot.

The guard house. D's reading her Pokemon comic.

Moonlight fishing

We then drove to CV for drinks, while I got a pack of live prawns and some tackle shopping. Just wanting to make it simple and convenient, I stopped at Changi Car Park 5 to try out. It had been some time ago since I had been here. I managed to get the last seat next to the army jetty, patrol by guards with rifle. To my thinking, it should be a better spot here.

Just usual, I casted out a long leader rig with my ranggong for live prawns, and another with my squid jig. While waiting for the fish to bite, I would do some squidding as well. This looked like a potential squid spot, being next to a jetty, and with all the lights, should be good.

Rod with live prawns did ring a little, but due to dancing prawns. Reeling back, prawns all covered with seaweed. Other than that, no action whatsoever. Squidding was totally hopeless. But the place was pleasant and clean, and quite well lighted. So, the fishing was quite pleasurable.

D's latest craze. Cutesy turtles.

The children got tired, and went to sleep on the mat. A was also quite uncomfortable due to some ants on the floor. So, at around 12+am, I called it quits and packed to go. A zero for me tonight.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Birthday Fishing - Lab Park

Well, the next day, would be another tick to my life. So, I had some priviledge in doing what I like. That of cos, was fishing. But D got swimming that morning, so my day only started after 10.30am. I had thought to do something special, like going for island cruise, and checking out the fishing sites at St John or Kusu island.

However, going island would be expensive, now that the ferry starts from Marina South. Parking itself would be quite a hefty sum. Furthermore, the weather didn't look that good today. Kind of wanting to rain type.

So, driving aimlessly, A said to go Ponggol. All because she wanted to harvest some petai. Ok then. Around that time, about 11am+. Kind of hot on and off, depending on whether the sun got covered by the clouds or not.

Tide was outgoing as high tide was around 10am. I took out my squid jig and tried around the jetty. But nothing at all. Those people there, thought I was crazy. I did a lagi more crazy thing, and took out my Pin Minnow, and did some luring. Cast and cast, and finally got a rock. Lucky for me, the lure wasn't sangkot. Else, heartpain. I eventually did the more sane thing, and rig a size 8 hooks with prawn meat. But since the Jetty was crowded, I cast from the shore. But unluckily, got crossed line with a line from the Jetty. After the untanglement, I cast again, and hooks got snagged. Haz, just not my day.

The weather suddenly turned kooky, and looked like rain. Although the weather was nice and cooling and windy, I could see the rain from a distance in the north. And the wind was blowing towards my direction. Sensing that rain would be coming soon, I said pack. After packing, just when we reached the car, it really started raining. Amazing. :)

So, driving around again, I didn't know what else to do. From Ponggol to changi coast road. And passing there, thought maybe visit secret place. But darn, the entrance was blocked by 2 giant block of stones. Another place gone. But looked like the construction was in the final phase, and the area might be opened soon.

I made a big round about and got on the ECP again. Hmm, maybe just go shopping at Vivo city. Depending on the mood, maybe I would drop by Lab Park for "chermin" fishing :)). One could only hope. But rather hopeless thought, because I didn't have any live prawns.

Reaching there, I rig up a float rig with a double hook on a whole dead prawn. Try my luck, you never know. Maybe got 1 stupid chermin would come to bite this fellow. While waiting, I set up another rod for squidding. Looking around, I suddenly realized that the area I was at, no fishing allowed!?? Why? I didn't understand. And then, I saw the sign saying something like the area was under some conservation thingy, and the main aisle on the jetty was out of bounds. Stupid rule. Cos from the other end, could also cast into the same area. Well, there were others fishing there as well. Not really enforced.

Therefore, I ignored the sign and continued. Squids all not around. Didn't even see a shadow of any. Floating rig also no action. Haz. But the area, rather quiet. Just a few people fishing. The weather, although sunny, was on the way to the evening. It was hot but bearable. Actually, I did enjoy the fishing in such a setting. Even more if the fishes were biting.

And at last, my float rig bell shook violently. Sweet music to my ears! I dropped the other rod, and quickly took the bell off and tighten the line. A father and son passed by and observed the action. Line tighten, I gave a yank and the fellow at the end jumped. It didn't feel heavy, so not a big fish. Once the view got clearer, I saw that it was a todak. I was using a double hook for assurance, and this fellow should not be able to get away easy. It jumped a few more times. I quickly reeled it in before it did any more trick. Once under the Jetty. I swung it over, and it was mine.

People walking by was impressed and stopped to look. Father and son said, wow, this was the biggest todak they had seen over here. Well, I said, quite a small one actually :). D came over with my pliers and also big mouth and said, "Daddy, so small". This girl...

Lab Park Jetty area seemed to be a favourite location for wedding shooting, and photography avids. Got to see those people quite often around the Jetty.

After that, no more action. Just around 6.30pm, I packed and we proceeed for dinner. Not to bad. At least got 1 todak to break my egg on this special day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Squid Fishing - Lab Park

I had been on this quest to hunt for squidable locations in Singapore. Ponggol Jetty, tried. Next in line, was the Lab Park that I frequent. This time there, main target was to get a squid. My largest squid in Singapore was a measly puny sized one.

High tide today was around 10pm. So reaching there, I was expecting to see exposed rocks in the afternoon. Surprisingly, the low tide itself was rather high. Current was slow, and casting a float, it would stay in the general area for perhaps 10 mins.

I rigged up my Yamashita and went around hunting for squid at the Jetty. Not long into the fishing, someone caught a very nice sized Chermin (~2-3kg). I was full of envy.

I had gotten live prawns today, since it had been sometime since I had fished with live prawns. (not counting the boat trip). So, I setup a float, with a metre long leader on live prawns and tossed it out, chanting for "chermin, please come". But float got no business, and the most was just drifting here and there.

My squidding attempt, did not seem promising at first. Totally no taps or anything. But about 15 mins into it, I suddenly saw with my eyes, a squid going after my yamashita. Yeehaa. But unfortunately, this squid quite smart, and didn't grab my lure. After a while, it was lost. Arrgh.

Biggest Squid in Singapore to date

And another time, while meddling with my float rig, I saw another squid going for my live prawn. Wow! This time, I rig up my Yozuri, orange 3 one, and cast it out. I thought that my jig might be too big, hence no bite. About 10 minutes later, a tap was felt. But I wasn't too sure, as the place was quite snaggy with weeds. It might just be weeds. But pulling in the line, yahoo!, a squid. But the squid was only caught on 1 tentacle, and I was quite worried that I would lost it. But luckily, the hookup held, and I managed to swing it over the fence, and onto my things. Bad mistake. Black ink all squirt out and mess up my belongings.

Excited children exploring the squid

Some people were passing by and were quite delighted to see a live squid being caught. Of these, there was a lady with 2 pri school children. They were so excited, that I offered them to touch the squid and take some pictures. In fact, they asked lots of questions, and hang around to see me catch another. Stressed! But after that, squids all gone. Totally no bite at all.

The jetty became dark, and would be closed soon. I moved all my rods to the Park area to continue fishing. But the Park was dim, and fishing became quite difficult. My Yozuri got caught in a snag, and was lost since it was only an 8 lb leader. Ouch. I had been losing quite a fair bit of lures, hurting my pocket.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sembawang SAFYC

Our command centre

TC called out of the blue to fish at Sembawang YC at night. It sounded interesting as I had never done that before. I didn't know that fishing was allowed there, although I had been there quite a few times for food and drinks. It should be a members only priviledge.

So the time was set to 9pm and we would met there. Reaching there, I had to sign in, and indicate that I would be there for fishing. :). No one was there, and we had the whole place to ourselves. But a few other people came later on, with long rods, and ciggie smokes.

My general feel of the place was quite positive. Tide was high, and I could see many fishes jumping around big patches of rippling in the water. Under the lights, many crabs were swimming across. Being a Jetty, it felt like a sotong place. It was also quite comfortable, as there was a table for working our rigs. A and the children sat there to play games on my phone. When they got bored, the children also used the facilities there, like the playground and the arcade. Toilet was just round the corner. Only problem was, the light was very dim. Luckily, I had my cap light with me. Better than nothing.

So, it took a while longer to setup, as the visibility wasn't very good. I first tried to do some luring with my newly bought pin minnow, hoping to get a lucky strike. But cast here and there, nothing. Caught some plastic bags, and once, stuck on the rope used for mooring. I had to wade into the ramp to ankle deep water to unravel it.

I changed rig after a while and tried to go for squid. Out came my new Yamashita to test water. But trying out a few places, like near the boats, under the jetty, near the platform. All yielded nothing.

Where my squid?

The happy fisherman

My only catch

The one that didn't get away.

TC bountiful catches

I next changed to small hooks as I wanted to see what fishes were those there seem to be abundant at the surface. Finally, when I got one, it turned out to be glass fish. The spot just below the table, seemed to be a nest. TC got his shortly after mine, and he went on to get more than 10. I didn't want to hit anymore glass fish, and change position to test the water. Few bites, but all got away. Strange. In the end, I went back to my squid jig again, but nothing was biting.

TC said he would leave after getting his 10. I also didn't want to continue anymore. It just seemed to be glassfish all the way. Maybe, it was just that the water was quite dirty here. Not a very good spot after all. So, around 11.30pm, we packed and left for home.

New Stuff - Pin Minnows & Shrimp Hunters

After my last trip to Ah Fatt, all my fav shrimp hunters all gone. On the way back, I did get some replacement at Permas. Over there, selling much cheaper than in Singapore, which at some places, would cost a whopping $18. There, only RM20. I also got a Yamashita to try. Though not as pretty as the shrimp hunters, I had heard good reviews about its effectiveness.

Yesterday, went down to Beach Road to get some more for $12.50 each. This time, went for the size 4 ones. Also, as Hock Ann was opened, popped in to top up my pin minnows. This pin minnow, was fast becoming my favourite lure. Thanks to recommendation from Eric.

Shrimp Hunters, Yozuri Q and 1 Yamashita


Pin Minnows, 70mm

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Splish Splash - Lab Park

This morning, went down to SLS to look for my phone charger. Eventually found it, but I had to get the original O2 one, otherwise there was a chance that it would not work again. All my road trips, I had this problem with my phone not being able to charge in the car, running the risk of my phone going low batt in Malaysia. New charger seemed to work well, and problem was solved.

Since I was around Beach road, I dropped by for some tackle shopping. The weather was quite good, I got a pack of prawns from Joe Tackle to do some light fishing later. However, the prawns from Joe didn't look like the usual ones I got from CV. The prawns were more whitish and costed $3. Nevertheless, I bought a pack. Driving aimlessly around, I decided to head for Lab Park to try out some other fishing technique.

This time, we settled down on the left side. First, I tried to do floating, but it wasn't successful. The waves were strong, and the float was back to the rocky banks in no time. I next rigged up my newly bought ranggong. From my boat fishing, I realized that these niffy gadgets were quite necessary, especially when the current was strong. Strong current = line twist. Ranggong was designed to minimise this. Futhermore, it looked quite pretty, with the shiny beads and all.

I casted out far, beyond the rocks. This area was the place that I had snagged so many times. Within minutes, I definitely felt some bites. Pulling up the lines, baits all gone. Just like fishing at the other end. It might be those wrasses again. I rebaited and casted out once more. Finally, there was quite a strong tap. I struck and was delighted to feel some wriggling at the other end of the line. Retrieved it back, there was a beautiful "Butterfly whiptail". I took some pics and decided to release the fellow.

Almost all of a sudden, the waves became very strong and choppy. The high tide today was very high, and due to the high water level, the waves were breaking up the banks of the park, and splashing sea water on people passing by. I couldn't quite fish, without getting wet. Seeing the situation, I decided to call it a day. Not too bad for a short fishing, since I already had a fish.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pasir2 - Six pipes

TC said to fish at Six pipes. The last week, he went on his own, but turned out that he got the wrong place and ended up somewhere near Tanah Merah Canal. But it looked iffy as it was drizzling. However, luck had it that we were both in CV. So, we met and then moved down to SP after some makan.

Weather was cool, due to the wet weather. The normal jetty that I went to, was quite occupied. Seeing that, we proceeded to the jetty on the right. There were some guys already fishing there, but there was some free space for the 2 of us. Rod was setup quickly, and we were soon wetting it. Using small hooks and prawn meat, I got a bite within 5 minutes, and out came a Pasir2. I continued to get more Pasir2 over the next hour. A man was there watching us, and giving out commentaries. TC wasn't doing too well, but finally, he managed a Puffer. Well, better than nothing.

He complained about his rod, and we changed rods to try out. Indeed, his pasar malam rod wasn't too good, and the mono lines were definitely not feeling anything. But I still managed 1 pasir2 to convince him that his rod was capable of getting the whitings. End of the day, total catch for me was 9 Pasir2. I wanted to hit a 10, but hooks were snagged away by some underwater structure. 9 was still a good number. Enough for a small meal.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

2nd Changi Waters - Ah Fong Boat

I received a call out of the blue from Salleh at work few days back. Interested in Boat Trip? Changi Waters again. Yes yes. I didn't get much chance to fish on boat, hence any opportunity, I would grab. However, it was going to be a long stretch of fishing holiday, as it was to be on Sat, just after my intended trip to Ah Fatt on Thurs and Fri.

So, early on Sat morning, I found myself at CV at the ungodly hour of 6.15am. Since we only had an OPC car, A could only send me there that time, giving her enough time to make the round trip back by 7am.

Bunch of Indians negotiating with AQs

Ah Quah at end of "working day"

CV was an interesting place at that hour, that most people would not see. Other than the obvious with the shops being closed, and only a few stalls at the famous Hawker Centre, I spied quite a number of AQs (ah quahs) moving around soliciting for business. There was a group of Indians which I saw talking to them. After some handshakes, and discussion, I spied (Kaypoh me :P) them going into the playground to do dunno what. After a while, another couple would come out. Very seditious. Definitely sometime above 18 was going on.

JigMan Braided lines

Anyway, back to the fishing. Gina's shop opened and I went into it to get my mono lines changed. I had gotten used to braided lines, and using Mono just didn't cut it anymore. I was comtemplating Power Pro, but they didn't have the color that I wanted. I decided on Fireline, but Gina said to try JigMan, going at $45 for a 300m spool. It sounded interesting, with the feature of being able to measure the depth from the color coded segments. Ok, why not? I said. But darn, at that price, I would be needing the lines to mend my hole in the pocket.

I met Salleh and Joseph promptly at 8am, and was told that another 2 would join us. After some wait, I got to meet Lim and Patrick. Lim came very light weight, missing his cooler box. I was told then that in his haste, he had left cooler box and bunch of keys in the cab. Hopefully, there might be a chance of him getting it back, as Taxi drivers would usually leave passengers item at the HQ lost and found. Most Singaporean taxi drivers were quite honest people.

2 new guys, Lim and Patrick

Excuse me. Got Prawns or not?

Victory Petrolum Station


Salleh's US made rod, Quantum.

Joseph with his new custom Sage, matched with a Calcutta.

Sexy Shimano Calcutta

Ah Fong was apparently happy to see me again, and greeted me warmly!? This boatman, was quite a character. Lose a catch and you would get a earful from him. Pump! pump! He would always command. But actually, a good at heart person. :)

Weather that morning was the "want to rain" type. But to our good fortune, the rain held out. The closest whiff of rain was just a couple of drops. That had the added advantage of a cool and windy weather. Salleh said chinese calender indicated today being a good fishing day. Everyone was hopeful for a bountiful catch. Don't all fisherman feel that at the start of a fishing session? Fishing folks all positive thinkers. :)

First Strike!

Salleh on a roll. Good catch of a Grunter

Who more beautiful? Man or beast?

2nd catch of the day. Flat head, but nobody wants. Released.

Why his fishes always looked happy to be caught?

Another happy fish for Joseph

But alas, after moving around couple of spots, the catch rate wasn't too good. By the end of the morning, only Salleh, Joseph and the boatman had some decent catches. Patrick, Lim and I were quite dry still. Joseph had gotten a jazzy new rod, and it was christened by hauling up a good Grunter

I caught a Rock!

Patrick broke his zero with this "big" grouper

Patrick soon broke the zero with a "nice" grouper :). My closest attempt to my surprise was a cuttlefish that went up my line with prawn in its mouth. I thought of hooking it, and gave the rod a jerk. Bad mistake. Prawn came out and Cuttlefish lost its meal. I quickly threw back the prawn in its path, and it did go for it again. However, another yank, prawn broke into 2, and Cuttlefish swam away with half the prawn. Lim throw out his prawn near it. But since Cuttlefish already had food, it gave no attention to it anymore. I learnt something new that day. First time, I had seen cuttlefish on regular fishing hooks. Boat man had an earlier catch, and I thought he landed it with a net. That might just be the proper way. Haz. That spot seemed to be a cuttlefish nest.

My Freams with my new jig lines

My new JigMan line was performing well, and the line was super senstive. However, I got confused with all the mixed signals, from the prawn dancing, to the boat rock and rolling, and the weight bouncing on the floor. The feel of when to strike or not, wasn't very clear. Few times, I struck at empty water, and fooled the rest to
think that I had got a big one. :P

Finally, a good Grunter for Patrick

Patrick went on to catch a mix variety of things, like coral rock, and slug, and finally ended the finale with a good catch of grunter. :). Lim, like myself had some trouble with our lines suffering from bad twisting. We fixed it up by retying.

Finally, an ACK for me

In the afternoon at around 3+, I finally got a definite fish bite. I "pumped" the rod, but the drag was quite loose and kept going zip zip.. Midway, suddenly the pul became like a sangkot. Strange. Joseph helped to confirm it and the verdict was: Yes, sangkot. Break line. Haz. I tighten drag and pulled and lo and behold, line was loose again. And when it broke surface, there it was, a good ACK. Viola!

Small but beautiful catch from Lim [edit:(Ornate Threadfin Bream)]

Lim by then, was the last to have yet caught anything. But luck turned the table, and out came a very pretty fish, which I couldn't ID. Not a bad catch at all.

In the afternoon, that was pretty much it. Not much catch despite going from one end to the other. And strangely, no Groupers this round. Around 10mins before times up, my line hooked on something, and I "pumped" again. But turned out to be sangkot, for real this time. Lim also sangkot earlier. That place, looked to be full of sharp corals. Patrick joined us next. Well, left with the veterans. But seeing no action, Fong gave the signal to head back.

Overall, not too bad a trip. Weather was quite kind this time round. I had maintained a consistent score of 1 catch per boat trip :). And both were ACKs some more. Boat reached the Jetty, and we all went our own ways. Lim, Patrick and I exchanged numbers. They were nice company, and would look forward to fishing with them again.

The route from my trusty GPS.

After a whole day drinking lukewarm water..this looked mighty thirst quenching.

Another fishing mag pose

Flying away

I used to belong to some rich man son's sports car

Sailors around Changi Sailing Club

More sailors

Color co-ordinated sailing attire

Salleh's unusal catch of a Puffer

Fish finder. Didn't seem to work

Our total haul

Difference between a Cuttlefish and a Squid: The Cuttlebone