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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

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