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Sunday, September 16, 2007

First Cuttle Fish - Ubin

The last time I had been here fishing, was a little more than a year ago. That time, just a newbie, miserable catches. Today, I wanted to try it again. I had think that this place should be quite productive, being Ubin. Furthermore, it was actually very comfortable and safe at the Jetty.

The tide was about 1am in the morning. I thought that it was just about right to reach there about 9pm and stay over till the next morning. We reached CV at around 7pm for us to get dinner and baits. But I thought was had better get the ferry early, in case we would miss the last boat.

At 7.30pm, we were there at the terminal. We waited for about half hour and still cannot make 12 passengers for the boat. Boatman said how about each to pay $5, and we could go. We all agreed and off to Ubin we went.

Reaching the Jetty, there was crowd waiting to go back. And I spotted these guys from FNR, the famous Alan Chan and Sticko (Roger). The other guy I later found out was SGPU (Ben). So, it was like the core team of FNR at Ubin on the way back from a luring session. I approached them and introduced myself and got acquainted with them.

Soon, the Jetty was empty except for us. There were a few residents I think that came and go to look at us. The guard also came around to chit chat. Someone else came shortly after I setup up the rods and went about doing crabbing as well as fishing with a rod. We struck up a conversation and I was quite surprised he spoke excellent english. He got a bit of squinty eyes, but was really rather a friendly fellow.

First cast, and hit a snag with my Yozuri. Argh! What a way to start. But luckily, after some manoeuvring, I managed to free it. From the debris on the hooks, looked like some coral stones. Actually, the whole area, terrain was not very friendly. Some spots were quite snaggy. I snagged a few more times. In total, lost quite a bit of hooks and weights, as well as my newly bought orange Yozuri.

At around 9pm, my rods got busy and when and A and D were at the toilet, my bell rang when I was squidding with my Shrimphunter. Yozuri got a tap, but didn't hold. I later confirmed that it was attacked by a squid from the torn cloth wrappings on the lure. I picked up the rod and struck and it felt like something. Reeled and Reeled, and when it broke surface, jets of water shot up. The unmistakable sign of a squid! Holy cow, how my live prawn rig could get a squid? I was about to lift it up and over the jetty when the line lost the hold and it splashed back to the water. Argh! Bad luck.

Friendly man was productive with his crabbing net. Every 5 minutes, he would pull up a flower. And once, he even pulled up a 1+kg grouper on the crabbing.

I went on to play prawn spinning at the rocky areas, hoping to get a KBL. After a few tries, I got a hook up, and it felt like a good one. Reeling back, again, when it broke surface, up came a "squid". But when I got it under the light, it was a cuttle fish instead. Great, a first. Just like the one that the boatman caught during my boat trip. Again, this was on live prawns.

Cuttle fish looked very cute, and I wanted to keep it alive. Friendly man took out his fishes from the pail and passed it to us to keep the cuttle fish. But when I propped it in, the water turned all black from the ink jet. A helped to changed water. I wanted to take a pic and tried to take it out. Friendly man bend over to help me get the cuttle fish, and got a full direct load of the ink on his face. Wah! I almost got hit too, but from experience, I was very careful never to face the backside of a squid in my direction. Poor man, I felt bad about him getting shot. He quickly went down the jetty to wash his face.

After half hour later, my waiting rod bell rang. The "fish" seemed already hooked, as the rod was shaking violently. I took the rod, gave a strike and it was a good hold. Retreiving back the lines, broke surface....and another Squid! This time, a regular green eye. I lifted it up, and what you know squid fell off. I thot it was gone but when I bend over the railings to check, it landed precariously on the ledge. What luck. I slipped my hands through the wooden bars, and managed to grab it before it could flop over and fall into the water. Good thing squid are very sticky creature.

After that, I played around with live prawns spinning but got snagged many times. I wasn't too sure if it was due to the terrain, or due to groupers hitting the prawns and running into the hole. I had no experience with catching a grouper. So, lost quite a lot of hooks and weights.

A scrawny cat came around, and it was evidently very hungry. We had some left over tuna for our sandwiches. Perfect to give to this little fellow. It finished up the half can in no time, and asked for more. I had some dead prawns and I threw it to the fellow. It gobbled it up as well, uncooked. Later, D fed it some bread, and it took it eagerly too. Yes, definitely hungry.

The tide got very high, and current was pretty strong. But throughout that time, suddenly, no activity. Waiting rod could be there for an hour, and after that live prawns still dancing on the hook. There were a few bites, but prawns was bitten off before the tail, and no hook up. Around 4am, I was down to my last prawns, just about nice.

The next morning, boat came around 5.30am, and some people started coming to the Jetty to wait for the boat. Around 6+am, already had about 12 people. Boat ferried us back to Singapore, and reaching there, it started to rain. How timely.

Overall, it was a good recce trip. The jetty itself was clean and comfy. No mozzies at all. There was a guard going around, and it was pretty safe. Lighting was bright and comfortable. No need even to put on my head lights. A and D slept well. Toilet was just around the corner. Excellent facilities. I should be back for more.

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