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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Under the Boardwalk

After last week positive outing, Patrick wanted to try out the area again. This time, he was prepared, as he brought along his icebox. That definitely said something about his confidence :). We met at Changi V where he grabbed his dinner. We started chatting about KBLs. It would really make my day if I were to get a KBL there. From CRs in the forum, not an impossible task, as there were some that did manage to land KBLs in that area.

The "never heard before" lure

We reached the place at around 9pm. By that time, water was upcoming and rather high. After setting up the rods, we started casting. PT was trying out a new lure, a Owners brand "never hear before" one. I continued with my experimentation with my white grubs. But strangely, cast and cast, nothing at all for an hour. By that time, confidence started to wane. I myself had snagged 2 grubs, losing 2 jig hooks and 2 soft plastic and was on my third set.

At the end of the walkway, there was this opening in between the rocks and the coastline. I cast my SP there just to try out the little pool of water. But grub got stuck in some rocks and couldn't be unsnagged. Not wanting to lose this grub and to have to retie again, in my desperation, I climbed over the railings and walk a narrow dangerous path to the untrodden side of the beach. On my right, the seawall was like a metre high and a slip would surely mean some injury.

Reaching there, I managed to loosen the snag and retrieve my lure. But behold, that area opened up to the other side of the big rock. From there, on my left was some low hanging branches, very potential for KBl, and on my right, the other side of the giant rock. Hey, this looked like quite a good spot. I decided to try out this area and told PT that if I got anything, we could bring our stuff over and fish from there.

First grouper

And true enough, after some 10-20 cast or so, I got a hit. Although it was so light that fish and lure flew out of the water when I struck. I took a closer look and yelped in delight that it was a grouper. PT was all excited and took some shots. Seeing that that place was good, PT climbed over and we moved some things over to fish that area.

I had an accident with my icebox while tossing it over the railings on the grass slope. It tilted over, and the contents all spilled into the 1 metre drop of water below. Darn, but luckily my scissors and pliers didn't dropped into the sea.

2nd Grouper

3rd grouper

PT was next to hit another grouper, and wonderously, on his "never hear before" lure. Wow, I myself had not even got a grouper on lure before. Again rounds of pictures. So then, at that time, score was 1:1. The next one was his again. Another grouper on lure. I came next to hit another grouper and this time a little bigger. It gave a good fight and I could see it swimming left and right while I reeled it in. So score was 2:2.

However, that place was quite snaggy and we many times almost lose our lures. But we were quite lucky that day and always managed to shake it loose. PT decided to change to try out the small L-minnow.

4th Grouper

Glass fish

Last Grouper

While he was busy tying the rig, I got another hit. This time, although a small grouper, but it was very fierce. It almost swallowed the whole lure despite its size. PT trying out the L-minnow got a take of a glass fish. Quite amazing. Final score was 3:3.

The water started to retreat and we soon got bored with the place, seeing that it yield only small groupers. Nevertheless, it did give us some enjoyment and we had fun and definitely not a go back empty handed trip.

We moved back to the boardwalk area and tried luring around. I changed to my newly acquired small Yamashita to see if there was any squids around. So it was that I was trying out at the right end, when I saw Patrick was a very serious bend near the big rock. He was shouting "big one big one". At first, I thot he was just playing the fool but second look concluded tha he was really on something huge.

Magnified view of the Barra that I captured in our haste. Can imagine the size as compared to the lure. I doubt it is more than 5kg as we hung it up with a 10lbs line. But it looked quite close to 4kg

I ran over and tried to locate his camera in his many pouches. I hurriedly tried to figure out the controls and took some pics. The fish was a big one seeing how his lines were like ziiping out. PT was guessing big KBL, I couldn't see anyting in the dark waters. When it finally surfaced, I saw it immediately to be a Barra, and a huge one at that, possibly in the 3-4kg region.

But in all the pandemonium, PT decided to try lift the fellow up on his puny 10lbs mainline, and a 25lbs leader. I said don't, but it was already up halfway. The line was too thin to hold with my hands and I grabbed a rubbish plastic bag to try to managed to hold on to one side. But the height of the railings to the sea level was too high and 2 hands were needed in tandem to pull the line in. I was trying to find some other material for my other hand, but alas too late. Line broke and we all saw in dismay the prized catch falling back to the sea. Argh! we all cried out in unison. PT immediately ran over to the railings and down under the boardwalk. I stared in disbelief that he was willing to risk his life to get the fish. Hey, that a 3-4kg Barra that we were talking about. Kind of like running into the jungle to confront a tiger. But from my top side, I saw that the fish was like concussed and was floating around the water. But I didn't think that it was injured, probably just tired out. I shone my touch and managed to see it a little while more, until it sanked into the deep water. Patrick by that time was in the water below the boardwalk, and it was up to his chest level. Goodness!

I could share his anguish at losing such a prized catch. And on lure somemore. But in restropect, we should have tried to guide the fish over to some rocks that was like just a little out of the water. That would have minimized the risk of losing that fish. But in all the excitement, it was hard to think straight. PT decided that his next project was to make a portable gaff. :)

Last fish, a Kuku

After that intense episode, I too changed to a lure. But cast here and there, nothing. PT was just lucky to have hit the Barra while it was swimming by. It was already 2am by then, and we all had enough and called it a day. Over some midnight food at the coffee shop, PT was still sighing over the lost fish. Well, life is like that. You win some, you lose some.

Total haul

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