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Friday, November 30, 2007

Sg Layang 2

After my last week's good catch of a 2kg Grunter, PT and TC naturally wanted to try out the place after reading my blog. So it was that we arranged to go over this Friday to get some more promising catches.

There was a slight mis-coordination that morning, and we were waiting for each other at different places. PT at FishingLine and TC and I at the Grandpa coffee Shop. But we eventually met and were on the way to Rakit Layang at around 8.30am.

I was very hopeful that I could do better than last week's visit. Hence, I also brough along my big ice box, just in case. So much for confidence. :) Reaching there, TC and PT were impressed with the location. As usual, the boy came over to pick us and we were soon on the boat to the floating farm.


Weather was windy with some hint of dark clouds. But luckily for us, the rain did not really come. But the water around was choppy and wind was strong. We found also later that due to the rain, the month of Nov and Dec were not good times for fishing here.

Our shelter

Hmm..where the siakaps and arapaima?

View of the "Kelong" from one end

The owners sleeping quarters

When we stepped onto the "Kelong", we found ourselves the only people there. Another group was to come a little later, but left earlier than us. Everyone was starting out with high hopes, and proceeded to rig up our many rods. We got a pail of live prawns and started casting out.

Rock a bye baby

Monopoly time!

All the Property gurus

PT First catch. A slimy eel

While waiting, we had a game of Monopoly that D had brought along. Due to the choppy waters, my bell was going "trring trring" from the rocking of the platform. But it was mainly false alarm. The water felt different from last week when I was here. Previously, there were even Todaks around. But today, not a single sighting of them. But pulling up the rig, the prawns would have died or gone missing. It seemed like lots of small fishes below.

After 2 hours into the fishing, our hopes started waning. Worst thing was, we ran out of live prawns. We asked for some more but it seemed that the whole "Kelong" had ran out of live prawns. The boy said he would get it from the other Kelong.

My first catch, a roughback puffer

Roughing it up

At last, something decent. A Pasir2

This, not bad too. Gelama

In the meantime, we were lucky that TC brought along some sotongs that he had swiped from Ah Fatt. Else without it, we would really not catch anything. Since no action from our heavy rod, we started using light tackle to get small fishes.

I landed a total of 3 puffers, 1 pasir2 and 1 Gelama. TC landed 1 Duri, 1 Gelama and some other small fishes. I couldn't quite remember what PT landed as he wasn't quite targetting small fishes.

Where my big fish??

Clams, lots of it here

Lunch came very late, and with it still no live prawns. I was feeling quite unhappy that they were taking so long to provide us with live prawns. Already, the tide window was closing. Without live prawns, our chances of big catches were quite slim on sotong bait and fish meat. But we were to learn that they had some problems with the prawns as their stock had died due to the rough waters. Well, too bad.

My Grouper!

But just as we were packing, I heard PT calling out to me. Turning around, we were all plesantly surprised to see him with a good size Grouper. :). He had innovatively used the Puffer meat as bait. After skinning it, it really looked like a piece of chicken meat. With his Grouper, at least not too bad for him today.

After that, we packed and left the place. Overall, I was quite disappointed with the catches. What happened to the 5kg fish I was expecting? And not having live prawns to fish with was quite a bummer. But from what we see, I think it was true that the monsoon months were not very condusive for fishing here. Perhaps we would try it after the Monsoon again. Till then, we probably have to give this place a miss for now.

Closing number

D's friends

The rope that claimed my lure last week

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sg Layang

I had told PT that I might just try out fishing at Danga. I had seen before many people trying over there. So came early morning, we shuttled over. But to my surprise, the traffic was rather heavy at the checkpoint at 6.30am.

Reaching Danga Bay, we found all the food stalls closed. Last time, there would still be some early bird stalls. But they might have figured that it wasn't worth their while. Lately, my observation was that Danga Bay was lacking in maintenance and was beginning to show signs of neglect. Not what the hype used to be.

Water there was quite dirty, though there was a good population of half beaks. But there were also quite plentiful of rubbish floating around. I decided against fishing here, and moved to Permas to find breakfast.

Family of dogs

Shop just around FishingLine

Nice deco

Yummy breakfast

We checked out a pretty new coffee shop which turned out to be quite good and cheap. It was renovated in the style of Yak Kun and quite well managed. After that, I decided to recce the place that was mentioned in the motoring forum, about the todak restaurant.

Todak Restuarant

View from the car park (can see Sembawang)

Eating by the seaside

The waypoint was found on my GPS and it was a simple matter of plotting the route. Reaching there, we found that the restaurants were closed. Apparently, it was only active in the night. Sure enough, we could see Sembawang shipyard at a rather close range. I walked around to check out the fishing conditions. Verdict was, not a good place. Murky water, floating rubbish. Couldn't be any better than Sembawang just across the river.

Next try was this little icon of a fish on my GPS. From the map, it was slightly above Kong Kong, and looked to be a out of the way place. My interest was piqued, and since I had nothing much to do, I decided to drive there to look see.

Kong Kong road

From the turn, it was a 9km track

Along the 9km way


The spot on my fish icon

The route was an interesting one, and at some points, very rough and 4wd terrain. But luckily most of it were quite decent roads. At one stretch, it was a 10km road in, and I was doing mostly 10km/h at the beginning due to the rough road. At that rate, it would take me 1 hour to reach there. But to our good fortune, after 5 mins of the bumpy road, the road turned out quite good and was doable at 60km/h.

All the charges and contact here

Their Marina

Someone was fishing here for free

Reaching my "fishing spot" destination, we found ourselves at a small village. And true enough, there were people carrying tackles. I was wondering where to. A talked to the locals and found out that just in the middle of the river were some floating fishing farms. We were told that the fishing was over there. Interesting, and from the prices on the sign board, only at RM10 per pax! We were told to call the farm itself to come pick us.

We found out the info from this house. This double as a food and tibit shop for the floating farm

View of the floating fish farm

King crab

I was immediately game to try out the fishing and unloaded all my fishing gear. We called the farm and very soon, a young chap on a motorised boat came over. The distance was very near, barely a couple of minutes. We boarded and was soon on our way to the floating farm.

Nice and clean environment

They were selling small arapaimas and siakaps

Reaching there, it was indeed a nice and comfy place for fishing. There wasn't much people and we had ample space to fish around. Furthermore, there was shelter, food and drinks, and even live baits. I think ice could be provided too, but I already had ice in my icebox.

We settled down and I started fishing. At that time, it was the turning tide, and water current was quite slow. I rigged up a bottom apollo rig and did luring with my other rods. I got some live prawns at RM.50 each (cheap). But since I didn't have a pump, my prawns didn't last long. My bottom rig on my black rose got a strike and I was hanging on for dear life. It felt heavy and ran under the platform with my line rubbing against the edge. Not good, and I lost control of the fish. Fish did a strong run and my line snapped at the main. Arg and that "f" word came out of me. I had been getting this situation consecutively and was cursing at myself for not loosening the drag to let the fish run. The rest of the fishing folks were looking at me, and was dismayed at my loss.

My Zauber

Trying luring

No choice, re-rigged and down went my apollo again. On my luring, I was thinking no fish. But on one cast, the all too familiar tap was felt, and then a couple more times. It was confirmed when I saw a todak following my lure right up the platform until it saw me on the horizon and turned away.

I was just telling A that this place not possible to lose lure. But me and my big mouth, lure unknowingly got stuck on the rope that was holding the platform. Ropes are lure killer as it was closed to impossible to disgourge a lure from a rope. Rocks maybe, but rope, never.

Fish surfacing


Just as I was luring, my black rose took a bent again. YeeHa! Fish on again. This time round, I had changed to a 20lb leader and my drag wasn't too tight. And fish this time, didn't make any niffy trick of running under the platform. It was mostly diving down. Yet it felt like a good one, and my line was spooling out quite frequently. About 3 minutes later, it did a final 10 sec run and after that, my guess was that it was tired. I slowly cranked the fish up from the deep and finally when it broke water, I was a nice sized Grunter. Not wanting to lose the fish, I asked the helper for a net to land it safely. Soon Grunter was on deck, and I had broken my recent line snapping curse. Grunter was weighed to be 2kg.

The rest of the folks were happy for me and after the fish, I was receiving smiles from people that I don't know. :) Most of the others were not getting anything and the only other fish that I saw was a Duri.

Packet lunch. (not bad)

Sons of the owner? They were enjoying fishing as well

We ordered lunch and it was pretty decent. But after lunch, the fishing took a different turn. The current became very strong (new moon) and even clipping on a size 5 sinker couldn't hit bottom. This was to go on until about 3+pm, when I decided to leave. It was quite hard to fish was such current. My guess was that this place would be productive when the current is slow.

The other blue patch on my map is the reservoir.

Leaving the farm

The total bill came up to only, RM20. This must be the cheapest kind of fishing that I had. And furthermore, no limit to how long to fish. I was wondering what if we were to stay for 2 days? And the service here was definitely friendly, and all the facilities well thot of.

Way to another floating farm. But ground was too challenging here

Oil Palm plantation

We drove out and I headed for my usual rest stop at Jusco before heading home. It was an interesting day, with an unexpected chance to fish at a "kelong" type of place. I would definitley be back, with couple of my fishing gang.

Yummy! Grunter fish head curry