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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Newbie Fishing - Lesson 1

I had promised a friend of mine Wei Chen to bring him fishing. I had racked my brain for a good starting off place. For newbies, going back with nothing would be a bad start. I had thought of Lab Park at first, but later found out that it was closed for renovation. I next thought of Six Pipes as the alternate venue. Perhaps it was just as well, as Six Pipes had more potential than Lab Park in the first place.

We met as planned rather punctually. WC came with wifey Jeanette, who turned out to be quite an enthusiatic student. :). They brought along their rod, and as I expected, nothing else. I had come prepared with 4 rods just in case such a thing were to happen. Being newbies, they were entirely new to this fishing thing, and it was no surprise.

I setup my short basslove for J, and my president for WC. Taking a tamban jigging line, I divided it into 2 to minimise the number of hooks that they had to bait with. Being quite a shallow area, jigging was not possible. Hence to maximise the chance, I baited the hooks with prawn meat.

After a quick casting lesson, J threw out her line. And within the first cast, she landed something. Wow, talk about luck. Fish turned out to be a good one, a Wrasse. Hm, these buggers not usually easy to catch due to their minuscule mouths. J was naturally all excited and did a cart wheel. After the customary photo taking, fishing proceeded on. WC cast out his line and then also on the first cast, got a tamban! Holy tornado. These students were good. I had never before gotten a tamban at Six Pipes.

Since the 2 of them had gotten the swing of things, I too rigged up my Black rose and cast out. I had wanted a slightly bigger catch, and rigged mine on a size 8 owner hooks, baited with about 1/2 a prawn meat. A while into the waiting, rod dipped and I got a decent fish on the other end. Reeling back, fish ran into the pipes and I was snagged. Argh...but I could feel the fish still struggling despite not being able to reel back the line. I played the waiting game, and finally fish ran out again, and was soon on the losing end. When it broke the surface, it turned out to be a slightly larger than my palm Silver Biddy (WuaBee). Hmm, I was expecting a larger fish. Not a bad fighter.

By this time, WC got another fish, and it was another wrasse. But they kept complaining that fishes were eating up their bait. I see, must be loads of Wrasse below. These are quick nibblers, and to catch them, one needed to have fast reflexes. J was having a dry spell after the first catch.

I threw out my line again, and took some time to help rig up an apollo rig with Gamakutsa hooks for her. But I didn't think I did a very good job as rig was a little too long on the bite leader. But seeing the darkening sky, it had to do. Out she cast and hoped for the best. But despite some bites, she was still not getting any. It might be my soft basslove rod. This rod, not easy to use due to the flexy backbone.

I took another take on my rod, and this one felt quite strong initially. When it broke surface, we all saw it to be a small brown ray. Just a baby. I took some photos and decided to release it. The moment it landed into the water again, it swam away happily.

WC now got another successful take and out came a Catfish. This one the eel tail variety. Not bad, but we decided to let it go. I too, not a fan of catfishes.

By now, sky was getting dark and we had to pack. To celebrate our success, we went CV for dinner which WC paid for, as a treat to me. But dinner came up to $75 just for some of the dishes from the zhi char, excluding the other side plates. Wah, felt bad that he had to pay so much. :P. After dinner, my 2 new students decided to get 2 new setups for their future fishing trips. I did my best to recommend them some decent outfit for about $200 for 2 sets. I narrowed it down to a Rapala and a Berkley Cherry wood. Well, starting out always quite hefty for any hobby...but still, some of my reels, already more than $200 per piece. :P. Hopefully they would continue to make full use of it and not give up. I had a hunch, they would be following me around quite often. :)

We shall meet for lesson 2 tomorrow.

Fishes we caught
1. Diamond Wrasse x2
2. Silver Biddy x1
3. Eeltail catfish x1
4. Brown stingray x1
5. Tamban x1

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