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Saturday, December 20, 2008

KFC - Kelong Bagan Lalang

It only came to my attention recently that there were some other kelongs in the region around Bagan Lalang (near Port Dickson). I took a day leave today and didn't have anything planned. The rest of the gang were too busy to go fishing. The night before, I decided not to waste the day and just run up to Bagan Lalang to check out the state of the Kelongs there. Actually there are 3. The one that we went, which I believe is called Kelong Bagan Lalang (Update: Kelong Nazri), and 2 others that are called Mamod Kelong and Lukut Kelong. However, the trip was quite challenging as A had to be back by 8pm for her class. I thought Port Dickson could be reached in 2 hours, but I grossly underestimated the travelling time.

Rest stop at the newly renovated Machap

We were almost there

Balang Lalang Town? Again, can't find money changer

The hotel sri malaysia I read about on the net

Beautiful beach here, with fine sands. Looks clean too

D rushed out to play with the sand

The fish market behind

Nice scenic view. More resorts down the road

As usual, I woke up the family early and left the house around 5.45am. However being a weekday, clearing the checkpoint was a breeze. Although the officer took about 5 mins to clear each car. He would ask each one of us questions like "what is your birthday", "what is your ic number". Wow. Very soon, they could be game show host with all this training. Anyway, we cleared the custom and drive through the new Malaysian checkpoint for the first time. Clearance there was fast as it was still early and there were hardly cars. From there, I headed for NSH and navigated my way to Port Dickson. Since I didn't have time to change money, I was hoping to do so along the NSH. But it seemed that there were entirely no money changer all the way from NSH till Bagan Lalang.

We ended up having to beg people to take our Sin money and ask for them to change to ringget at 2:1 for us at our loss. Distance wise, the trip was not a trival one. At 9.30am, we hardly even reached Ayer Keroh, the turnoff for Malacca. That distance was already 200km. From there it was another 50km to the Pedas Linggi turnoff. However from there, it was another hour drive through long snakey roads to hit the west coast of Malaysia. By the time I reached the beach, it was already almost 11am. Mr sun was up and shining intensely. From there, I gave Nazri(the owner of the Kelong) a call, and we soon arranged for someone to pick us up at the Jetty.

Finally here at the Seafood restaurant

The Jetty to the 3 kelongs here

Price list for the Kelongs here

You can fish from there for RM3.
Those people looked like they were having a good time

Fish Market. Orange plastic bags are udangs (prawns) for fishing

Balang Lalang is a nice scenic place, with a stretch of good beaches. There are quite a few resorts there, and even Hotel Sri Malaysia. There was also a village there with a fish market, and some seafood restaurants. It kind of reminded me of my trip to Kelong Paradise. It has a nice relaxing feel to it. Boatman came shortly and we were soon on the boat heading towards the Kelong. This Kelong is northern one and the boat trip was perhaps about 10 minutes. Reaching there, we saw a lone man fishing. The Kelong itself is not too big, maybe about the size of 2 hdb flat. It was neat and clean, and quite well built. The planks were good fitting and well joined. Boatman spread out a mat for us, and it was indeed quite comfy to be having a nap there. We got friendly with the man, and found out that he had been there since last night. But there were no decent catches for him.

350km to see this view

A tail of a 18kg Siakap (KBL, Seabass). Said to be common here

Can be fished all round the Kelong

Good workmanship on the Kelong

Helper laid a mat here for us. So comfortable

My very lucky catch. A Tengirri

Mr sharp teeth

All wanted to fish after that

A also got a small fish

I rigged up and started fishing. The water was quite shallow made worse by the outgoing tide. After 3 throws, I got a hit and saw a small fish dashing on my line. Man also got excited and shouted instructions for me to land the fish. He thought it was a threadfin, but it turned out to be a tengirri, although just a small one. I was happy too as it was my 2nd only tengirri that I ever landed. Wow, the fishing seemed to have gotten a good start. A and D also wanted to fish and they too managed some small fishes. But 15 minutes of that fishing, it got bad very suddenly. Tambans all not around. I had checked the tide table and thought the high tide was supposed tobe around 3pm. But I was wrong. Apparently my table was only for Singapore waters. Here, tide was in fact going down when I arrived. But one thing good, there were plenty of todaks around. However, I didn't have any bait fish to target them. What precious ones that I got, I used for bottom to test for bigger fishes.

Small tiny kitchen here

Maggi mee taste good while fishing

A improvised "fork" and "spoon" for our Maggi mee

Low tide, fishes all gone to Tuas Kelong

Another group came. Look at the number of rods! somemore in another bag

This cat is called "Pretty". More like "grouchy" to me :)

Therefore, the water turned bad and became river like as the water was flowing out inot the ocean. Throughout the fishing, I only got 2 tambans, 1 selar, 1 tengirri, 1 ACk (small one) and that was it. Due to us needing to head back to Singapore by 8pm, we had to leave the kelong around 3pm. But that was quite timely as at that time, a family of about 4 people and 1 cat came. But all the things they brought, there were about 20 rods. Therefore, it was just as well for us to leave. They would be staying overnite. However they were friendly and I did have a good chat with them on the local fishing and about the other 2 Kelongs. From what I gather, the other 2 kelongs have deeper waters and are good for big fishes.

Sir, faster. I have a class to catch

We were very near to KL

Early dinner break at Ayer Keroh reststop

A standing at the second counter waiting for cars to come by to ask to change money

We left soon and started out from the car about 3.45pm. From there, we made a stop at Ayer keroh for A&W meal and after that, it was straight all the way back to Singapore. I had to feed myself with Red Bull to made the tiresome trip. We made it in good time, and managed to get A to her lesson at about 8.40pm. We had a delay at the My toll when they wouldn't accept our touch&go card as we had run out of money. We had to reverse and again beg people in the cars to change money for us. One cheeky MY cab driver said he would change 50 ringget for 50 sin. What an a**! A kind tour bus driver agreed to change for us at $50 to RM100, which was fair enough. At the end of the trip, checking my tripmeter, I had driven 650km for the day. All for a 3-4 hour fishing trip :)

Google map of the Kelong

Read it here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

KFC - Kelong Ah Huat (4)

Supposedly the last available Tuas Kelong on my list.

I was expecting this, but nope. Where is this?

Yet another trip to the Tuas area, this time to the last kelong on the list. However, I was quite surprised that it was not the Kelong that I was expecting from some pictures on the internet. So perhaps, there might be another, other than the private one that was out of bounds. ZW had planned to bring along his eldest daughter, but she couldn't wake up that morning. But it was for the better as the Kelong this time, wasn't quite suitable for kids.

We did the usual early morning rendevous, and off we went via woodlands checkpoint. The Q cleared quickly and soon we were on the way to Gelang Patah via Perling. This time, I stopped at Perling to catch some breakfast.

My feet almost got sliced by the boat hitting the Jetty edge while boat was parking

This time, my girl was prepared with her sunglasses

View of the Kelong

We reached the Jetty at around 8am, and already our trusty boatman was there. We soon boarded up and headed towards the Kelong. This Kelong was kind of farthest amongst the rest, and was actually just a "stone" throw away from Jurong Island. From there, we could see Jurong Island doing more reclaimation of the land and extending further out to the sea. From a near distance, we could see all the big ships parking around Singapore. For this reason, the water here is deeper and comparable to the ones in Sibu. However the Kelong itself was in quite a dilapidated state due to lack of maintenance. We were to find out that this Kelong had just been bought over which accounted for its lack of proper maintenance.

The other group of 3 fished on the left

There were already 3 other persons on board, but they kept to the narrow side of the Kelong and left the more open fishing area to us. Maybe due to wanting to face the incoming current. We came to know later that they had been there since last night.

Thinking where to fish

Easy string of Tambans

Tambans paradise

Our first catch proved that there were plentiful of Tambans around. It was so easy to get them that one didn't even need to jig the line. Just cast it down, and up would come a string of Tambans. The Tambans here are the Killer fearsome variety, and would entangle our lines with their mad dashing.

No rod holder. A chair would have to do

I came this time prepared with a workable airpump and we managed to have a pailful of live tamban ever ready for our use to target bigger fishes. But alas, floating was ineffective, and there was entirely no surface action. Although one time, there was an instance reaction when my float bobbed downwards the moment I threw it in. But the fish let go a short while later. I did some bottom and bait was mostly untouched.

How to fry Tambans

We came prepared to cook. Fresh Tambans on the left

We give some chow to the poor hungry dogs

A whipped up lunch with the Tambans and some canned food that we brought along. It was a decent meal and even the dogs were eyeing the food hungrily. We gave some to them as it was evident that they had not been well fed for some time.

Our shady fishing corner

The weather got quite hot during the afternoon and we mostly hid under the shade and waited for the catch to come. The only action was when I tried to put my bait a little bit above the bottom and let the current pushed it out. I was chatting with ZW when we noted some quivering on the rod.

Hanging on..but lost the fish after 30 seconds

As we were talking, my green arrow suddenly took the U-est dip I ever saw in all my time fishing. It was a good one and my lines were spooling out quickly. The fish seemed to have gone deep. I got hold of the rod and gave a strike. And instantly from 50m away, I saw a big fish leaping out of the water and landing with a loud splash. I only had a glance but it certainly looked big, and was whitish. My guess was that it was a Queenie again, since I was using Tamban and doing mid water fishing. And Queenies were abundant here. But this one was a big one and the pull on my rod was very strong. In a short time, it spooled out half my reel. I was worried that it would make a right turn and go around the kelong. As I was trying to reel it in, the line suddenly went limp. I had lost it. From my inspection of the line, it broke at the leader that showed some abrasion. The big probably swallowed the bait deep and the line was rubbing against its rought sand paper like mouth. It was a big disappointment to me but it was a fair fight, and the fish won.

That was about the only big action that afternoon. ZW got a couple of tugs as well, but it didn't connect.

Around 2.30pm, 2 uncles came on board. We were thinking they were here to fish, but later we found out that they were actually the new owners of this Kelong. Apparently, they had just bought over the Kelong and was making plans to expand it. We were told to come back in 6 months to see a brand new Kelong with good fishing. :). For now, at RM60, this place wasn't quite worth it due to the lack of space and proper facilities.

The pot bellied new boss

The private Kelong

Close up view of the private Kelong

The boatman suddenly appeared to fetch some people back and we decided to go off as well seeing that the fishing wasn't about to improve due to the declining tide. On the way, it rained a little. But luckily, it wasn't heavy and we managed to get back to land without getting wet.

From there, we headed for Jusco for shopping before coming back around 8pm right into a nasty checkpoint Jam.

Read more here

Sunday, November 30, 2008

KFC - Another Exciting Visit To A Kelong (3) At Tuas

Early this morning, we again embarked on another recce trip to Tuas area, in our endeavor to cover all the available kelongs in the vicinity. This time, LH joined us. My tiny car was squeezed in terms of space and I had to find alternative to my large sized icebox that I usually put on the car seat. I had the good luck to be able to get a medium sized icebox that fit perfectly inside my limited boot. With that in place, my car certainly have more seating space for future kelong trip.

Breakfast stop at Gelang Patah

Going to the Jetty to load up

Monkeys here eat out of a bowl

Free carpark

Gone fishing

I took the woodlands checkpoint route and we again went to the comfy 777 coffee shop that was in Gelang Patah main town. After a good breakfast, we drove down south to the Jetty to meet up the boatman we had met previously. though we were due to only arrive at 8.30am, he was already waiting at the Jetty at 8am. We boarded up the boat and off we went. Our destination this time round was Kelong Limat. This time round, we used the bigger boat which meant that the speed was slower. Nevertheless, it was quite a fast paced and breezy ride to our fishing adventure.

Wah, looks big

We finally at the "Blue roof" Kelong

Plenty of space

Got a fierce dog in each of these "houses" at each corner of the Kelong

Viewing/Feeding holes on the ground

The other 2 sides of the Kelong blocked by Structure like this

Reaching there, we were greeted by loud barkings. But very strangely, we don't see the dogs. We were to discover that the dogs were actually caged up in wooden house on the four corners of the Kelong. Their duty was to raise the alarm when someone gets near. From our first impression, the Kelong was rather big. In fact, I would say that it would almost match the ones in Sibu. Walking around, we saw big holes on the ground, which gave a view of the fishes that the Kelong keeps in its keep-nets. The fishes were farmed and fed to grow till they were big enough for the market. Peering down the hole, there were plenty of fishes indeed. Some of the fishes are in sizes 30-40 kg. We were very tempted to drop our lines there.

View from the other side

The Kitchen

We were the first to reach the Kelong, but another big group came and then the Kelong became rather crowded. One thing about this Kelong was that only 2 sides are fishable. The side facing Tuas and PTP were blocked by the Kelong stilts and netting area. Therefore, even though the Kelong has a large platform, the fishing area wasn't quite ideal, especially when the group is more than 10. Yet another group came later in the afternoon, and it was getting too crowded to fish properly w/o crossing others lines. Floating was also tricky as there were limited angles to cast.

Wah, string of 4 Orkars

Rare catch of a small flathead

The others in the Kelong came with a bag of live prawns but I think it didn't survive the trip and most died. Nevertheless they were using prawn meat and in the beginning was having good catches of OrKar (whitefish). One even came up in a string of 4. I was so impressed as I haven't got the good chance to catch any Orkar yet.

Please wear helmet. Fishing can be dangerous

Fishing makes people happy

My girl got a Scat

Todaks here not that big

After setting up, LH was first to get a string of Tambans. The bait fishes were plentiful due to the upcoming tide at around 1pm. ZW and I quickly used some of the Tambans for bigger fish. And the reactions were fast indeed. There were a few misses and ZW got his line cut off, and mine later as well. Very soon, ZW was adding a Todak to his record. However, floating was difficult as the current was drifting down, and would cross all the other people's lines.

Early stage of the fight


LH borrowed my Queen to bluff wife

Queen that paid a visit

I got lucky and my Green Arrow took a nice bent, with my bells going ballistic. I was rigged with a Tamban at kind of mid water as the weight couldn't reach the bottom due to the strong current. The fish fought hard, and everyone crowded around to see. As I was fighting the fish to the surface, LH tried to use the net in preparation to scoop it up. Soon it surfaced and we see a there-about 1 Kg Queenie. Another lady in the Kelong kept saying it was a whitefish. (trevally).

I had a hard time hanging on

This fellow fought very hard

After 20 mins later, my green arrow had another sharp bow and I got something good again on the end of the line. This time round, the Kelong uncle came with the net and excitedly gave all sorts of guess what the fish was. This fish fought alot harder and I was having difficulty to control it. Furthermore, it went to the other side of the Kelong and I had to carefully maneuver my line over the "dog" house. One instance, it gave a 20-30 sec continuous run and my arm was tiring out. I inched the fish bit by bit in, always mindful that I was only on just 10lb fireline. Finally when it broke surface, it was yet another Queen fish to my surprise. It was slightly bigger, my guess would put it at about 1.5kg.

This time, it's Queenfish porridge.

With 2 Queenies to my record, the trip was already quite worth it. We cooked one of the Queenie for lunch and shared it with the other group. ZW continued to get 2 more todaks despite them being more difficult to hit over here than in Sibu. We tried to help LH get a Todak, but by the time we startd, the Tambans suddenly became scarce and we were hampered by limited baits. Seeing the sudden drop in action, I decided to try out luring.

Great luring work by ZW

To my surprise, I got a tug but didn't connect. My guess was probably a todak. ZW joined me and he too got some bites. The hit rate was quite good and it encouraged use to continue to lure. And bingo, ZW's lure suddenly connected to a good one. From a distance, we saw a Todak thrashing and doing acrobatic jumps. I videoed it, but he soon lost it. But a short while again, another connection and this time, he successfully got the Todak up on a deck. I was elated as I had not achieved that before! This luring student of mine can go down the mountain already :)

Looked small here due to the height. But was really huge

After that excitement, the afternoon then became very quiet. Todaks were still around, but the current wasn't favourable to do another floats. All our Tambans catches were depleted and I went on to catch glass fishes as bait. Still effective, but only for floating. However again, current was not in our favor.

Heading back home

Hello!? Stock market go down??

Around 5pm, we decided to pack as the action was diminishing due to the low tide. Another group would be coming for the night and we didn't want to add to the crowd. From what we hear, bait fishes would not be around at night. However, there were possibilities of biggies at night.

Sea birds positioning themselves for their dinner

A good trip, but unfortunately couldn't get LH to experience catching Todaks. A great run of 2 Queens consecutively. It had been long time since I have gotten such a strong fight even though the fishes weren't that big. Definitely another feather on the cap for ZW on lure. We discussed with the boatman about the next Kelong and would be probably head for another the next round.

Please read it here

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Stuff - Abu Hornet Stinger, Berkley Cherrywood

Not sure what came over me, but I suddenly just splurged on these 2 rods while I was in Joe's. Since my last light rod was broken, I had been thinking of a replacement for it. I just so happened to be at Joe's Tackle and was contemplating the cherrywood as a replacement. The rod is in the ultra light class, what some would call a noodle rod. It has the good double use as a Tamban rod as well as good for casting light lures. At first I was quite apprehensive that the rod might be just too flexible to fight well. However, my first use at Tuas seem to have some good results, and I even got a Queen on lure with it.

Cherrywood in Action

Hornet Stinger in Action

I was just asking the Shop helper for a recommendation for a light rod to cast small lures, and he picked the Abu Stinger for my consideration. I had come across this in JB shops and at first, I wasn't too impressed with it. But that was a heavier rod. Now that I was given the rod in a lighter class, it felt good to hold and the design was quite nice. At $183, it wasn't exactly cheap. I was given a discount but that still worked to $170. But something came over me and I just had to get it. After using it, no regrets. It was sensitive and a joy to cast with. My first use hit a todak with it.

With the two rods rated at 1-6lbs(cherrywood), and 2-8lbs (stinger), I am venturing lighter and lighter with my tackles. When I got a big fish, then come to worry about it. ;)


Cherrywood ratings

Cherrywood cork handle

Stinger reel seat


Hornet logo

Stinger ratings

Stinger with my Navi 1000 reel

Sunday, November 23, 2008

KFC - Tuas Kelong Recce (2)

My mission today was to search out the remaining kelongs around Tuas. From my last trip, I was told that there were 4 actually kelongs around here. However, no one could tell me who to contact, where the kelong and how much it would cost. Ah Guan kelong price was steep and I was hoping to find some cheaper alternative so that I can bring the whole gang here. So, early in the morning, I dragged myself out of bed to start off for another weekend recce. Frankly, I think age is catching up, and waking up at 5am was getting harder and harder.

Kopitiam at Gelang Patah

Giant Breasty Pau

GPS finally woke up

This time round, I went in via the Woodlands checkpoint and drove down Pasir Gudang and exit from Perling. From that route, the distance was longer but a scenic one . We stopped at Gelang Patah town itself to get some breakfast. I saw a quite nicely decor-ed coffee shop and we stop to get food and drinks. During the drive, my GPS was acting up and I couldn't quite tell where I was. At the coffee shop, it started working again and I finally got my bearings. From there, still some distance away from Yeo's restaurant.

The Jetty at the back. This man gave all sorts of confusing info

The main Jetty talking to the helpful uncle

Moving down south, I reached the vicinity around 8am thereabout. But unlike the last trip, I headed for the main Jetty rather than Yeo's. Reaching there, the Jetty was rather deserted. We walked around to look for some kind soul to ask our way. Luckily A was with me and could communicate well with the Locals. From an Uncle in the boathouse, we got some smattering of info like the Kelongs were closed and cannot go there, and then one Kelong can go but would cost RM70 per pax. But if go in small group, it would be RM200 per pax. All kinds of confusing information.

Restoran at the end of the universe

Result of boat fishing. Catches for the market

We next asked another auntie, and she said can go, but the boatman not around. We then moved to the main Jetty Office where we met an old uncle. He looked like some Jetty helper here and was indeed the right person to ask. We got a boatman contact from him, and through the boatman, we were able to gain access to all the other Kelongs. One Kelong he said was open which we saw a big group going and the other need "membership". I wasn't too keen to fish shoulder to shoulder and decided against heading for it. As for the "membership" one, he didn't know how we could apply :). We called the boatman and was told that the boatman himself got a Kelong and it would only cost RM30 per pax. Inclusive of the boat ride. That sounded like a damn good deal and we agreed.

The speedboat ride was enjoyable

Reaching the Kelong

Very spartan Kelong and the smallest one I have been

Kitchen is neat and clean

An extension to the sea

This was how we got up, outward bound style

Boatman came later, and we boarded up his speedboat. He seemed like the honest and quiet sort. The ride on the speedboat itself was a thrilling one, and it zoomed past under the Tuas 2nd Link flyover. From that vantage point, I could see people fishing under the flyover itself! Hmm, it looked like an interesting spot and I may just try it out one day. From there, the speedboat headed straight for a tiny Kelong in the horizon. As it got closer, we could see that it was a small one, just about the size of an HDB 5 room flat. But it was sturdy enough and self sufficient. And best of all, we were the only ones. Boatman said most people come here to fish at night. It was not as comfortable as Ah Guan, but there was a small room, a kitchen, a toilet and a roof. Boatman said we could make maggi mee, and coffee and help ourselves with whatever food there is. He stayed for a little while and then left without telling us. We were then alone in the entire kelong.

Junior fishing

Expert fishing ;P

We started fishing and I realized that I was so blur that I forgot to bring my upper section of my green arrow. So that left me with my newly acquired light rods, my abu stinger, and my cherrywood. My first cast with sabiki was very promising. That morning, the water was teaming with baitfish, just like that time at Ah Guan. But here, we even regulary got small tiny Queenies on Sabiki. I released all the small ones for them to have a chance in the big ocean. But seems like this area, Queens are very common fishes. Other baitfishes were the regular Tambans, Selars, Ponyfishes and Glassfishes. Here, the Glassfishes were a bit unusual, and were not the spikey variety that is common in other places.

Finally got you!

I also throw out a float with some of the baitfishes, and it was easy to get strikes from suface fishes within 5-10 minutes. These should be todaks I presume. However, the behaviour is a little different from Sibu, and the todaks here don't swallow the bait within 10 secs. Everytime I locked the reel and strike, the bait would just come right out. So, looks like more time is needed for this cautious fellow. After some experimentation, I finally got one on the other end. It kept jumping even when I was not pulling hard. Quite a fiesty one even though it was not big.

Roughback puffer. Sent back to sea to puff somemore

Bottom fishing only yielded a Puffer which huff itself into a balloon. We released it. Other than that, the bait fishes either go missing or got eaten up into mangled pieces. I think those were the works of crabs. I gave up bottom as it wasn't promising. One good thing though, I didn't get any cats this round.

Not the usual type of spikey glass fish

The morning was a little hot and we tried to stay under the shade to fish. The bait fish disappeared around noon, and all I could get then were the glassfishes. However, they were quite effective baits and I could still get todaks going for them. I lost a bigger fish on my sabiki as the line was too light and it broke away. The activity got slow in the early afternoon, and I started to try to lure with my ultra light cherrywood. I used my Cyrstal minnow and to my surprise, I saw a todak following my lure. Later on, I had something that chomped on it and then released. It must have been a todak.

I was excited, even though a small fish. My first queenie on lure

Fish looked sad

A few more cast later, I was shocked to see a spectacular shiny fish jumping out of the water to hit my lure. But the fish was bad at aiming and missed it. But the action got my heatbeat thumping and I was cursing at myself for missing that chance. I stop luring and did some jigging. But later on, I went back to luring again and this time, I finally got a hit. The fish felt strong, but I was using a very light rod with a 6lbs line. Not wanting to lose it, I quickly called for A to video it first in case I couldn't bring it up. The water at this time was rather low due to the low tide. After the videoing, I took my chances and lifted the struggling fish up on deck. Lady luck was with me and I didn't lose it. It was just a 300g thereabout Queenie, and my very first on lure! I was very glad that despite the not so good location, I did achieve something.

See video here

Maggie mee, queenfish flavor

Nothing like a free meal from the sea

A decided to cook the fish on the spot. In the kitchen, we had all the necessary to do some cooking. A whipped up a maggi mee meal with eggs and fresh steamed Queen fish. The food of cos was as delicious as it could get. Not your everyday hawker meal.

Heavy rain. All the land disappeared cold

After that, the weather suddenly took a turn for th worse and it started raining heavily. So heavy that all our things were soaked wet. But luckily, the Kelong has a well covered room (with a door) and we all huddled inside to keep dry. From inside the room, we could see nature fury and powerful forces. All the land around us got into a blur and visibility was very bad. One interesting view was when I saw a sea bird struggling against the wind to reach the kelong for solid ground. As it was raining hard, the bird had to flap it's wings with all its might just to reach the first wooden pole. Without the kelong, it might just have drowned in the sea.

Hey, got people fishing!

The rain lasted about half an hour, and after that the sea became friendly again. We had called the boatman to come "rescue" us after the rain. Soon, he arrived, and we all boarded back on the boat for another speeding ride back to the Jetty. Even though all our things were wet, it was an enjoyable day out, and quite a good one with my prized Queenie on lure catch. And to our surprise, he didn't even charged us for D. Hence, the total fee for the trip was a cheap RM60. Our dinner later in town cost more than that.

A good "new" place, and a possible location for further outings. Although quite sparse, it was very relaxing having the Kelong all to ourselves. Not your every sunday kind of thing.

Please read it here

Monday, November 17, 2008

KFC - Tuas 2nd Link Kelong (1)

As mentioned, we had planned to search out the whereabouts of the this kelong that was mentioned in FK forum, in the location near to Tuas 2nd Link. The forward party consisted of myself and family with ZW. I had only planned to bring along my light fishing barangs + 1 small icebox. Lucky for us, I decided to change to the larger icebox that morning. I trying searching out the contact for the kelong on the internet, but to no avail. With the little clues that we have, I picked up ZW and headed for the Yeo's restaurant after the 2nd Link.

Entrance to Yeo's restaurant

The Yeo's restaurant was easy to find since it was a icon witha lobster on my GPS. After clearing the checkpoint in about 1 hour (light jam), the drive there was a quick one. The area there was entirely new to me. In fact there was an entire obscure village just under the road leading from the 2nd link. To the right, the whole place was taken up by the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP). My guess is that most of the villagers would have some sort of work there.

Giant birds looking for breakfast

Reaching there, the restaurant was dead quiet. The tide at this time was at the lowest and the water had receded quite a long distance away. There were plentiful of mudskippers crawling around on the exposed sand, and quite a number of birds looking around for their morning meal. (probably fat juicy mudskippers)

Long Jetty extending from the Restaurant

There was a lone man there, which we found to be the caretaker of the restaurant. He was a friendly chap. We asked him about the kelong and it turned out that there were quite a number around. He didn't have the contacts to the kelongs either, but he took us that the boatman's boat was parked there, and he would be around here later. We could then check with him.

Simple place for Roti Prata

Since we had to wait, we drove out to look for food and morning breakfast. We found someplace with hot piping Roti Prata about 1 km away. The meal was simple and nice since we were all hungry as hippos.

Jetty near the 2nd Link

GT for sale

After the meal, I drove around to check out the location, and at the end of the road, we came to a Jetty. Over there, there was a small fish market of sorts. On the right, we saw many cars parked and people going in and out. We too went there and found it to be a boat parking lot. From my little understanding of Malay, I took it that people could get the boats and go fishing from here.

Some locals and Singaporeans fishing here

We then went back to Yeos and waited there. The water by this time had come in and the exposed beach was now all covered with sea water. To our surprise, there was a singapore plate car parked outside Yeo's. At the restaurant Jetty, and we found some chinese and malay folks fishing. But we later found out the singaporeans only consisted of the two young chinese chaps. We had a chit chat and found that they were just checking out the area for some R&R (but my guess is that that were probably looking for the Kelong too). They were fishing on Apollo and using dead prawn. We also talked to a malay chap and asked about the Kelong, and he told us that there were no more kelong here as it had collapsed and he was the kelong owner brother in law. He said to go to the jetty to ask about the boat to the other Kelongs there. Confused, we decided to wait for the boatman to appear.

The boatman waiting in the boat

Someone appeared on a motorbike and we were told by friendly helper that he was the boatman. However, he was a mute and we couldn't even talk to him. Communication was difficult and had to engage the helper of the Restaurant helper. But the message was that we had to wait as he was waiting for the ice-truck to appear for his delivery to the Kelong. We asked how much it would cost to go over and I was indeed surprised that the asked for RM30 per head for the round trip. But since it was our first time, I agreed.

We waited awhile and another group of 2 persons appeared, this time carry icebox and fishing gear. These 2 persons seemed to know what to do, and from my guess was definitely going to a Kelong for fishing. We struck up a conversation with them and it turned out that they were really friendly and were also Singaporeans. They were indeed going for the Kelong and they had the contact number. And what was amazing was that they came by BUS! ZW got the number and gave the Kelong owner (Ah Guan) a call and asked about price and so on. The cost of the kelong was $60(Sin) per person for overnight, inclusive of the boat trip. When we asked how much for the day trip, it was only $10 cheaper and not quite worth it. We decided then to rough it out for an overnite trip even though we didn't bring any clothes for changing nor any washing toiletries. Not even a towel.

On the way to the kelong

Soon, we hopped on the boat and was making our way to the Kelong. The boat was a fast one (Speed-boat) and it took us about 10 minutes to reach it. From what we can see, the kelong was in fact nearer to Singapore than to Malaysia. Our mobile lines had no difficulty to register to our local telcos. But it was legally in Malaysia water. Ah Guan(the Kelong owner) told us that he used to pick up people from Tuas, and they needn't have to chop passport previously. But it is not possible now.

Kelong security guard

Boarding our destination

Our dining and fishing area

Fearsome Tambans

Nice bend on my Green Arrow from a Duri

We were greeted by 2 angry barking dogs when we reached, but it turned out later that the 2 dogs were very friendly once we were inside the Kelong. The Male dog was the fierce one, but the lady dog was very docile. We settled down and started to setup to fish. Our first impression was that there were plentiful of fishes around, and it was very easy to get bait fishes on Sabiki w/o any baits. The bait fishes were mainly tambans, kunings and occasionally Selars and some Kekeks (pony-fishes). Once awhile, we could even get some junevile queen fishes. And be warned, the Tambans here are Killer Tambans and could bend your rod. I have never seen Tambans that fight like bigger fishes. With such plentiful of bait fishes, it was no problem for us to do bottom fishing, and we parked 2 rods to hope to get some biggies.

Rod bending fight (Another Duri)

ZW's first Catty

We did indeed get some strikes on our bottom rig and had some rod-bending fights. But it turned out to be Duris and mostly cat fishes. Not to good catches. We kept 2 duris (they are actually not bad eating), and threw back most of the cat fishes. We need to find out how to avoid them and target better fishes next time.

We have the whole deck to ourselves

Fishing was wonderful here, as it was very relaxing and peaceful. The other 2 persons(Zhou and Chen) did more fishing for Gelama, and fished in their own corner. We mostly have the deck to ourselves, and there was plentiful of space for everyone, unlike the "competitive" fishing in Sibu.

Best porridge I ever eaten

This fish is tasty (Gelama)

Ah Guan was a good cook and the food we had there, was in a word: Superb. Furthermore, all the fishes and squids were fresh food, unlike the other kelongs where the food was actually from the market. We had plenty to eat there he kept us well fed during the trip.

Lightning flashed across the sky

Beautiful night. As peaceful as it could get

However, fishing in the night was disappointing too as it was all cat fishes throughout the night. At night, the bait fishes all disappeared. But Ah Guan was hoisting up the fishing net every once a while, and we did have some supply of live bait and fresh small squids for live baiting. We did some luring but it was ineffective.

Darkening skies

The weather for this trip was heavenly. There was only a small window of hot sun for about an hour and after that, it was cool weather all the way. There were some times when the sky was darkening for a heavy downpour, but the rain was in the distance and didn't affect us.

Due to us not having more preparation, we were a little uncomfortable since we couldn't bath and all. I was feeling quite dirty and was probably smelling of Tambans. I slept mostly on the deck out in the open, but it did get very cold later in the night.

Easy to get an entire string of Tambans

Basketful of Tambans

Beautiful half-beak

Early next morning, the entire sea was rippling with bait fishes and there were lots of fish activity everywhere. We filled up the basket with bait fishes and was busy all morning filling up the icebox. But still no big fishes despite us doing some floating drifting with live baits. They were all untouched throughout. We also saw some boats carrying people fishing that came near to the kelong to do their fishing. The male dog was unhappy about this and went around barking and yapping at them.

Our entire catch with just 2 person fishing

Ah Guan and a very shy D

We left the kelong about 1pm, and by this time, we were pretty friendly with Ah Guan and the 2 chaps with us. Ah guan took a liking to Desiree and even asked to have a photo taken with her.

The water came in during the high tide!

The speed boat brought us back to Yeo and we were shocked to see the tide water at such a high level that it even covered the cemented carpark outside the restaurant. I had even parked the car there previously but luckily they did warn me to park the car further up. But the car was parked at a place where it was surrounded by seawater. I decided just to drive over and have the car washed later on the way back. From there, we went for some drinks and a visit to the tackle shop before heading back via Tuas.

Definitely a good trip, and an enjoyable time. However, I do find the price a little steep and almost on par with Sibu Kelongs. But I thought that it was not that he is charging high, but the kelong could only accept limited number of people and he had to make it worth his while. A revisit here should be in my calender here pretty soon.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Gay Beach

Hmm. How the cars drive in?

Will I get stopped?

For lifting the boats from the seawater area to the reservoir

It was only through a visit to the Marina Barrage, that I saw that the "Gay Beach" was accessible by just walking to the other side of the Barrage. Of cos there are no Gays now. All the people I saw, were as straight as an arrow. Although it was cordoned off with a flimsy red and white under construction tape, I saw people gathering at the break water, and doing fishing. (Never call me!)

My curiosity was heightened and I approached 2 guys fishing there on motorbikes how it was they were able to ride into the area. They gave me a general direction and said that they came from the dirt road up ahead. Since D was with me, I told her to go back to A and to drive the car to the other side to wait for me. I would try to walk out of this area alive, in an attempt to find where the entrance is.

My trusty 2 Kaki drive

Road towards the Golf course

Someone just shouted "Fore!"

Alongside the Marina Golf course

There is a fork here. Which is the correct way?

Road became dusty

Passing by a Construction Truck

Argh! Dead end

The walk was an interesting one, leading me alongside the Golf course. It was a little risky too, as the fences were not high enough to stop any flying balls from hitting me as a target. Along the way, I passed by some vehicles driving in, and even a couple jogging into the area. Therefore, there definitely must be some sort of hidden entrance leading here.

More uneven roads

Some kind of Construction Depot

Exiting the constructio site into East Coast park

I got a little lost as I turned into the wrong road at the fork. But luckily, it wasn't too far in. From there, the road turned more sandy, and uneven. I eventually came into a construction site. As I walked nearer, a dog came barking towards me. I pretended that I didn't see it and continued my brisk walking. But from my back, I could hear the growling and threatening noises that it was making. From the compound that is fenced up, there was a hole in the fence, and I took the opportunity to exit the area, right into the new extension for East Coast Park.

Driving back in

I walked to the end of the pathway, and found A and D there waiting for me. The entire stretch felt like a couple of Kms, and I really got all sweaty and dusty from the long walk. Getting into the car, I made a daring turn into the construction site again and found the proper track back to where I was.

Beautiful breakwater, and inland bay

From here, can see the Business District

So breezy

From there, we parked and I got out my fishing gear to give the area a try. The water looked very nice and I was fishing in the closed up bay, hoping for some lucky strike.

Me fishing

And Lure got stuck!

Sky turning dark

As usual, I was only luring but didn't get anything. instead, my red head crystal minnow got stuck in the rocks and I couldn't retrieve it. I eventually lost it. After that, I rigged up a grub and try to see if there were any groupers. But no luck too. The area turned dark shortly and I decided to pack. But a very nice fishing environment, and also not too crowded yet.

KFC - Kelongs around us

There are quite a few kelongs around us, not just the Sibu ones. However, in terms of time and cost, my personal view is that the Sibu ones are the best, and easiest for a weekend getaway.

To start with, in Sibu, there are actually 4 Kelongs. While it is an authentic looking kelong, they do not function like a real kelongs in terms of harvesting fishes as their primary livelihood. The kelongs here actually function more as a fishing resort, earning their keeps by providing food and board for visitors staying over for relaxation or fishing.


Ah Yew

Ah Ngan

Ah Fatt

The four kelongs here are Ah Fatt, Hotboys, Ah Ngan and Ah Yew. From hearsay, the malaysia govt will not extend any more lease to any more new kelongs. So, that all you will get. The kelongs here have actually been here for a long time. I was once chit chatting with Ah Ngan himself and he was sharing with us on how big and plentiful the fishes used to be. The fishing here have definitely gone downhill over the years. But still, there are the occasional big catches here. On a good day, the fishing can be a fantastic experience.

Kelong Acheh

Another place to look at for kelong fishing will be further up North, at Kelong Acheh. Kelong Acheh has the unique feature of having running fresh water from taps placed around the kelong. This enables fishing folks to wash their hands after handling their baits. The fresh running water is possible as the water is piped in from the nearby island. Therefore, there is no need to ration the water. But that also means that the island is not too far away, and the water here is shallower. Kelong Acheh also have individual rooms for more privacy and is a little more upmarket than the Sibu ones. With that, the price is a little steeper. The drive up to Kelong Acheh is also an interesting one. My last trip there, I counted 10 different kinds of animals that I drove past...let's see, there were cows, goats, horses, sheeps, buffalos etc etc..

Near to Singapore itself, there is actually a very near Kelong called Chai Soon Kelong or Pasir Gogok kelong. I personally have not been there yet, as it required advance bookings and will only accept a minimum of 12 pax. However, since the water is just near to our own P.Tekong, the fishing will be more estuary type ie not that great. Going there, all you need to do is to catch a bumboat at Changi Ferry terminal. I shall try to visit there one day and report to you how it is.

Rakit Pulau Layang

Another not to far place is what I call Rakit Pulau layang. Here, it is not so much of a Kelong but a floating farm. This place, there is no need to stay overnight, and a short day-trip is possible. Fishing here is so so, but could be fun when the fishes are in. The fishing here is heavily dependent on the tide to bring the fishes in. Oh, did I mention that it is very cheap fishing here? Only 10-20RM per visit.

Kelong Paradise

The last kelong that I know in Malaysia is Kelong paradise at Sabak Bernam. However, this place is a very far drive (about 6-8 hours), further than KL itself. The fee is also not cheap. When i was there, the fishing wasn't great either. The water itself was more estuary (mix of sea and river water), hence the fishes you get are quite different. However, that place can get the rare catch of a threadfin (Kurau). One of the most expensive fish in the market.

Elly Kelong

Away from Malaysia, you can look downwards towards Batam, Tg Pinang. There are some resorts operating in the east coast of Tg Pinang. There is the Ocean Bay resort, Elly Kelong and Gurindam kelong. However, note that these are more resort than fishing. The fishes here are actually kept within a netted area, and not from the open sea. This is akin to pond fishing. However, if you are just relaxing, fishing here could be fun too. Being a resort style kelong, you get individual rooms and good services. But everything is in Sing dollars.

There is another Kelong down in Batam that is run by a missionary. It is known as Blue mountain Kelong. Nice name. I once checked on the fee, but it was quite expensive..somewhere about $200 for a 2D/1N per pax. I have yet to visit it. Maybe soon.

These are currently the Kelongs that I know. I will try to explore some other places where I have the time to further expand this list of possible places that we could try.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

KFC - Trip to Ah Ngan Kelong

7 cars convoy

This post has nothing to do with that smiley old man with the cane and that fried chicken parts that boast of 11 secret herbs. KFC is simply an informal gathering of friends to enjoy the wonderful activity of fishing. KFC stands for [K]elong [F]ishing [C]lub. It started with a small group of friends, and it had grown to a gathering of about 20 odd pax by the third visit. Andrew extended the invitation at onemotoring forum, and we had a number of them joining me for this trip. In total, there were 23 adults and 8 children, making this by far the biggest group of people that I had brought along to a Kelong. The convoy itself to the Leman Jetty was 7 cars long.

We started off under my block with Peter being a little late. It rained and all of us got worried about this becoming a wet trip. Yew was tasked to wait for them, while I led Alcas and Andrew to JB. The plan was to rendevous at Mac at carrefour with Issac's and Lip Sing's group. But the sotong me realized that I didn't bring along my rod bag at the Singapore checkpoint and I had to make a U-turn at the custom. The officers at the counters were rather nice about my request to turn back and activated some special gates for me to drive back into Singapore. I was quite impressed.

The whole roundabout took only 15 minutes and when I next rejoin the checkpoint queue, it was just about 6.30am and queue was still short. So, I promptly met up with the group at 7am, but alas Issac side came rather late. Due to that, we had to drive rather fast to catch a boat.

Behold my special weapon

Familiar sight

But the drive up to Leman was fast and furious, and we made it in good time at 9.15am in time for me to rush to the toilet to take a leak. We met up with Eric's group and soon we were all squeezed into the boat to chug along to the kelong.

I want to get 10 todaks, 5 parangs, 2 killer whales, 1 manta ray...

Once on board, we settled into our bunks and started to set up for fishing. But we were shocked to see rows and rows of rods. I thought there were over 100 pax on the kelong itself. It was going to be a stressful kind of fishing this trip. We were also to find that the tamban jigs were not working, and the bait fishes were rather scarce. Even the obliging todaks were not around.

Mummy mummy....this mad uncle stole the fish from me. Boo hoo hoo***

My grouper. Who more handsome?

First catch by Mummy

Tonight we will have curry fish head

I taught the newbies like Yew and LS to get their first fish using sotong baited hooks. The fishing was not looking good and we mostly just rested.

Fish don't come to us, we go to them

This little girl can fish

Golden Trevally!

When will I get my own?

Centre of attention

Borrow the parrot fish to bluff my wife

Until there was a commotion about someone getting a big fish. It turned out to be a handsome Golden Trevally. A rare catch indeed. Just 5 mins later, someone else got another good fish. It was about a kilo big Parrot. Another good fish. Wow, I was impressed that there were experts at the kelong.

Andrew and I had the same idea to fish under the kelong

First time I see whitings here

Peter's magic show

Oui! You cheater (future IR bouncer)

Peter entertained the children with some niffy magic tricks and the young audience was definitely impressed with this magical uncle. However none of his magic could help to make the fishing better for us adults.

I got my todak finally!

What ugly teeth you have

I also have...come to daddy

Alamak, the todak too heavy. Broke the rod

Eric fighting a todak

ZW was the first to get an impressive catch for us of a large todak (1.5kg) and we all started to do todak fishing soon after. However, their numbers were few, and we only got some strikes in the late afternoon. Yew got a good one and did some decent kung fu fish fighting. At that time, the tide was rather low and the distance from the water up to the kelong was a challenge to lift such a heavy critter up. I helped to grab the lines, but accidently broke my fishing rod. Nevertheless, I held on to the lines and just as I was about to swing the fish over, the line broke and it fell back into the sea. What a waste for Yew.

Night came and while we were having dinner, the expert hauled up a good size parang with lure. I finished off my dinner and went to lure too and got a very good hit on my SS minnow. The water was very low and I almost lost the parang when I couldn't swing it over and it fell short under the kelong. The expert came over and helped me lift the parang over and got it on the floor. Many thanks to him. That was to be my only decent catch. Thereafter, there were some bites here and there but they were far and few.

I finally caught a Parang

Hardworking lurer

A big cobia. Landed by the expert uncle

ZW's greedy parang. It attacked the lure head

ZW was constantly luring and to reward him, he finally got a parang for his own. Eric too managed to get one on L-minnow as well. In total, there were 3 parangs landed. IZ was not doing well for this trip and didn't manage to get Todaks or Parangs. Very poor fishing this round.

Kelong sunrise

Half of a Half-Beak

My biggest snapper

Sending a message to the sea dragon for more fishes

Children fishing

This uncle very clever. Can make money come out of my ear

This fish very fat

Who you looking at?

Daddy, can I keep it? Pleeeasseeee

The next morning, although I woke up at 5am to do some luring, it seemed a waste of time and I crawled back to bed and woke again at 6.30am. By then, it was already bright, and luring was no longer good. I half heartedly did some squidding but gave up about like 5 tries. Tamban jigs also got nothing. It was back to baiting with sotong to get tiny fishes to fill up the icebox.

This lady no hope already. On the way back still fishing

Parting glance

F1 pit stop. Tyre changed in 5 secs

We left the Kelong around 1pm. Yew's car got a puncture and we all helped to change his flatten tire in no time, F1 pitstop style. From there, Peter wanted to visit the fishery to buy fishes. Well, since the fishing wasn't good, we had to go market to get some.

Hey, this is my fish that got away!

Price haggling at the fish market. You don't give me cheaper, I scratch your car arh!

You want to eat me?

Chop chop into 3 parts

The fishing port at Sedili was along the way. Although I wasn't sure it was open, when we reached there, the stalls were still around hawking their wares. Quite an interesting visit and some of them got quite a fair bit of fishes to bring back.

From there, it was a straight bee line to the Lorry checkpoint. Along the way, there were some outpouring of heavy rain and wet weather. That slowed us down a bit but we reached the checkpoint in good time and all managed to reach back around 6pm.

Group photo of KFC

All in all, not a good fishing trip but an enjoyable trip nevertheless. It was good outing with friends, new and old. The children certainly had fun. It isn't everyday that you get magic show in a Kelong. Hopefully the folks were not discourage by the poor fishing. We shall be back for a better one soon.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

First on Handline

It had been a while since my last trip to JB lately due to A having lessons on Sat, and D having swimming classes on Sun. But today, A didn't have any classes, and it looked good to run into JB in the morning. Actually, I didn't have any plans, and was driving around aimlessly after crossing the checkpoint at 6am. Seeing that I had not visited the Rakit for a long time already, we decided to head over there for some morning fishing. D could do some revision there as it was usually quite clean and quiet in the day.

Not surprisingly, we were one of the two groups there that morning. The earlier group left shortly, probably one of the overniters. The tide was at the lowest around 7.30am, and the timing was just right for us to wait for the upcoming tide.

Low tech fishing

Caught on my 20lb handline with live prawn

Yeah, my second Kurau for the year

The fishing was quite dismal, as nothing was biting. I was throwing out live prawns but nothing quite touched it until the todaks arrived around 11am. Seeing the poor fishing, I used my leaders to do some handlining as well. That got me some luck, and I managed to pull up a small Kurau on handline. There was 0 fight as I didn't even know that the Kurau was caught until I pull up the line to check. As for the rods, it was totally quiet. A todak struck on the prawns on my handline that I floated out on the surface. But it was impossible to get todaks on handline as they would release immediately upon feeling any resistence.

I did some luring, but it only got the attention of the todaks. But they would chase it for a short distance and turned away upon seeing me. Very cautious fellows they are. I was hoping to have a first with todak on lure, but that still seemed to elude me so far. It really is not easy to fool them with their keen eyesight.

Dragonflies like to rest on tips of fishing rods. Dunno why