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Saturday, March 22, 2008

St John Island

I had been running out of places to fish, but St John was one place that I had yet to do. The last time I was there, I wasn't into fishing yet and didn't explore the potential for such activity. Patrick was keen for a trip to St John, so the plan was set to explore this island of ours.

We had to wakeup early to catch the ferry at 9am at Marina South. On a normal day, the ferry only operates 3 times a day. The last ferry from there was 4.15pm. Miss this, and you would be spending the nite there for sure. Reaching the ferry terminal at about 8.30am, we bought some food and had some sort of breakfast there. Luckily we did buy some nasi lemak for lunch, as we were to find out later that, there wasn't any food stalls in St John at all. You couldn't even go for a cup of coffee. The last known coffee shop to me during the last St John trip, had closed down for good.

Quick come in, the boat is leaving

Kusu Island

Things not to do on Kusu Island

The way to St John had to bypass Kusu island. We were wondering if fishing was allowed in Kusu Island, but didn't want to waste time trying here. St John was a big enough place to spend the entire afternoon. We had high hopes of getting some biggies there as St John wasn't your usual "take a bus to fish" sort of place. The price of the ferry at $15 per pax wasn't exactly cheap, coupled with the expensive $1 per hour parking, the cost of this trip was rather high.

We are reaching

Checked, correct island

Oh...we have a Lazarus Island?

Don't get lost

From Kusu Island, the ferry continued to St John, which was like 15 minutes away. Reaching there, we were surprised that actually St John was rather near to Singapore. From the Jetty, we could see the prominent Singapore business district skyline. St John was situated just after Sentosa.

Left or right?

From the Jetty, the road split into a left turning or a right turning. Right turning goes to the lagoon. Following a group of some apparently old hands at st john fishing carrying lots of fishing barangs, we followed the group to the left.

The "come prepared with a 10 man tent" group

The water looks good

Ok, this spot would do

After some walking we arrived at a some kind of dam between two sides of the side. The "expert" group parked themselves under the hot sun, while we decided to walk a little further to take refuge under the shade.

My Aile MG diet, doing some workout

PT and I setup our rods. Since we didn't bring any bait, luring we would have to do. PT tried out squidding for a start while I sent out my newly bought Duel Aile MG diet. The casting for this lure was good, and I could achieve a good distance with this.

The water at St John was quite clear of the bluish sort, and we could see 3 ft into the water rather well. But from where we were standing, the water was quite deep. Quite a delight for luring. But casual look didn't spot me any surface fishes at all. Thinking to send the lure deeper, I next change to my Crystal minnow Deep diver.

Around 15 minutes into the fish, I suddenly got a strike the moment my lure touch the water. I was just doing my usual thumbing of the spool and turning my head to talk to PT when I saw a slight splash. I quickly reeled in the line, but there was totally no resistance at all. Cranking my reel faster, I realized that my line was cut cleanly, with the lure missing. Argh, something had snapped at the lure and cut off my lines. PT thought it might be a todak, but I was thinking maybe a barra. The cut off was just too clean.

This auntie looking uncle patrick recovered my lure

Clean cut from a cutter fish

PT then went to try his lure around the general spot, when he saw my deep diver lure floating on the water. With his lure, he hooked up my lucky lure and it was once again returned to me. I had thought I had lost it for good. Checking the line, it was confirmed that the line near the swivel was cut off with a clean stroke.

Thereafter, the sun came out rather hot, and fishing was quite a burning affair. I had another heart beating encounter when I was just retrieving my lure and it was reaching the end of the line when suddenly I saw a biggish fish in excess of 5kg with a grey top lurching forward to attack my lure. But when I slowed down (due to me running out of line), big fish make a sudden U-turn and turned away. Darn! But this deep diver had proven itself to be quite effective.

PT didn't have any luck at all, despite having a basketful of lures to try out.

St John gangster

Later, it will rain cats and cats

Around 12.30pm, we decided to break for lunch and walked to a shelter near the jetty for a shady place to eat lunch. Cats here were plentiful and quite a few gathered at our shelter to ask for food.

After 3 hours UV treatment, any shade was welcome

My luring corner

Convenient breakwater

I caught a big...plank

After lunch, we decided to just fish around the shady corner. The area looked quite promising, with a sort of water breaker extending from the shore like a small jetty. My next near miss was when I saw a small fish (can't ID) coming at my Fat Rap, but again turning away at the last few inches. Darn again. For some whole 2 hours or so, I cast and cast different lures and patterns, but nothing was caught. Another event of me seeing a small grouper going for my Deep diver again, and that was it.

Sweeping road is so fun!

My fishing friend

Darkening skies in Singapore

They just arrived on the last ferry

At 3.40pm, we called it a day and went for wash up and then to the Jetty to wait for the ferry to arrive.

It was a good attempt, but despite being such a promising spot, we didn't get anything. The rest of the fishing folks also didn't seem to get any catches too. On our return on the last boat, it seemed that quite a lot of people just arrived to fish on the island. Must be some sort of overniter trip. Seeing all their equipment and iceboxes, one would think that this was fishing paradise. Perhaps the night fishing was different? But arriving at Singapore, it was raining cats and dogs. Not likely a good fishing night at St John.

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