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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Recce - Permas Jaya

Their version of Rakit with nuclear facility behind.

This morning, I had to get my car fixed in preparation for the mandatory inspection coming up. Since I couldn't return back to Sin till 4pm, I wandered around Permas Jaya to check out the area. From my GPS, it was near the sea, facing singapore. Sure enough, there were roads leading to the waterfront. From there, I could see Admiralty road. Sembawang Park with the Naval base was just to my left.

The water level at that time was rather high, but the sun was bloody hot. However, it looked too tempting for me not to give it a try. I quickly rigged my rod and started casting away. I could see the occasional splashes of fishes in the water. But I later found out that they were made by the half beaks that are abundant near the water. As my lure moved pass them, they would leap out of the way, making splashes on the surface.

Other than that, I didn't have any big fish coming to crush my lure. I was using my faithful white pink crystal minnow that had quite a bit of war scars. But one mis-timed throw saw the reel locking and the line snapped. Lure flew out into the water, and was disconnected from me. I couldn't do much except to see it floating slowly away into the big ocean. Farewell my friend, you have served me well.

Very Kumpongy

My faithful lure floating away

View from the small jetty

The Jetty

A restaurant here

Fishing pond


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recce - Restricted area

Spot at Kranji

Shallow water

Some folks doing netcasting

An open gate

Construction going on

Training shed. Brought back memories

I was comtemplating to fish at the Choa chu cemetary, since my last visit there. I passed by Kranji and checked out a spot to the sea. However, it was dirty and tide was low. Didn't seem promising to me. I drove on to the cemetary spot. While driving here, I chanced to see the restricted area gate being opened. With my trusty GPS, I nimbly "gate crashed" into the restricted zone to have a look see. With the guidance of mr GPS, I droved around trying to reach the reservoir that had been out of bound to me. There were some construction that was going on. I drove pass a training shed, which is something that you don't do everyday. However when i was nearing the water area, I found to my dismay that it was blocked by some excavator. *darn*. Based on my GPS, I should be over the water, and fishing away happily by now. Defeated, I made my way back to the gate, and was shocked to see a police car waiting outside. For a moment, I thought it had come to arrest me. But as I drove past it, it didn't stop me at all. Hmmm...

Pulau Ubin - Big fish parade

It was the long the weekend, and it seemed like a good time to revisit Ubin for another try. I checked with Jess and Shawn and they were equally keen to try out. Therefore, come 5pm, we all met at Changi for quick bite and purchases of bite and fishign barungs and off we went. Jess came with a friend Stella, her tenant Ah Mao, her brother and Shawn.

Some sort of religious festival going on

Nice chinesey lanterns

Unfortunately, other people also had the same idea. Upon reaching the jetty, we were shocked to find it already occupied by some "camping" overnite folks with rods lining the whole of the Jetty. I am not very keen to be fighting for space for fishing, and I proposed to the rest how about trying an overniter at Mamam beach?

Our mini bus ride

From the Jetty, it will cost $10 for a mini bus to bring us here. Considering that there wer 8 of us, $10 was fair. So all of us bundled together and went cross country to the other end of Ubin. It was beginning to feel like quite an adventure, and frankly, I was quite excited about trying Mamam Beach overnight. It should be something to write about.

Imagine to my horrors upon reaching there, we found the entire beach lined up with campers. It felt like Bedok Jetty on Mainland Singapore. Singapore must indeed be running out of space to fish for folks to take the trouble to come all the way here.

The other end was packed. (Forgot to take a picture)
This is what fishing should be. An adventure :)

This guy is a good angler

The best place that we could park ourselves was quite away from the main spot facing the river opening. Nevertheless, we placed our mats, and gingerly setup all our equipment before the sky started to get dark soon. From the looks of it, it would indeed be very dark, with hardly any light source nearby.

A slimy Eel

There were fishes indeed, but we were catching stuff like puffers, eels, and catfishes on our live prawns. After about half an hour or so and with the sky getting dark, we felt that it was such a waste and decide to head back to the Jetty for better prospects.

That's a calcutta, a chio looking rod and a rod holder

Therefore, a quick call and soon we were on the mini bus headed back for the Jetty. Reaching there, immediately the Jetty felt windy and cool and it was a much better spot. The other group was there. We eventually found out that they were just 3 persons, but had a total of about 10 rods and many more handlines. These people meant serious business indeed. I spied high ended equipment like calcuttas, ultegras, rapala, shimano axis, G4 etc etc that I couldn't quite ID. The rods were all held on with rod holders clamping on the jetty railings, each with a light stick. They also had this long fishing net to scoop up catches. For bait, they had a big styrofoam box with neverending supply of live prawns. When the day broke, they still had prawns to be fishing. :O

Our group starting out in good spirts

So, we huddled to the opposite corner, and started our fishing. Again we were catching catfishes and eels on our live prawns. Just as were were getting dismay at this Ubin, when our neighbour caught a very big grouper. It was a 2 pounder catch. That certainly proved to us "right in the face" that there were good catches here. They went on catch a few more groupers when the tide was coming up. On our end, we were all faring very badly and our live prawns ran out. We had spent about half of our supply at Mamam and quite a number died on the way. Our neighbour had a never ending supply of live prawns. For each rods and handlines that they had, it was baited with live prawns all over. Fishing for us with dead prawn meat was getting catfishes one after the other. Ah Mao had some interesting small catches, one of which was an angel fish that I promptly asked to bring home to stock in my aquarium :).

The first grouper. 2 lbs

Only 1 word to describe this. POWER

The final blow to our egos was when our neighbour caught a dastardly big Baramundi!. I was at one corner doing my luring and missed all the action. When I caught on the commotion, I was looking with my jaws wide open at a whopping 8 pounder of a KBL thrashing on the floor. Holy toledo! At this time, my assessment of the trio had shot up to "bloodly experts", and they were to top it off with a very nice catch of a ACK around 1am. I was standing beside the rod and saw the line spooling out beautifully, something that had not happen to mine for a long time already.

Ah Mao with his many varied catches

Very nice ACK

Jess with the Angel fish that I was trying to keep

Ah Mao with his crab

The biggest eel that shawn caught

2 monkeys

Throughout the night, even though I tried and tried with hardly enough sleep, I was getting zilch with my luring. I tried big squid jig, small squid jig, surface lures, diver lures, big lures, small lures, dark color, plastic grub - All nothing. Luring was certainly very tough here.

The biggest grouper did a prison break

3 of the biggest catch

On the way back

The tide became so low that fishing started to be meaningless. We waited till the daybreak and caught the first ferry back. Today, we were all shamed (especially me) by a threesome. From what I could see, they had lots of things. But once they were packed, it was all compressed into a haversack, a trolly with 2 boxes and a rod bag. These chaps were the pros indeed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yishun Dam Luring

I had been having a bad patch lately, and haven't gotten any good catch. Today, I happened to be visiting the Sunset Grill and Bar, and was around Yishun area. The tide was quite high at around 5pm. As I passed by the Dam and seeing people fishing, I decided to do a little try out on luring.

I had just gotten this shiny spoon today and wanted to give it a shot. The water level was quite high and rather clean and nice, and with the nice breezy late afternoon (for a change as it is normally very hot here), it was quite nice to be fishing.

Lately, I had been going light, and used my Ryobi Basslove on light lure. The spoon itself was a 7g thingy and it suited the rod quite well. With a little whip, the lure could go quite a distance on my light spinning set.

But alas despite seeing small fishes and even a PB (in the sea water area), I didn't get any bite. Spoon unluckily caught on something in the middle of the water and got snagged. I had to lose it on the first time I used it. *rats*.

I next cast out my River2Sea Middive but that didn't help with the zero score. Well, there's hope for another day then.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rakit trouble

It had been a long long while since I had gone in Malaysia for anything, not to mention fishing. But there was a sudden window of opportunity this labour day, and it was timely for some rest and relaxation.

Jess and Shawn had asked me a few times to go Rakit, since Shawn's sudden craze for fishing. Fortunately, everyone seemed to be free that day. So some quick coordination, and off we went for the Rakit.

We met at the usual Danga and after a hearty breakfast, left for Rakit around 8am. Shawn brought along a friend, Alvin, who just started out fishing as well. This hobby is indeed contagious. :).

Hole that Jess's car got stuck on

We had to park here

Reaching there, we were shocked to find the entire parking grounds, jammed packed with cars. We made the mistake of driving down the undulating narrow and sloping sandy road full of potholes. Some other cars needed to get out, and the only way for us to allow that was to reverse our 2 cars back up the difficult terrain. Jess ran into some problems when her wheels got stuck in one of the many potholes. Some folks came over to help push the car to enable it to come unstuck. I too had to manoveur the car carefully to avoid doing the same mistake. It was certainly an advanced driving challenge. We finally managed to come out of the messy spot and decided to just park along the main road.

Jess draw first blood

This fellow was a good fisherman too

Too much flying can be tiring. Need a rest here

Is this a prawn or a lobster?

The rakit we were going to was the most comfortable one at Salleh. D was excited to be seeing her cats again. Reaching there, we setup and started fishing. From the water surface, we could see many glassfish, and we went on to collect them for baits.

Playful cat

That's the way to hold a cat

Alvin with his biggest catch

But other than glassfish, the fishing was very disappointing. No todaks, no tambans. But Alvin was having a good time, as even catching glass fish was something for a newbie. He got lucky and somehow managed to catch a Scat without using any bait.

My small tengirri

Shawn with his not easy to catch Selar

I did toss out some drifting rig with glassfish, with which we had such great success with Eric in some previous trip. But for this trip, it was totally useless. I did some bottom as well with glassfish, but it didn't help too. Desperate, I rigged up an apollo with small hooks and used prawn meat. Even that wasn't too effective. The best I did was to score a smaller Scat, and then a tiny tenggiri. Shawn was doing rather well with some good catches of Selar and Mackerals. He certainly has a good fishing touch. The afternoon was burning hot, and we were all drained and sapped of our energy under the scorching sun.

Sudden commotion!

A child had fallen through this hole

He is alive and gurgling out water

Safe in mother's arms

Around 2pm, there was a sudden commotion. At the far end, there was suddenly a lot of shouting, and people running around. All curious, we walked over to see what it was all about. To our horrors, we found that a little boy (around 2) had fallen into the water under a small opening. The trouble is, once under water, the entire stretch was covered up by some structure, and it wasn't accessible. The mother was wailing and crying away, while some boys were frantically trying to find where the boy was drifting to under the strong current. Some of them jumped into the water to try to get hold of the boy. After some 1 or 2 minute, they finally found the boy and pulled him out of the water. He was clearly alive and conscious. Thank God that all turned out alright. The owner of the rakit was also visibly relieved that the boy was ok.

That certainly taught D a valuable lesson as she was always running around and being out of sight. One should learn to be careful with children around the water.