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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pekan - 24 hours fishing

This trip should is probably my first foray into big game fishing. Taking stock, it would be my 4th boat trip. But this would be trip that I would be fishing on any decent ground. We were to be going to the legendary Pekan, synonymous with big catches. The day before, PT eagerly texted us that reports from the tekongs were that fishes such as Parrots, ebeks, cobia were in season. That got some firing up of my fishy itchness and I was quite looking forward to my very first far away (and expensive), fishing adventure.

Rendevous at Kranji MRT

We all gathered at 1.15am promptly and I was introduced to the fishing kakis, all of which already know each other. I was the new bird, and I soon got to know how "hardcore" these bunch of people were. And amongst them, also some jigging enthusiasts and experts.

Custom Jam at 2am!

There was a queue at the Custom, even though it was the ungodly hour of around 2am. I have seen the security checks being tighten recently. Clearing that, the van drove up to Kota Tinggi for some late night supper, and then it was all a single dash to the sleepy town of Pekan.

We reached Pekan coffee shop

I am here to drink Kopi-O

Breakfast till the morning light

The Boatman

Luckily the ride was quite bearable, and some sleep was possible. We reached there quite on schedule just in time for kopi-o in a small landmark coffee shop. The boatman came by to join us for morning coffee and we were told that his two sons will accompanied us for the trip out.

The Boatman house

Twin Power boat

Our Pekan Express

Boat is branded one k. Don't play play

I am on my way to catch my 20kg amberjack

From there, it was a quick stop at the boatman bungalow shop for some freshening up, and soon we were on the way to the Jetty to board the speedboat.

Loading up

All thinking what they will catch today

Settup up

My power reel

Ricky, the F1 boatster

Runway to the Pekan sea

Model for Pro fishing magazine

One of Kelvin's many catches

Soon we were all speeding out from the estuary into the big sea. From the looks of it, there were certainly lots of fishing activity. Every stop we make, there were be some other fishing boats as well. And Bubus were scattered all over. Definitely quite high fishing pressure here.

Our liveprawns unfortunately didn't make the gruesome trip, and ended up as dead prawn bait. There went our chances of getting any ebeks if any. Baiting with dead prawns didn't give us any good results except for the occasional "miss wong" (indian snapper).

I caught something with Jig. It turned into a coral. I swear.

All the way here to catch Miss Wong

One Miss Wong for you, one for me

Everyone dropped lines, and most started with jigging on green jigs which was supposed to work here. The only "green" thing that I had with me was my Salty rubber. Down it went and it sure caught something: the rocks. My first loss. Darn.

First serious action of the day

Up came a whopper 4Kg Parrot

Patrick2 with a serious bend

I am not sure who got the first fish as I was seated on the boat front. All the lau jiao were at the back. There were already some small catches. Kelvin was doing small fish fishing, and was consistently brining up "aramagums" (small groupers). But the first excitement came when Ricky, the boatman son, caught on a really big one. Seeing how the rod was bending was great excitement. Moments later, up came a 4kg Parrot caught on crabby bits. That was my first view of anyone catching a Parrot and it was good like hell. Patrick2 rod also went into an sizable bend. For a while, he looked like gaining lines, but ended up with a snag.

Shaun fighting the Cobia at the back

An elated Shaun weight lifting

Some of the experts started getting the small fishes and using as live bait. That worked excellently for Shaun when his line went into a nosiy zzlip and it was on to something very good. A couple of minutes later after an exhaustive fight, a gray shape sharklike creature appeared. Cobia! It looked huge and I believed it to be about 10kg although when we weighed it at the boathouse, it only showed 8kg. Boatman expertly gaffed it up, and that was the champion catch of the day.

They got an ebek

The boat changed a couple of spots, and at one, we witnessed a local boat catching some huge ebeks. We all could only salivate as we didn't have any live prawns. Only chance was to try jigging but that didn't work at all.

See. Got sotong, never bluff you

Mine bigger. Need a net to bring it up

My pirated Yamashita is effective!

See. Another hit. Throw away your shrimphunter lah!

Boatman helper (dunno name) started squidding and bought up the first squid. Thereafter, everyone else try squidding and Patrick was quite successful in this. But poor me suddenly lost all my squidding powess and couldn't even land a single one, although equipped with "premium shrimphunter". *sigh*.

A tiny Remora on Sabiki (released)

Yay, a decent catch on Sabiki. I am happy now (easily contented)

Good fight on my Black Rose

Hmm..isn't this pattern a very familiar Zodiac sign?

Final minute catches of Yellow Tails

Around 6, the action all slowed to a crawl, and most of everyone was sleeping and taking it easy. For Patrick and me, we decided to give one last attempt on Sabiki. And strangely, it worked quite well, and we hit on a spot of Yellow tails. I also had a very good light tackle fight with a Big eye Trevally, my very first. With that, I am quite satisfied with my "big game" catch of the day.

On the way back for a much needed bath

Cobia too big for the icebox

Scale says 3 kg. Should be bigger

Full set of Gaff at boatman house. Better not complain about the fee

Pekan famous restaurant

We headed back to the Jetty hawaii five O style, speeding through river channel, making James bondy death defying cornerings. Reaching land, we unwinded at the boatman house having a much needed shower. Therafter, it was dinner with Parrot on the menu. Dinner was a long wait, but it was superb (and cheap!). From there, it was the long drive back to Singapore, back to the high pressure day jobs waiting for us.

It was no doubt a fishing adventure. I returned with much back and body aches as well as a sore backside. In a short period of less than 24 hours, we had like done so many things. Life should be like this everyday. Quite a good trip all in all. I think I need to get some more jigs, especially orange and green ones. ;)

My ultra ultra light fishing reel that I got for Father's day. Should have brought it along. Good for rod bending fight with guppies

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