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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.

Please read it here

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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