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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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