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Saturday, December 20, 2008

KFC - Kelong Bagan Lalang

It only came to my attention recently that there were some other kelongs in the region around Bagan Lalang (near Port Dickson). I took a day leave today and didn't have anything planned. The rest of the gang were too busy to go fishing. The night before, I decided not to waste the day and just run up to Bagan Lalang to check out the state of the Kelongs there. Actually there are 3. The one that we went, which I believe is called Kelong Bagan Lalang (Update: Kelong Nazri), and 2 others that are called Mamod Kelong and Lukut Kelong. However, the trip was quite challenging as A had to be back by 8pm for her class. I thought Port Dickson could be reached in 2 hours, but I grossly underestimated the travelling time.

Rest stop at the newly renovated Machap

We were almost there

Balang Lalang Town? Again, can't find money changer

The hotel sri malaysia I read about on the net

Beautiful beach here, with fine sands. Looks clean too

D rushed out to play with the sand

The fish market behind

Nice scenic view. More resorts down the road

As usual, I woke up the family early and left the house around 5.45am. However being a weekday, clearing the checkpoint was a breeze. Although the officer took about 5 mins to clear each car. He would ask each one of us questions like "what is your birthday", "what is your ic number". Wow. Very soon, they could be game show host with all this training. Anyway, we cleared the custom and drive through the new Malaysian checkpoint for the first time. Clearance there was fast as it was still early and there were hardly cars. From there, I headed for NSH and navigated my way to Port Dickson. Since I didn't have time to change money, I was hoping to do so along the NSH. But it seemed that there were entirely no money changer all the way from NSH till Bagan Lalang.

We ended up having to beg people to take our Sin money and ask for them to change to ringget at 2:1 for us at our loss. Distance wise, the trip was not a trival one. At 9.30am, we hardly even reached Ayer Keroh, the turnoff for Malacca. That distance was already 200km. From there it was another 50km to the Pedas Linggi turnoff. However from there, it was another hour drive through long snakey roads to hit the west coast of Malaysia. By the time I reached the beach, it was already almost 11am. Mr sun was up and shining intensely. From there, I gave Nazri(the owner of the Kelong) a call, and we soon arranged for someone to pick us up at the Jetty.

Finally here at the Seafood restaurant

The Jetty to the 3 kelongs here

Price list for the Kelongs here

You can fish from there for RM3.
Those people looked like they were having a good time

Fish Market. Orange plastic bags are udangs (prawns) for fishing

Balang Lalang is a nice scenic place, with a stretch of good beaches. There are quite a few resorts there, and even Hotel Sri Malaysia. There was also a village there with a fish market, and some seafood restaurants. It kind of reminded me of my trip to Kelong Paradise. It has a nice relaxing feel to it. Boatman came shortly and we were soon on the boat heading towards the Kelong. This Kelong is northern one and the boat trip was perhaps about 10 minutes. Reaching there, we saw a lone man fishing. The Kelong itself is not too big, maybe about the size of 2 hdb flat. It was neat and clean, and quite well built. The planks were good fitting and well joined. Boatman spread out a mat for us, and it was indeed quite comfy to be having a nap there. We got friendly with the man, and found out that he had been there since last night. But there were no decent catches for him.

350km to see this view

A tail of a 18kg Siakap (KBL, Seabass). Said to be common here

Can be fished all round the Kelong

Good workmanship on the Kelong

Helper laid a mat here for us. So comfortable

My very lucky catch. A Tengirri

Mr sharp teeth

All wanted to fish after that

A also got a small fish

I rigged up and started fishing. The water was quite shallow made worse by the outgoing tide. After 3 throws, I got a hit and saw a small fish dashing on my line. Man also got excited and shouted instructions for me to land the fish. He thought it was a threadfin, but it turned out to be a tengirri, although just a small one. I was happy too as it was my 2nd only tengirri that I ever landed. Wow, the fishing seemed to have gotten a good start. A and D also wanted to fish and they too managed some small fishes. But 15 minutes of that fishing, it got bad very suddenly. Tambans all not around. I had checked the tide table and thought the high tide was supposed tobe around 3pm. But I was wrong. Apparently my table was only for Singapore waters. Here, tide was in fact going down when I arrived. But one thing good, there were plenty of todaks around. However, I didn't have any bait fish to target them. What precious ones that I got, I used for bottom to test for bigger fishes.

Small tiny kitchen here

Maggi mee taste good while fishing

A improvised "fork" and "spoon" for our Maggi mee

Low tide, fishes all gone to Tuas Kelong

Another group came. Look at the number of rods! somemore in another bag

This cat is called "Pretty". More like "grouchy" to me :)

Therefore, the water turned bad and became river like as the water was flowing out inot the ocean. Throughout the fishing, I only got 2 tambans, 1 selar, 1 tengirri, 1 ACk (small one) and that was it. Due to us needing to head back to Singapore by 8pm, we had to leave the kelong around 3pm. But that was quite timely as at that time, a family of about 4 people and 1 cat came. But all the things they brought, there were about 20 rods. Therefore, it was just as well for us to leave. They would be staying overnite. However they were friendly and I did have a good chat with them on the local fishing and about the other 2 Kelongs. From what I gather, the other 2 kelongs have deeper waters and are good for big fishes.

Sir, faster. I have a class to catch

We were very near to KL

Early dinner break at Ayer Keroh reststop

A standing at the second counter waiting for cars to come by to ask to change money

We left soon and started out from the car about 3.45pm. From there, we made a stop at Ayer keroh for A&W meal and after that, it was straight all the way back to Singapore. I had to feed myself with Red Bull to made the tiresome trip. We made it in good time, and managed to get A to her lesson at about 8.40pm. We had a delay at the My toll when they wouldn't accept our touch&go card as we had run out of money. We had to reverse and again beg people in the cars to change money for us. One cheeky MY cab driver said he would change 50 ringget for 50 sin. What an a**! A kind tour bus driver agreed to change for us at $50 to RM100, which was fair enough. At the end of the trip, checking my tripmeter, I had driven 650km for the day. All for a 3-4 hour fishing trip :)

Google map of the Kelong

Read it here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

KFC - Kelong Ah Huat (4)

Supposedly the last available Tuas Kelong on my list.

I was expecting this, but nope. Where is this?

Yet another trip to the Tuas area, this time to the last kelong on the list. However, I was quite surprised that it was not the Kelong that I was expecting from some pictures on the internet. So perhaps, there might be another, other than the private one that was out of bounds. ZW had planned to bring along his eldest daughter, but she couldn't wake up that morning. But it was for the better as the Kelong this time, wasn't quite suitable for kids.

We did the usual early morning rendevous, and off we went via woodlands checkpoint. The Q cleared quickly and soon we were on the way to Gelang Patah via Perling. This time, I stopped at Perling to catch some breakfast.

My feet almost got sliced by the boat hitting the Jetty edge while boat was parking

This time, my girl was prepared with her sunglasses

View of the Kelong

We reached the Jetty at around 8am, and already our trusty boatman was there. We soon boarded up and headed towards the Kelong. This Kelong was kind of farthest amongst the rest, and was actually just a "stone" throw away from Jurong Island. From there, we could see Jurong Island doing more reclaimation of the land and extending further out to the sea. From a near distance, we could see all the big ships parking around Singapore. For this reason, the water here is deeper and comparable to the ones in Sibu. However the Kelong itself was in quite a dilapidated state due to lack of maintenance. We were to find out that this Kelong had just been bought over which accounted for its lack of proper maintenance.

The other group of 3 fished on the left

There were already 3 other persons on board, but they kept to the narrow side of the Kelong and left the more open fishing area to us. Maybe due to wanting to face the incoming current. We came to know later that they had been there since last night.

Thinking where to fish

Easy string of Tambans

Tambans paradise

Our first catch proved that there were plentiful of Tambans around. It was so easy to get them that one didn't even need to jig the line. Just cast it down, and up would come a string of Tambans. The Tambans here are the Killer fearsome variety, and would entangle our lines with their mad dashing.

No rod holder. A chair would have to do

I came this time prepared with a workable airpump and we managed to have a pailful of live tamban ever ready for our use to target bigger fishes. But alas, floating was ineffective, and there was entirely no surface action. Although one time, there was an instance reaction when my float bobbed downwards the moment I threw it in. But the fish let go a short while later. I did some bottom and bait was mostly untouched.

How to fry Tambans

We came prepared to cook. Fresh Tambans on the left

We give some chow to the poor hungry dogs

A whipped up lunch with the Tambans and some canned food that we brought along. It was a decent meal and even the dogs were eyeing the food hungrily. We gave some to them as it was evident that they had not been well fed for some time.

Our shady fishing corner

The weather got quite hot during the afternoon and we mostly hid under the shade and waited for the catch to come. The only action was when I tried to put my bait a little bit above the bottom and let the current pushed it out. I was chatting with ZW when we noted some quivering on the rod.

Hanging on..but lost the fish after 30 seconds

As we were talking, my green arrow suddenly took the U-est dip I ever saw in all my time fishing. It was a good one and my lines were spooling out quickly. The fish seemed to have gone deep. I got hold of the rod and gave a strike. And instantly from 50m away, I saw a big fish leaping out of the water and landing with a loud splash. I only had a glance but it certainly looked big, and was whitish. My guess was that it was a Queenie again, since I was using Tamban and doing mid water fishing. And Queenies were abundant here. But this one was a big one and the pull on my rod was very strong. In a short time, it spooled out half my reel. I was worried that it would make a right turn and go around the kelong. As I was trying to reel it in, the line suddenly went limp. I had lost it. From my inspection of the line, it broke at the leader that showed some abrasion. The big probably swallowed the bait deep and the line was rubbing against its rought sand paper like mouth. It was a big disappointment to me but it was a fair fight, and the fish won.

That was about the only big action that afternoon. ZW got a couple of tugs as well, but it didn't connect.

Around 2.30pm, 2 uncles came on board. We were thinking they were here to fish, but later we found out that they were actually the new owners of this Kelong. Apparently, they had just bought over the Kelong and was making plans to expand it. We were told to come back in 6 months to see a brand new Kelong with good fishing. :). For now, at RM60, this place wasn't quite worth it due to the lack of space and proper facilities.

The pot bellied new boss

The private Kelong

Close up view of the private Kelong

The boatman suddenly appeared to fetch some people back and we decided to go off as well seeing that the fishing wasn't about to improve due to the declining tide. On the way, it rained a little. But luckily, it wasn't heavy and we managed to get back to land without getting wet.

From there, we headed for Jusco for shopping before coming back around 8pm right into a nasty checkpoint Jam.

Read more here