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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Changi Boardwalk and Senibong

A "Green eye" squid

Peaceful tranquil night

Meow meow

A rare catch of a "bak tao" (cuttlefish)

Another last minute call for a night fishing and the turnout was rather surprising. I couldn't quite think of a good place to fish except to bring the folks to Changi Boardwalk to try their luck. And when we finally reached there, we were welcome by a bunch of people that were dressed from top to toe in fishing branded attire in the midst of gaffing a squid up. Most of us hadn't really seen a live squid closeup, and it was an exciting way to start off a nite of fishing.

After the initial commotion, we setup with some hope of getting something that night. We had gotten some live prawns which I had almost erroneously ordered a batch of 1.5 kg live prawns when I meant 150g. Lucky I realized the mistake before the shop closed, otherwise we would be stuck with $50 worth of prawns. :P

Jean got a cat fish and another small fish that I couldn't ID. Being her first, she was naturally going ga ga over it. That was about our only catches as the rest of us were trying out fishing with live prawns. There were indeed some quick bites that killed our prawns or dragged our lines to the rocks. I was the only one that got lucky and managed to bring up a cuttlefish on live prawns with single hook. I was surprised myself. Looked like this place was quite a good spot for squid fishing.

My green arrow patiently waiting

TC enjoying the fishing

A beautiful Pomfret

My only catch of a "helicopter"

The next day, TC wanted to run into JB for some errands and cheap shopping. I followed along in his car with him braving the woodlands checkpoint jam. But the jam turned out quite ok with us clearing it in an hour or so. After shopping, we decided to kill some time in the afternoon to visit a paypond at Senibong, around the Permas area. After some bargaining, we managed to get a spot for RM22 per pax for 2 hours. Quite cheap as compared to Singapore pond fishing.

The fishing was slow and most people didn't have any catches. But our neighbour got a Pomfret after he arrived shortly. From my observation, he was using apollo with prawn meat. We were doing prawn spinning all the while, hoping to get some biggies. But seems like prawn meat is more effective here. I copied him and only managed to bring up a tripod fish aka "helicopter".

The 2 hours came up very quickly and we left without any catches. Seemed like I didn't have any luck doing pond fishing. This was my third time at a pond and I still hadn't gotten anything yet, despite the fact that the fishes were in the water. Anyway, I am not really a pond person.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kranji Reservoir Green Water

Hoping to break my dry spell of a rather long fishless month, I dropped by Kranji for a spot of luring to try my luck. But reaching there, I was totally shocked to see our reservoir water filled with thick ozzy greenish particulates that totally filled the water. It was so thick that it almost felt like green paint.

But strange enough, there were even people luring in such conditions. I observed for a while to see if there were still fishes swimming in such water condition and concluded that if I were a fish, I would stay far away from such a place. Then as I was walking further down, I saw a duo of an old man and a younger man luring. To my utmost surprise, he had 3 catches gotten in a net on the floor. It blew my mind to think that they could even get any fishes here. From what I see, he was doing a mix of luring and baiting. At the end of the lure, he had an extra line linking to a hook with an oyster flesh. So strange. Wouldn't that impede the movement of the lure? But still, his results showed.

I tried to lure for a while after that but got zilch. Well, the spell had to be broken another day then.

KFC - Valentine Day Fishing

I hadn't count on this trip to happen as it was Valentine's day, and presumbly people had more romantic things to do than to visit a dirty kelong. But TC surprised me that he was game to try it and I agreed to do a re-introductory trip to Tuas Kelong seeing that he had not been fishing for a while. Since he was coming, ZW family could also ride along in his car. The day before, I also got a out-of-the-blue message from Pat that he was all cleared for the trip as well. Well, well, looked like people do like to fish on Valentine's day perhaps to have an excuse for not doing that expensive candlelight dinner.

We met as usual at the early hour to avoid the checkpoint jam. With the 3 cars, we re-grouped at the SHELL station (that people were finding hard to locate) and set off to get breakfast before hitting the Jetty. We had breakfast at the Perling coffee shop where the "parata" was sold. However, I noted that they changed the sign and it was no longer "by order". I also realized that it was quite common to see migratory birds making their way to the north from there. That must had been some north south highway for migrating birds.

"stay away from me food", hissed the monkey

Quaint JB fishing village

Boat was maxed to capacity

Up the kelong, one by one

At the Jetty, we were met by a grouchy monkey on top someone's poor car. It was proably not to happy that we were here to bring back fishes by the truck load. That was our plan as we all eagerly set off to our fishing destination.

The tide was indeed very low and when we reached the kelong, the steps were a little higher than the boat and we had to do some gymnastics to transfer all the people big and small from the boat to the kelong. However, Liman was an experienced boatman and we all got up safe and sound.

Pat and Ros trying out the fishing

My mummy is a good fisherwoman

A Chermin hauled up from the Kelong's net

One of the biggest fish for this trip

The kelong wasn't crowded at first and we only had 3 other pax on it. With the ample space, it was rather fun to fish expect that the tide was at the lowest and fishes were not around. We had enough time to prepare for the fishing as the tide would only improve around noon. The plan was to fill up our pails with some bait fish for the better fishing later. However, the Tambans were not quite around at that time, although we did get them once a while.

This climb up and down room is so fun!

I just ordered Pizza Hut (guilty look)

Behold our baby. We call him bubbles

The children had their own fun and mostly entertained themselves playing in the helper' 2nd story living quarters and playing their self made games.

Ah hong and his many catching at this kelong

The kelong help informed me that the legendary "ah hong" would be coming later. I was rather puzzled as who was this "ah hong" person and found his photo pasted on the kelong with his many impressive catches. Definitely proof that this kelong was capable of producing excellent catches.

Around 10, another big group of people came and the kelong got crowded. They were mostly using big rods and they cast their lines on top of us till we were rather squeezed for space to fish. Ah hong came later (with another big group) and it got almost impossible to enjoy the fishing with all the lines all over. I decided then to leave by 3.30pm if the fishing hadn't improve by then. Fishing in such crowded condition wasn't too enjoyable.

More porridge? (he is the porridge king, can eat 4 bowls!)

We were pressured by the ladies who were preparing our lunch to have some decent catch for lunch later. Tried as we could, all we could do was to provide 2 plateful of Tambans. Lunch was served with an impressive spread of dishes. Although the pot of porridge was filled to the brim, we managed to clean it up with nothing left.

How the expert keep their bait fishes alive

Heart stopping moment

Yet another Kitty

During lunch, there was a commotion (the only one) and someone's big rod went ballistic and line was peeling fast from it. The owner controlled it for a while but the line snapped. I was later to learn that he was on wire leader and even that couldn't hold the fish at the other end. Must have been a huge one. Other than that one time, all the other catches were mostly catfishes. Seeing how the other group do their fishing with big chunky and smelly sotong bait, it was no wonder.

Notice how the birds were all standing in line waiting for their food

A Goatfish

The lady that we met previously was doing her usual apollo fishing with prawn meat, and I must say that she was rather successful with it. Before we left, she caught a rarely seen goatfish above.

Street hawker fare at Permas Jaya

Birthday party at Jusco

Seeing the poor fishing, we spent the rest of the day doing tackle shopping and then followed by dinner at Permas. Food was cheap and good and definitely much better than the fishing we had. From there, we went to Jusco Terbrau City to do more shopping and then held a simple cake cutting ceremony for A who was celebrating her birthday today.

The fishing was rather poor today despite the promising location. There are times that I looked at the sea and lament where all the fishes were and this was definitely one of those moments. Perhaps that would be ok given that fishing was an activity that no one could predict. However, what spoilt it greatly was the overcrowded fishing condition. Nevertheless, I think it was a memorable timeout, an unusual Valentine day and hopefully our next trip should be see us bring back the truck load of fishes that we were aspiring for. :)

A Valentine Day of Fishing at Tuas Kelong

Monday, February 02, 2009

KFC - Tiram Fishing Resort

Since the last positive trip to Rakit Atan, a trip was planned for 31st Jan to do a group visit here. After some planning, the turnout was quite good and on that day, 3 other cars joined mine, making a total of 4 cars to meet at my block downstairs, starting off for a trip to Rakit Atan aka Tiram Fishing resort. For this trip, I would be meeting Patrick and Marcus for the first time, who were new to the group. XN & family came too as well as Roy, all who were new to this fishing thing. ZW entire family also came along too for this trip.

The checkpoint was a breeze that day and we cleared the checkpoint with ease. But the 4 cars convoy fell apart just coming through the checkpoint and Marcus's car went missing and didn't turn up at the designated meetup area. After some frantic calls, we located Marcus at the nearby stadium a short distance away from the shell station. I wasn't too sure where the stadium was, but was lucky to have found the place fairly easy. After picking them up, we set out on our way to Masai to have our breakfast there.

We had to wade on the beach to get up the boat

When the boat sped up, the ride was thrilling

Breakfast was a rowdy affair as we were a fairly big group,which made for a confusing order of pratas with and without eggs. But we filled our stomachs and were ready for the day of fishing. We were soon at the fishing village for the boat ride across. For some reason, the place was rather crowded with lots of cars. Being a big group, the rakit sent a big boat that was able to fit all of us. The boat was a powerful one, and the children all enjoyed the ride immensely.

Innovative DIY floats


Feeding fishes

Reaching there, the children all began to have fun at the hammocks, which I noticed to be an instant attraction to all new visitors here. Certainly, it was a perfect setup for a lazy timeout here.

First tiny Queenie

Those who were here for fishing immediately setup their gears. Given that the tide would be low, I setup a bottom rig for targeting Gelamas. However, there was totally no bites at all from the bottom. In fact for the entire trip, no Gelamas were caught at all, much to my surprise. I next changed to a sabiki and went about the rakit looking where the fishes might be hiding. I needed to break the egg to show the newbies how to go about getting their first fish. With some luck, I managed to get a little tiny queenie on the jigs, much to the delights of the children.

Warm up catches by Roy

My Papa caught one. He very clever

ZW went on to try out to see if mr todaks were around. Within half an hour, he brought in a small specimen establishing their presence in the water. Seeing the fairly good hit rate, I encouraged all the newbies to try their hands at todak fishing. XN and Roy managed to get some bites but were unsuccessful in connecting them. That continued for the morning, with all the todaks getting away with our free meals. However, the todaks did keep the newbies interested in fishing and the morning saw them trying and trying.

I was speechless. The Kurau was caught using Tamban Jig with live glass fish

Patrick caught the todak with his bare hands

His girl was afraid of getting close to mr sharp teeth

Patrick was first to hit a good fish of a Kurau that was of a good size. I was startled and impressed that he and his family did seem to know how to fish. :). He was also skilled at todak fishing and soon got one for the family album.

Yay! Todak fishing is SO fun!

This is for assam curry fish head tomorrow big

Even the children knew to put their foot to take fish pictures! hehe

Mrs Zhao aka Emmy also tried her hands at todak fishing and was grinning ear to ear when one was caught on her own. Now she knew why Mr Zhao loves to fish todak and was always bringing it back for dinner. :O. To her extra credit, she also brought back a new fish this time, an Assam fish. I myself only caught it 3x in my life. No mean feat :)

I also know how to fish

Step 1: First, pick the fish you like

Step 2: And then, catch it

The children all had their own fun of fishing as well and managed to catch some small fishes which was already very exciting for them.

Whole morning of trying and finally!

Family with todak photo

Wah, this is harder than programming

No no..easy as restarting server

Seeing the situation, I changed tactics and asked them to change the hook size to a smaller one. I wasn't too sure about it but when XN finally managed to get his first todak, that was confirmed to be the reason why mr todaks were all getting away. After that, Roy too broke his todak-less history and hauled up a decent specimen for some photo taking. At the end of the day, XN was to score 2 todaks, and Roy surpassed it with 3, ending with the largest todak of his life ever.

Strange looking prawn (Mantis prawn)

Yahoo! My first Tenggiri on lure

Now, I love crystal minnow

I gave power to my Papa one

ZW and I did some luring. I noticed Patrick was also luring but he was away from us in another corner and I wasn't sure how he was doing. But ZW and I did manage to get some bites, although it was far and in between. We took the opportunity to be test out our less frequently used lures. I was just teasing him that he was so lucky not to have even lost one lure after so long when he tossed out his newly acquired x-rap and the braided line broke and lure went flying into Sg Layang forever. Must be my unlucky mouth :P.

ZW got lucky and his red head crystal minnow got a hit and I saw the line going deep. That was a good sign as it certainly wasn't another todak. When the fish surfaced, it was a tenggiri. Seemed that Tengirris are fairly common here and they were a joy to be gotten on lure.

Their 2nd todaks

To wrap it up, the champion of them all. Don't play play

Children playing fish. *poor fishes*

Ok. Wash your hands, then we go play fish doctor

Setting up the timer for the camera

Group pic of the trip

Marcus was doing his own thing and I didn't quite check on him as he was already a seasoned angler having been to some boat trips and sibu kelongs and all. I realized that I had kind of forgotten about him when I realized that I didn't even have a good photo shot of him at the Rakit. Sorry Marcus :P On the way back, we huddled for a group photo luckily and managed to have a small pic of his face. :))

I checked the icebox and found LIVE fishes swimming in the plastic container

The culprit who was trying to "smuggle" live fishes back to Singapore

Another exciting boat ride

Driven by this little boy!

We fished till about 5pm and started packing to return to the mainland for dinner and shopping. To our shock, the boat ferrying us was to be driven by a small 10-12 yrs old boy. But he handled the craft deftly and we landed safely back at the jetty to return to our cars.

Can we stay here overnite?

Wah, lots of cars

Food at Bukit Indah

And toilet breaks!

From there, I led the group to the newly opened Jusco at Bukit Indah. Dinner was a simple meal at the foodcourt and then to some shopping. On the way out, we lost Roy whose car automatically headed for Sg Petani, where his in-laws were. After some worried wait, Roy managed to relocate us and regroup. We headed then to the final SHELL station for refueling before parting ways and going back via 2nd link. The way was entirely smooth was no jam whatsoever.

Certainly a "fruitful" fishing trip with almost everyone getting a fish or two. I noticed that the rakit had mostly smaller specimens being at the tip of the river system. But it was fairly consistent in terms of the chances of getting some fishes, although there were hardly any tambans here. Not a bad trip and I did think that all enjoyed it one way or the other. The children certainly had lots of fun playing fish today.

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