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Sunday, February 15, 2009

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

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