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Thursday, May 28, 2009

KFC - Rock fishing at Srau, East Java

Srau Beach is situated at East Java. I was there for a holiday, as well as to meet some relatives. Not knowing what to expect, I brought along my fishing rod just in case the fishing was promising.

First view of Srau beach did not disappoint me with her beauty. I had earlier check out the photos from the internet and thought they were heavily edited. But it was true down to every detail. The beach was clean and the water, crystal clear. Mixed with the greenary and open sea, it was paradise on Earth.

I was initially thinking if it was possible to fish at all. But we saw in the distant, someone with a fishing rod. My heart skipped a beat. We quickly found the way to climb up the hill and to meet the lone fisherman pearched on the rocks.

He was alone at first, but was joined by 2 others of his friends. I had a chit chat with him and found that he was in fact fishing for todaks! Over here, Todaks are a prized catch, fetching quite a good sum of money in the market.

I quickly setup my rod and started fishing. Since I didn't have any bait, I tried jigging for bait fishes. But it was uneffective, and the rocks at the bottom snagged my lines a few times. I then turned to luring, much to the amusement from the 3 old man.

They came over and out of curiosity, looked through the things in my fishing bag. Since they were kind and friendly, I gave each one of them a "souvenir" from Singapore. They were immediately greatful and I became their good friend after that. One even enthusiatically said the fishing lure was so realistic that it will definitely work. Actually, on my first cast, I saw a grouper through the clear water chasing after it. Unfortunately, it turned away at the last moment. After casting for a few times, my lure got snagged by the corals and was lost.

I left the place knowing that I have indeed been to a fishing paradise that most people wouldn't get a chance to see. If only I had some baits.

Friday, May 22, 2009

KFC - Ah Fatt With New Friends

The last time I had been here was actually a long 6 months. Probably the longest time period that I have clocked for the return trip. Therefore, this trip was long awaited. However, it was unfortunate that many of KFC members couldn't make it for this. There were new faces for this trip though from ChiewSim and ChinHua who joined us today with their little princess, YenHan.

After a brief exchanges of greetings under my block, the jolly bunch consisting of IZ, Pat, myself and A with the above new fiends set off to Carrefour Mac to rendevous with Yew and Family. They arrived rather punctually I must say. Therefore, we made good time reaching Leman Jetty. In fact a bit too early that we had to wait for the boat.

Reaching the Kelong, I was immensely happy that we had very clear water for this trip. This was by far the clearest water I had seen. It made me just happy to look into the water column and see plentiful of fishes swimming around. Such water clarity was rather rare and perhaps only during this time of the year. Weather however was burning hot. Kelong itself was moderately occupied with about 64pax. Not too bad and we still have ample fishing space.

We set up quickly and started fishing. CH with his cheapo rod set managed to get some good cactches. Tambans however were conspicously missing. We only managed to get some decent bait fish. IZ quickly used some and hit on his favorite Todak rather quickly. That done, he went on to target other species of fishes. (at the end of the day, he got bored with Todak fishing).

The other folks were just simply relaxing and enjoying themselves fishing with no pressure whatsoever. It was easy to get some thing on simple Tamban jig baited with sotong. Soon the make shift aquarium was filled with assortment of fishes. However, we were indeed very low on fishes suitable for live baiting. Seeing that, I bought from Ah Yong (Ah Fatt's Kelong manager/boss) some live prawns. But using live prawns were trickly as they would be quickly killed by all the peckings from the small fishes. Therefore, they don't last very long.

I was also glad to see people getting squids, no less in the day time. Encouraged by their results, I also did some squidding and managed to break my long standing squidless period of close to a year. In fact, the rest of the folks too managed to get one or two squids. They were indeed coming into the season.

Night came and I tried out luring to see if the Parangs were around. And to my utmost gladness, they were indeed. I had many strikes until I finetuned the technique and landed one. Followed by another. CH and IZ got excited and tossed out L-minnows as well. IZ finally managed to score his first Parang on lure. CH came very close and had a hookup. But it dropped on the way near the kelong. Other than that, there were plenty of Lorongs to catch during the night.

Early next morning was however a great disappointment. I woke up at 4.30am and couldn't get any action. This was so due to the abundance of Jelly fishes all over. it was so thick that my lures would occasionally scope some gooey bits of Jelly fishes. Rather irritating.

The next morning, the Jelly fishes started to disperse and the water got a bit better. However, we start cannot get enough of Tambans. From the little we got, these were quickly used by Yew and others to try out Todak fishing. And it was very successful. Todaks were rather dumb here and they would go for the live bait in a short waiting time. CH and Yew with Family had good fun catching them.

We packed rather early as most of us were quite tired from the fishing under the blazing hot sun. After a hearty lunch, we departed from the trip with some pleasant memories. Although not a fantastic trip, it wasn't too bad and a rather enjoyable one due to the great company of new and old friends.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

KFC - Search For KBL Part 2

The boss at the Kong Kong Jeti told us to return this week as the current would be slower. He said that KBLs bite during the slower tide. ZW and I were keen to try out for our first kbl again and planned to return for our revenge. Alas Andrew couldn't come this time round. At the last hour, Pat and Ros decided that they could join us. That made for a good 5 pax to a boat with the boatman.

Upon arrival, we almost couldn't get any boatman. The boss, Yarkob made some frantic calls and managed to find someone to be our boatman for the day. We were informed to book before hand as the weekends would usually be fully booked. The boatman soon arrived and we moved out around 9am.

This time, the boat went kind of far for our first spot to fill up our bait well. ZW as rather lucky to hit on a small queenie on his tamban jig. With the cherrywoord, the fight was a good one.

The river system that promised of > 10 kilos KBL

First cast, and he was on!

Up came a nice baby trevally

Doesn't he look like a trishaw man??

He caught something, a grunter

Thereafter, the boatman brought us rather far into an estuary system where he said the kbls here would be big. He mentioned 10 kilos at least. That kind of number certainly made our mouth wet with saliva. The moment the boat was parked, he immediately had a hit. From the action, not a bad one. After some muscling with his conolon rod, up came a beautiful baby trevally. I was shocked to know that one could get them here. We were definitely all keyed up with this success and toss out our rigs with the greatest of hope.

But the minutes ticked away and nothing was biting at all. Initially, there were some disturbances to our live prawns which came up half eaten and all. But half hour later, it was largely untouched. At this time, the sun was blazing hot and we were all suffering from an overdose of UV. Pat and Ros were not too prepared to be baking directly under the sun. Seeing that, I suggested to take a break and return to the jetty for lunch first before carrying on.

Coffee shop from the 60s

Food was ok

Toilets from the past!

Kopi Lim shop

The road where we were at

But I was caught unaware that we had actually ventured very far from the Jetty and the return trip alone used up half of our fuel. We had lunch at a very quaint looking shop that was reminisence of the 60s. Even the toilet was old school complete with a "the ring" kind of well.

Wah, not easy parallel parking!

Tower of Pisa, in Kong Kong

Our venerable Anchorman!

Workers fishing from the top

He knew exactly where the tambans are

After a respite from the burning sun and cooling ourselves down with gassy drinks, we ventured out again for attempt number two. First stop again was to refill our bait well which by now was left with half the live prawns and no tambans. Boatman brought us to a construction site which to our amusement, the workers were even fishing from the platform.

The weather took a sudden turn and it began to drizzle. Luckily, it wasn't heavy and we managed to stay fairly dry. After filling up our bait wells, the boatman brought us to another river system. We were later to find that it was just barely 1km from the jetty.

The crab that caught the Tamban with the fisherman that caught the crab

KBL not at home today

Ros had some fun with grunters


So, it was no surprise that we didn't get any bites at all. Ros had some fun with catching some small grunters but that was about it. Pat had a funny catch of a crab grabbing on to his dead tamban. I again caught a tree fish...and lost my xrap. Around 4pm, just as the tide was filling up the river, we ran out of baits. I called it a day and returned back to the jetty defeated with our tails limping behind our backs.

But the timing was just right for us to drive back to Singapore via the woodlands checkpoint. From the voice traffic system, we were told that traffic was smooth flowing. However, it was not the case and we were caught in bumper to bumper jam. But it was indeed moving rather fast and we cleared it in like half an hour. Not too bad.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

KFC - Kong Kong Boat Fishing

The trip originally started out with OTC wanting to visit Kong Kong again after his last fruitful catch session at the Rakit. ZW and I were interested in trying out the boat fishing that we changed upon the last trip. Andrew also made time to fish with us, quite rare given his busy work. One thing was foremost on our minds: KBL.

It was a beautiful day

At the Jetty

All the prices you need

They sell live prawns here

We arrived at Kong Kong around 9am after some delay. But with a tide time of around 12pm, we were just about right for the boat trip. TC and friend decided to head for the kelong instead. For the 3 of us, after some enquiries with the owner, we soon boarded the boat with a young guide. At the jetty, there plenty of pictures with mighty good catches. We couldn't help focusing on the Kims in the picture and imagining ourselves holding on to the prize trophy.

Beautiful river system

Bait fishing at the Ujam

A Lorong (Big eye herring)

Boat is equipped with bait well

First stop was to fill up our bait well with Tambans. We were brought to a abandoned Kelong. Tambans were indeed plenty and soon we had enough. And it was back to the river system again to target our Kims.

Fishing makes people happy

Nice marshy area

Start your engine

Alamak...caught a Tree fish

These buggers are terror

Scenic spot

Naughty lure, never get me anything

But alas, the Kims were not around. Although there were some signs of fish activites (splashes in the water etc), we were not getting any bites. At some places, the mozzies came to bite us instead. Andrew got quite badly bitten as he was dressed rather skimpily. ZW and I fared better as we were covered from head to top, more so to protect ourselves from the hot sun. But for this trip, the weather was nice and not too overly hot.

Since no KBL, we decidied to go "deep" sea

And then to "surecatch" spot

Not everyday can touch a oil tanker "ass"

I also want

Wow...big grouper!

ZW broke the egg

The boat is huge!

Plane heading towards Changi Airport

Andrew's ibu gelama

We could sense that the guide was noticibily desparate for us to get some catches. As a last resort, he brought us to his "surecatch" place. And to our greatest surprise, it was under a mega oil tanker, just next to its giant propeller.

But true enough, there were indeed lots of fishes down there. We had to aim at the properller and there would be some bites. But due to the postion of the boat, it was rather hard to get to the sweet spot. Boatman had numerous strikes but got snagged for some. But he did brought up a beautiful 1Kg grouper. There was another catch that was estimated at 3kg, but it escaped just at the surface with the boatman spilling some malay expletives. Andrew had a beautiful catch of a ibu gelama (mama gelama) and ZW had a smaller one. I too got a small grouper (ard 300g) which I let go.

Place for the firefly trip


We called it a day around 4pm and headed for Kota Tinggi to check out the route to the firefly for Andrew. At the corner restaurant, we asked to cook our big grouper and had our dinner there. Grouper was yummilious and as fresh as it could get. Just nice for the 3 of us.

We were rather disappointed that we didn't get any Kims, but it was an interesting trip overall. I had never done a river boat fishing before, and not to mention, a boat trip fishing under a boat. Not an everyday location. As for the Kims, we will be back.


Friday, May 01, 2009

KFC - Kelong Pontian

In all my years of kelong fishing, I had never heard of a kelong in the waters at Pontian. It was only by a chanced web browsing that I discovered the whiff of it's existance. Being the nosy Kelong explorer that I am, we decided to pay it a visit this Labour day.

A clean beach that was devoid of rubbish (rare find in Malaysia)

Getting there was easy, but finding where to board the boat to the Kelong wasn't. Equipped with our trusty navigational tools, we found our way to a possible boarding area. The beach looked clean but it wasn't the correct place. Only after some calls to our contact, we finally managed to find ourselves at the right places.

Gangster lizard says cannot pass!

When we arrived there and was walking to the Jetty, a humongous monitor lizard came slithering out of the bushes and blocked our way down the stairs. Luckily, he was heading for another kelong and went off shortly. Otherwise, our this recce trip would need to be postponed to another "lizardless" day.

The ride was a short 10 minutes ride and we soon were in view of the Kelong. From the distance, it was way beyond my expectation. I had thought it would be smallish and dirty old kelong. But boy, I was wrong. In fact, it looked on par with the ones at Sibu in terms of size and facilities.

Kelong flyer (guarantee won't jam)

Lots of green to the brown and blue here

We settled under a shelter that was thoughtfully placed around the kelong. The kelong had a longish extension further into the sea, and the area for fishing was abundant. We started fishing and found that the fishing here was not that easy. Most of the bait fishes that we got occasionally were rather smallish and not suitable for use as bait. However on the surface of the water, there plentiful of fishes which were at first thought were todaks. However, we confirmed them to be half beaks. Seemed like this was a half beak paradise.

Sip your tea and enjoy the island view

At the far end of the extension, one could see Palau Pisang. Something tells me that there would be plenty of monkey business on the island. The kelong was still undergoing upgrading works. It looked to be better and bigger in the future.

Float rig

ZW first half beak

Anchrovies on Jig

Beautiful half beaks (with a pinkish tint)

Lots of these which got irritating after a while

Tiny todaks here

Selar Papan

The half beaks could be gotten on tambans jigs, as well as throwing out a float with a small hook baited with some fish meat. There were some todaks too, but small ones. As they mix in with the half beaks, they all looked alike.

My lure got chomped into two by huge monster (aka, the kelong plank...hehe)

ZW tyring out the lasso rig

I think plenty of these here

The fishing was generally slow and no one was getting big catches or anything. Gelamas were evidently around when we saw some people fishing for them with sarong worms.

The happy boy with his surprised catch

Around 4+pm just as the tide was coming up, the fishing got a little better. Our neighbour had a seemingly stucked line. They did some "guitar twanging" with the lines and managed to loosen it. As the guy was reeling in, out came a decent sized grouper. First sign that this place could yield some surprises after all.

this guy is cool and frequent visitor to Ah Fatt

Good table size Kurau

Next, our malay neighbour saw his rod twitching and went on to engage the fish. Without much commotion or anything, he reeled up a Kg+ kurau. We were like "wow!". His rod was rather heavy and there wasn't much fight at all.

Another tick for fishes caught for him

Size 8 Kurau

My rod got some disturbances but alas, I couldn't connect with anything. However, ZW got lucky and he too pulled up a fair sized Kurau. Another first for him at this kelong, along with his catches of half beaks.

This view very much like the one in Labrador Park

Kelong in the Sunset

Another Singapore car behind mine!

We left the place around 6+ just as the sun was going down. While waiting for the boat, we had a friendly chat with a group of girls (family) who incidentally were from Singapore. Quite an unusual sight to see Singaporeans here, and a all woman fishing group somemore.

Fishing in the Kelong was generally slow but showed promises of some big catches if one is patient enough. Not a bad recce and another addition to our long list of future kelong visits.

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