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Saturday, July 25, 2009

KFC - River Fishing At Sg Lebam

Finallly, we arrived at Sg Lebam Jetty to commence our river fishing trip. After discovering the place for quite a while, we didn't have the chance to fish this place till now. This trip, we have a couple of new friends, tan and his daughter Yali and kelvin and zu. We had met in the morning as usual under my block and had the usual breakfast fare at Carrefour Mac. TC surprisely turned up very early. So we were right on time.

Inside the forest, got lots of monkeys

You shoot, I shoot

Here got pirates or not?

The collect money lady pai kai boss

All our live prawns that KBLs can't resist

Driving up the wap to the Lebam Jetty was uneventful this time round. The friendly Buang was there preparing the boat. After some logistics of fuelling and getting baits, we were on the way. Tide at that point was rather low. Quite perfect timing for the day's trip. Howver, water wasn't clear due to the rain for the past few days.

A row of houses on the river. Fish where you live

Can have BBQ here

Setting up

Another boat polluting the air

That's how an anaconda boat would look like

Hey, a rainbow!

Everyone was pleased with the boat as it was big and comfy with ample fishing space. The weather today was cloudy and not blazing hot. We even saw a rainbow, before it drizzled a little. But nothing too wet. The various spots that Bujang brought us, didn't produce anything. We tried luring, bottom fishing with dead prawn, bottom fishing with live prawns and even trolling. But nothing was biting. The boat had a fishfinder, and occasionally we would past by some big blips on the device indicating some monster fishes at the bottom of the boat.

The white divider is where the fresh water comes from

Nice shady spot. Great for an afternoon nap

If only these were durians

Hardworking lurer

Captain of the boat

See, got toilet here

And cooking utensils

And tap for washing hands

The spot I missed my 2 KBLs!

The children playing like monkeys

We came to a spot that another boat was fishing. Bujang asked if they had anything and indeed they did. Bujang anchored the boat on the opposite side of the branch. At his instruction, we tossed out a live prawns on float. And I was elated to get a strike. But my fumblings didn't get me a hook up and prawn was gone. I tried another time and yet again another strike. But before I could do anything, a splash and it was gone. Boat at the other end got a KBL just in front of us. We couldn't see it clearly but could hear the flapping of the fish on the boat's bottom. Bujang at that time said that he would prepare lunch and said to go another place where it was windier to have lunch. I reluctantly agreed.

Can watch TV

D trying her soft rubber lure

Lunch time!

Sg Lebam River restaurant

This ninja caught a Catty

Wah! This fish so ugly!

Say I ugly, I bite you

No worry, this fish can hold

And cook to eat


At the new spot, TC had a brief excitement with a bending rod. But up came a kitty, due to his smelly prawns approach. Zu had numerous fights with a good size crab that kept trying to steal her baits. It got away but she finally landed another fellow, a Kuku (toadfish). It was a rather good size one, and Bujang said that it was good eating. He cooked it on the spot and indeed, the meat was tasty and sweet. After lunch, we went to various spots but there were no fish. I lost a lure and kelvin almost lost one, but was manged to be rescued. At 3pm, we took the slow boat back to the Jetty. The children had fun piloting the boat. Not something they can do everyday.

Find finder says got biggie below

Argh, my lure got stucked

Kel-Kar-ying on a river boat

Driving a boat is fun

Nice river view, with a smoking chimmy

The Sg Lebam Fishing Team

As fishy as it can get

For children, can rent this

Ok, shopping and eating time!

Despite the poor fishing, I did managed to inch closer to my tiresome quest to land a wild KBL. As for luring, the closest I had was to see a half beak chasing my x-rap. Beyond that, it was a risky exercise to lose the lure on some mangrove trees. But the trip was great fun. To fish in a river like this was a nice change from sea fishing. And on a boat like this, it was downright luxurious. We had good company today as well and the 2 children got along quite well. Bujang said that the boat can be used for fishing at night too, at the same cost. That sounded interesting and we might just give it a try.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

KFC - Pulau Semakau, Rubbish Island

To be honest, I was thinking that I should be catching some decent specimens for the Semakau Trip. Given the unique and un-spoilt location, there should be plenty of fishes there. Therefore, I was pretty much looking forward to it. After all the neccesary registrations and paper work, we all met at West Coast Mac to have a good breakfast before roughing it out for the day. The gathering point was at West Coast Pier, which I almost mistaken for the Marina Ferry Terminal.

We are going Semakau

Die lah, got number like this!

At West Coast Pier

On the boat (a 15 mins ride)

At the Pier, all the other anglers arrived rather punctually. We met our friendly guide, Aw, who was to take us there for the event. Aw is a very seasoned angler and have done decades of fishing, his perference being freshwater/river type of fishing. He is also one of the pioneering fly fisherman in S'pore. We also met up with tanwh, who was a friendly guy and a father of 2. In total, there were only about 10 of us. Our group already made up half of it. We were allocated number tags which double up as mearsuring tapes. In the event of catching fish, a photo of the catch was required to log it for the competition. We were not exactly there for the competition and any catch is good enough for us. I was given the number 144, which pretty much sums up the luck I have had that day.

Welcome to rubbish island

Ok, make sure you guys catch some fishes today and don't anyhow throw rubbish

Let's go!

Reaching Semakau, we were given a short briefing by Aw, before boarding a van to bring us to the southern tip. It was customary of the guide to start at this location, which according to Aw, should be good for a couple of catches. Later we will adjourned to the inner series of water enclosure at Cell 3. But the tide timing was not good, and furthermore this particular tide was not strong, and the water flow was weak.

Arriving at the Southern tip

On your mark, get set, go!

Clear water, fishing the channel

tan was definitely hardworking at luring

By the time we started fishing, it was already high tide. We had missed the incoming tide completely. Pat had some early bites on his minnow and surface cruisers. But that was it. Upon retrospection, we realized that all the other anglers disappeared from the southern tip and went off fishing in other locations. We were later to realize that the fishes by that time should be at Cell 3, which was an inner section of the area. It was percisely there that the 2 expert anglers landed 4 GTs and 2 Queens. I don't have any pictures with me, as we didn't see them in action and only know of it after the fishing from the photos from their camera.

Change Spot! Cell 3

Alex getting some Kelong Chi

Some of us trying at the opposite side of the pipes

the stretch there, rather rocky

We changed location from the southern tip to Cell 3 at around 11am. By the time we arrived there, the tide was already going out. So again, we missed the fishing at Cell 3. The place there was like some esturary area, and an angler said that there were Tarpons. For this competition, Tarpons have the highest score and he was trying to get them on Tamban jigs, but got Kelong Chis instead.

Marcus landed the catch of the day

I am 146

Marcus landed a Flathead here on his $3 lure. Not a bad catch considering what the rest of us were catching, which is nothing. ZW and I explored further into the other cells (which was supposedly out of bounds). However, it was difficult to fish there and I lost a lure, and ZW got his lure stuck there twice. We gave up and went back to the Cell 3 area. The weather got hot and we all waited at the shelter for the van to bring us back.

Evan, the angmoh landed a small Parrot fish which he felt not worth logging it for the competition. He seemed like a very experienced angler and was dressed head to toe with professional fishing attire. From his previous trip here, he had gotten a slot in the championship league from previous catches.

Going to the other Cell

Haiyo, Sangkot my Sasuke

Give up...

Back at HQ

Champion lurer

At the NEA building (which was thankfully A.C), there was a short informal ceremony of giving out the prize to the winner, which was the champion lurer for this trip and a few previous trip. I think he won himself a $150 voucher.

Boat came rather late, and we were soon back in mainland ending a failed attempt for our debut trip to Semakau. I think we should be trying this again, and hopefully recover from our mistakes and start catching something.

It was a rather disappointing day for me, but it goes to show half of the success of fishing is to know the behavior of the place. Getting to the right place at the right time is the other half of using the correct equipment and technique. We were all expecting biggies and was using a bit heavier tackle. Myself, I was casting my larger lures. I think now that smaller ones should work better. Next trip here, we should all be better experienced to get something. Till then!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

KFC - Bedok Reservoir Surprise

This weekend, there wasn't much in the way of fishing. But Andrew messaged me asking if I was doing anything. I suggested to try-out fishing at bedok reservoir as it was near his place. Even though he is staying very near to it, he had not been there before. Another reason for us not going there often is due to the insufficient parking lots. Getting a lot there is quite impossible at times. But today, we were surprised that there were free lots around. From the car park, it was a short walk to the boardwalk. We settled down at the bench.

As the boardwalk was rather crowded with quite a number of people fishing, we went to the right side of and fished on the rocky banks instead. Lots of people were baiting quite openly. We fished for about half and hour and there wasn't any action. Water was clear and I couldn't even see a tiny fish. From past experience, this wasn't a productive spot. However, someone on the boardwalk left on his bicycle and we were shocked to see him holding on to 3 large PBs. I ran to him and asked for some photos which he gamely obliged.

We were almost on the verge of giving up and returned to the bench for some snacks and drinks. Andrew said to try the middle of the boardwalk and I agreed. From the high vantage there, we could see some blurry image of a fish deep in the water. We identified it as Tilapia from the white/pinkish body. To our greatest surprise, the fish reacted by turning its body when our flies swam across. Excited, we continued to try to get its attention.

While Andrew was back at the bench to get something, I saw the tilapia inching forward to my squid fly as I dragged it past. I instinctively gave a yank. At first, I thought I had hit a rock as the fly was near the rocky bottom. But the line started to move to my delight. I peered down to the water and confirmed that I had a hookup. Excitedly, I shouted for Andrew to come help to get some pics in case the fish throw the hook. Tilapia on fly is quite unheard of (at least for me) and I didn't want to go back without any evidence. I fought the fish for a while which was fun on my new light rod, my 4 piece sakura. Andrew climbed down the banks and help land the fish. As we were deciding what to do with it, by the time we put the fish back into the water with a cord, the fish was already out of the water for a long time of 5 minutes. I was impressed that the fish was still quite fiesty and didn't die after such a long time out of water. They are definitely very hardy. A crowd had gathered and was impressed with our "big" fish.

We returned to fishing when Andrew saw another Tilapia in the water. As he had some bread with him, he quickly changed his rig to a small hook with long leader. Tossing out, we waited and went back to chit chats. Suddenly, I saw his limited edition cabelas bending and a fish was definitely on. Guiding it up to the surface, it was indeed the tilapia that we saw. For a tilapia, we were surprised that the fight was quite fiesty with tugs and water splashes. I held on the rod while Andrew again climbed down to land the fish. Crowd by this time had return again, puzzled by this 2 guy with the furry bait.

We decided to keep one fish alive and let ZW have it for his 3 feet tank. The other, we decided to Cnk for the dinner table. I had never eaten a tilapia before. When we arrived at ZW home, we decided to cook it immediately. It was surprisingly good eating and didn't have the muddy taste. Not bad at all. No wonder they do sell tilapias in Sheng Shiong. As it turned out, quite an unexpected outing and an enjoyable evening fishing with Andrew. I was really expecting nothing and results like this is quite pleasant.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

KFC - 18 Pounder Mama Toman

Early this morning, ZW and I woke up during the wee hours to do some lure fishing at the reservoir. This is the golden hour that fishes tend to feed. So depriving ourselves from our warm beds, we gathered our fishing barangs and off we went.

Reaching the ground, it was not yet light as we setup up our rods in the dark. But the day break came around 6.40am and soon we could see fish activities all over. ZW was on his favourite Avis 3 hook lure, and I was using my pink K-ten. After casting for about 20 mins, I got the first hit of a small but fiesty toman that put up one hell of a splashy fight. I released it and went back to luring.

ZW was not hitting anything this time perhaps due to his darker colored lure. Previously, it was able to get quite a number of hits successfully. But this morning, the color perhaps wasn't that conducive for the current lighting.

I went back to casting and in another 15 mins, I got an electrifying take. The thing that got my lure set off with it with the lines peeling off my reel efforlessly on my right. That went on for about 30 secs, till I got worried about running out of lines. But the fish stopped after a while and I managed to start to able to nudge it slowly back to my side. There was some see-sawing of me getting the lines back and then it took off again pulling out what I put back. But eventually, I sensed the fish tiring out and I was able to get the upper hand. I was pretty careful as I was just on a 10lb line on my 8-15lb blackrose. The lure was set pretty well and the fish wasn't able to shake it off.

I was struggling to hold it

From the feel, it was definitely a big one. I quickly called for ZW to get the boga in my back. As I pulled the fish near to the banks, it finally surfaced and did a couple more thrashes. ZW and I were shocked at the size and the broadnest of it's mouth. For a moment, we both thought it was a cat fish. But as soon as we got it on the banks, we could see from the whitish side that it was a mummy toman.

It gulped the whole lure into its mouth

Final pose to show the full extent of the body before releasing it

The fish was exhausted and didn't put up any fight when we were holding it for photos and all. I couldn't hold it properly from the sheer weight and the slippery body. Carefully, I plied open the lure from it's powerful jaws. Good thing I had my boga with me, else it would have been tough to handle it. We then released it back to the water. For a while, it was topsy turvey, but it soon recovered and righted itself and quickly swam away.

My lure after that couldn't swim well anymore. When I examined it at home, I discovered that the toman had punctured it with it's teeth and that water was seeping into the lure internal. No wonder it wasn't able to swim properly after that. Testament to how powerful a bite from a toman is. With this catch, I have set a new record for myself. A day to remember and quite worth the lack of sleep with results like this. :)

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