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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chermin Fever On Ah Fong Boat

Just few days back, I got a message from Salleh asking if I would like to join them for a boat trip this Sat. I had fished with him some time back, and that was where I got to meet Patrick and people like DesT and Nimo from FK. Salleh himself is an easy-going fatherly person. A pleasant fishing companion. For the past few times that he invited me, I had turned it down as they mainly fish only on Ah Fong's Boat due to the block booking system. But this time, I thought it was good to catch up again and meet a friend.

Just yesterday, it rained dogs and cats. And even on the morning itself, it was raining relentlessly. I woke up rather late and had to rush to catch a cab in the rain to make my way to CV. But reaching there, the rain miraclously stopped.

My Black Rose - Changi Fishing Light Boat Tackle

And we indeed had very pleasant and cool weather for the entire trip. We had all thought that this time round, the fishing should be quite bad as the water was quite cold due to all the rain since yesterday. To our surprise, it wasn't true.

Ah Fong netting the catch

Jeff was the first to hit

Ah Fong a member of FishingNewsRoom?

Ah Fong for this trip, took us out from the usual route around Ubin/Tekong and headed for the deeper waters near Changi Naval Base. Along the way, we made a first stop at a Chermin spot. I hadn't ever caught any Chermin for all the boat trips that I had made before, so I wasn't too hopeful. But Jeff was the first to hit on a good size Chermin and that woke up everyone to full battle alert.

My First for the day

2nd Chermin

3rd Chermin. Smallest but fought the hardest

Then I got lucky and hit the 2nd Chermin. Ah Fong with his skilled hands got about 3 chermins, while I totaled 3 chermins too. And all these at around 10am! I landed another small grouper. For this spot, the current wasn't strong and the water wasn't too deep. With my light tackle, I had an advantage over the rest with their heavier gears with my sensitivity. Those 3 chermins really put up a jolly good fight on my Black Rose.

Jerry's ACK that broke his zero

Jeff's nice ACK that was fouled hook. (Prawn in mouth, but hook on body)

Joseph's catches

Salleh's two Groupers

But luck for me changed and improved for the others when they moved on to the next spot. At the new location, the water was very deep so much so that I ran out of braided lines and went into my backing mono. And due to the strong current, I couldn't bring my bait down to the bottom with a size 2 weight. I tried putting heavier weights at Ah Fong instructions but my rod was bending too much to be of much use. Even keeping the lines to check on the prawns took a hell lot of effort. I gave up the idea and didn't fish seriously. After all, I had already gotten pretty good results within the first two hours, so there wasn't any stress to get any more fishes.

The entire afternoon, they stayed at the spot. Those with heavier tackles did manage got get some ACK and some groupers. Jeff landed a beautiful Parrot. Jerry had a good catch of a small KBL.

Big Grouper!

Around 2pm, I too got lucky when I was reeling up my line. My reel suddenly went "zzzzzzzippp" out and I was stumped for the moment. Did I hit a rock? But the boat was moving too slow for the lines to pull out so strongly. The others all cried out and said it's a fish and shouted for me to start pumping. Coming out of my stupor, I began to gain control on the runaway fish. But the water was deep and getting the fish up took a rather long way and a lot of my strength. It did multiple runs on the entire way up. When it finally surfaced, I was shocked to see a Grouper. The way the fish fought and see sawing with me on the way up, it wasn't like any Groupers that I had caught before. And the initial run, it should have slammed itself into a rock and snag my lines. My guess was that when I was keeping my lines, the bait itself was already some distance from the bottom and therefore, it couldn't reach the safe haven of the rocky bottom.

The Grouper looked about 2kg to me, and when I returned home and boga it, it was indeed about 2.1kg. It should weigh a little more when it was fresh out of the sea with the water content in the body.

On the way back, we visited the Chermin spot again. But this time, they were not around anymore. We fished till around 5pm and then made our way back.

Total catch

All in all, a very surprising trip for me. I never expected to have such good catches in our local waters. But I guess, it still hold some surprises from time to time. If only I had a heavier rod for the deeper waters. A lesson learnt never to underestimate the fishing that might be possible here.

Strangely, it started to rain again at about 6pm. It was amazing how we managed to stay dry for the fishing period during this rainy season. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pontian Again

This is my 3rd visit here. So far, the fishing hasn't been that great, but there had been a few surprises. The original plan was to go Sibu but due to some constraints, we decided to head for a day trip instead. Pontian Kelong was just right and since most haven't been there, it was worth a trip there again.

We met up early that morning and headed down to Kukup for breakfast. After that, it was a quick tour of Kukup for some tidbits shopping. From there, it was about half hour to the Jetty. As we wanted to try out the fishing with some live prawns, Eric and I headed to the nearby fishing pond at Parit Sikom to buy some live prawns. It was quite expensive here at RM1 per piece.

TC and Friend finally arrived after being lost on the way. We touched down at the Kelong at around 11am, on the up-coming tide. Everyone was quite impressed that the Kelong was quite big and well designed for fishing.

TC lucky catch of a small Kurau

Just within 5 minutes, TC had a catch of a Kurau on his smelly prawn meat. Not bad a catch and that fueled us with high expectations for this trip. But the fishing from then didn't improve. Andrew's rod did have quite a number of ringing strikes but the fish always got away.

KT preparing hammock for afternoon siesta

The half-beaks were out here again in big numbers. I tried my luck to see if I could get one on a tiny Altima spoon. It wasn't easy but I finally managed one. But the fellow slipped away before I could take a picture. We saw a large todak (should be a metre in length) circling the Kelong, but it was smart and didn't want to take our offerings of live bait, even when right in front of him.

Z first half-beak

Z first Queen

Lucky Flounder on live prawns

Bait fishes were sparse but it was fairly easy to get them after some tries. Zu got her first half-beak, and later on, got her first Queenie. The bait fishes seemed to come out in numbers during the late afternoon and the guys had some fun filling up the pail with them. I had a lucky fish of a flounder on live prawn. An unusual catch at a Kelong.

Lau's string of catch

Just as we were about to leave the place, the baitfishes came in numbers. To my surprise, there were plenty of juvenile Queens that were being caught. Andrew's rod had a strong take that saw his stiff rod bending a U. But alas, today wasn't his day and the fish got away again. From the bend, it must have been a fairly good sized fellow.

On the way back, we headed for Permas for a good johor style street food for dinner and after that, visited FishingLine for some tackle shopping. As expected, the causeway wasn't that jammed and we arrived home at quite an early time of about 10pm or so.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

LSR Little Friend

A structure is being built on the left side of LSR

I was back at LSR this evening for a short session. This is the place where it all started for me. It has been a while since I have come here since D didn't have to go for swimming anymore. Wifey wanted to eat Chong Pang Nasi Lemak and we were too early. So I went there to try my luck to see if I can get a small one for my aquarium. My last attempt was thwarted by mr blue man, and I had to release it back.

My little LSR friend

Reached there, a friendly face came from my back and said "hello uncle". I turned around and it was that little boy that is like there every weekend. The last time, he wanted to buy "cloth string" from me? I was like "huh?" How much you need, can take from me, no need to buy. Today, he looked at my things and asked me what I am using. I showed him the char bee hoon fly. He said why I didn't bring cat fish. O_o....haha. This boy is a trained baiter. His rod was rigged to a float with two large hooks. Probably targetting toman. I asked him got fish or not, he didn't reply. I asked if he needed anything and told him to feel free to take from whatever I have. Very cute and well mannered boy. Next time, must take a proper picture with him.

My precious

Char Bee Hoon Fly

I went on to try spin flying. Water was fairly clear, but it was pretty sterile. Cannot see any fishes, big or even tiny ones. I covered every angle and cast out scanning the water around. Just as I was about to give up, a tiny fellow took my fly and vibrated my line. I quickly lifted it up and tried to fling it over to the grass patch. But it fell short and hit the rocks. Ouch. Luckily it wasn't badly hurt and I managed to put it into my pail and filled it with water. After that, went back to the water and hit another one. This time a little bigger. But it's thrashing got it off the hook and it escaped. But the one that I have was enough.

After that, packed up and went for yum yum Nasi Lemak.

When there is something strange, in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are We At Changi Boardwalk?

Asked the spunky P2. In fact, we were just there minutes ago but his mind was affixed with D's PSP that everything other thing else was just a blur. We had planned to do some squidding and met up at Changi Boardwalk. But upon reaching there, the water was dreadfully low that any fishing was dead impossible. We decided then to detour for FW3 to just do some quick fishing for an hour.

The fishing was just $10 for an hour at the C&R pond. It was KT's first time there and it would be good experience for him to get something bigger than the usual PB. Andrew and I were quite surprised that he wanted to lure instead of the customary baiting over here. But that turned out to be a good decision.

Luring is allowed but with single debarbed hooks. He had with him some spoons that were armed with single hooks, so it was all right. We quickly setup to make full use of the hour. The children had a good time over there continuing feeding their pet animals on the PSP.

For us baiting, the action was rather slow. Andrew had some small bites but got away. About half hour into the fishing, we heard a reel sing beside us and it was kt's. Amazingly, he had a fish and it was a mightly strong one. Seeing his expression, he was thoroughly enjoying it.

The fish was landed with the help of one of the worker. Fish was foul hooked at the tail end. He said, "not cat, not patin", but good fish. He wanted to have the picture to display on the wall. But I was on my camera and couldn't bluetooth to him.

The silver green spoon was the one

After that, KT got another one but lost it on it's way back. Andrew got a strike just minutes before we packed. It was a small cat, but it gave a very fiesty fight on his very light celebas tackle.

Very quickly, the hour was up. Not bad for just a short session, and a good first for KT, the tireless lurer.

Monday, October 05, 2009

We Got Caught

Well, I had been thinking to post this or not...but my principle in life, the good, will take it, the bad, will also take it. Part of living a life worth living is to take living to the edge, and challenge boundaries. But of cos, I am not talking about bungee jumping or doing prison break or diving out of a plane. I am probably too old for that, and will get a heart attack if I try. Yet, life is meant to be lived, and never try, never know.

Some lot of us have been doing fishing that is considered less than legal in the eyes of the law. Sadly, in Singapore, places with fishes are always out of bounds. Well, but we have been careful to adhere to the principle of the rules that we are breaking. The purpose of the ruling was to ensure that our water is free from litter and to preserve our aquatic heritage. From what we had seen, the rules are there for a good purpose. We had come across many places that had been littered by inconsiderate baiters with rubbish and lunchboxes, as well as nets and fishing tackles. We also have seen people that harvest the fishes in our reservoir so much so that the water gets depleted of life. For what it is worth, we have been careful in the aspects of maintaining the lifestock and keeping the places clean. And also not to disturb other park users as well.

But yet for some strange reason, people are allowed to bait freely in the legal spot. Well, aren't they all breaking the law too? Somehow, there is a double standard here. I have been to LSR some early mornings and found the entire jetty filled with lines and rods and catches from the night from baiting. At kranji (a legal spot), it can be so full of baiters that I couldn't even find a place to cast. And sometimes cross their lines, they have the cheek to frown on me. :O

Unfortunately, some of us got caught on Sunday while fishing at LPR by a sting operation. I should have recognised the people in blue as they came in noisily from the legal side. But I was telling myself, hmm, they can't be that early. But to cut a long story short, we were surrounded CID style...and was approached by a guy holding up his badge and we were asked to surrender our ICs. They even asked me if I am Singaporean!? Well, I probably looked like a terrorist since I didn't shave that morning. No negotiation is allowed until we gave our ICs to the rangers. Although they soften after we did that and tried to reason with them, I don't think we will be let off easily. We are now expecting a letter from our PUB this few days. Somehow this compared to a speeding ticket, has a more serious tone to it. Like feeding monkeys, I guess. Apparently, someone has tipped off the rangers and complained about us. We were shown an SMS from the public about our illegal fishing activity.

I think our mood has been quite affected by this happening. Sometimes, I wonder if they are catching the right people? For us who enjoy the sport and are matured enough to preserve our environment, we get caught and got treated like criminals. While people are freely throwing out baits into our clean water and littering the legal spots all over. Even at the illegal spots, there are plenty of illegal fisherman that harms the environment and the water by fishing from floating platforms and bringing back all their catches. I mean, what are the people on the floating platform collecting weeds doing!? While they have not broken any rule, they are destroying the habitat and dirtying the water.

I thought I need to let this out, and not wallow in the inevitable. In my conscious, while I know that we have broken the law but have done so knowing that we did not harm anything. Tell me, don't we break the law everyday? Jay walking, illegal parking, speeding (don't speed 100km/h how to overtake???), illegal car mod, pirate DVD etc etc...The thing is, while the law is meant for the good of the people, it cannot cover all instances for everyone. But Singaporeans tend to be very obedient after years of living under PAP rule that we usually are scared to voice out and challenge boundaries.

End of the day, it is just a probably just a fine for a small offence. But maybe I will need to do a jail break if I got sent to jail....haha. Watch out for the next episode. :))