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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pop Goes The Weasel

Frankly, I have no idea what the above phrase means. Searching on the internet, it seems to be a term that is vague in meaning, and nobody is sure as well. But I thought it an apt name to title this for my exploration and learning in that luring technique: popping.

For those who are not familiar with fishing terminologies, popping is a technique that involves casting out a floating fish like plastic with a dish like mouth. The lurer (the person fishing) would jerk at it so that the dishy mouth would push against the surface water to make popping splashes, hence the term Popping. Apparently, this is enough to trigger a strike and to get fish! It sounds incredible, but it is a workable technique, and people do get fishes on them.

But personaly since I started luring few years ago, I had never thought that it was effective. As a matter of fact, one of my first lure to buy was a skitter pop after watching a very convincing Rapala video. After a few newbie casts, I thought I had been had and it had been relegated to my shelf of discarded fishing stuff and was never seen again.

However, of late, I started to experiment with Poppers again. Seeing that I had been consistently getting fishes on minnows and flies, I was wondering if it was possible with Poppers. I do know that many folks do use Poppers to target Tomans.

Starting with my Storm Chug Bug, I started to fish only with Poppers on my morning rounds with Pat and ZW. My initial attempts, did see some promising splashes that were after my popper. But for some reason, they missed! However, it was enough for me to pursue the technique and to keep trying.

I got a strong endorsement with we were fishing with YB, and he landed a 3kg Toman on Popper in 10 mins flat. ZW and I were shocked and that fueled me to keep trying and trying.

On a session with Pat, I finally got close in getting one when in the short hour session, I had 6 hits on my popper. 2 of which I was near to landing but unfortunately thrown the hook. 1 grabbed my Popper and disappeared with it into the inky depths.

Stamp of Victory (1st fish for my minipack as well)

1st fish on 3D Popper

KT against the beautiful rising sun

2nd fish on 3D Popper

This morning, on a session with KT, I finally passed my initiation, and managed to land one after losing the first 2 on the run. Seeing the PB thumping on the grass was stamp of victory. I was so successful with my technique now that I went on to land another 2, totalling 3. KT was impressed and he too started popping. And he did manage to get some bites, but was still in a daze when the PB struck and he never strike back. But he is getting there.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carp Fisherman from England

I had an interesting afternoon today. After meeting A at her shop, I decided to take the car to Macritchie for some look see. Since I didn't get any fish this weekend, I was thinking to give it another shot later on at the small space at the legal fishing spot.

Carpark rates

First thing that greeted me when I arrived was that the parking was payable. No more free parking from previously. But ended up when I left, it wasn't too expensive. The first hr was free and staying there for about 2 hours, I only had to pay $0.92.

The dreaded PUB van

PUB very kiasu....everything cannot. Even bring dog cannot. Hmmm, I thot parks are for that kind of purpose?

Of interest also was that there was a PUB van parked right outside. So, don't even think of hanky panky. I had to behave myself.

I had along my mini pack but as the hot was blazing hot, I decided to take a walk on the newly built boardwalk to have a look see at the water. For some reasons, the water these couple of days was rather bad, and it was the same murkiness in the water, just like in LSR this morning.

Just before the path leads away from the water

The trail I was on

2 giant lizards leap into the water for a swim

One of them. They were huge

I didn't see many fishes splashing around and I decided to turn back once I reached the part where the boardwalk ended. On the return route though, I saw 2 large lizards splashing into the water and swimming around in our PUB water. The lizards were huge...easily about 1.5m long! At some point, one of it seem to swim towards me...haha, I had to make sure to have some safety distance in case he thinks that I look yummy. At the usual cove near the kayak area, the tinfoil barbs were still there. But not in that kind of numbers that I saw previously.

Woah, a full setup for a carp fisherman

Just as I was reaching back at the kayaking place, an interesting site greeted me. There was a English man fishing and his setup was an interesting one. I remembered see some pictures in Rod & Line and it was a setup for carp fishing. The amount of gear he had on was staggering and he was on a 9ft pole rod with auto alarm and the kind of tripods that they use. But later on, everything goes into his harvest sack and some carry ons.

As I mentioned to him, mr ranger would be around to ask him to move.

I stood around for a while and then decided to go talk to him. After some initial small talk, I found him a very interesting and nice guy and we got along pretty well. He was doing baiting as it was traditionally the way to catch carps. His rig was very interesting and not something that I know how to do. I told him that actually, he wasn't allowed to fish at that corner. I warned him that the Rangers are pretty active here and he would be approached by one of them soon. Someone else was beside him and doing some luring. True to my words, within 15 mins, Mr Ranger appeared. But he was nice and only told Steve (his name) to move. The other lurer was given the same treatment.

Steve then moved to the legal area. But to get to the water, he had to go down on the slope. But being on the slope, fishing was pretty difficult for him. Earlier on I was telling him that LPR might be a better location for him. Just then, he asked me for the direction to LPR so that he could try there. As I didn't have much to do, I said why don't I give him a lift there. He didn't drive, so he was grateful for my help.

Reaching there, after he setup, we bade our goodbyes. But surely, we will be in touch with him. As it turned out, he worked pretty near my place and suggested that we could meet for lunch. I said sure. I promised to take him to do some boat and kelong fishing in the future. Perhaps, I could also convert him into a lurer. :)

LPR Yabby fishing

At LPR today, there were plenty of people trying to catch Yabbies. But when I looked into some of the pails, nope, I didn't see any.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mine's a Daiwa

Itchy fingers...decided to get a proper rod that can fit entirely into my bag. My last purchase wasn't quite right and I had to have the rod tube sticking out.

Was looking at the all the cheapo rods $15 -$50...and didn't like it as most of the guide quality is really terok. I don't want the guides to damage my braided lines which I use exclusively.

Was at Changi Village, Riverland, and saw this rod. At first ask the shop people for telescopic with SIC guide but it was an impossible specs. The only ones that come with SIC is the surf leader (which I have). And then, my eyes saw this hanging on top of the counter. They said, Oh...that one not SIC guides...but fuji guides. Figuring this is better than nothing, I tested it and found it to my liking. Most Telescopic rods are too thick for me to like, but this one, it is bearable. Surprisingly, the specs is for 15-25lbs. The length is shorter and I can put the entire thing into my bag.

The price was $70+ (I don't want to reveal the actual amount, in case the shops will change it)....after all their magical discount. I tried to bargain but they said their profit margin is very low for Daiwa stuff.

Firguring that I would use this alot, I think it is fair to bite the bullet. After all, over time, the cost of each use is very low.

Can't wait to wet it.

Pardon the messy table

The specs in Japanese

Sword out of the casing

Decent guides. I think Fuji hardloy

For counter weights

White top section for visibility

Fits into my bag for Ninja mission

Nice soft bag too

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fishing Bay Resort

This was just an impromptu trip up to Mersing, to check out a resort known as fishing bay resort. As Pat had worked the night shift, we only set off towards it around 2pm. But Mersing wasn't particulary far away and was reachable within slightly more than 2 hours.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year Fishing

Kok kok head for the year

Fishing for us started fairly well for the new year. KT was free to join me for a recce on the first morning of the year. But the night before, we had a countdown at the Asian Civilisation Museum and by the time I hit the bed, it was already pretty late. But through some superhuman effort, I managed to wake up in time. To my surprise, KT brought along a friend who was a newbie in fishing. The fishing this morning was not the easy type and probably fall into the "hardcore" category. But friend was the sporty and cheerful type and gamely tagged along the morning reverie and trying his hands at fishing. His company did indeed cheered up the first day of the year.

As this was a new place, I wasn't quite sure where the exact location was. But we tried a few openings in the tall lalangs and managed to find a spot that was fishable. We were in our slippers and boy, did it got muddy. The fishing was also tough due to the terrain as there was some thick weedy growth in front of us before reaching the water. That meant that our lures would get snagged if we were not careful on the way up. I got a good strike a short while later but fish managed to
get away. Time was wasted as we had to retie a few times due to snagged lines. KT and friend wasn't doing well either and didn't even managed to get any strikes. But I was lucky to finally land one. Although a small one, this one was special as it had a Kok kok (a lump) head. First I ever caught. Unfortunately for KT and friend, they got nothing this time.

2 locals doing fishing, fly fishing style

While we were there, 2 groups came around. The first group consisted of 2 locals who went further down the banks, and to my amusement, waded into the water up to their waist level. They were doing luring and did have some catches. The second group turned out to be Alan buddies who frequent this area. Though I tried to chit chat with them, they were generally not that talkative, perhaps since we were encroaching on their regular fishing hole. But from their info, we realized that there was another place further up to do the fishing. Turned out that it was more comfy place.

One of the bags of fishes

But we saw the Thai workers on their bicycles hurling up bags of fishes that they had caught the night before. It was certainly alot alot of fishes.

Beautiful moon blessing ZW on his first catch

The second day, I took ZW to try out the place. Being a Sat, it was surprisingly quiet today. All the while we were there, there were no one else, not even the thai workers. That morning, it was productive. ZW quickly got his first catch for the day under the moonlit morning. And after that, we proceeded to have quite alot of fun catching PBs one after another. Although they were small, the PBs here do put up a good fight. I was having my fill of PBs and I decided to switch to lure to see if hard body lures were any better. Indeed it was and on my first cast, I was already catching one.

Beautiful tranquil waters (can't believe Singapore got such places)

Final moments before the leader broke

A few more cast later, I got a bite and hookup. At first, I thought it was a small one. But when my line suddenly started spooling out, we realized that I had a monster on my other end. The fish see-sawed with me for awhile as I tried to tire it out. But as it run from the left to the right, I could see that it was far from being tired. There was one moment that I almost caught a glimpse of it as my leader was already showing out from the water. But before I could do that, it ran again and this time shot to the right. It ran a few more times and I gingerly tried to hold on. But a sudden surge in force was too much for my 6lb leader to hold and it broke and took along with it my xrap. ZW mangaed to take some shots of the action but it was a waste that we couldn't ID the fellow. But from the fight, it felt like a big

Anyway, fair is fair. The fish won this round. But I wished that I was able to have removed the lure as having it sticking in the mouth would probably be a death blow for it. After that, the sun came up and it got pretty hot. The fishes also all dispersed and and disappeared. But the fishing was enough and it certainly was a blessed start to the new year. A kick start for the all the good fishing to come.