Search Blog

ultimate translation selector

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ho Yee See (South China Sea Deep Sea Fishing)

This boat trip was planned as far back as last year. ZW had a colleague (Kenneth) who went on a trip with his fishing friends last year and even got himself some big catches despite being a fishing noobie. Seeing all his photos, we were all salivating and decided to book ourselves for the next trip.

So it was planned initially to do a 3D2N one. But at the last minute, they decided to head out to sea in the night so as to catch the morning there to start doing some fishing. Therefore, the entire trip turned out to be a 3D3N one. An exhausting experience but nevertheless, a first for me and ZW.

We all met up with the rest of the gang at Ponggol Marina. It seemed that for this trip, the departure was directly from Singapore itself. Along the way, we would clear custom in the sea! Fortunately, the parking wasn't expensive at $3+ per day. The gang comprises of Jimmy, Kenneth, Ah Chwee, Ah Oar, Patrick, Frankie, Sze Min, Siew, Ah Peng, ZW and I. All of them were veterans in this kind of fishing except for ZW and myself. Gears wise, all have super duper tackles from outer space. There was even 2 of those COMMAND motorized fishing reels that looks like it has a super fishy CPU built-in. To fish, all you need to do is to push some buttons.

After exchanging greetings, we started out on the way. As mentioned, we had to clear the custom at the border of Singapore sealine. However the procedure was not as simple as some would think. After radioing the custom from ICA, the boat couldn't do anything but to wait. And that night, it was an hour wait just to have the guys in blue come over to have a look at our faces. We had to line up along the boat to be counted like some refugees. But soon it was done, and we were all on the way to the fishing area which was about 3 hours away. Given that our boat was a fast one, 3 hours should bring us about 150km away from Singapore. (my guesstimate)

When we arrived, we all started to do squidding as the first spot was a squidding spot. I tried some bottom fishing but the bait just got eaten away by small fishes. ZW was successful in squidding and managed to land about 3 of them in a short time. A couple more were landed by the others before we head to the bottom fishing spot proper.

Arriving at the first spot, the fishing wasn't too good. Soon morning broke, and we basically went about collecting bait fishes for use later on. After the morning activity, we were all dead tired and decided to sleep till evening to continue the fishing. The other veterans continued to fish like hell and there were some decent catches here and there, but nothing very outstanding.

ZW and I woke up around 5pm and started to fish the evening into the night. I got lucky and managed to score a nice grouper to start off. Later in the evening, the captain brought us to a very productive spot that produced many bigger catches. I got a huge bite and fought a fish for a while until I realized that it wasn't mine. Our lines had all got entangled and it was a very good sized Ray Shark belonging to Siew (guesstimate 12 kg). I have another bite later and again our lines all got messed up. Halfway, I took up my line to unravel and thought that the fish was someone's else. And then it turned out to be mine. But it was landed by Chwee (I think). The Corbia was boga at 5kg. ZW wasn't doing too well and didn't managed to land anything the 2nd night. Around 2am, we went off to sleep for a while and woke around 6am to continue fishing.

The 2nd morning, Patrick's command reel suddenly "sang" and line was spewing out in a long continuous stretch. That indicated that someone big was at the end of the line. Something very big. The machine went on for about a couple of minutes, and finally when the fish surfaced, we were all stumped by the sheer size of it. It was a humongous "Chinaman", a fish that looked like a red snapper. When we weighed it, it was an astounding 12kg. That certainly sealed it as the catch of the trip.

Jimmy was on handline for the entire trip and it was amusing to see someone coming to a boat trip like this using such a primitive method to catch a fish. But he certainly showed his mettle, and managed to land quite 7-8 of Orh Kah Hiah of various size (Big eye trevally). That morning, he also landed a huge Ang Cho (red snapper). It was a good fight and the line even got pulled out with his human drag. He was such a contrast with Patrick who was more high tech on his COMMAND reel which cost about $1300.

Then mr sun got really hot and ZW and I decided to sleep it off and prepare for the fishing later on in the evening. We woke around 5pm and went out to have a look see. Even at 5pm, the sun was still stinging our skins and I got slightly sunburnt around the knees as I was wearing shorts.

The 3rd night, ZW luck came back to him and he started to score his big catches, breaking his all time record. First good catch was a fiesty 4kg Bat Fish that fought till the very end. It looked small but when it was boga-ed, it weight a hefty 4kg. That was a great start for him. After that, he went on to get a "Bullet" (some kind of trevally) and then a 2.5kg Kaci (Sweetlips). Lucky for him, the 3rd night was the sweet spot.

Late into the night, Peng got a record Stingray. He couldn't manage it and had to get the professional fisherman Chwee to reel it back in. As it neared the boat, we could see that it was huge. Expert said that it was in excess of 50kg. They decided not to land it and cut the line.

I was thinking that we would fish till next moring 9-10 and when we woke up to catch the morning fishing at 5am, we were trying to do some last fishing before we packed. The morning spot was one with very strong current and my sinker would hit the bottom and started rolling away from the boat. Initially I thought I couldn't hit the bottom and left off the line till it was flying away in the current. But Or told me that the place was actually shallow and I should just stop when I hit the first bounce. Arh...something I learnt this trip.

Or landed a nice Ang Cho that morning. After that while we were all trying, we were told suddenly that that was it, and we need to all pack. Ah! And I was hoping for a last minute good catch to round off the trip. So grudgingly, I packed. After that, it was back to the bed and sleep off the distance while the boat head back towards motherland. Again at the border, we had to check ourselves into Singapore again. But this time, there was a "queue" at the ICA area and the wait was longer. Very much longer. It took 2 hours for the ICA boat to come around and yet again, we had to line up to be counted and checked.

Once that was done, it was another half hour from there till the Marina. From there, it was a back breaking task of carrying our heavy icebox of catches under the baking sun.

A great trip overall, although ZW and I didn't do very well in the big fish department. However, we did have some taste of how deep fishing is like and gained many good experience. And all manners of creature comfort is possible on this boat. Not a bad experience and certainly one to treasure for time to come.

Woot, the boat certainly looked high end

Bunks like hotel room (air con!)

The gang of experts fisherman

It looked like more like an apartment than a boat

Toilet is decent, although small

But a tad small though. Bathing is a challenging effort

Heavy duty sinkers that we used for the trip

ZW was the sotong king of the trip

3 by him

My first morning on the South China Sea

Simplest meal for the trip. The overall food was pretty good

Some small catches as a warm-up. We were catching bait fishes to fill the well

Got filled up pretty fast

The name of this boat: Seven Seas Conqueress

Jimmy on his handline

Peng landed an Ang Cho

My Monster Mesh and Tyrnos put to the battlefield.

Alamak, come here to land catfish! I too landed one :(

Only this kind of Sabiki can work

My first decent catch. A LengChiam (Emperor)

Ooh. Lunch is looking good

Eat and think about the next big one

Strings of groupers (grouper spot)

ZW landed one too

Wah, someone nich Ang Cho (Snapper)

The $1300 COMMAND reel

It needs an external battery pack to make it run

Rare pic of me

Hey, your rod is moving! (I lost the catch, the line at the hook broke)

I learnt this way of using a dead fish bait and slicing it up.I got the big grouper on this

Woot. A good size grouper

Good size sting ray

I fought this halfway and found that it wasn't mine

Gaffed up on the boat

Landed! A Shovel nosed shark

A cobia. At the time of the photo, I didn't know it was mine

A good size one

Oh? It's mine? Wah, 5kg

A flying fish

More Cobias

Jimmy's one of his numerous Orh Kar

A small grouper

2nd Morning

Patrick kept shouting Ho Yee See, Ho Yee See! (haha, means, let it die, let it die)

Wow, 12kg on the scale

Patrick was elated!

First time I see a live Chinaman

He caught a chicken fish shortly

Kenneth with his grouper

Jimmy on his biggest catch of the trip

Come to daddy

Wow, an Ang Kuay! (Red snapper)

Chwee the pro fighting a good catch...


Slow exposure for this mood picture

Even boat got side mirrors

ZW's time has come

Woot woot, a 4kg Batfish

A good size "Bullet"

The huge stingray. It was released

This "Bullet" was a big one

We went to the nearby SCS Macdonald branch for fries

Another one for ZW

Good size Kaci

It was full moon

I rigged this "contraption" for my last attempt. But the boat kept moving...

Last Ang Cho by Or

Splitting the harvest

The ICA boat. The process is damn slow

Home sweet home


Anonymous said...


Do you have the number to book Seven Seas Conqueress?

nafishnafish said...

Write to me at My friend organise it and I need to see if I have his contact.

rift platinum said...

nice blog! I like it!

rift platinum said...

thanks for the useful info. I appreciate it.

rift power leveling said...

Thats a very nice info. Thank you for sharing it!