Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bring Kids Fishing: 8 Useful Tips if you’re bringing them offshore fishing

A happy bunch enjoying their day
What is the best way to introduce fishing to kids in Singapore? Well, you simply bring them fishing! You can teach them the basic fishing lessons and beginniner fishing lessons by simply bringing them fishing.

This June School Holiday I brought some kids out for fishing with Prince of Peace fishing charters in Singapore (Jeff Tsen) which departs from SAF Yacht Club at Sembawang and although it was massively tiring, the trip went really well and everyone had some fun but also picked up some basic light offshore fishing around Pulau Ubin, Seletar and Changi waters. The kids did well!

Contact for the Prince of Peace fishing charters:
+65 9742 8579, Facebook

I won’t be sharing on the narrative of the trip but rather here are some tips that can guide you if you’re planning such trips (if not you can sign them up for some basic fishing courses in Singapore).

1. Seasick

The most important thing to take into consideration for offshore fishing is seasick. Seasick can really take the joy out of a good day’s fishing. Prepare some pills and practical advice (e.g. I brought novomin for the kids and we had “light” breakfast like bread). Remember to also take the monsoon and terrain into consideration. Bringing kids out into a “hardcore” southern island trip isn’t really going to do them favours. Rather, start out with a light offshore fishing trip in sheltered waters like Pulau Ubin, Sembawang, Seletar, Changi etc.

2. Start off with baits and a simple first spot

Kids aren’t going to start off with state of the art fishing techniques and they certainly won’t be “on the ball” when fishing difficult terrain. Whether a spot looks promising won’t matter to them and you want the most effective no brainer methods to get fish on the boat. To do this would be to do some good old baiting. Baiting will enable a larger variety of fish to get hooked and also get them acquainted with fishing in a fun way since bait handling often produces much excitement. Also, work with the captain to establish a few “tester” or check out spots so that the kids get a hang of it before you bring them to the more promising spots.

3. Simple rigs, simple gear, simple instructions

Go simple! Use simple single hooked apollo/paternoster rigs, running sinkers and even sabiki rigs. There is no need to use fancy madai jigs, tenyas and all sorts of complicated rigs. This applies to gears as well – a spinning tackle setup often is the norm here and avoid overhead setups. Instructions should also be very simple and easy language will help kids remember. Use terms like “do you feel the bottom?”, “Is there still bait on the hook?”, “lower down the line”, “strike the rod”… instead of terms like “open the bail arm.”

4. Establish basic safety and ground rules

Basic safety rules are very important when bringing kids out because they will base safety gauges from their first trip. Start them off well! Simple things like sitting down when the boat is moving, bracing for a wave when anchoring and so on must be repeated. Teach them to also identify venomous fish if you catch any and how to remove the hook from fishes. Things like etiquette also apply.

5. Have patience, low expectations and much praises

Kids will be kids so be patient! Keep low expectations too. They may squirm when hooking a bait, they may lose good fish during the fight and maybe even break your gear. As the adult, keep calm, keep the mood up. They won’t instantly fish on the same level as you. Instead, praise them regularly for small things (like hooking a bait, catching a small fish etc.) that may seem very mundane to you.

6. Take many pictures

Memories are priceless. In the past we didn’t have phone cameras but it is different now and you can snap many pictures easily. A kid posing with their first fish is always one that brings back sweet memories.  You get the idea.

7. Have a buddy onboard and a good adult to kid ratio

Don’t think you can do it alone and always bring a buddy with you if you’re bringing a large group of kids. 2 to 3 kids per adult is a good ratio to work with. Also communicate well with your buddy and be good examples to the kids. How fellow fishermen treat each other is something that kids pick up. You should also check if the boatman or charter has experience with bringing kids out. Most should be fine but there are some that only bring experienced fishermen out and may be less suitable.

8. Be adequately equipped

You’ll be surprised at what kids may need (that you don’t). Bring some basic necessities. Plastic bags for keeping fish, rain coats in case of rainy weather, caps for sunny weather and so on. Ensure there is enough water, food on board as well. Kids usually don’t have these things on their minds as the excitement is more on the fishing trip so take note!

Sharing some pictures of our catches below:


Nigel started a Bring Kids Fishing initiative years ago. At Bring Kids Fishing, we believe that parents should be equipped with basic fishing knowledge (so that they can bring their kids fishing!). Currently, the initiatives are being kept to small groups for friends and family as Nigel is busy with family and married life. He hopes that the community as a whole invests more time into bringing kids fishing. That, in his opinion, will be much more powerful than a single person trying.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fishing with Dad on Fish Stalker Fishing Charter Services (Marina South Pier)

It is always a good feeling to go fishing with the family (dad and brother) as we got to spend precious time together. This precious time seems little now that I have a family of my own. The quaint thing about fishing is that we usually don’t need to talk much during the trip but somehow that long pauses of silence and solace would often be peaceful. Much like how most guys spend time together. Just a no frills, no drama day out at sea and being able to soak in all of that is priceless.

In fact, I found out during this trip that this priceless time together did not even need to involve dad catching fish. It seemed that he was contented enough to sit around and spend time with his sons just by being around. Additionally, he was also super proud and happy when both I and my brother caught some good fishes.

Fishing wise wasn’t so good for the baiting folks during this trip. It seemed like the fish avoided live prawns at all cost! In fact, the fishes seemed to like artificial baits during this trip. Light jigs, slow fall jigs and even non-baited madai jigs worked wonders. In fact, there were a few occasions when big groupers took the non-baited madai jig that was at the bottom of the sea (but my rod was in the rod holder and I wasn’t doing anything!).

Contact for the fishing boat:
Fish Stalker Fishing Charter Services
+65 9750 8666, Facebook

Dad was beaming!
6.8kg on the scale
Biao nabbed one on slow fall jigging
The brother caught one too
Taken on 100g kurau jig!
Total catch was decent but full of groupers.

Boring groupers!
Fish stalker's electric cooler was very nice in preserving our catch. No blood or slime soaked icebox!

Video by the captain and put together by me in a quick montage.