Friday, October 15, 2010

Yearly Pilgrimage, Yearly Poison

The streaks of silver blue sails cutting through the water edge…
The wild sashay of the mighty sailfish while it danced on water’s edge…
The feral twitches of its feral snout while it hanged in the currents…

The memories were still so etched in my timid angler’s heart and were still part of my dreams even a year after my memorable trip for the not so elusive but majestic sailfish. I simply had to go again no matter what. I did go again with some good ol’ fishing buddies of mine. Armed with some London Choco Roll and Pokka Sour Plum Green Tea, we went fishing.

We had a jolly good ride up the land of boleh on a quiet Friday midnight while the slight drizzle beat away at the car. We rolled along the way until we reached our destination. We took some time in finding our Captain’s modern kampong which we would be spending the two nights.

I was the earliest to hear the call of the kampong chickens as they roust me up of my short sleep. Off I went doodling with my tackle bag and fitting everything all over again. One by one the little army arose from their sleep and sauntered down the stairs. The body was tired but the soul restless. It will be a good day I told myself…

We rolled out for a quick breakfast of wanton mee and got our lunch from a kueh kueh stall. We loaded up with our lunches and tackle slowly but with purpose. Hey, the drizzle had cleared… look at the sun!

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Some of us were weary of being burnt...!
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We went out to the Unjams(F.A.D) to get baitfish and they were plentiful enough. A good array of Tamban, Kembong, Ngeh Buey, Selar, Kunning were in our bait well! The squid were hiding though!

The hot sun washed away our fears and with live baitfish, it made the job so much easier. But doom and gloom were cast upon us. The first 3 sailfish hook ups went by without a picture! The first one was hooked up by me via live bait but managed to throw the hook. The second managed to burst 30lbs power pro line and the third had its organs hanging out and thus was released without a shoot.

Oh yes, the sail army was gloomy. It's always like this when you're not gotten that magical photo. The stress will be there. The stress of doing the seemingly impossible. After all, getting the sail fish is one of the holy grails of fishing. I didn't forget my moment of glory last year and suddenly i felt like a small child again cradling his favourite toy again.

As it approached the afternoon, we were floating. The sails were finally settling hard and fast on us. Double, Triple, Quad hookups were common. The sail army danced around the boat singing their lovely tunes of orgasm. There is no question that no matter how many times you fought the sail, the feeling never goes away. Every dance is different and special. That was how it went...

20 over misses and 10 over landed until lunch time was all that happened. I can't say much because it's simply indescribable. Some call it chaos, some call it happy problems and some call it lust. I call it happy times. I even managed to do a first... get a double digit Queen on my setup... A real peach among the strawberries.

So let the photos roll...
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The clear blue skies, the calm ocean and popping... What more could an angler ask for?
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A peek at happy times...



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We forgot about the sails after lunch and went to visit the Unjams again for abit of Squid fishing. The lads were getting good squids and filling up the bucket fast.
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Some were jigging for baitfish and we got quite a few nice small trevally on our sabiki. I let down a huge tamban which was around 8 inches. Something took it on a bottom rig finished with a size 5/0 circle hook. Can anyone guess the culprit?

It's the biggest emperor for me... another first.
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Then, another first happened for me... Fighting a Tongkol or Bonito on light tackle with Sabiki... The sweet bursts...
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Sotong Bait filled!
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The deckie began cleaning and gutting all our squid and i thought well that's nice of him but it seems the captain and him had ideas!

Nigel: "Can we go back... We're tired..."

Captain: "You sure you so fast wanna go back... let's fish la..."

We proceeded to a rather murky water area and fastened ourselves to an Unjam. Well, it reminded me of Changi Offshore.

Ricky kept telling us not to put down our baits first and he hook out his heavy tackle which consisted of a big drum and a rod which looked mean. I had my suspicious ready now. I had seen murkey waters at Pekan before... and i had seen photos of the fish that lurked in these waters.

And then he hooked up a squid gut and let it down.

The next few moments were shocking. Upon his bait reaching the bottom, he got a take and his rod loaded evenly. The big drum of a reel was letting out line! Everyone saw him struggle with the beast. He went from the middle of the boat to the front in no time and the fish went round the Unjam! By now, the troopers were getting ready their ammo out and hooking up squid guts!

Ricky shouted "100lb leader no less! Big hook Big hook!"

The sheer adrenaline that went through us was heart pounding. Ricky got down his bait again and had another take. This time, it was a double hook up. His deckie at the front had hooked something up but it was swimming fast up whereas Ricky's was diving down.

Ricky's fish was diving towards the Unjam again while deckie's fish was running up towards the back. The deckie's fish surfaced and i saw a mother load of a Cobia. It dashed around but no harm done... It was gaffed before it could cause further problems.

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Ricky was still fighting with the beast directly above the Unjam until we saw his sigh of frustration again.

And then... he told us what fish he was aiming for. My suspicion was right... It was none other than the Jewfish!

My first Jewfish fishing encounter was limited though i learnt alot. I had a few takes but was not experienced enough to set the hook. Jewfish eat lightly and it could be just mouthing your bait. When they run with it, be quick and strike! The fish ran away with my bait a few times... They were Jewfish as when i retrieved my line back i could see faint cuts on my leader which Ricky said were the Jewfishes gill brushing against my line.

We had to go back after that as it was late but Ricky let us know we would be back again the next day. It was fresh seafood dinner that awaited us later... fresh from the sea... yum...

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A torrential downpour ensued after dinner and lasted the whole night. Strangely, Ricky said it would bring better fishing the next day... I somehow believed him. Well, he was right. Baitfish were raring to go the next day and we somehow got stuck in catching sails again only this time it was different... The sails were wide awake in the morning and i took out a popper... with a jigging rod!

It was a 30g Black Chug bug with stock hooks. I casted out...

"Pop... Pop..."

And the black sail took my popper under the water and dashed off!! A take on my first cast?!

I did the Japanese setting of hook multiple times to ensure that the hooks went in... I wasn't even worried that the Chug Bug stock hooks might just open. It was all fate this time...

Well, Weiyee got excited and came to pop beside me. And on his first cast, he too got a take! But it was only a few seconds fight as the fish threw his popper. After a very nervous battle, i landed my first sail on popper. It's time to invest on a light popping setup...

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The sails were in full frenzy and everyone got their fair share... even the deckie and the captain! I had many more takes and fought another sail on popper until the hook came off. The sails were so aggresive that they were taking my popper even just below the boat!



Lunch still came though and we settled at the unjams again...
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We had another try at Tongkol jigging with Sabiki at the Unjam too...
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And once we had enough squid guts, we headed back to the land of the jews... The current had not changed direction yet and i did another first... i jigged up an arrow head squid from Sabiki! I released my sotong jig after that and got us a few live arrow head to use.

There was another boat that followed us and did the same. They were using light jigging tackle. I thought they wouldn't stand a chance and i was right. They had a double hookup soon after that and their whole boat was dragged by the fishes towards the Unjam! Well i don't need to elaborate after that right? It was getting late and we only landed a few Cudas before heading back for our final mission...

Photo taking with the fishes!
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We had dinner at Rompin Seafood Restaurant later...
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End of a rushed CR written at 2am... Well, it's out!

12 comments:

Fish Whisperer said...

Great report. Looks like you guys had a great time with great fish. Well done.
Tight lines

Paddy Pike said...

Great reporting with some really happy faces, But in picture 14 did the rod go over board, As it looks as though it is just balancing over the back of the boat by the reel,
Top report Nigel,
All the best,
,,,Paddy,,,

Gan said...

Wah, the catch not bad leh. how much for 1 person. Time to stock up on tackle for next year sail fish.

Nigel said...

Thanks guys for the well wishes.

Paddy, theres someone with the rod there...his leg is extended.. :D

Gan... are u hontian? This trip we spent 600rm ea :)

Paddy Pike said...

Glad the rod and reel were not lost to the sea, Great fish in the same picture, Is the Sticky Sotong a squid, They are bigger than our octopuss,
Have a great weekend,
,,,Paddy,,,

Gan said...

Me hon tian lah...Haha! My hands super itchy. After i finish my sch in 2 more term, will be time to go fishing again. next yrs rompin count me in!!!

Gan said...

btw, how much u get for the Calstar custom GF600XL 10-25lbs?

Nigel said...

i dun like rompin one lah i prefer Pekan hahaha next year i also cant wait. I got it 2nd hand at $280 full titanium guides.

Gan said...

good deal leh, for $280. but how's the rod when u use with sail? i still thinking to get spinning or multi for the rod.

Nigel said...

I just saw one selling at 180 hahaha. The rod is great for the sails paired with a 197. But for first timer u might wanna consider heavier tackle. hehe... best if bot spinning and multi! hehe

Gan said...

haha. i also want both but pocket don't allow. wait i want to buy then ask u again. see your video i posion deep deep...LOL!

Nigel said...

Sure thing (:

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