Thursday, September 30, 2010

Killing Some Itchy

I went to Pasir Ris Farmway 3 Catch and Release Freshwater Pond to kill some itch last week. It's just beside Ed's pond. I was surprised with the change there. There is another pump and it is making the water current more complex. The pond is like a great washing machine now. It also kind of changed where the fish were hiding! I was only armed with Chicken Liver but another guy with dead baitfish seemed to be hitting a good amount of kims near the prawning pond side.

I hooked up a red tail cat on fly and fought it for around 20 minutes but it gave me no chance... dashed into the wooden stakes near the side and cut me off... I tried everything...

The day was saved by a huge Patin which came to visit my floater rig... It's my biggest Patin there... Cheers!

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Happy weekends ahead!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A New Experience! Part 2

Continued from
http://baktao.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-experience.html

Alan's CR
http://acfishing.blogspot.com/2010/09/kong-kong-river.html

As we sat around and gave ourselves empty looks, we wondered about the next spot. Our air of sanguinity was gone.

We were brought up into the hunt again with what we saw next. An air of shock passed over us when we went literally into the spot. It was a place that one would appreciate instantly. Thoughts of Giant Grouper and Threadfin Salmon crossed my mind. Concrete pillars all around us and the waves crashing against them. The sun was washed out of the pictures and we were grateful for once!

Alan was still being pessimistic though… 
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As was I! Or was I?
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Come on baby!
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Tough luck… the fish weren’t happy it seems! Alan gave up after awhile as Weiyee and me found cheap thrill in using mashed fish meat as bait for the Gelamas(Croakers). We amassed a number of them.

Alan using his Golden Pillow
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It was already mid day and we had only a box of dead baitfish to show for…
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Oh and some croakers too…
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The Captain and Alan dozed off while the rest of us busied ourselves with getting croakers while the big guns were waiting for the big fishes to knock. That didn’t last long though and we were soon going to another spot. The next spot was like Changi Offshore. The water colour said it all…

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Experience! Part 1

Alan's CR
http://acfishing.blogspot.com/2010/09/kong-kong-river.html

After the post fatigue and recovery, it’s finally time to come up with my experience from a quick luring trip!

Casting along those submerged mangroves while everyone stays quiet and focused, I worked my lure cautiously. It was where mind merged with body, soul and rod. I could visualize every movement of the lure. When I pulled, it rattled… when I paused, it fluttered to a stop. I did this while I used my amateur casting skills to present my lure as closed to the cover as possible. I wondered when sweet ruby would come and whether I could be strong enough to win the tug of war… The elusive Mangrove Jack was my aim of this trip.

All did, I did… though not entirely what I did was expected.

0430 Sunday Morning Nigel’s House
A sleepy Alan and I awoke from our little shut eye as Weiyee was already downstairs. We crossed the customs in awhile and stopped over for some supper. We had some big pau and dim sum. We wolfed down the food knowing that we would need the energy for our mini luring expedition.

We got to the boating area in good stead and we had the luxury of time to relax, use the toilet and we got our drinks/food supply while we waited for our captain to arrive. We saw many others arriving and the whole area was packed. Anglers went off in the droves and we noticed their tackle being of the more extreme kind. We probably thought that they were not into more finesse fishing.

Weiyee in his Jungle coveralls.
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We stood around while the crowd dispersed and wondered when our turn was. The captain was late but I hope he wasn’t inexperienced! Time went by and we got into our little tub. All we needed were our Lures, Live Prawns and the rest we would get from the sea.

The little tub…
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“Casting”
Optimism would seem foolhardy at such an early period but we embraced it anyway. We had arranged for fishing within the lush mangrove estuaries but our Operator and Captain were convinced that today’s neap tide would be better for fishing away from the river systems. Communication was a constant barrier as he didn’t speak English. Eventually, we gave in and decided to see what he could offer. He told us we could try casting jigs at the next spot.

First light was up and running
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A gold mine was what we were thinking when we hit the first spot. We were allowed to drift in near and eventually anchored some distance away from what it seems was the legwork of a giant bridge! Schools of baitfish were already flipping around on the surface but the same thoughts came to Alan and me…
Fishing Eden
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“Aye… no have no jigs to use…” I gestured to Alan. I saw the same blank look on his face. Nevertheless, I still managed to get a green silver spoon out and did my thing. It took me awhile to get used to my new lines and the adrenaline was going into red mode. Alan was gracefully swishing his lures around while I huffed and puffed. Weiyee was into a Live Prawn on a bottom rigger.

Baitfish were being schooled into a ball
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To make our blood boil, a fellow fisho on another boat near us was holding up a specimen of a Barramundi! All of us casted and waited but there were zero action. Our Captain was happily bringing up strings of baitfish. We talked little and just kept what we did best.

Oh… and would you pick a guess at the anchorman? Yep… It’s none other than the famous Alan Chan!
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Somehow, we managed to convince our Captain to retreat to the estuaries to try at some luring. He just picked the nearest one to us and we went into the river.

Into the river system we go!
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I didn’t like it because we drifted in slowly by use of the outboard engine. I doubted he had any experience doing this form of fishing but the calm of the river system soothed me. Bird and insect calls were the natural music of this place. There is truly no other music that will put an angler into ease. The occasional boof of a whopper was like the chorus of this fantastic music.

We took our lures to target practice and we were finally doing what we came here to do. Alan was bouncing his lures like a pebble on the water in order to get them near the cover.

Alan balanced with such grace!
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Casting precision
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I had a juvenile Barra which followed the lure all the way back to the boat before turning back but that was the only thing that happened for awhile. We heard the occasional boofs and were still not getting anything! Then, the Captain saw something moved below a sunken tree. He gestured to me and I saw a school of fish swim past us. At first, I believed him and I was even more eager…

He got the boat in slowly by using his engine until we were directly beside the sunken tree!
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The fishing was x – rated here and when we eventually found out what fish did our Captain saw… Mullet…

A frustrated Alan…
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We spent a torrid time there until the Captain signaled that we were going back to the previous spot. I got the feeling then that he brought us in to some estuary just to convince us that he was right and there were no fish there. I made nothing of this and kept faith though.

No action yet… When would our time come!
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What?! Not back there again…
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We did something different when we were back there. We anchor directly beside the pillars. Again, we raised our bars of hope to 100% and kept busy. We tried both bottom and mid water.

A different platform
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Just beside the platform!
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Weiyee looking really hopeful!
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The Captain was trying for baitfish again and Alan told me then that the Captain probably was catching baitfish for his own dinner table. That was a fine theory since he probably had a family to feed and he might not be so well off.

The baitfish had stopped feeding there due to the change in currents and the morning sun being high over us. We left that place soon and headed into the open! This was really not what we wanted… but… We followed…

We approached our next fishing spot… We were in between amused and astonishment when we saw it.

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This is our fishing spot…Side and back!
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The layer of barnacles on the ship’s propeller really got us up again. This was turning out to be layers of optimism which were being quashed every time! All of us did bottom fishing were with Live Prawns as we were now a little deflated.

Alan with a nasty shrimp
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Dispirited
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The Captain was jigging baitfish again and told us it was for the next spot. It specifically needed to be Tamban. I made myself useful and passed Alan some Sabiki rigs.

There weren’t any baitfish at first but the water moved again and Alan had a good kick! Well, at least someone’s landing their first fishes of the day! We filled our bait well fast and off we went to another probably rather optimistic but unproductive spot again.

Alan with his many fishes
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Baitwell filled
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Was it this rig?!
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I shall continue my second part in another post!

End of Part 1

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Storm Riders At Changi 17 September 2010

The wash of the waves against the hull gave me a pleasant recollection of the great times I had at Changi. The smell of the sea air made me feel refreshed even if it were for those few seconds. It had already rained early on before we even board the boat but I was still eager to start and fire up. I paced around the boat and hovered around my comrade in arms.

The rain had stopped...
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I shouted to Ah Chong and had the usual banter with him. Ah Chong’s current joke was a lurid one.

Customer: “Ah Chong, how come your boat no GPS?”

Ah Chong: “Wo de GPS zai ze li(My GPS is here)… (Points to his crotch)

That joke really made the morning and gave us high hopes. Ah Chong seemed to be high on hormones recently. That might explain his NEW toilet pics!
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We bought the prawns and ice from the fish farm before Ah Chong slowly cruised to one of the spots that were producing. I recognized the spot instantly. It was the spot that in a previous trip we got a total of 25 pcs of Golden Snapper(Ang Cho) even before mid day.

The prawns...
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The area was extremely shallow around 2 – 3m and we did drift fishing. The first 30 minutes were awesome and 4 of us immediately broke our golden eggs. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. 3 beautiful snappers were brought up by Shawn, Weiyee and Ah Chong himself.

Weiyee and Shawn with their prizes
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I was abuzz with optimism as always and hoped we would break the double digit mark by mid day… But you know what???

This happened…
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A storm came to us smack in the middle of our sunny fun fishing. This is fishing… at its best and worst. You have to respect the weather… because time, weather and tide does not wait for any man.

Flapping!
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High spirits still!
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The rain was us over in an instant and the wind was literally howling against us… So much for own great start! We were confined to the sheltered waters and spent our time drifting around like a little tub caught in a storm. We kept our lines out but the sudden downpour meant the fishes were just simply not interested.

We kept this up until the rain went away but were dismayed at the water condition. It was like milk tea. I kept thinking to myself… this was supposed to be a golden day with golden fish and golden faces! But I steeled myself knowing that this was part and parcel of fishing.

Captain Chong was extremely accommodating and shifted spots frequently so we could find some fishes. Today was supposed to be an extremely neap tide which is excellent for drift fishing but the undercurrent was forced to run amok due to the freshwater wash. We were frustrated by this and it was quite some time before we got a suitable fishing site.

The action here lasted around 30 minutes and it stopped when the current had totally changed. I was just about giving up and my mind was drifting away… just then Peter shouted…

“Nigel! Nigel! Your rod!” he said…

I was dumbfounded as I saw my rod dipping! I grabbed hold of it and gave it a great tug. The fight was on! This fish was not a fighter… I was thinking it was a catfish but turns out it was a decent Grunter (Guhood). The fish didn’t take out any line and the fight was disappointing but I was not complaining

A great fish...
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Shawn also brought up an amazing White Threadfin (Bai Ngor) on his light setup. Today was his day and his fishing luck has sure built up after ages of not fishing. A couple of Gelamas were landed throughout this golden period but no more biggies…

Shawn hit it!
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The sun was coming out now though it was slowly going down into the horizon… The fishing troops tried their best today but were beaten… Still had a few fish to pass around for the pot though!

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Till the next trip… The next day’s trips should be good… great water and weather… Tight lines everyone!

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