Thursday, April 28, 2011

Changi Offshore 26 April 2011 With Some Relatives

I had a good ol Changi offshore with some of my uncles and my cousin. My dad couldn't make it as he was busy at work so we were all a little disappointed though. The water condition was bad today and it was sort of brown and a little smelly. There seemed to be an oil spill and we could see the oil response team in action. The captain mr chong said the water also was spoiled due to the river flooding in Kota Tingi due to the freshwater rainfall over the past few days. Schools of baitfish and even big fishes like queens can be seen sticking near the surface and swimming very sluggishly.

We were still optimistic and rode our luck though. Action was very slow for the morning and looking at the tide, we thought things would improve after lunch... but even as high tide came in, the fishes were not feeding. A thing to note was small fishes were not around today. All fishes were almost around the kg mark or over except for the small snapper and grunter. We saw something surprising though... a bonito school splashing on the surface with more than a dozen seagulls above somewhere at Hyundai Beach...amazing...

I'll try to book another date for my relatives and this time maybe my dad could go.

Here's the catches i got a big fat zero but and next weekend I'll be at Pekan again... hehe...

Sim with the first one...
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Sim was on fire
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One of the handline
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Another on the handline
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A few juicy groupers...no complaints right?
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Pity that the small snapper and gelama couldn't be released... they were actually dead and couldn't make it because the lines had tangled up badly and nobody realized... we got a shock when we reeled in and there were fishes on the line.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pekan 16/17 April Fishing For Ebek

We last visited Pekan last year in October where we had our yearly Sailfish pilgrimage. This time, we were here for the Ebek also known as the Diamond Trevally. And we did manage a few of them although they weren't around in good numbers.

We started the long 4hr drive up on a Friday night and reached the captain's house at around 5am in the morning and we took a quick nap. At 730am we woke the captain up and went to get our usual breakfast, drinks and lunch.

According to him, he couldn't get out the past few days as it was very choppy and today was also a big question mark. Luckily, as we got out of the river mouth, it was choppy but still fine.

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Bringing the green horn out
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We had an ass bumping time to the first spot but the spot wasted no time in giving us some ebek fever.

A triple hookup ensued after around 10 minutes of eternity. 3 of us were doing some light jigging but the fishes took live prawns set out for them. Sadly, one was lost when the line went bust. But the other two were landed after an intense battle with light tackle. Captain was using Eupro Twincraft PE 1-3 and Daiwa Luvias 3000. I was using the Twincraft PE 1-3 and Team Daiwa Tierra 3000 with Varivas Casting PE 2.5.

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The fight of the ebek was entertaining and fun. The fish can take out a good amount of line while they go on their runs. You must also be careful as they might turn a big round into the unjam(FAD). But slow and steady wins the race here and the fishes tire after some time.

Puffer fish?


We had a few more hits after that but careless fishing led us to lose them. The action had all died down when i hooked onto something which moved slowly but strongly. It was peeling out my line slowly. I thought oh no... a stingray took my jig?! But the captain was adamant and just advised me to relax. The fish was moving like a slow steam train while i hung on. Somehow, it changed it's mind and swam up to the surface and we saw a huge fin cutting the surface. Some may think it was a shark but the moment i saw the shape i knew what it was... A COBIA!

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I have never fought a Cobia on light tackle! I was using a Eupro Twincraft PE 1-3 and Daiwa Caldia Kix 3500 with 20lbs powerpro line here! Jig used was a smith forcast 60gm. The fish brought me a few rounds about the boat and sometimes as it was about to be caressed in and might be gaff at anytime, the crazy deckie and captain will shove their nets and gaffs into the water making alot of noise and scare the fish away. This happened for at least 3 times! 15 minutes into the fight and i was shouting at the fish! This was simply the experience of my life because everyone was cheering on and scaring the fish the moment it came in.

After 20 minutes of brutal fight though, the prized specimen came up docilely beside the boat and the captain made no mistake in gaffing the gills. A second gaff was deployed and the monster was hauled onto the boat. An exhausted me took up the fishes for a few poses! A fish weighed in at almost 20kg on the zerek grip. Job well done Nigel!

Smith 60g
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A tired me
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Damned trawlers
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Drop shotting rubber jigs
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After that, we were greeted by bonito schools but they refused to come near the boat. I hooked up some live 1kg Barracudas on the wire and let it swim out. I had some good big takes and one big take managed to slice off my 30lbs 7 strand wire when i tightened the line. Definitely Spanish macks at work... That was almost everything for the first day and we had a sumptuous dinner.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Toy: Ryobi Artica 3000

Hi everyone, I'm just back from my light jigging and bottom fishing trip at Pekan seas. A pity the outboard broke down on the second day if not the catch would have been better. We hit our target fishes of Ebek and i even got a good monster surprise on light tackle. Will be posting it up soon but here's a mini post first.

I got myself a new reel and i will be using it for light jigging/popping. It's a very affordable and decent looking reel. I admit i look for a sturdy bail arm in a reel and Ryobi reels have good strong frames but they are a little heavy.

Here's my new toy!

Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
Weight 305g
5 Ball Bearings
Line Capacity (PE/No.): PE4-140M, PE5-120M
Drag: 5kg
Full aluminum metal body.
Full metal spool with carbon fiber.
Machined round knob power handle.
Power handle & power knob

Drag is a little low but it can always be upgraded... handle and knob don't really fit the body but i only got it for $95 so what can i complain for? Only dilemma now is what colour to load...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Tropical Island Offshore Fishing and Relaxation Day 2

After our good rest, everyone woke each other up at 4am in the morning. It will be our next timing to fish and we are damn excited. All live prawns still in good condition and we got our barang barang and loaded up the boat once again. Had a quick breakfast before boarding the boat...
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Captain drove the boat slowly to the first spot and it was only 30minutes away.... Less than 5 minutes into the action using freshly sliced green eye squid, we started hitting ang kueys aka red snapper... hehehe.... We had a few incident when the fish will swallow hooks from multiple lines and the anglers found out they caught the same fish later on....

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Sadly, the current died down and so did the bite rate... Not to worry we headed to the reef area to fish other species. We were very disappointed with fishing in the morning at the reef area as there weren't even small fish around but at the last spot before lunch time the magical time came... It was quite chaotic as the action was heavy here. Rods bent down and slippers started flying into the water. We landed a few ebek and parrot before we went back for our lunch...

Before lunch frenzy...
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We had a great lunch at the chalet because they served sweet and sour ang gao(red grouper)...yummy! We had a good bath and dinner too. The next timing will be 12am said our captain...

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I was tempted to do some snorkeling but sleep tempted me.. he he he...
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tropical Island Offshore Fishing and Relaxation Day 1

Cheong invited me on a 3D2N relax trip near one of the tropical islands near Sibu Island at Malaysia. I told myself why not... and quickly confirmed my slot. Joining me on the trip were Tian and his Malaysian friends who were organising the trip. His Malaysian friends were actually driving up from Malacca. That was even further than us!

We boarded the speedboat at Tanjung Leman Jetty and arrived at the island. We will be doing 3 x 6 hrs of offshore fishing whenever we wanted to. It was free and easy offshore. All meals will be on the island and we had a nice room set up for us. Those that want to stay on the island can just stay on the island. Note that the island is a marine reserve and you cannot fish there. The island looks very promising for squid and smaller GT.

Live prawns!
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Mingling at the jetty
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Island view
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Chalet
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Lunch before we went off to fishing offshore for the afternoon session
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Boarded our local wooden boat
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Live prawns and market squid were the baits that we brought up to the trip. Initially, i thought of doing some light jigging but the current was too strong and most of the time we were anchored. The first spot at the unjam(FAD) resulted in alot of Selar from using sabiki. These Selar were huge and whole strings were coming up. We noticed the selar we were bringing up had alot of bite marks so some of us did some live baiting. Someone behind was using handline and his live bait was an 8 inch leng chiam(emperor snapper). He tied his handline onto a rod while he used live prawns for other fish on another handline. Wow... the rod was bent sometime later and he started the tug of war with the fish... The fish immediately rose to the surface and gave a big splash and the fun began...

Cobia lost...


Well... the cobia was lost during the gaff... what a pity...


Friday, April 8, 2011

Thailand Bangkok Fishing Day 2 - My First Mekong Cat at Bungsamram

I went to Bangkok last week to do some fishing and here's part two in the series. I've never caught a Mekong Catfish before and the only catfishes i caught were the Chao Phraya Catfish and Patin from farmway 3. If anyone thought the fight would be similar, you are DEAD wrong.

We headed to the popular fishing pond at Bungsamram which fishing grounds have been graced by many fishing pros since long long time ago. It happened that Robson Green did an episode here as well. The place was clean, very professional and BIG. It was nice to see a world class destination where fishing was the sport and anglers were the customers.

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A place specially made for anglers
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The charges
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John had his own photo up there which just shows his experience
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Their very own in house tackle shop.
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On the way to the hut
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We engaged John as our guide again and this time he had Boon Soong. Boon Soong was one of the local fish guides at Bungsamram. He's a friendly chap and spoke sporadic English. Don't let his friendly features fool you. This guy is a real pro and he tied the leader on the mainline for us instantly. I was a little aghast when he told me i used this reel for saltwater because the line is salty.

Boon Soong preparing the bait and terminals
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Yup... I'm using the Shimano Bassterra AX 10-20lbs 7ft with a Caldia Kix 3500 with 50lbs tuff line that i didn't have time to change. John just laughed and told me to try it out. He told me that he wanted me to get a feel of the fish with my own way and own style before he advise me. I can sense something wrong here hahaha. My own thinking was that the fishes will take the bait and then just swim towards you and use the wooden pillars to cut you off. I was right about that but more drama was about to unfold...

Boon Soong made the bait ball and launched the big ball of bait out into the pond. The aim was to draw the catfish to the bait ball. I could smell a hint of coconut flavoring to the rice ball. I was quite shocked when we had a hook up almost immediately and John passed the rod to me. He just smiled and told me to play with the fish. The fish went left and right but i feel it was just playing with me.... :(

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When the fish surfaced for awhile... the drama started. Both Boon Soong and John gave each other huge stares. "It's a big one!!!" John shouted. Boon Soong was also suddenly very jumpy and both went to my side. John told me that this time i cannot fight the fish by myself because this is a really big one estimated 70kg and above.

The fish continued to bring me on a joyride... and then.... PIAK!

Silence was had between the 3 of us... John was visibly disappointed while Boon Soong wore a blank expression. After we blamed it on the old line and my tackle, John was adamant that we had to use his setup because we will lose more fish. After the episode with that fish, i was thoroughly convinced.... We put on Alan's Calstar 15-40lbs and John's big baitrunner with 60lbs braided mainline.

Alan's Demon Rod
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The bait was lobbed out again like a bomb and it was instant hit again. This time, AG had her chance at landing her first Mekong. It's a small one but it made her arms burn. This episode of casting baits out and landing fishes would be happening for the rest of the day. The cats which were foul hooked were easy to bring in after their initial burst while there were some cats which just swim slowly towards the wooden platform and try to burst you off. It took alot of arm power, Alan's strong rod and alot of drama to get it out of the structures.

Some actions of the fish fighting

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Boon Soong diverting a fish from the stilts 4 bungalows away!
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Before lunch, me and AG were too spent and whenever one of us lost a fish if it threw the hook, we will be happy!!! We took turns fighting the fishes... Lunch was great and i particularly loved the Roasted Pork Neck. The Tomyum soup was good and even had part real crabs in it.

It's time for lunch!
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After lunch, we landed more fishes and even a few Patins. The patins here fight like mad dogs... Yup... They are definitely stronger than those at farmway 3... At 2pm, we had a conclusion. Me and AG will land our last fishes of the day and call it a day! Well... she had her Mekong but my last fish of the day was a Patin....

Overall, a very entertaining trip and my expectations were fully accomplished. I landed my first Mekong! It's definitely one of the more world class destinations specially catered to anglers. And it's a definite back breaker.

Oh and the fishes!!! Below! :D

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