Friday, June 28, 2013

Kranji Clam Digging Session 29/6/2013

Dear readers,

I'll be digging for clams tomorrow morning. You may meet me at CCK Bus Interchange 820am and we can take the bus together there or if you are driving, you can meet me at Kranji Dam Carpark (big one beside the war memorial).

I will be happy to guide you along, have a chat and share tips with you on clam digging. Basic tools to bring please bring along a pail for keeping your clams and some digging tools. Optional items include rubber boots, gloves, water bottle (for collecting seawater).

See you there!

Email me at nigel.lian@gmail.com if you are keen ;)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Changi Carpark 7 Kayak and Inflatable Boat Offshore Fishing

Fishing the waters of Changi was a very familiar ball game for me and when I had the chance to independently fish it together with Boatman Shawn, it was a different kind of feeling to fishing - it was also the proving of certain concepts/assumptions/theories. I considered it as a test of sorts to see how much I gleaned from my countless Changi Offshores with the experienced traditional local boatmen such as Ah Chong, Ah Fong, Ah Long and Ah Soon etc. If you consider the experiences with James, Uncle Soh, Ah Bee and so on, it adds up to even more experience points! In short, I started my first real offshore fishing experiences in Changi waters and I was determined to get fish even without the guide of a charter captain!

The second point I would like to make would be the sharing of spots especially for kayak and self boating fishing kakis. Recently, I've got to hear a few incidences which really sparked a curiosity in me.... Stories about the usual "my spot your spot our secret spot" lingo often used in fishing. I feel that this shouldn't be the case in Kayak/Self Boat fishing simply because the big picture isn't commercial fishing! If you are wary of others potentially spoiling your secret spot with their ruckus, I would recommend that you simply take photos and keep them in your PC without even sharing. Kayak fishos and self boaters don't go around with nets and rawais so loosen up guys - the community needs more love than scorn. To make good this point, I'll be showing the spots here to where we caught our fishes - no editing except my watermark!

In fact, I believe there is no such thing as a secret unspoiled spot in Singapore anymore..... more ever, it is the secret of when, how, what to fish at that spot that often determines a good time!

The unlikely crew of Kayak and Inflatable paddle boat set out again on their journey to nab more fishes - kiat with his never ending of landing a chermin even though he had already caught an ebek, Boatman Shawn with his never ending passion of putting his customers before him and Baktao with his never ending countless fishing theories that were right or wrong sometimes and totally weird other times.

Yet another launch operation... It was now second nature to be paddling!
Shawn decided on Changi Carpark 7 this time round and I was a little excited because it was suitable tide to fish those waters. There were bigger fishes found at that area as compared to our usual Sembawang spots. I would be able to put some theories to sword here like what time to fish at which area and how should we be drifting. And I was half right again as it was a strange day without adequate winds to drift us around. We soon saw Ah Chong, Ah Long and Ah Fong fishing right beside us and that was a good sign as they were the Changi Holy Trinity of old fishing birds! You could say that they were at my spot as I arrived first! Haha!

I proudly told Shawn that the fish will bite at XX timing when the tide changed! And I was in danger of having egg on my face... when Kiat got a hit! Amazing! I was right! Kiat landed himself a handsome Javelin Grunter aka Jio Lor. There was a little while of silence after that as we drifted up and down the reefs and drop offs.

Kiat's Jio Lor and his new shimano biomaster
Soon, the bumboats head off to Tekong and left us wondering why... Until we started singing "Shine Bright Like a Diamond!" and Kiat gave us his "BORING" look... If you're wondering why, it was because Shawn finally scored! He caught himself a handsome Chermin a.k.a Diamond Trevally although if I didn't tell him that his rod was dipping, he wouldn't even know as his back was turned!

that did i really catch it expression
A few minutes later, Shawn was giving me that strange reserved expression again as he was fighting another fish (I must clarify that it was me again that told him his rod was dipping!). A man who cannot see his own rod is a man that needs care right away! Anyway, his expression seemed so serious that I was out of sorts as well. Here was a man who knew losing fishes were part of his game plan and he never counted the fish until it was in the boat!

Anyway, he scored yet again with a Javelin Grunter. Well done Boatman Shawn! Thanks for teaching us how to do it!
Shawn did it!
We cut off our fishing adventure around 3pm when the tide went out and went to Changi Village to find a stall to steam our catches... Steam we did! We enjoyed our freshly steamed Chermin and Jio lor for a hard day's work! The beauty of fishing...
fishing is about sharing and friendship and not ego and selfishness

Steamed chermin!~

yummy steamed jio lor!
Oh yes, If you're wondering what did Baktao catch....
fugu on jig ok!
Here's a brief and basic catch video of Boatman Shawn giving us a good example of calm boat fishing!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Digging for lala (clams) and tua tow (mussels) at Kranji Dam/Beach

Digging for lala at Kranji Dam has been an activity that I had always wanted to do although I always dismissed the activity with nothing but a little light hearted scorn. As I walked by Kranji Dam after my freshwater fishing exercises, I would see families with their spades, shovels and pails wading out during low tide to exposed mud flats to dig for the shellfish. I would then label them as crazy and nothing better to do...

But on this day, I was the one being crazy as I did exactly that! The goal was to do something different from the usual boring things singaporeans do... Armed with pink mini shovels and a single pail, we ventured down to the mud flats from the Kranji battle site.

Secret weapon - pink mini shovels from Daiso!
The amount of sandworms that were crawling around at low tide around the swamp area was freaky! They were all over the place and only went away when the tide was completely low!

Apparently we were the first ones there and we didn't really know how to go about it until fellow diggers started streaming in and we followed along with them or rather copied them! Eventually, we waded out in ankle deep water to the exposed sand banks where there were supposedly more shellfish!

As we dug and dug, we eventually got the hang of it... We slowly gathered our loot under the hot burning sun!

our loot!
Thankfully, there was a toilet nearby and we could do all our washing up there!

Here's how to get there if you are a newbie! You can take bus 925 on weekdays/sat or 925# on sundays! Free parking is available at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B!


View Larger Map

Let me put together a few more trips so I can advise the readers and wannabe diggers here on some tips on digging for the lala at Kranji! Or if any readers are keen, Email me and we can setup a trip together!

Anyway, here's what happened to the clams later on.... Tomato pasta!

After soaking in seawater
boiled lightly in ginger to get rid of sand and dirt

tomato pasta!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Scuba Diving at Pulau Dayang

After not diving for almost a year, the itch to get back into the water to view the world beneath the waves beckoned. I did the Advanced Open Water Dive with Blue Reef Diving this time round since Apache Divers were no longer doing dive courses. I was by myself on this trip as most of my diving friends had already completed their AOW Course but not to worry - I found that a main attraction of diving was to go alone and not to worry about your friends/family or life. Going alone for such trips may seem "emo" or "lone ranger" but I found it to be refreshing since you're in thoughts with most of yourself and at the same time, you make yourself approachable to other groups since you're alone. That was true as the strangers from the trips turned into friends (and Facebook friends)!

I was a little disappointed that it was not a Live On Board (LOB) dive but when I reached Pulau Dayang, a little part of that disappointment faded away as I saw why divers frequented this place. It was an island which shouted "DIVERS ONLY!" and all around the island were excited divers heading out for trips, returning from trips, lazing around, filling up their dive logs, eating the scrumptious buffet style food there or simply having a cool beer!

The arrangement for the dives were also comfortable. A typical day would include meals at the island after returning from the boat dives was important to us divers because whenever we're not diving, we're hungry! This arrangement was great for sea sick prone divers as well as you spend minimal time on the boat!

Visibility was bad on this trip and only about 6 - 8 metres due to the bad weather but divers did not complain about bad dives! Every dive was an adventure and I'd never seen a bored diver before! I had the GoPro Hero 2 with me this time so I could try out some micro management with cameras during the course. The pictures were not so good but the videos were awesome! I'm saving a special video towards the end of this post!

The course itself wasn't tough and it was more of an "add on" rather than the Open Water Certification. We were shown skills such as navigation, drift dives, deep dives etc... I particularly loved the effortless drift dive!

Anyway, here are the pictures I took during the trip ;)

rain dive!


fellow divers! Strangers turned friends! Divers are spontaneous people!

as excited as always lol

strangers turned friends too

The whole stranger turned friends crew

let's go diving!

relevant to me... litter bugs during fishing!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Desaru Jigging and Casting with Tekong Badol

The spanish mackeral (batang) season was in full force at Desaru this year and surely the Baktao had to make a trip up himself with the usual kakis including Boatman Shawn. Jackson pintails and an array of casting lures with jigs were prepared before hand. It was kind of exciting as I hadn't had freshly cooked batang porridge for a long time now.

Desaru is a short 1 hour drive from Singapore and we had our breakfast at the usual breakfast spot - a combination of Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng, Fried Chicken, Kopi and Teh Susu. Our ice, drinks and lunch were also bought here and the guys stopped for a poop at the toilet before we loaded up and made our way to the launching point - a secluded beach known as Kg Lompang. It was quite a dirty beach especially during low tide but that didn't stop couples from taking their marriage photos there!

The fried chicken has really improved!

Sweet coffee ala malaysian style



The famous boatman Shawn
The weather was cruel to us though and rain/swell/winds were on the agenda. The boat wouldn't stop rocking and we couldn't cast properly as the storm battered us. The storm limited us to a sheltered unjam spot as we itched to get to the more productive deeper spots as the current was now at full blast! But no.... we had to wait.... and Shawn whom was unusually hardworking (usually the case at the start of trips) had a big hit on his Jackson Pintail (usually not the case as well)! There were also strangely no moans of frustrations as fishes usually get away during the first 10 seconds of the fight when it's with Boatman Shawn.... Shawn was pumping his fish crazily and this was not a wise thing to do as you are accelerating the burst off process by putting more friction into the teeth of the mack even if you are using wire leader. The best way to fighting tengerri would be to always keep line taunt and in direction of the fish while you lead the fish in slowly (so the wire/leader doesn't go sideways and gets sliced of) - some people believe in using brute force to faster haul the fish in (before wire/leader gives way due to abrasion) and this may be a good method too.

OMG he landed the first fish - 14 pounder


bonito

super gomoku


tengeri papan on super skarp

super skarp closeup


super gomoku

another papan on super gomoku chrome
The bites stopped after this though (probably because Shawn got a fish) but the rain and winds were beginning to die down too.... so we head off to more productive spots in the open sea and were duly rewarded some tengerri papan and batang when the current was ebing. Interestingly, the fishes only responded to slow jigging with flutter actions on the drop. This is the first time I have encountered shy macks!

The storm super gomoku and super skarp proved deadly on the flutter action here as we landed quite a few tengs with them.... Weiyee was the main super star here - his jerk stop trademark method hitting good fishes.

But as the current came to a stop, the bites ceased too and as it was the Malaysian Election Day, we opted to end the exercise at 3pm and head home to avoid trouble later on....

reasonable catch for bad weather

the standard pose


And this were the results of a reasonable mack expedition.... sliced up some batang for fish soup and had 163 Kimly Seafood prepare yao zham tengeri papan!

looks very sashim-able


 Trip Video

Friday, June 7, 2013

2 Kakis to Ah Ho's Boat from RSYC on 11 June 2013

Dear all,

I have 2 slots open for Ah Ho's boat from RSYC on 11 June 2013. Rough cost per pax $120 + - cost sharing. If interested please Email me at nigel.lian@gmail.com

First come first serve and easy going kakis only. Confirmation upon $100 deposit.

Thanks.

Cheers,
Nigel

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pekan Malaysia Light Jigging 2013!

Pekan has been hot recently with many anglers flocking over to get a taste of what it is like to fish there. Pekan fishing has always been "quiet" compared to the relatively more famous Rompin but it has always been a great productive fishing spot at the East Coast of Malaysia. The best thing I loved about Pekan was that it was laid back as compared to Rompin... The number of fishing charters there were but a handful and the commercialization was little. It was more informal and fishing with Rickey was like fishing with old time friends because of the years behind our long friendship. Fishing was really fishing in that sense - it wasn't stressful.


wanton mee at the usual coffee place


tapao some traditional kueh kueh for lunch
Some of our friends had recently even went popping for GT at Jubilee Reef and had caught up to 47kg GT! That's a whopper considering it's Pekan we're talking about... and it's not just one or two... GTs between 15kg and 40kg have been landed consistently on multiple trips now. Let's hope the good fishing continues!
GT popping at Pekan was always going to be tempting but my group of friends and me didn't have the right tackle so we chose light jigging for the ebeks instead.... Compared to Rompin, I realise Pekan ebeks are much bigger and the quantity is really crazy so the first time jiggers Weiyee and Kiat really had a ball during this trip. They were jigging non stop and although the fishing was tough as clear waters meant wary fish, all of us managed to score some record fishes on our jigs!

baktao is all prepared for a good time


I jigged mostly with my Shimano Bassrise 5-10lbs, 6lbs tuffline with 12lbs dupont leader and Shimano Sahara 2500 when a massive 13lbs Golden Trevally took my micro jig! I scored a personal first.... Javelin grunter on micro jig as well! After that the fishes were below us as Rickey shouted drop ur jigs drop ur jigs! But he got cut off by a fish as all of us were dropping our jigs like mad crazy jiggers....sadly after another boat came, the fishes disappeared?!

a first for me!~


personal best golden trevally



The two days were peppered with sporadic hits and the first time jiggers got their rewards.... though we were disturbed by the shocking amount of sailfishes hunting for baitfish around us. They even took my 12g micro jig! They tortured us when they chased our down and we got our light tackles being dismantled by the runs of the sailfish.... lol luckily we managed to not get stripped of all line... One of the funny moments in fishing when you hook a sailfish on jig and anglers actually curse and swear!

The biggest ebek 16lbs of the trip went to Kiat while Weiyee landed ebeks and a golden trevally! Weiyee was the man of the match with a parrot fish aka eng ko on surecatch flasher jig! Pity though on the second day I had an ebek bust me off when I tried to be funny and used 12lbs dupont leader and went to tighten the drag even more.... the fishes were responding well to finesse jigging with consistency and speed being a main criteria for any hits. The Golden Mean Slow Dancer PE1 paired with a Daiwa Certate Hyper Custom 2500 was comfortable for medium speed jigging and hook ups were very pleasant when I tested the limits of the rod by loading it to the butt!

Weiyee scores his first Ebek!

Kiat with his first ebek on ima gune

rickey not wanting to be left out with a sagai on storm thunder jig

Weiyee with a parrot on surecatch flasher 60g
look at the bend of the golden mean sabel dance!
 
Weiyee first golden travelly

yup it tok a flasher 60g

tasty fishes came too lol
Tommy and cuttlefish on jig... some rather crazy stuff!
a cuttlefish on jig?!
Some of the food we had during our trip with Nonya Jio lor and Nonya parrot fish being nap as usual... Another interesting dish... deep fried cobia fish fingers was good too
baktao favourite drink to charge up

fried cobia finger


calamari
Anyway, to end off... fishing in malaysia is just simply too good........ makes fishing in singapore seem so boring with our fishing spots in singapore dying off one by one... malaysia boleh!

A simple amateur video compilation to round things up!



Soundtracks contributed by (The Kyoto Connection) / CC BY-SA 3.0
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