It's back to Tee King Chong's Merchong Fishing yet again!
It’s a common well known fact among the Singapore fishing community that fishes around the region are getting so little that you need to go during the “open season” in order to ensure a good fishing catch report.
Some anglers claim that the open season is better as the trawlers have not arrived but I guess the most credible reason is that during the monsoon season, the fishes are given a time to recover from fishing stress. Seasoned anglers will be surprised to know that fishing stress is not only the removal of fishes (to eat) from the sea but also the frequency that the area is fished at (be it jigs or baits). Sometimes, even though you release the fish, it can cause fishing stress as fish seem to be more wary to being caught again.
Some open season predictions came true for our Merchong trip this time. Our ever dependable Ah Biao predicted there could be Ang Cho (Snapper) and Cobia around during the open season. He was right – we caught more Ang Cho then usual during the trip and had a good run of Cobias. The fishes also seemed more responsive to jigs and a few of the Chos were caught on jigs. Ah Biao even landed a Pek Cho on jig.
Strangely though, Ebeks seemed to be everywhere during the trip. I usually do not aim for Ebeks during Merchong trips but somehow they were at almost every Unjam spot! The good fight of the Ebeks that came along reminded me of the wonderful Ebek fishing in Pekan. I caught my Ebeks on the baktao micro jigging setup and St Croix SC3 during this trip. All Ebeks were caught on the Storm Gomoku Micro jig 30g which is a jig any angler should have in their tackle box.
|7kg on the SC3 12-20lbs custom St Croix|
|About 6kg on the Baktao Micro SC4|
|Ebek were almost everywhere!|
The trip also had a good run of good sized Ang Cho Kee (some were a kilo plus!) and the baktao pink tenya proved deadly here. Brought up a few pcs with the pink tenya although some other big fishes came to bully me! I guess it’s time to ditch the finesse game and go big on these hooks.
|Kilo plus sized Tanda!|
|Sometimes, this happens.|
I’ll be out of action for Merchong though at least until July… Having a Maldives exploratory fishing trip next. Wish me luck as I chase the legendary Maldives GT and Bluefin Trevally!