Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Changi Offshore Fishing with Dad 2020: GRATEFUL

Offshore Fishing in Changi has sort of seen a revival in recent times and it isn't entirely due to fish stocks recovering. Released fishes due to religious groups and escapees from extensive fish farming have led to snapper and grouper populations being elevated. There is some recovery though and we have seen migrating fish such as some Threadfin Salmon, Cobia, Jewfish returning to Changi waters. These kinda fishes were non existent in the early 2000s when Changi was still recovering from land reclamation. It's weird but it's fairly certain that the current fishing fun we are having at Changi is mostly man made. If we just relied on wild fish, we wouldn't have much to show for!

Anyway, fishing with Dad is getting rarer these days and I'm very grateful to be able to go fishing with him this day. He had all the luck today as he landed three very good sized fishes and out fished me. He even lost one very huge fish and all this while insisting that he use a mono line overhead setup. His rig for the whole day was a single hook paternoster (apollo) rig that I pre-tied for him.

It was unbelievable because most of the time he was just sitting down and holding his rod.

Tackle that Dad used: Zenaq Jigger Trust 59-3 and Shimano Tekota 500

It wasn't easy fishing though as the water conditions were poor. There was heavy sediment in the water indicating lots of freshwater run off from inshore and the wind wasn't in our favour. Makes it extra special though and I am grateful that Dad made the most of his time :)

Dad landed his very first hybrid grouper!
Good sized fish!
He also rather nonchalantly landed a golden snapper
And then a very nice specimen of an orange spotted grouper!
Beautiful fish!
Deformed Vesak Day Mangrove Jack landed by Dad's friend
Tough day! I caught the bigger ang cho, flathead and another ang cho. The rest of the fish by my dad's friends.
Very healthy and fat grouper
Hybrid grouper still the fattiest. No fight!
My new tool for chopping up fish... very easy and clean

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Threadfin Salmon (Kurau) on Changi Vincent's Boat!

Although I have lost count if how many times I went offshore fishing at Changi, nothing is as sweet and rare as seeing a Kurau landed right before your eyes. And a beautiful one at that! Kelvin landed this beauty of a fish on relatively light offshore tackle and to see that golden sheen on the fish was unreal.

It wasn't a day with much quantity but very good sizes! Very happy for the guys that they managed to score some as we have lost some monsters during our previous trips.

Kurau - 5.5kg
Barramundi - 4kg

I went home, gutted and scaled the barramundi and steamed the slices the very next day.

Recipe to steam for 5 minutes:
Some ginger slices
Rock sugar water
Light soy sauce
Minced garlic

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Fun day with Changi Offshore Ah Fong

Been terribly busy these days with career and family so much that fishing isn't really important anymore. But... that's what all anglers say until they hooked one. Recently has been a tough time for me because I've been outwitted by the fishes on multiple occasions.

Today though no such incidents as the big ones weren't biting but I managed to score a decent sized grunter (guhood) on one of David's (Dactylus) new prototype jigs. I barely jigged 30 minutes with it and I was rewarded! It's a very effective jig and I reckon it will be a big hit - that's a respectable promotion for you.

Anyway, the usual Changi Offshore suspects were caught... not the best trip according to Ah Fong's standard catches this week but still great fun. Let's hope we can continue the fishing in Singapore and not face another lock-down...

Brilliant Guhood! See that jig there?
Love the shimmer of this fish!
David caught a 4lb flattie!
A whopper flathead for Singapore waters 
Mangrove jack lor...
Another Jack... 
A gao by david on his tournament tenyas
EK by KY
Gao by Weiyee whom caught the most gaos today!
Decent table sized fish!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Changi Offshore Boat Fishing 2020 Update

A day of good harvest!
It's been a long time since I went to fish offshore in Changi and it's one of the most unique places to do offshore at. An entire culture and way of doing things permeates the fishing here as many of the wooden bumboat were relocated Pulau Ubin and or Pulau Tekong. Fishing is in their way of life! So I wasn't concerned we were going with a relatively unknown boatman today and I had a gut feel that he wouldn't disappoint.

Offshore in Changi is also one of those weird ones because of how much the habitat has changed and how the prevalence of fish farming and religious fish release have contributed to a rather screwed up (in my opinion) ecosystem.

When I first fished Changi as a kid about 20 years ago, the common fishes were not groupers or snappers. In fact they were rather prized. The common fishes then included sweet lips, parrot fish, stargazers, miss wong, tee ka chias, arumugam and so on. In fact, certain trip you can get even 50 pieces of arumugam. This was probably the indication of healthy reefs. Now? Most of the fishes are groupers and snappers. Most folks don't see it as a bad thing but look beneath the surface and you will see many of the fish aren't looking healthy and look like farmed fish or the offspring of farmed fish. Good or bad? I don't know... because the fishing is good right? Another story for another day...
A very nice red snapper. Look at that radiance! Would we still get to see this kind of fish in the future?
Well this trip was good and we all had fun. In fact, really grateful to catch two of the biggest groupers and the biggest snapper. No luck for awhile now!

This 3kg specimen really gave me a good workout on light gear!
Doesn't look like a wild fish but certainly put up a good fight and I had to drag it out from the coral
Another relatively good sized one that fought well
The one thing I have learned in Changi Offshore is that you never get the better of it. I got reefed on an unknown fish that was taken on 8 inch kelong sotong. It took out line although I was almost at full drag. The boat even had to chase the fish as it got stuck in rocks twice before it bust me off. Suspect? Hybrid Grouper. Another feature of modern day offshore fishing in Changi waters...

Beautiful fried Mangrove Jack
And of course... I wasted no time in dispatching the mangrove jack!