Saturday, October 3, 2009

Post Earthquake Offshore Bashing

The build up to the trip was all good and all guns blazing for us although there were tsunamis and earthquakes happening all around us. In addition, the recent consistent drizzles and showers were a constant thought on our excited minds. I had been on offshore trips right after earthquakes before so i knew this trip was going to be a excellent or disastrous trip.

In such a situation there can be two possible scenarios. The first and most likely will be that the fishes in our area will be timid and stay off the hunt for awhile. It's not difficult to picture this since tremors could be felt all the way here even in Singapore. Of course, we hoped this would not be the case. There were already a few signs that the earthquake could be causing some disturbances to fishing.

The first being Jerome's Southern trip right before the earthquake. They ended up with two small fishes and no reason to why there were not many fishes although the water conditions were somewhat beautiful that day. The other victim was Clarence whose Tuas offshore trip the day after the earthquake was marred when they got only 2 fishes. His boatman called it a disaster and probably the worse catch he has ever had... And knowing that boatman, i dare say he does not have a big mouth.

Another less possible scenario would be that the surrounding fishes near the affected earthquake regions would "migrate" to our waters. There is startling evidence among the archives to prove this. The first of which will be popular among many offshore go-ers here. What is it? The Threadfin Bonanza after the tsunami in Phuket...

Many will recall the nights when the threadfins appear out of nowhere after the earthquake. Many will remember hauling up the threadfins by the dozens in those days. Sadly, they are now probably gone. The wharves, rigs and structures that our Southern shores have to offer probably tempted the threadfins to come here. At the same time of the threadfin bonanza, there were also reports of threadfins being hauled up by the hundreds by netters over at east coast. And who will ever forget the netters at Changi who managed to haul up hundreds of Spanish Macks(Tengirri) off Johore Shoals?

Okay enough about history. I'll get down to business already...

New on this trip were Weiyee. I really hoped both of them could get something nice tonight since both haven't been fishing recently.

Weiyee and Clarence are due to board the boat at a later time so, Jerome and myself went out to Botak Hill to get our squids for the night. The forecast for the night was not good. It was unusually hazy and a burning smell tingled our noses. Even worse, a chilly air began to pick up pace and the signs were ominous for the night.

We got to Botak Hill just in time as the boatman warned us that we must be fast in netting our squids today as the moon was bright today. If it is too late(i.e the moon right above us), the moon will destroy our chances of scooping much live squid. He also told us not to confident of live squid because the past few weeks have been bad according to his boatman connections.

Tick tock tick tock... With the time rolling on the and wind slightly dying down(since botak hill was a sheltered area).

We spent only an hour at Botak hill but it was not because we had many squids in our bag but because we did not even spot a squid... There were simply no squid around! As usual, the worry wart in me began to procrastinate and think for the worst but somehow, i'm usually quite spot on when predicting these sort of things.

We tried another location around PSA Wharves in which according to the boatman, was a popular ground for squid... Same thing here. NOTHING!

By then, the full moon was above our heads and blocked out any chance of the squid appearing so we went back to pick up Weiyee and Clarence. It looks like we will have to rely on the Kelong Squid for tonight...

We set off quick after catching Weiyee and Clarence as the current was due to shift at any moment. We stopped to fish awhile at one of the spots near Bukom but of the fairway as the the boatman decided that we would move into the prime spot only when the current is strong.

We dropped our lines down hoping that something would entertain us tonight. For the first 10 minutes... we were utterly disappointed.

Then, after the first run, i saw a bad sign. The fish was just waiting to be reeled in and made a few "Ah Seng" dips. "Ah Seng" dips are when the rod tip vibrates fervently. This happens when the fish is just struggling a little(with baby headshakes) and more like being hauled up. Fishes like Kaci or Ah Seng do this frequently. I hoped it would be a Kaci though.

Imagine the horror on my face when up came a big bamboo shark... Probably the biggest i have ever encountered at Southern side... It weighed probably around 2kg and was thrashing wildly while i helped to pull in the leader. I saw that the hook was only at the tip of the mouth and at that moment, the fish gave a final thrash and the hook dislodged itself. The fortunate fish went back into the water unharmed. So much for the superstition of landing the first fish is a must.

The boatman saw this and immediatley moved in to the fairway as we did not want to encounter anymore of these fish. We moved to the prime spot with the water flowing beautifully. The current was going up steadily and gradually settled. We were barely into our fishing when a enormous cargo ship came honking our way....


The bloody ship honked a few times and we had to move out of the spot. Having no choice after this, we moved to the area our Labrador park which was famous for Red and Golden Snappers. The current was slight here with size 3 able to hold. It was here in which i netted the a squid! What squid?!?!

But it's still a live squid right? And being desperate, i removed a head from a kelong squid and sewed the small squid onto the kelong squid with some fishing line. I finally had my "Live" Squid... A mutated alien squid. Hahahaha...

After awhile, Clarence hauled up a... Guhood. Guhood?!?! We all echoed... This area was more famous for its snappers and blue water species so it was strange that a Guhood was brought up. But who cares, it was still a fish...

After the Guhood and a very long time waiting at the area, we moved back into Bukom to try and get a ride with the biggies waiting below. But instead, all of us fell asleep there and noone knew what happened except that we were low on morale.

Eventually, we went back early at around 0530 hrs after we came to the conclusion that tonight was not our night.

It was a disappointing night for all of us especially Weiyee since there were high hopes for this trip. I feel abit bad too as i had arranged for them to come. Well, this is one of the worse results ever for this boat. It was my first zero.

We went back to RSYC with heavy hearts and battered confidence but hey this if there were no zero catch days, what was fishing? That is why i'm posting this CR now. I shall just take it that i am saving my luck for Pekan... Hahaha...

:) This is a lesson every angler must know...

The total catch... aww..