Mini Ebek (Chermin) fun at Changi Offshore Fishing with Ah Long!

I have not fished with Ah Long for months already due to this erratic schedule. It was tough to book his boat as he occasionally engages in shipping work sometimes. But somehow, the card of fate was played again as I signed up for an Ah Long trip with Ah Biao! The last time I met Ah Long, was when he towed Boatman Shawn's boat as he had a stalled engine. It seems just fate-ish that a few weeks later, I was to meet Long again.

Baktao with Ah Long
Word was around that the Chermins were back at their usuall hunting ground after a few years of recovery. Changi Naval Base fishing area used to be a heaven for Chermins until they dredged the entire area, presumably for the Naval ships to pass by. This uprooted many of the soft corals - I call them penis corals because they are so soft and looks like a penis! These are corals that Chermins and Big Snappers love to hang around! The Chermins were not in their abundant schools and we had to drift in order to make the most of the time and terrain.

As we travelled to the spot, I could see almost all kakis are regulars of Ah Longs and we had no problem getting Ah Long into the groove. Ah Long was a little sick today but he was around familiar faces! Everyone was baiting when we finally dropped lines... well except me! I was putting on a brave front by doing micro jigging to prove the theory that Chermins do take jigs except that they prefer smaller jigs! Add that to the fact that we were drifting, micro jigging has the advantage as I was able to horizontal comb the terrain across all water columns while the baiters had no choice but to rely on the boat's drifting movement. True enough, after a few casts combing the bottom and middle columns, I had a take on the drop! Takes on the drop were always fun as you suddenly panic, reel fast and set the hook!

Next few seconds were the beautiful screaming of my Daiwa Legalis 1500SH (my now trusty cheap reel!) and I screamed "Dio Liao" or in layman's anglers terms, "Fish ON!". The baiters were in shock as their baiting senses told them that 7 baiters to 1 jigger made it impossible that the jigger should get the fish. They all said... must be foul hook lah... and it was here Ah Long took the chance to take a dig at the baiters... "I told you all don't laugh at metal jigs, you see... you all buy prawns for what? Cook Maggi?"... That bitchy Long!!! When I took out my jigs, he dismissed them but now he was totally with me?!?!

I fought the fish carefully as I was only using 6lbs tuffline with 4.9lbs frog hair FC line.... every run, I prayed that the fish wouldn't bust the line... everytime the fish went under the boat, I prayed the thin FC wouldn't get cut off by the boat's bottom! The fish finally surface and Ah Long took his time to net the fish! The baiters crowded around and when they saw the jig on the fish's mouth, they dismissed it again and went back to their baffling baiting! I decided to up the ante then... after a few photos and fish into icebox, I casted out again....

Oh yea, finally something decent on micro after so long

Don't let it cut me off on the boat!

Oh shit it's going below!

Ah Long with the customary pose
Sink.... Sink.... One whip, two whips, sink again.... another five whips later and another sink, BOOOM! Freight train take on the drop! I didn't even dare to set the hook on this one, the take was so strong that the fish self hooked itself! Next 10 seconds were epic as the baiters cursed and swear wondering what was wrong! Fight was over soon though as the fish tired out and it was a bigger Chermin! It's 2 in a row now, and the jiggers cum baiters like Biao and Chu Ge were tempted to try jigging too! They casted out and followed the same workings for their micro jig and all of us had hits! But only Chu Ge managed to connect with his and he fought a good fighting Chermin up with Crippled Herring!

Chu Ge hits one! Casting micro with BC and hitting one!
Ah Biao with 2 mirrors!
The baiters now were asking us... "How to use jig ah? Got spare jig?".... Wahahaha! But it was not to be as current changed fast and I knew jigs were not going to be effective now because the fishes would be actively looking for the baits. True enough, baiters started getting hits and even I converted to baits lol.... It was after I converted to bait that I got a crazy hit! My rod was at the front of the boat and by the time I got to it, the fish was already far out at the back of the boat! It took out another 50-100m on lightning speed before busting my 4.9lbs FC..... with everyone looking stunned.... and me regretting using 4.9lbs FC thinking there were only smallies here. The usual GT, Cobia, super sized chermin suggestions were brought up, but we will never know!

Baiters start hitting fish!
The rest of the trip was bogus though when the winds started blowing, water turning into teh tarik, only Ah Biao (yes only him!) managed to bring up a solitary 4lbs grouper and 2lbs ang kuey during the afternoon........

Biao and gao

Ang kuey on madai!
But we were still contented with the catch and having met up with Ah Long who will be embarking on a new shipping job for a few months.... Will see him then again!

Mirror mirror on the wall....


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