100% Madai Jigs and Slow Fall/Pitch fishing with Ricky Ah Eng at Southern Islands

The Madai (or Tai Rubber/Tai Kabura) jigs fishing scene has been on a boil for now. After a few pioneers started it from RSYC (Fishing Buddy/Anglers Outfitters etc), it has become a "go to" method for most fishing boatman and charters in Singapore. That isn't surprising because the method has seen huge success especially with Grouper fishing as anglers are able to accurately pinpoint key hit success areas at drop offs or reefs. The Madai jig presents itself right into the fishes hiding place and predatory ambush predators like the Grouper cannot resist the Octopus-like presentation. Actually, to conclude, the Madai jig would probably be "just another very flashy Hong Kong hook" except that it comes in 150g and 200g!

Why the title 100%? It came about as many charters and anglers started using baits on their madai jigs to improve strike rates. I always believed that fishes take notice of a madai or inchiku jig very quickly as it is highly striking and visible. The fishes then observe the jigs movement and follow the jigs for quite awhile. During this time, the fish may attack the jig resulting in "nibbles". Parrot fish, snappers, coral trouts often do this as they are highly curious. I found out that getting the fish to notice your jig is one thing, if your presentation or method fails to get the fish to bite (and instead swim away), you spook the fish! These sentiments were echoed by a very certain and famous Ah Ho a.k.a Henry Ho as well! Both of us agreed the coral trout was the more tougher fish to "bluff" or "trick" into committing itself! Therefore, if you are using baits, you skip all the goosechase and fishes immediately respond to your madai since it is "confirmed edible!"

Although madai with baits or maprawn or masotong or matopus is a method that boat charters like Sure Heng aggressively promote, it is NOT a good practice if you are learning the real way of madai fishing. If you are tired or simply need the fish for dinner, by all means, use the "sure win" method but... expert Madai fishos put in a lot of hard work, patience and skill into using 100% Madai without baits... and that is the fun of using artificials! By using baits, you are depriving yourself of the challenge and real intention of madai...

And during this very trip, I had the privilege of fishing with one of the pioneers of Madai jigs fishing - Dave Peh. He's one of the very first that tried this method and his group of kakis are just so good at what they do, that they give you confidence... Their tackle specialized (Dave customs madai rods, just do a google for Dave Peh creations), jigs are refined to their utmost effectiveness....

Ah Eng was not in a very good mood today and the first few hours were not impressive due to the slack tide. Only one grouper at 3lbs was landed during the morning but as the tide turned, a good 2 - 3 hours was spent hauling up groupers and snappers with a few one way tickets as our line got cut! I even managed to continue my 100% record of landing coral trouts whenever fishing with Dave and Roger! Mugan, who slept most of the trip managed to land some good sized Groupers after his sleep! And the baktao managed to land a beautiful Coral Trout on Custom Anglers 150g Madai!

First few hours were bad...

Until it was frenzy time!

First gao by orange orange!

Sweet ang gao on 150g madai!

Good work out on light tackle - Ripple Fisher

Double hook up!

Look at that fish! Weighed around 15lbs!

Kiat's 12lbs gao!

Small fish takes too!

Double hook up! Oh yeah!

Last one of the day!

Great haul on 100% jigs
Ah Eng's boat is big, cheap and comfortable.... will try to go up again soon....


Anonymous said…
Sad la ah eng sold his boat....dunno new owner take anymore booking or not?
Anyone know?
Nigel said…
Heard even though boat sold he will still be driving it ;)

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