Thursday, December 26, 2013

Baktao Tackle

In this page, I will post some of the things that I have to clear from time to time. These are my excess fishing stuff.

The reason I am doing this is that I usually build up a lot of excess tackle from time to time and it is tough to pack them and resell again after years! By streamlining my collection, it will help me save time and money.


To view Baktao Tackle, click below or follow the link on the top navigation bar!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kranji Reservoir Legal Fishing Area

Fishing alone has been therapeutic for me and I have often done it solo just to have a feel of the wind on my face. It's much more relaxing than having to arrange with fellow kakis and then have to compete with other expectations. When you're alone, it's simply you and your funny nuances.

Having some good ole alone fishing time
But I have since stopped fishing more "hardcore" areas alone after having close encounters with monster wild boars, snakes and crocodiles... hence, I returned to my favourite legal freshwater spot in Singapore. It was reasonable fishing here since the spot is legal and one can expect certain surprises once in awhile if you are hardworking and lucky. I have personally landed good sized Tomans, Soon Hocks and Peacock Bass here.

I have since acquired a very special tool that would make fishing solo a more memorable experience! No longer are videos or pictures limited to a first person experience, my GoPro camera means that I am able to take more selfies, videos of me and the catches/techniques!

When I reached the spot, I was in two minds on whether to set up my cameras ASAP or whether to quickly cast out to the Toman fry school that was right in front of me! Quickly, I decide to position the camera in case some footage was to be had... Alas that was the wrong decision was the Toman fry school with it's parents quickly swam out to non casting distance even with my Genesis Assasini 7'6!

I tried out frogging at the legal areas and shifted between Areas A and B before having some good Peacock Bass fun in Area A! That's a good way to end the day... and of course, a little CNR to pave the way...

Taken on saltwater squid rig!

Here's the good ol solo video showing my experience and hope I can transmit to you the awesomeness of solo fishing ;)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Temensis Peacock Bass Catch and a look into their behaviour

With the good ole spot producing a good bed of fish recently, some good ole kakis were invited to explore the urban legend of "Amazon" style luring. They were new to this and very soon the usual urban complains snickered into our lives of that day.

"Why so far one...."

"Reach already or not...."

These were the usual hot words on that day but once we reached the sweet spot, the air just simply stood still with a calm excitement - experienced kakis like Weiyee taking out lures from his lure box in a slow relaxing manner which made it seem that this was his 1000th cast.

But the first cast didn't produce much fish.... only Nigel landing a couple of Temensis with his good ole home made no frills flys.... and the gang trudged along, this time Shawn with Weiyee and me with Kiat (who wore crocs!). The usual schools were not around the same areas as the previous trip and we were hard pressed to land some good fish. Weiyee and Shawn soon gave up and crossed over to the other bank while Kiat and me were still hopeful....

As Kiat made his last cast at the current river and turned his back, I lobbed a Storm Super Skarp just under some sunken banana tree leaves. Playing with micro and small jigs in the amazon setting was now a favourite past time of mine - the good casting distance meant I could work a further stretch of water while the versatile action allowed me to employ several modes of retrieve or jigging. Lo and Behold.... as I vertically jigged the fluttering Super Skarp below the leaves, a HUGE school of big Temensis Peacock Bass in the range of 1 - 5kg suddenly ambushed my jig and circled it! It seemed as though there was some agreement on which fish should take the jig first and as they dallied, I shouted over to Kiat to RUSH OVER and cast out with smallest minnow! And the next few moments were shouts of joy and ecstasy as we hit loads of fish from the school. They ranged from 2 kg - 5kg and were great to fight on my light tackle! Shawn and Weiyee looked over in sadness from the other bank as me and Kiat hit our quotas for the day!

Kiat's first Temmy! A good sized one!

Oh yeah, another capture on the super skarp!

More hits on the lure
After we hit more than half a dozen fishes, the fishes disappeared and it was soon a good half an hour of trekking to the next river... halfway though, Shawn managed to get a Toman by sheer persistence of casting his Yozuri Tobimaru and reeling in while the rest of us lazed around near a steep opening....
Landing fish from a steep angle. I had to go down head first to boga the fish while Kiat held my feet! Just for the sake of Shawn's tiny Toman!

Shawn's tiny Toman
Alas when we reached the next river, the usual fishes were missing again or so we thought..... all of us sat down to much on our lunch while we made lazy casts when an even larger school of Temensis easily hundreds of them slowly sneaked up on our lures and began to hit them! These fish were swimming deep but just beside us from where we sat! We could see them take the lures and jigs..... casting out spin flies resulted in goalkeeper hook ups! All of us were smiling and laughing like small kids... landing multiple fishes....

They were all around us...

And they took flies readily...

Lo jiak lo jiak!

Oops what happened here?
We were absolutely satisfied and delighted with the fishing today.... it was top notch.... and we bashed back to civilization, hoping that somehow, someway.... that spot won't be "chui" the next time we head there.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2D1N Batam City Tour and Stay

This post about my experiences with Batam won't be entirely fishing related but all fishing kakis need somewhere cheap and good to bring their FWAGs (Fishermen Wives and Girlfriends) during peaceful non fishing times. Batam is a great place for this and may include some fishing too (If you are heading to KTM Resort, Shalom Kelong, Batam View Beach Resort or Harris Hotel (think they have their own fishing pond) ) But most of the time, the fishing isn't anything to shout about and us tired fishos would rather laze around and enjoy massage/food. Below are some experiences with and without tours.

2D1N Batam Trips usually come in the form of tour packages these days with Groupon and Big deals offering great deals to hotels like Novotel, Mecure, Harris, Pacific Palace, Harmoni One, Nagoya etc. The tour usually throws in the ferry (so far we've taken only Sindo Ferry), a complimentary tour (Best 933) and the hotel stay with breakfast for a crazy price for as long as $29 SGD per pax! Well, it's not a scam for sure and I've been on a few trips to tell you that I still don't know how they earn money.

Voucher/Booking Issues
As with vouchers, a good deal must have a catch right? The catch is that simply don't book impulsively. There are many vouchers available with different hotels and different cut off dates (for example travel from XXX to XXX). Some deals do not include travelling on Public Holidays or having surcharges on weekends. I always contact the respective tour agent/booking party and ask if my preferred dates are available before quickly buying the Groupon and reserving the dates. Never buy vouchers and then later on find out that you can't go on the dates you want!

Ferry/Accommodation Issues
The ferry to Batam is most likely to be at Harbourfront Centre. When you claim your voucher or book your tour through the agency, the next thing they will need is your passport details so they can book the ferry tickets for you. If you are going yourself, you will have to send these details to your ferry operator by yourself. If you are going on weekends, I recommend to be at Harbourfront Centre 1.5 hours before the ferry departure time because in that way, you can collect your tickets early and head for a quick breakfast before embarking on the ferry.

Agents/Groupons usually have a fixed timing for all customers to board the ferry but I've found out that this can be flexible upon request. For example, I recently changed my 12.00pm return ferry timing to 17.00pm so that I can spend more time in Batam. But you have to be flexible as you are to arrange your own transport to the ferry terminal. There are also taxes to be paid when you depart Harbourfront Centre $20 SGD - 17/12/2013 and 65000 rupiah - 17/12/2013 so do bring extra cash!

As for accommodation, one should not be too fussy or demanding when you check in (for Groupons usually in evening) as the hotels are usually fully booked and there MAY be occasions you do not get what you want (for example, king sized bed not available only two single beds). We faced the situation of not having adjacent rooms at Novotel during our previous trip but they made up for this by offering us complimentary room upgrades so it was great service!

Money Changing
Never change all your money in Singapore. I stand by this because the exchange rates in Batam are so much better than probably all money changers in Singapore. The usual walk in rate for any store at Batam is 1 sgd : 9500 rp... and best of all? You can HAGGLE especially if you change more. So I'd suggest change a little in Singapore for emergency/misc use and change the rest of your SGD when you arrive at the ferry terminal or shopping malls.

Tour Highlights
When you arrive at Batam, the Tour guide will be awaiting for u and will bring you to a variety of places in Batam. It's worth it because you get to cover the tour plus the tour guides usually have a 20% discount when you visit most stores so aunties get crazy over this especially in the dried goods area!

Brief Details
Polo Outlet - Polo fans will love the place as it is cheaper by 50% or more than compared to Singapore but do check with the tour guide on genuineness of the shirts.

First Factory Outlet and Batik Factory Outlet - I usually skip these places and cross the road over to Astro food court penuin for some cheap and good curry puffs ($0.30 SGD) and delicious Bak Ku Teh with pigs blood! ($3.50 SGD).

Swee's curry puff at Astro has curry chicken flavor, yam and sardines. The curry chicken and yam is delicious! We were so impressed that we wanted to buy non cooked ones and bring back to Singapore but the owner only allows us to buy half cooked ones! :(

Swee's Currypuff. A MUST have!

Old Chang Kee size?

Egg included!

Bak Ku The Mee Sua
Batam Chocolate House - Very crowded place where you sample chocolate

Bengkong Dried Goods - My mum went crazy over here. Good for buying atachi, dried food such as dried fish and prawn crackers etc. Highly recommend the Avocado juice at the café beside the dried goods stall as they use milk chocolate for the sweetener instead of brown sugar

Golden Prawn 933 (Golden Tourist shop and Bird nest) - The included meals aren't always that good as its a set lunch. They have live Seafood though and if you fancy some, just let your tour guide know but you'll have to bear the cost! Very nice ambience with fat milkfish in big schools looking at you as you dine.

BCS Mall - Singaporeans come here for the usual A & W but we found out a relatively quiet but great massage place with good ambience. $10 SGD / hour top level of BCS Mall.

Nagoya Hill Mall - Top level has Sawasdee Massage which is always fully booked and good for massage too.

Go Kart, Mini House Golden Beach - Have not tried before but beach looks dirty. Go Kart at $15 SGD/15mins is not that attractive.
Ice Kacang and Chendol near the Go Kart area at the shopping area is not too bad

Batam Layer Cake -  Don't think the layer cakes are awesome but they are freshly baked and delivered to you.

Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple - Awesome temple with 3 large shrines for Buddha, Guanyin and Guan Gong. Very under-rated temple and highly recommended to visit.

Severely under rated temple!
captured outside the temple!
Note: There is a tour guide tip of $2 SGD per pax at the end of the trip

Harbourbay Seafood
If you want a cheap Seafood feast and good ambience, Harbourbay is the place for you. It's located right beside the sea and there are rows of Seafood restuarants including a secondary area where there are rows of al fresco chill out restaurants/dining places which show live big screen soccer. I'd been to Harbourbay twice and firmly recommend Wei Wei (Wey Wey) Seafood restaurant. The price for a plate of gong gong should be around 5 SGD so that's the going rate!

They have everything there from live mud crabs, live flower crabs, live lobsters, tiger groupers, seabass, snapper, pomfret, crayfish, mantis prawns... you name it!

Harbour Bay seafood delights!
Harbourbay is accessible via Taxi - if you're heading from Pacific Palace, Grand Mecure, BCC, Novotel, the taxi fare should be around $5 SGD.

KTM Resort Eging and Guanyin Statue
Fishos check out KTM resort where you can do some fishing and Eging. Click here for my reports...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Barracuda Saves Face!

In yet another whacky fishing episode with Jimmy Lim, we are put to the test of keeping our stomach's sane with all that cheeky laughing and ass poking! The fish were few today though and although we shifted many times, we just could not get the fishes to bite.

But there were still some smallies playing around and they entertained us until we went for the most fun part of the trip... The trolling! It was during trolling that one would feel there was bound to be something at the end of the line as you search out the fishes with that heat seeking trolling lure!

Ang ko li on jig!

Biao with a chor on bait
Well.... until it rained cats and dogs and we had to take cover.... But we still went trolling in the end...

There were a number of shocks during this trolling trip though as Biao got himself bullied by a suspected big Mangrove Jack above 5kg.... It even broke his lure's bib after it got itself unhooked!

But Biao redeemed himself with a whopper of a Barracuda at 15lbs taking his lure. It tried to get away but was no match for his Calstar 10-25! It was promptly released after photo taking to let other anglers have a chance at hooking this beauty up!

Biao with his aunty baiter look and his big barracuda which we safely released!

Here's a short video so you can visualize the epic fight!

Nothing much to write about on this trip but next trip there will be! Here's a consolation video of Jimmy using his "top secret" technique of getting your hook out of the snag if that happens!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kayak Fishing with Chef Bob

I've only just seen this so I'm sharing this with my readers! I think sometime back, some producer for Suria contacted me about a fishing show with the famous Chef Bob and one thing led to another, Mathew brought Chef Bob and Hotspot Wenlong out for some Kayak fishing and outback cooking! Glad to have played a part in their adventures!

Video part 1

Video part 2