Thursday, April 21, 2016

8 reasons why Aunty Pond at Neo Tiew Crescent is one of the best fishing ponds in Singapore

I'll be honest. I have never loved or liked pond fishing as I always likened it to fishing prostitution. The pond buys fishes to release and the fisherman catches these fishes. There's nothing noble or "wild" about fishing for farm bred fishes. In pond fishing, we know what we're going to catch but in the wild, we don't know until we land the fish.

Pond fishing was "okay" last time when fishing pond operators released more fishes but as the cost of living in Singapore went up, so did the cost to release fish. Nowadays, pond fishing operators release so little fish that people often shout "TEE XIII PANG HEUR" more frequently.

That said though, It was my birthday and I wanted to go fishing for a few hours so Bakgal brought me to Aunty Pond at Neo Tiew. I was sceptical at first but as I went about my fishing, I must say that Aunty Pond has certainly given me a more refreshing experience.

Here's why.

1. You don't need to bring your own aerator pump, bait net or baitbox.

Bait friendly aerator hoses!
Preparation for Singapore pond fishing is always troublesome and the first thing to think about (if you're baiting) is how your live bait well survive. Live prawns and milkfish are the most common baits being used here. Some regular pond fishing kakis will either bring a styrofoam box and aerator pump or they bring a small bait net to contain the live prawns. I was pleasantly surprised when Bakgal told me that I didn't need to bring any of these. Aunty Pond provided a white pail to contain the prawns and aerator hoses were provided all around the pond. You simply had to plug the hose into the pail of water! My professors at the LKY School would chip in and call it sustainable bait keeping (since you don't use batteries).

Oh yes and they sell live prawns ($4/100kg) and dead Kembong there too.

2. You don't need to bring fish keeping nets or fish stringer keepers. Use their baskets. 

Isolate your catch in clean water!
I also didn't need to bring fish stringer keepers or fish keeping nets. The fishing pond provided fish keeping baskets at the corners of the pond. These baskets were numbered and submerged in a small enclosure pond. This may seem "normal" but anyone who goes pond fishing regularly would tell you that the difference here is that the water in the small pond is much more cleaner than the water in the fishing pond. The small pond had a good filtration system as well. The other obvious advantage was that since fish stringers and keep nets are not used (in the main fishing pond), there is less chance of the your line entangling with these fish keeping contraptions. In other words, you now have more space to fight the fish and coax it in.

3. The legend of the giant ang chors

The legend lives on!
The legend of the giant ang chor (golden snapper) of aunty pond is one I often heard. I encountered these giants when I was fishing at the aunty event fishing pond in the past but I didn't know they still exist now in the main pond. Although I didn't fish one up, I was fortunate to witness an angler land one of these giants. The guy landed the fish with a 1-4lbs rated tackle which was no mean feat since the fish weighed almost 4kg! Fishes of these sizes are need to excite the anglers so that we don't always catch just the odd table sized barramundi or snapper.

4. Clean water for washing hands are conveniently located around the pond

Water tank for cleaning hands
Sinks available too. Bring your own soap.
Another brownie point was that clean water for washing your hands or tackle were conveniently located around the whole pond. This made it easier for me to wash my hands (after I handled bait) or when you want to pack up (and wash your tackle). How thoughtful!

5. Landing nets are available all around the pond. 

No need for boga, just use net lah.
One doesn't need to land his or her catch with pliers or bogas here. There were nets provided all around the pond which you can use to land your big catch.

6. Fishes were relatively healthy

Good colours on the KBL
Deep healthy red for the fat Mangrove Jack!
Healthy fish is necessary for a good pond fishing experience. If fishes aren't healthy, chances are they won't fight well and they may not even be feeding! Even you do land them, are you going to eat a fish which has pale complexion, broken fins or milky eyes? Below is a video I took of fishes at a certain fishing pay pond in Singapore. The fishes were dying as they were being released. I wouldn't want to be eating such fishes!

Thankfully though, the fishes caught at Aunty Pond were very lively, fought well and looked ok too. I even made an exception to my "no eating of pond fishing" rule and ate a barramundi for birthday!

Yes, I ate pond fish.
7. Baktao managed to catch some fishes.

Tapao time!
Well, this reason may come as a surprise to you but I haven't been doing pond fishing for a long long time. This means that I have lost touch on how to do pond fishing and regulars will know this is important as you must know where the fish "hang out". Although I was very hardworking on spinning the live prawns to find the fishes, I was still surprised when I managed to get 5 fishes in the three hour session.

8. It is private.

Less crowd, more relaxing.
The best reason to like Aunty Pond though would be that it's 100% private. Aunty Pond has a strict entry only for anglers and they actually have a gate. This means that only those who fish can go in. This was great as you didn't had strangers or bystanders that would hang around the pond watching you fish. It just meant less people, more space for casting and in my case, more quiet time. That's how fishing should be actually. All alone by yourself and relaxing as you watch the world go by...

Aunty's Fishing Pond at Neo Tiew is located 291 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718903. You can contact them at +6567921318 or +6567923695. Operating hours are 8am to 11.30pm daily and charges are at $60 for 3 hours per rod. For more information, you can visit their Facebook.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Peoples' Church is organizing a fun family day at D'Kranji Resort

In the past, I was so busy fishing that I forgot that Christ should play an important part in my life too. So once in awhile, I thought why not dedicate a post or two to Christ. My Church (The People's Church) will be organizing a fun family day at D'Kranji Resort (also where Oceania prawning or formerly 1Ders recreation is).

Kranji Farms (D'Kranji, Bollywood Veggies, Hay Diaries etc.) has been coming out a lot in the papers and media so this really is a good chance to explore the area while having some fun!

To register, visit the event page at The People's Church website.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Merchong Fishing April Open Season Wrap Up

It's back to Tee King Chong's Merchong Fishing yet again!

It’s a common well known fact among the Singapore fishing community that fishes around the region are getting so little that you need to go during the “open season” in order to ensure a good fishing catch report. 
Some anglers claim that the open season is better as the trawlers have not arrived but I guess the most credible reason is that during the monsoon season, the fishes are given a time to recover from fishing stress. Seasoned anglers will be surprised to know that fishing stress is not only the removal of fishes (to eat) from the sea but also the frequency that the area is fished at (be it jigs or baits). Sometimes, even though you release the fish, it can cause fishing stress as fish seem to be more wary to being caught again.

Some open season predictions came true for our Merchong trip this time. Our ever dependable Ah Biao predicted there could be Ang Cho (Snapper) and Cobia around during the open season. He was right – we caught more Ang Cho then usual during the trip and had a good run of Cobias. The fishes also seemed more responsive to jigs and a few of the Chos were caught on jigs. Ah Biao even landed a Pek Cho on jig.

Day 1
Day 2
Strangely though, Ebeks seemed to be everywhere during the trip. I usually do not aim for Ebeks during Merchong trips but somehow they were at almost every Unjam spot! The good fight of the Ebeks that came along reminded me of the wonderful Ebek fishing in Pekan. I caught my Ebeks on the baktao micro jigging setup and St Croix SC3 during this trip. All Ebeks were caught on the Storm Gomoku Micro jig 30g which is a jig any angler should have in their tackle box.

7kg on the SC3 12-20lbs custom St Croix
About 6kg on the Baktao Micro SC4
Ebek were almost everywhere!
The trip also had a good run of good sized Ang Cho Kee (some were a kilo plus!) and the baktao pink tenya proved deadly here. Brought up a few pcs with the pink tenya although some other big fishes came to bully me! I guess it’s time to ditch the finesse game and go big on these hooks.

Kilo plus sized Tanda!
Sometimes, this happens.
I’ll be out of action for Merchong though at least until July… Having a Maldives exploratory fishing trip next. Wish me luck as I chase the legendary Maldives GT and Bluefin Trevally!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Slow Fall Jigs for Singapore Fishing

Slow Fall Jigs for Sale at Bakgal's Carousell
If you're looking for affordable slow fall jigs, my girlfriend - Bakgal is selling some at her Carousell shop. Be sure to check her shop out. The jigs will be suitable for a variety of locations and terrain. I use them too for my trips to Southern Island or Changi and I'll be also bringing some to Maldives in the near future to try out slow fall jigging there.

Visit her shop at the below link: