Sunday, November 8, 2020

Fishing with Sam Law Penjuru 2020 (Update/Archive)

Beautiful coral trouts and fingermark snappers.
Two of my fishing idols. Matt and Biao.

Good time with usual kakis.

Beautiful coral trout by Boon. His first local one.

Law with his usual ang gao luck! So smirky :p

It's been awhile since we went fishing from Sam Law and he is still as sharp as ever! Two trips with him yielded much food for the table for us with big tusk fish and coral trouts taking home all the glory. I always believe that if you want to "judge" or see if a particular fishing captain knows his stuff, always look at how he does bottom fishing. 

Red and green fish are more valuable than pelagics like sagai. Best of all? Sam doesn't need to go to Raffles Lighthouse to get good fish and recently told me "if you want me to bring you catch sagai, I will cancel your booking".

What a captain. Go green or red or go home!

Sam Law's contact can be found at https://baktao.blogspot.com/2019/11/7-recommended-fishing-charters-in.html

Fishing with Jeff Tsen, Prince of Peace Boat November 2020

Fishing after the circuit breaker was awesome. It seemed that everywhere we went, we would have good catches. All good things come to an end though and the fishing in the past few months has been dreary. The bad and unpredictable weather made it worse. So today really put a smile in my heart since everyone managed to get some fun even though it was mostly escapee fish that we caught. These fish really were strong and healthy! Strong and healthy was good because there are growing rumours of one of the fish farms "dumping all their sick fish". That particular farm has all its nets raised and has totally no fish left. And you wonder why boats go there everyday to fish... sick fish.

Some tips for catching escapee/farmed fish:
  1. Bouncing your rig around and searching for them helps. Cast out and comb the area for them.
  2. Some of the fish tap on the bait lightly and some of them eat the bait and stay put. Sensitivity is key here. Set the hook well.
  3. "Dead" bait like tamban and squid do work since these fish are not wild fish and they're used to such feed at the farm.
Clearing the sea of invasive species lol
Landed a pesky invasive species hybrid grouper that had no chance once it took the bait right below me. Would have definitely given me problems if it took the tenya further out. This tenya has nothing to do with me... Jeff found it at the bottom of the sea so I just happened to use it for fun.

Some of the mangrove jacks were very plump and healthy:

Great day out at sea machiam public sea paypond lol:
Healthy mangrove jacks

Video compilation to document the trip:


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Singapore Fishing Charter Question and Answers

Quite a bit of Emails regarding this blog post. Put some of my replies here in case more folks read this.

Q: The mentioned fishing charters are fully booked. Do you have any more recommendations?

A: I don't have any more recommendations because I only put down charters which I have fished before or fished regularly at. Try to book early in advance.

Q: There are many charter companies out there when I Google, is it a must to take a trip with them?

A: No, it is not. These charter companies usually charge a higher fee but they make up for it in things like service and they may include fishing guides (note that they usually don't pay their share). You can go straight to the charter captains to arrange a trip directly.

Q: Are there any seasons to book the fishing charters? Any monsoon?

A: Charters are all year round in Singapore because our monsoon is mild and there are plenty of inshore options. There used to be predictable seasons for certain fishes but these days due to climate change, it's not that simple anymore.

Q: Do fishing charters provide equipment?

A: Call and ask. Some do at a fee but most do not. The fishing charter scene in Singapore is not that professional yet. 

Q: What does the fishing charter provide?

A: Call and ask. Minimally, they usually provide ice and bait. Some provide drinking water and some provide food. Same for toilet.

Q: Which fishing charter guarantee fishes?

A: Truthfully speaking, none can! It is fishing... However, going with the best charters usually makes it easier to get good fishes.

Q: Is jigging and luring available in Singapore fishing charter?

A: Absolutely. Most charters now recognise these methods and will be more than happy to let you have a go.

Q: What are the fishing charter timing? Is there an evening charter?

A: Evening charters are common overseas where they take you out fishing in 6 hour blocks e.g. Morning, Afternoon, Evening. But in Singapore, it's usually restricted to day fishing 8am to 5pm and night fishing 8pm to 6am. Some charters may do short trips... you can check with them. 

Q: What bait do I use?

A: Most fishing charters in Singapore will use live prawns. I definitely recommend sticking with that and not bringing your own bait. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Terrible Experience at Greenwood Fish Market Quayside Isle

My "Medium" King Salmon from Greenwood Fish Market

I seldom am a fussy eater. I generally eat all kinds of food and as long as it's relatively fresh, I can forgive small issues such as service and even subtle points in the food preparation. However, I got a rather shocking and terrible experience at Greenwood Fish Market Quayside Isle recently because everything was bad (ok, the calamari was decent) so much so that I wrote reviews immediately after dining in. I mean, for a meal that costs $300 for two, it surely deserved a little more standards. I'm rarely that "vengeful" but it was too much... It's safe to say that I will never visit this restaurant again. 

"Lost" Servers

The servers were lost if I could put it nicely. When I asked for recommendations on the oysters and what would be a good mix, the server just said "order this and this and this" without explaining why. I went ahead and ordered the three kinds recommended anyway and did not really enjoy the experience. The variety felt like a bad thing here. The "Fresh Fish" and "Trawler Catch" were were. When I asked what was the difference, the server said difference was the price. When I asked what was available, the server said only "Monkfish, Red Fish and King Salmon". When I asked what was Red Fish, server only mentioned "Red Fish lor, meat is white". Wah hello, fish meat not white then is red ah? I probed further and asked if Red Fish was Orange Roughy or Red Coral Trout (those were the only two "red fish" I saw on the menu and I won't mind trying the Orange Roughy to be honest). I later went to walk around and look at the fish storage section and found out that it was Red Snapper aka Ang Kuey. Not sure because they wanted to cover up that their "Trawler Catch" is just something I can buy at NTUC. 

The "everything don't have" menu

I can accept restaurants not having certain items on the menu from time to time especially if they're fresh catch or seasonal. But not when more then half of the selection isn't available. It was shocking that of the 20 plus kinds of fresh oysters they had on the menu, they had half of the oysters available only. Of the 20 types of fishes available for "Fresh Fish" and "Trawler Catch", they only had 3 or 4! I had actually looked forward to the variety and wanted to try and compare and really had fun. Might as well just put 5 staple fish on the menu only and the rest of the special fish on the catch of the day kind of thing?

Half hearted Oyster Shucking

The oysters were really decent for the price and this is credit due. But the way they were handled weren't reflective of the quality. Attention to detail with the shucking was horrendous with bits of shell everywhere and it was a terrible experience. You only kind of expect this kind of shucking during cheap seafood buffets. And also it seemed that the brining liquid that they use to run through the oysters may have been too briny. Some of the oysters were way too salty (not the type) probably due to the briny liquid. 

Bits of hard rice in the Risotto

The Lobster and Crab Risotto was actually ok. Taste is decent and it's perfect if you want something "safe" and easy to eat especially if you brought your baby out. Small thing though, some of the grains of rice were a little hard to consistency was not too good. Either the cooking process missed a minute or two or there wasn't enough stock to cover the rice completely.

Terrible King Salmon

This was probably the worst thing of all and maybe I have high standards of fish but...

  • The King Salmon was DRY and COLD upon serving. Very sad because I requested for Medium.
  • The server mentioned "fresh" fish but I could tell that fillets of meat were likely to be from brined, cured or salmon that has been seasoned too long. It was unnaturally salty and it had a bitter after taste. I have ate King Salmon in Singapore at home (just go to a gourmet supermarket like Jason's) and overseas in New Zealand (oh man unforgettable) and this was out of this world terrible. It sincerely felt like a NTUC fillet of salmon may have been better.
  • Vegetables were too softy and overcooked.
End of the review... or complaint. Like I said, calamari was good. And on hindsight, I did have many friends from my blog that reached out to me and said that the Bukit Timah branch isn't this bad. And I always thought the Sentosa one would be the star.

My corresponding Facebook post on that night itself for reference... 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Upper Seletar Reservoir Legal Fishing Ground October 2020

It's not often that I go freshwater luring fishing in Singapore. I probably do that once or only twice a year. And it's because of the lack of time, lack of excitement and that I simply cannot go to non conventional spots anymore and we all know how much difference that makes.

There comes a time though that you just want to wet your lines and then there are a few fish that appear to entertain you. That happened today at USR legal fishing ground (can you believe it?) as the schooling Temensis (or Peacock Bass or whatever you call it) came within casting distance and were basically taking jigs and lures the moment they saw them. Talk about not needing any skill at all.

It was really fun though as Shawn and me reminisced about those times we regularly went for freshwater fishing sorties...

Not much tips here. Simply cast near or into the school and you'll get a hit. If you can't reach them, try jigs, spoons and heavy rubbers to get the distance. Shawn and me last count on how many fishes we caught. Some of our fishes were caught and released without photos. Probably about a dozen or more on my end of things.

First one on the baktao lollipop jig!
Crippled herring. Personal favourite old school jig!
Another on the lollipop jig...
And aother...
And another...
Not sure why I chose this
Crippled Herring!
GT Bio spin jig red...
Crippled herring...
Island Anglers Rubber!
Island Anglers...
Kurau Jig... Shawn landed a few, not much photos
Lollipop jig...

To get to Upper Seletar Reservoir Legal Fishing Ground, you can follow the below Google Maps:

Eging at Punggol End Jetty with the famous Fisherrmanfan

Can I still do eging? Can I still catch a squid? These were the questions running around in my head as I went for a last minute eging trip with the famous Fisherrmanfan. Fisherrmanfan (also known as Yifan) is going eging with me for his very first time and I was supposedly the "pro". Problem was that I haven't been shore eging for maybe almost a decade! Fished out some of very old eging jigs from my storage space and realised I was already out of stock for my favourite Yamashita egi jigs. Ahhh never mind, I still had trusty Lamses, Cofita and Technic cheap squid jigs. I bought these for 50 cents to a dollar in the past! 

I still had my cheap egis!

No eging rod and reel? Ahhh never mind, brought my micro jigging setup (St Croix 6-12lbs and Shimano Vanquish C3000). Eging was still the same. Squids still come at certain timing. Punggol End Jetty still has some squids. But I guess the season hasn't really reached. The eging ah laus were still there but I was shocked to see everyone of them has upgraded to dedicated eging setups and were whipping like no tomorrow. Almost every eging angler on the jetty also had glaringly bright headlights! It was so different from last time... I was also shocked the jetty as still packed after midnight. 




Score: 
Nigel - 1 
Yifan - 1 
Rockstar egi group (at least half a dozen of them) - 1 
Ah Laus (3 to 4) - 0

Quite a relief that I managed to save my face by catching at least one piece... it was promptly dispatched the next day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Changi Offshore Fishing with Dad 2020: GRATEFUL

Offshore Fishing in Changi has sort of seen a revival in recent times and it isn't entirely due to fish stocks recovering. Released fishes due to religious groups and escapees from extensive fish farming have led to snapper and grouper populations being elevated. There is some recovery though and we have seen migrating fish such as some Threadfin Salmon, Cobia, Jewfish returning to Changi waters. These kinda fishes were non existent in the early 2000s when Changi was still recovering from land reclamation. It's weird but it's fairly certain that the current fishing fun we are having at Changi is mostly man made. If we just relied on wild fish, we wouldn't have much to show for!

Anyway, fishing with Dad is getting rarer these days and I'm very grateful to be able to go fishing with him this day. He had all the luck today as he landed three very good sized fishes and out fished me. He even lost one very huge fish and all this while insisting that he use a mono line overhead setup. His rig for the whole day was a single hook paternoster (apollo) rig that I pre-tied for him.

It was unbelievable because most of the time he was just sitting down and holding his rod.

Tackle that Dad used: Zenaq Jigger Trust 59-3 and Shimano Tekota 500

It wasn't easy fishing though as the water conditions were poor. There was heavy sediment in the water indicating lots of freshwater run off from inshore and the wind wasn't in our favour. Makes it extra special though and I am grateful that Dad made the most of his time :)

Dad landed his very first hybrid grouper!
Good sized fish!
He also rather nonchalantly landed a golden snapper
And then a very nice specimen of an orange spotted grouper!
Beautiful fish!
Deformed Vesak Day Mangrove Jack landed by Dad's friend
Tough day! I caught the bigger ang cho, flathead and another ang cho. The rest of the fish by my dad's friends.
Very healthy and fat grouper
Hybrid grouper still the fattiest. No fight!
My new tool for chopping up fish... very easy and clean

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Threadfin Salmon (Kurau) on Changi Vincent's Boat!

Although I have lost count if how many times I went offshore fishing at Changi, nothing is as sweet and rare as seeing a Kurau landed right before your eyes. And a beautiful one at that! Kelvin landed this beauty of a fish on relatively light offshore tackle and to see that golden sheen on the fish was unreal.

It wasn't a day with much quantity but very good sizes! Very happy for the guys that they managed to score some as we have lost some monsters during our previous trips.



Weighed:
Kurau - 5.5kg
Barramundi - 4kg

I went home, gutted and scaled the barramundi and steamed the slices the very next day.

Recipe to steam for 5 minutes:
Some ginger slices
Rock sugar water
Light soy sauce
Pepper
Minced garlic