Saturday, July 4, 2020

Changi Offshore Boat Fishing 2020 Update

A day of good harvest!
It's been a long time since I went to fish offshore in Changi and it's one of the most unique places to do offshore at. An entire culture and way of doing things permeates the fishing here as many of the wooden bumboat were relocated Pulau Ubin and or Pulau Tekong. Fishing is in their way of life! So I wasn't concerned we were going with a relatively unknown boatman today and I had a gut feel that he wouldn't disappoint.

Offshore in Changi is also one of those weird ones because of how much the habitat has changed and how the prevalence of fish farming and religious fish release have contributed to a rather screwed up (in my opinion) ecosystem.

When I first fished Changi as a kid about 20 years ago, the common fishes were not groupers or snappers. In fact they were rather prized. The common fishes then included sweet lips, parrot fish, stargazers, miss wong, tee ka chias, arumugam and so on. In fact, certain trip you can get even 50 pieces of arumugam. This was probably the indication of healthy reefs. Now? Most of the fishes are groupers and snappers. Most folks don't see it as a bad thing but look beneath the surface and you will see many of the fish aren't looking healthy and look like farmed fish or the offspring of farmed fish. Good or bad? I don't know... because the fishing is good right? Another story for another day...
A very nice red snapper. Look at that radiance! Would we still get to see this kind of fish in the future?
Well this trip was good and we all had fun. In fact, really grateful to catch two of the biggest groupers and the biggest snapper. No luck for awhile now!

This 3kg specimen really gave me a good workout on light gear!
Doesn't look like a wild fish but certainly put up a good fight and I had to drag it out from the coral
Another relatively good sized one that fought well
The one thing I have learned in Changi Offshore is that you never get the better of it. I got reefed on an unknown fish that was taken on 8 inch kelong sotong. It took out line although I was almost at full drag. The boat even had to chase the fish as it got stuck in rocks twice before it bust me off. Suspect? Hybrid Grouper. Another feature of modern day offshore fishing in Changi waters...

Beautiful fried Mangrove Jack
And of course... I wasted no time in dispatching the mangrove jack!

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