The first time I went fishing with Abang in August 2011 was with the Lorry Gang namely Malau, Oldman, Nick, Nigel and me.
The catch rate was surprisingly good relative to our track record in Singapore waters. While we were busy netting fresh sotong, I accidentally stood on some of them when I tried to go pee. I caught no fish that day and the running joke was that stepping on sotong was bad luck.
The second time I went fishing with Abang (September 2011) was also with the Lorry Gang sans Malau. Nigel’s friend, Clarence, who was the one who introduced Nigel to the boatman, took Malau’s place.
Again, the catch was relatively good.
Catching fresh sotong.
Attacked when reeling this guy in
Nigel and his fish
Clarence and his Gao He
Nick and his Ang Cho
Clarence and his fish
The third time I went fishing with Abang (October 2011) was when after some “feeling” (iirc), Icebomb decided to abandon the trip and left me to take over. Sans one person, I asked a colleague/friend to join us for the trip. But he pulled out 2 days prior to the trip (after flopping about with excuses for days). A replacement was needed so I turned to FK and a random stranger came along. The trip now consisted of Oldman, Malau, Malau’s Friend, the random stranger and me.
After no bites for quite some time, it started to rain heavily at about 3am and we dashed back to the docks, with some of us chilled to the bone.
Care needs to be taken when inviting random strangers to your fishing trips. While I thought that this guy was okay and only one of my friend did not like him from the start, this guy later appeared to be quite rude. Requesting information and never saying thank you or even responding and things like that. It could be a misunderstanding but it has happened too many times so you should always apply due diligence when meeting random people in any case.
The fourth time I went fishing with Abang (December 2011) was with Clarence, Jamie, Tom and me. I had fished with Jamie at Desaru only a week earlier and he managed to land a Cobia on fresh sotong before it even hit bottom using my Angler’s Pal 8/0 hook (there are many types – this beak hook model appears to no longer be in stock) that I snelled with 100lb American Steel Fishing Wire.
I reused the hook and managed to land most of the fish shown in the pictures below.
The night started with rain and I was a bit late to arrive. The boatman was even later.
After a long period of silence, I let the line drift estimated 300 yds away from us, a style I use when the fish seem to not be biting.
Suddenly the rod started bending and the ratchet started screaming. Gave one hell of a fight. One way ticket style of fighting due to the strong current. Had to use a gimble to not damage my jewels.
My biggest stingray caught.
Based on Jamie’s boga, and if memory serves me well, the fish weighed in at about 52lbs (after adding 2 lbs for estimated “weight loss” from the stingray partially resting on its tail when weighing)
Because I wrote this post so long after the fact, because I received the photos quite late, I cannot recall who’s fish is whose. I seem to remember catching all the fish that day (including one small shark that was released). Yet I do not recall catching the small stingray and the small gao he nor the smallest “parrot fish” (?). This was my biggest bottom fishing haul to date with the stingray and the Ang Cho and the “Ang Kuey” (?) being the biggest I’ve caught!
Half of one wing was given to Jamie and I took the other half. The boatman took the other wing.
Shawn started fishing in 1994. He caught his first fish (an Ah Seng) on that very first trip to Changi Carpark 4 (before it was barricaded). He built up his fishing knowledge and gear over the years but still keeps his old gear, just like the memories.