Monthly Archives: December 2011

30th December 2011 – Last FW Fish of 2011

Shawn/ December 31, 2011/ freshwater, Singapore/ 0 comments

It took us all day but after changing spots and getting lost again, we each hooked up one. At about 4pm we called it quits and got ourselves prepared to go to Nick’s Year End Party at his place.


Nigel with baby Temensis

Cichla Temensis

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.

Boxing Day FW Mission

Shawn/ December 27, 2011/ freshwater, Singapore/ 0 comments

I slept some time after midnight the day before. Owing to the Christmas season, late nights had been common for me for the past week.

This was my fourth straight day of fishing and everyday I had been up early but not bright.

The day began when I went to pick up my repaired Daiwa Freams 3500 (2011 model) from Riverland Tackle. They called me at about 11pm the night before and told me that it was ready for collection. If you have read one of my previous posts (or if I have written it by the time you read this), then you will know that I bought the reel only 1 day before my first Desaru jigging trip and only 2 days before it broke. Having had some experience with Daiwa reels, the sounds that the jammed reel was making suggested it had something to do with a thin metal foil used in the anti reverse dog gear. While there, I ended up purchasing a new $30 5ft Seahawk Carbon Scorpion to replace one that I had broken only 3 days ago, and a Triumph 30lb FC leader for $58.50 which was recommended by Nigel.

I rushed back home to change into my now tumble dried army pants and long sleeved shirt (but still wet socks) and met up with Nick before driving over to Nigel’s. After stocking up on supplies at the 7 11 near his place, we drove to the location.

We double checked our gear and started the 30 minute walk to the first fishing spot. The terrain was tough but nothing beats a good exercise before the sun rises… except sleeping in your nice, cool bed.

We reached the first spot with spirits mixed. The sky looked exceptionally clear and blue, beautiful when judged by the eye but bad when judged by experience. Only 3 days ago, we had good success with rain at that spot.

This was Nick’s first time so he brought a rather thick yet soft rod which was not suitable for luring. His ryobi reel did not match his rod and his line appeared to be old and way too light. Nevertheless, I loaned him my lures. After setting him up with a 90cm popper, we proceeded to introduce him to tactical casting. 3 days ago, when Nigel and me were at this spot, we both caught fish on our first cast by hiding behind trees and casting some way off. Nick managed to avoid the overhanging trees but snagged the lure on floating debris after a few casts.

Unwilling to possibly scare away any fish at this impossibly shallow spot, we told Nick to put his rod down while we went in to try our own lures. We did not have any success at that spot so after about 5 minutes we attempted to retrieve Nick’s stuck lure but his line was too weak so after a few pulls, his line whipped itself back in our direction sans lure. It was a shame as it was a beautiful lure that was no longer being produced but I did not feel much sorrow at that point because I had not used it in such a long time.

While I proceeded to reset his rod with a very successful pencil lure (which conveniently costed just $3), we took turns to pass our gear to Nick to let him try out the lures and how the entire set up felt. We also showed him how to maneuver and cast in such a small environment and also how to continue fishing even with crossed lines.

After letting him get used to the terrain and changing lures (I switched from a Sasuke 105 to a Yozuri Tobimaru while Nick switched from that $3 pencil lure to a $5.50 Surecatch Ali-Magnet clone although not with the same colours as the one used 3 days ago), we moved on. They moved in to the 3rd spot while I moved to the 2nd. On my third cast, I missed an estimated 800 gram Temensis. I also noticed an est 1.5kg Toman swimming out of casting range and a beautiful white Gourami which was slightly shorter than a 1kg Toman. Having never caught nor weighed a Gourami before, I had no idea how much it weighed. Breaking noise discipline, I shouted to the guys about the Gourami which was now swimming their way but I heard no response.

When I caught up with the guys and with none of us hooking up with any fish, we decided to move on. We saw no action until we reached the log spot.

Within minutes of casting, Nick hauled up a 1kg Toman. This was his first Toman and he was visibly excited. Despite the fish’s small size, Nick’s abused reel was screaming and it took him about a minute to reel the fish in from about 5 metres away.

1Kg Toman

After taking the customary photos, I joined in the fun. This was now a 3 man luring team, all casting from an opening in the thick bush that was only about a metre long. Almost instantly, I connected with a Toman only about a metre before I was about to pull the lure out of the water. Photos were snapped while Nigel started jerking the rod that I was gripping with my teeth, payback for me doing the same thing to him while at Desaru! haha. The fish weighed in at 2kg.

2Kg Toman

After some time and with no more hookups, we moved on.

Baby Temensis

The fishing was really slow with only a handful of misses, probably Temensis, and with only 1 hook up between Nigel and his baby Temensis and despite finding my $5.50 lure that I had lost to a big Toman 3 days ago, floating just in front of Nigel, we decided to move on. Spirits now dipping, we bashed straight on the place where I had caught my first Toman.

On my first cast and about halfway between the opposite bank and me, I hooked up with what I thought was a new kind of haruan. After a few customary photos and with an assist by Nick, I released the fish, which was about a third longer than my boots, back in to the water. When Nigel came to see the photos, he started moaning about how lucky I was. Apparently, it was a bujuk or Channa lucius, an allegedly very rare fish. It should now be noted that I hooked up with an Eartheater when on my first joint mission with Nigel, another apparently rare fish.

Bujuk or Channa lucius

Bujuk or Channa lucius

At about noon, tired and exhausted, we turned back. We stopped off at a few spots along the way with no success until we reached the trunk spot.

On my first cast, and when nearing a branch of a fallen tree about a metre in front of me, I high sticked the rod to pull the lure over the obstacle but I apparently misjudged my strength and the lure jumped out of the water slightly, went back in and then jumped out again, except this time, with an open jawed baby Temensis flying after it. The fish managed to get the hook in it’s mouth but when I attempted to set the hook, it only pulled the fish out of the water and just along the water’s edge. The lure also flew out of the fish’s mouth and landed next to it. I tried to catch the fish with my bare hands but the slippery bugger escaped my grasp multiple times before swimming away.

After about 10 minutes and with some fishing along the way, we reached the first stretch of fishing holes that we had started our day with. We stopped off at the “big spot” and started casting. The fishing was super slow and Nick introduced the lure that caught him his first Toman, to a tree. The line, once again snapped. Nick was surprisingly quick to get used to using his rod in this environment but he still needed some help in judging when to stop a lure that was about to overshoot a target.

After some time and with no action, I started luring in a “chapalang” fashion. After about 10 minutes of doing this, my lure hit a massive Temensis! In my “chapalang” state (while sitting down), I immediately tried to strike but the lure flew clear out of the water and into the trees behind me! I actually saw the bugger make a massive turn when the lure flew out of it’s mouth. I estimate it to be at about 5-6Kg! It could well be more as I am unfamiliar with gauging Temensis above 2Kg. The girth of the fish was about the width of my hand and the length was estimated to be about 2.5ft. After extending our schedule for that spot by another 10 minutes but with no hits on the lure, we moved closer to our first spot.

Nigel pointed to a set of overhanging trees with which I had some success with on previous trips and it looked inviting so I went in while they carried on. On my first cast, and when the guys had barely moved 10 metres away from me, I connected with an estimated 400 gram Temensis.

400gram Temensis

Photos were taken and after once again proving to myself that a spot right next to the shore with a freshly caught fish produces no more fish, I joined the rest at the 2nd spot. With no luck , we moved back to the first spot and tried our luck. Unfortunately, we could clearly see that there were no sizable fish there and after about 20 minutes, we packed up and left.

With sore feet and many-a-blisters, we went back up the 30 minute trail to the parked vehicle before ending our day at around 5pm with lunch.

80Kg human

Known lures used:
Yozuri Tobimaru (Floating) – Orange
Surecatch Ali Magnet Clone (110cm) – Dark green + orange base
$3 Pencil Lure

Eupro X-Power 6Ft ($77) + Ryobi Zauber loaded with 15lbs Jerry Brown Industrial One.

xZoga 30lb FC leader with a knot that I appear to have made up (can’t seem to find this supposedly common knot online) at swivel and snap ends.
Sasami 47Kg swivel to join main line and leader and Angler’s Pal Snap at the end of the leader.

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.

Christmas Day Operation Cocoa (Post hook up revenge)

Shawn/ December 25, 2011/ freshwater, Singapore/ 0 comments

The day before I had hooked myself on a treble on my first cast with a 4’6″ rod.

Today was meant to be revenge but the weather proved to be against us (Nigel, Itchyhand and me).

The rain started just as we entered the trail and we ended up walking to the nearest shelter to wait what turned out to be a half hour for the rain to subside. We bashed in to the spot and tried our luck. Despite unusually high surface action for a rainy day, we caught only 1 fish.

There was also only 1 school of toman fry which appeared infrequently for only a second or two before disappearing.

On the bright side, I managed to test out my new poncho which I had received as a Christmas present although it turned out to be only slightly better in that it covered most of my body but still had some (but lesser) problems with the humidity drenching the inside and it being a bit too bulky to easily move my arm to cast.

I also managed to catch a baby Toman on my Sasuke 105! Finally, after catching everything but Toman on my Sasuke, on Christmas day no less. I have even caught eels on that thing before.

Baby Toman on Sasuke 105, finally!

We called it quits at almost exactly 9am as the rain kept pouring down heavily with only brief, intermittent dry periods. We then headed back to our respective homes to get ready for our respective Christmas lunches.


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.