Monthly Archives: January 2015

Native League 2014 – Day 3 (Finals)

Shawn/ January 6, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, Native League, Pasir Ris, saltwater/ 0 comments

On this, the last day of the competition, the offers of bribes were even more fervent, as were the friendly threats of sabotaging competitors’ kayaks.

I didn’t take part in that as much as before though as I was more concerned about staying in 3rd place.

We were informed that the competition would end at 2pm, to make time for the barbeque.

Statistically, I knew that we would either remain in 3rd or drop down to 4th by the slightest of margins. We also had the slightest of possibilities to move to 5th, pending a surprise performance from the other teams, but again I calculated that it was unlikely, though not highly unlikely. Additionally, we had the slightest possibility of moving up to 2nd if SGYakAttack could not perform on this last day, but it was highly unlikely due to the stellar performance from team Z Fighters and the consistent scoring of SGYakAttack – we could not hope to overtake team Z Fighters, even if SGYakAttack overtook them.

Realistically, I knew that team Emerge were our only real competition and on whom we had to focus on. They had put up a stunning and shocking performance on the 2nd day of the competition, despite missing the event on the first day. They were especially adept at half day fishing (as were SGYakAttack) whereas most of my catches came later in the day (even on non competition days –  when kayak fishing, I typically catch fish when other don’t, and don’t get anything when others do. I don’t know why this is so).

We had seen where they were fishing last week and though we knew there were fish there, they seemed to be landing them like they knew something we didn’t. I had never personally seen so many fish landed by just 2 guys in barely half a day of fishing at that place.

As you can probably tell by now, we decided to try fishing at the same place.

During the briefing, we were reminded that the event would end at 2pm, and that additional points (on top of CnR bonus points) would be awarded for fish selected to be cooked on the BBQ.

When it came time to launch, we made our way to the the spot but team Emerge was already there, so we manouevered around them. There was really plenty of space. ‘The A Team’ eventually joined us at the spot as well.

While luring the shore line, Nigel caught this guy.

Nigel caught this guy on a lure but it was below the minimum length for submission.

Now I cannot for the life of me remember if I had caught a KBL at this time but without photos, it’s difficult to tell. Even the Snapper that I caught later is something I only remember because it was selected for the BBQ. I definitely lost one KBL though, possibly 2 to 3 KG. It may have been larger but it’s hard to tell, seeing as how a lot of the KBLs caught lately have been really weak and/or unusual fighters, as reported by many.

I think I may have also caught a flathead here but again, without the photos, it’s difficult to tell.

Based on heuristics, which was something I had to do with some of the other posts too (checking whatsapp dates, file name order [especially with Nigel’s camera which doesn’t record the date!], position of the sun [I kid you not!], etc…), I think it was the KBL. My mom brought a KBL over to my auntie’s place for a BBQ a few weeks after I had caught the KBL. I remember the KBL and BBQ because my aunties were saying the meat was very nice and my mom shoved a video in my face that showed them saying exactly that. That BBQ was on the 5th of October so it couldn’t have been the KBL from the Raffles Marina competition, and etc…

Based on the table data, I did catch one KBL coming in at just under 1KG.

I remember looking over at team Emerge and doing mental arithmetic to determine if their 3rd fish, which they had just caught, would put them higher up in the points table but I felt that the chances were the same as before i.e. not definitive but very close. This would suggest that I had already caught a KBL at this time.

It is still also possible that I also caught a flathead though.

Encouraged by his success with the lure, Nigel kept on at it and eventually landed this “Tiger” Grouper.

Nigel’s “Tiger” Grouper

Quite contented. He was so contented he decided to risk losing the bonus CnR and BBQ points in favour of eating it.

It was quite funny, seeing as how only last week, we were talking about Tiger Groupers. I told him that I had not heard of such a thing and he insisted that I had caught one before. To the best of my recollection, the only unusual grouper that I had caught was a Sabah Grouper. When I showed him the photos, he said that that was not it but it looked similar.

When the fishing seemed to dry up, we moved on. Nigel went to his Kaci spot and I went to my grouper/snapper spot. When Nigel caught nothing, he came over to my spot and landed a small grouper.

I caught my snapper at this time but as previously mentioned, there are no photos.

We had witnessed team Emerge catch their quota and leave, and again, after mental calculations, we agreed that the chances were still the same as before though better, too close to call but with a decent chance of winning.

Then Nigel dropped the bomb by asking if I would be mad if he didn’t submit his Tiger grouper for the BBQ, meaning that we would lose the BBQ bonus points. Before I could make the link, he made it clearer by clarifying that he was considering not releasing it at all, but to bring it back home to cook, which meant we would also lose the CnR bonus points.

Being a good kaki, and since we were only vying for 3rd place, I was not too disappointed by his putting that option on the table. But I was. Ever so slightly. He offered to only exercise the option in a clear win scenario and I accepted but I could see it in his face that he really wanted to bring this fish home, so I made the silent decision that should it come down to the wire, I would not try to persuade him to release his fish or to submit it to the BBQ.

Quite frankly, I was really only disappointed at the chance of losing. I’ve known the guy for a very long time and neither faulted him nor blamed him for it. Not exactly at least. As we will find out later.

Still, I did the mental calculations again and determined the odds were still very close but now we only had a slight chance of maintaining the lead. (btw, this also suggests that I had caught a KBL). By this time, I had my calculator and the scoring sheet in hand. If I can remember correctly, I put the estimated point difference at approximately 1.3ish in our favour.

I tried asking about the current standings via WhatsApp but was subtly denied that request and was told to come back for the weigh in.

With the fishing dying off both in theory and practice, we lingered a little while longer before deciding to call it a day. We were only 10 or 15 minutes ahead of the time when we would need to start to head back.

Team Emerge reaching shore before us.

SGYakAttack in excitement mode, seemingly knowing something before the results were officially out.


Team Emerge

One of the KBLs that they caught. They sent this picture via WhatsApp in real time.


Team Lucky Strike


Team Sea Assasins



Don’s first KBL, also sent via WhatsApp.

One of Don’s KBLs


Team Z Fighters

Andy with his Caoxi (Sicklefish)


After the weigh in, I was very anxious to know what the results were. So I went up to Ivan to see the scoring sheet. From what he showed me, we had lost by the slimmest of margins. If I recall correctly, it was somewhere between half a point and 1. It was within expectations so I was not mad or disappointed or anything. During this time, Ivan kept talking about how we should have released the Tiger Grouper and how we could have won.

I reported the results back to Nigel who offered to release it but it was too late (I checked just to be sure) and also I (and probably he) didn’t really feel the need to waste the fish to make up such a tiny margin.

In the excitement, I almost immediately forgot what the difference in points were. I was very curious about the numbers, including determining how accurate our estimations were and if we had missed out any other factors. So I went back to the table to take a photograph of the numbers for later analysis. Nigel was curious as well so he followed me too.

Screenshot-ing the numbers.

This is where I suspect that Ivan thought I was mad at Nigel (my concentration face and annoyed face sometimes overlap) and that I was looking for evidence. So that’s when he revealed to me that we had won, by a decent margin of about 2 points. He explained that he had not yet entered the points for the Tiger Grouper.

I was extremely relieved. Nigel who was behind me could see I was excited and asked me: “What? What?”… and all I could do was smile, wag my finger at him and say “you.. you ah.. never release fish…. f***er…”. Again, I wasn’t really disappointed in him or angry at all, but I was slightly irritated by having my expectations toyed with like that, and Nigel was the one who put me in that position. For that, I may have been a bit annoyed.

For future competitions, I do hope they will have a live table (the organisers have said this would happen) though I hope that for the last day of competitions, all live tables will be withheld. This makes for a more exciting presentation ceremony.

Team FenOmMan put in a stellar performance, jumping more than 5 points. Had they performed as well or even similarly well on the first 2 days, or if Pochong had managed to land his large fish, they may very well have been pushed up to 3rd or even 2nd.

Had there been a fourth day of competitions or had team Emerge been present on the first day, we almost definitely would have lost 3rd place; although, based on the pattern, only by a slim margin of approximately 1 point. However based on the inconsistent, though at times stellar performance by team Z Fighters, had there been a fourth day, while Emerge may have overtaken us, both our teams would likely have overtaken team Z Fighters, ultimately keeping us in 3rd.

Teams that consistently and reliably performed included Emerge, SGYakAttack and Lucky Strike (us). All these teams roughly doubled their points from previous weeks. Team Z Fighters, if quite some liberty is taken with the interpretation of data, roughly increased their points at a high but linear rate. Team East Side Anglers were also on track to double their points each week but were not present for the final week of competitions. If they were, they may have climbed to 5th or remained 6th, instead of dropping to 7th.


Enjoying some cider sponsored by Nigel


The BBQ Preparations

Nordin, Fendy, and a few others cleaning the fish.


The larger one is the one I caught but there was an even larger one caught by Omar from team FenOmMan.


Don’s KBL being prepared.


The cleanup


The Trophies

The Trophies


Door Gifts for the first team to register

Omar from team FenOmMan, receiving his doorgift of a Balista LED lure for being the first team to register.


Fendy from team FenOmMan, receiving his doorgift of a Balista LED lure for being the first team to register.


Azman from team FenOmMan, receiving his doorgift of a Balista LED lure for being the first team to register.


Bingo side game winner

Nordin from team Sea Assasins, the winner of the Bingo side game.


Catch of the Day winner

The Catch of the Day winner, Mathew from SGYakAttack.


3rd Place – $200 (team Lucky Strike)


2nd Place – $300 (team Z Fighters)

Alton presenting the 2nd place prize to his teammate and himself


1st Place – $500 (SGYakAttack)


Individual Champion (side game) – Mathew

And the winner of an undeclared side game, the individual champion, Mathew from SGYakAttack


And so ended the inaugural Native League.

The points:

SGYakAttack 16.391
Z Fighters 14.999
Lucky Strike 12.570
Emerge 10.441
FenOmMan 5.716
Sea Assassins 3.664
East Side Anglers 2.255
Orca 0.797
Team Liquid Moly 0.016
The A Team 0.011

Check out SGYakAttack’s video of this day here or view it below:

Or check out a recap of all three days via SGYakAttack’s videos here.

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.

Native League 2014 – Day 2

Shawn/ January 2, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, Native League, Pasir Ris, saltwater/ 0 comments

Day 2 came hot off the heels of a tiring work week but luckily my work finished early on Friday. Still didn’t get enough sleep though.

The briefing was much shorter this day. Everyone save for one was on time so we didn’t wait for him. Sadly though, he was supposed to buy the prawns for his team mate so when time came for the launch, I passed a handful of prawns to his team mate who was looking quite frustrated and disappointed.

On this day, we wasted no time and headed straight to Nigel’s Kaci spot. Well, almost. I did try out my grouper spot first but had no luck.

Nigel kept up his unusual tempo of catching many fish, of which many were too small. The cheeky bugger didn’t even tell me about it till he sent me the photos, and by that I mean I only realised this fact when I saw the photos.

Nigel’s grouper, 4cm of the minimum length of 30cm.

Lol. Seriously? Nigel’s.

Nigel’s Catfish (Ah Seng / Duri), just under 10 cm short of the minimum length.

Many cuttlefish (I call them all sotong to make it easy; though if I understand it correctly, sotong = squid, sotong katak = cuttlefish) in Pasir Ris waters. If I recall correctly, this was Nigel’s first cuttlefish on a kayak.

Another grouper by Nigel. Way too small but very pretty.

Yet another grouper by Nigel. Only just shy of the 30cm mark; minimum length for submission was 30cm. If I recall correctly, it was 27 or 28cm.

Eventually though, he managed to hook up another Kaci.

Nigel’s Kaci and first submissible fish.

In the mean time, I managed to land this guy. Though small, he was longer than the minimum length allowed and as we needed the points, I kept it, though only for a little while. He eventually snagged himself in a crevice in the shallows I was fishing, while on my stringer.

Hopefully, it’s still alive as I would have eventually released him even before the weighing, due to the low points (it had the lowest points out of all the submissible fish we caught) and our being over quota. We would eventually catch a total of 6 submissible fish, out of which we could only submit 4. The rules only a maximum of 4 submissible fish per day and any shortfall does not carry over to the event day the next week.

My smaller flathead. It was past the minimum length of 20cm. It eventually snagged itself in a crevice.

Shortly after catching this guy, I caught his dad. Unfortunately, no photos of the fish were taken while on the kayak. While I had not decided whether or not to release his dad (for the bonus points vs my wanting to try eating a flathead), it eventually died just before I reached the shore.

Then the skies threatened us with rain again.

Rain? Again?

Just before the skies seemed they were about to open, oddly (for the location he was at), Nigel caught a Chermin (Diamond Trevally).

Nigel’s second submissible fish. Though small, the points awarded to this Chermin (Diamond Trevally) were greatly increased due to the category this fish was in.

Though the wind was crazy, it didn’t rain that day.

Nigel kept it coming with his 4th grouper. Though submissible, we eventually released it as it was the second lowest scoring fish of our 6 fish and we could only submit 4.

Nigel’s grouper. Though submissible, we eventually released this guy back into the water because out of the 6 submissible fish we caught, this was the second lowest scoring fish, a were over our quota of 4.

During a lull in the fishing, we ate. As one does. I don’t usually eat while on the water. I would say that 9.8 times out of 10, I don’t eat while kayaking. I don’t get hungry after all (sometimes even after smelling food from nearby kayaks). However, sometimes…. Hey! This is a competition! There’s no need to take risks!

I don’t always eat while kayaking. In fact I try not to, and I’m almost always successful. I don’t actually get hungry while on the water but sometimes, a Sausage McGriddles with Egg calls out to me. Then it invites its friends, Mr Milkshake, and if its free, Mr French Fries (unless he’s all dressed up to go out, then, Mr Shaker Fries). He wasn’t free this day. 🙁

An unusual manifestation of ‘hat hair’.

I eventually moved off from here and headed back to my grouper spot, the spot I had found last week. Then I saw white out on my fish finder.

I had experienced something like this before. On that trip, there was white out on the fish finder and I managed to land 7 fish (lost an additional 1 because I forgot to close the clip on my stringer) in barely half a day of kayak fishing, all decent sized and of decent quality, and I wasn’t the only one either. Don, from SGYakAttack landed well over 20 fish that day (and he went back before me). I don’t believe anyone went home that day without catching at least 1 fish.

I immediately dropped my line and like last week, within 30 seconds of my line hitting the water, I landed a small Snapper. Unfortunately, no pictures of the fish were taken while on my kayak either. I managed to follow the white out for about 2 minutes before I lost it. Unfortunately, I could not get the Snapper on the stringer in time so when I was finally ready, the fish had gone. Also, by the time I got back to shore, the fish had died, which was unfortunate both for me (the points) and the fish.

By that time, we had only about 45 minutes left to get back to shore and so we headed back for the weigh in.

My catches of the day (2.082 points). One small Flathead escaped before the weigh in. Both fish were submitted for the points and unfortunately, both fish died before I could get them weighed.

Nigel’s catches of the day (1.494 points). Many other fish were released before weigh in. Nigel wanted to eat the Flathead and unfortunately, the Chermin (Diamond Trevally) died shortly after being caught. Unfortunately, this is normal and we communicated this fact to the organisers.

Most of the other teams were having a fairly good day as well. In particular, team Emerge, who was absent last week, suddenly shot up to 4th with a bumper haul of quality fish. After that jump, they were only slightly behind us on the points and gave us a good fright.

Team Emerge

Gabriel from team Emerge with 1 of his 2 KBLs (Barramundi).


Snapper from Matthew, from team Emerge.


Matthew from team Emerge. Absent from the first day of the competition, they climbed very suddenly and dramatically to 4th place, only just behind us, which gave us a massive fright.

Team Orca

Hermann (wife Siti in background) from team Orca with his catfish (sembilang). Despite gaining a massive points boost, they dropped to 7th due to being overtaken by team Emerge.

Team Sea Assasins

Nordin’s flat head. Despite gaining a large increase in points since last week, they remained in 5th after being overtaken by team Emerge.


Mathew from SGYakAttack with his 2 KBLs (Barramundi). He was the only member to launch today. They remained in 2nd place and had increased their points advantage over us.

Team Z Fighters

Alton from team Z Fighters with his KBL (Barramundi).


David from team Z Fighter and his Snapper.


David from team Z Fighter and his OTHER Snapper.


David’s Gao Tun (large Grouper). For all the fish they caught today, they remained the undisputed leaders. The team in 2nd place (SGYakAttack) had just under half of their points.

The points:

Z Fighters 13.156
SGYakAttack 7.847
Lucky Strike 6.795
Emerge 5.293
Sea Assassins 3.174
East Side Anglers 2.255
Orca 0.797
FenOmMan 0.020
Team Liquid Moly 0.016
The A Team 0.011

Check out SGYakAttack’s video of this day here or view it below:

End of Day 2

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.