Monthly Archives: June 2015

Exploring Southern Ubin with Nick

Shawn/ June 11, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, brackish water, Kayaking, Pulau Ubin, saltwater/ 0 comments

This trip was to give Nick a somewhat minor tour of Ubin. A full on grand tour would take more than the number of hours of daylight in a day, possibly 3.

Switch Panel

We launched at around 1pm and headed straight for ketam…. well, kind of. Nick wanted to try his luck at his grunter spot again so we stayed there for about 20 minutes before heading to Ketam.

He tried his hand at netcasting.

With nothing coming up and with the tide still high, I decided to bring him for a little tour in one of the mangroves.

We stayed a while till the tide went down.

He caught basically nothing for the first 15 minutes or so and then all of a sudden, before the next 10 minutes had passed, he somehow caught about 300 grams of prawns.

Nick caught around 300grams of #prawns in about 10 minutes of netcasting…

A photo posted by SingaporeFishing.org (@sgfishingblog) on

Although well aware that he got lucky, I ended up buying a castnet. My line of thinking was if I could get lucky too, I wouldn’t have to drive all the way down to Changi and spend money on buying prawns, or I wouldn’t have to peddle all the way to the kelong to, again, spend money to buy prawns.

After another 20 minutes had passed and with nothing substantial in his cast net, we headed out to fish with freshly caught wild prawns. Those prawns were extremely feisty.

I landed this little guy.

Eventually, Nick caught this little fella.

While I, on the other hand, continued with the catfish.

Then Nick caught this seabass.

While I caught yet another catfish.

We eventually called it a day and head home.


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.

Double BBQ Kayaking

Shawn/ June 10, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, Pulau Ubin, saltwater, Wild Outdoors & Camping/ 0 comments

This was an unusual day.

Some time ago, Alton had organised a BBQ & chalet stay for Native owners to be held on this day.

Some of the native owners, had also planned their own alternative mini BBQ so that they could invite their other friends.

Also, about a week before today, Raffles Marina announced that the rescheduled Raffles Marina Fishing Competition was to be held today. The original event was cancelled due to lack of a permit. I actually gave up a 6 day holiday to Hong Kong and 2 different work projects to attend that event, but it was cancelled at the last minute.

As many of us had already comitted to attending at least one of the BBQs, I don’t think there were any Native owners at the competition.

The call time for Alton’s BBQ was 7am while the call time for the alternative BBQ was around 9am. Nordin and I decided to launch late so we left at about 12.30pm.

My switch panel. Originally, I was very excited with this but due to some issues with the ‘gasket’, water ingress became a major issue so I had to make many workarounds. From the left:
1: A simple switch to turn on the camera
2: A simple switch to turn on the airpump
3: A simple switch to turn on the FishFinder
4: An Up/Down toggle switch to adjust the brightness of the LEDs on the panel
5: An Up/Down toggle switch to adjust the brightness of the In Hull Lamp
6: An Up/Down toggle switch to adjust the brightness of the External All Round White Light
Second Row, Extreme Right: A simple momentary switch to toggle the air horn
That red thing: A battery meter

We fished mostly at Ketam for around 3 hours but caught nothing.

In order to make optimum use of the tides and currents, we decided to head over to Alton’s first.

Being the only one there who hadn’t chipped in for this event, I felt a bit awkward and after a bit of a recceing, I decided to head over to the other BBQ. Nordin wanted to stay a little bit longer so I told him to meet me on the water and to radio me when he was near.

After moving through what can only be described as perfect peddling conditions, I neared the mini-BBQ site.

I beached my kayak and greeted everyone.

Then I settled in for some grub.

Dinner….

A photo posted by SingaporeFishing.org (@sgfishingblog) on

Once I cleared my plate, and also a friend’s carelesslly unattended plate, I began to play with the firesteel and tinder that I had bought so many years ago, and had left in my kayak for emergencies.

In that scene with the BBQ pit dug into the ground and discovering the best ways to make the firesteel and tinder work (I’ve found better ways since then), my interest was piqued in what was then a huge but muted fascination with camping and the wild outdoors. This experience would mark the beginning of what is now a mild but growing obsession with kayak camping.

With dusk fast approaching, we began to pack up and cover our tracks (they had brought garbage bags too!) as we headed back to Watercross.

Halfway back, we decided we wanted to fish a little bit more.

I have no idea what this is (it isn’t a puffer fish) but it had hooked itself on my.. hook… and my prawn was gone. I think it was just fortuitous but was still an interesting catch.

It was released back into the water.

With one guy already on the way back, I too began to pack up to leave while some of the others continued fishing for what we were later informed was another 6 hours.

Camping… Fire… yes.. this is good.


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.

NSRCC with Nordin Part 2

Shawn/ June 10, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, NSRCC, saltwater/ 0 comments

Our original call time was 8am but I was awake at 6 and reached Watercross before 7.20am.

With that spare time, I had everything loaded up in my vehicle save for the kayak itself.

With no response from Nordin, I turned to the whatsapp group for Native owners for help with loading the kayak. With encouragement and understanding the key issues and key points to loading up such a large and heavy kayak by myself, I eventually managed to do it, much to my surprise.

I briefly considered launching at Pasir Ris instead of NSRCC but I had already loaded the kayak up the van and Nordin and I had an important scientific based project to conduct at NSRCC.

By 8.45am and without a response from Nordin, I decided to call him. He said he would arrive at 10am. So I told him that I would buy the bait and told him to meet me directly at the launch point instead.

I reached NSRCC at 9.45am but he wasn’t there so I decided that I might as well try unloading the kayak too, which I managed to do, with about the same level of difficulty as loading.

New and improved water resistant enclosure for the SJ4000/5000. This time, I’m using a container with a locking mechanism. This container, like the last, is also bought from Daiso.

This time, I skip the waterproof connector on the camera end and just run the cable in directly. I also use a ram mount instead of the mount that comes with the SJ4000. As this container has locking grips, I had to mount the mount on the front instead of the bottom.

By 10.30am I had everything set up so I called him again but he said he was on the way from Jurong (where his kayak was stored). Naturally, I was slightly regretting my decision to not just launch at Pasir Ris.

As I expected Nordin to arrive shortly, I left my kayak just behind my vehicle. The shuttle bus that was to become a very familiar sight had managed to squeeze past me with surprising dexterity.

By 11.15am, Nordin still wasn’t here. The head of security for NSRCC eventually paid me a visit and curiously questioned me about my kayak, kayak habits and success rate. Before he left to do whatever it is he does, we had a nice chat and he related to me his past exploits from his younger days when he was always on the water. Shortly after, 2 other guys working at NSRCC also paid me a visit and enquired about my kayak and adventures as well. Slightly annoyed that I was put in a situation where I had to load up my heavy kayak all by myself, I semi jokingly offered all three of them the opportunity to buy my kayak.

At 11.45, I called Nordin who said he was still on the PIE with an ETA of half an hour. At 12.45 he still was not there. Throughout this time, all communication was initiated only by me.

I considered launching first and meeting him on the water but the tide was unfavourable for a solo launch.

That shuttle bus had now past me at least 3 times and always managed to squeeze past me very accurately. Getting wise to the fact my kaki would not be coming anytime soon, I moved my kayak somewhere less obstructive (it only took up 2 extra feet of width of road that the bus was travelling on but I felt that the gesture would be appreciated).

I whiled the time away by eating the beancurd that I had bought for Nordin, joking with some close kayak kakis in a whatsapp group about how my 600 grams of prawns had now multiplied by a factor of 2 and other silly ideas like the software in my camera becoming self aware and the bacteria in the beancurd bowl becoming intelligent enough to try and open the lid on the Tupperware box.

When he finally arrived at 1pm, I could see that he was embarassed but I was waiting for an apology. When none was forthcoming, I gave him a little grilling to coax it out of him. Apparently, he had been having a string of bad luck this morning, with forgetting things and having to drive back and forth and etc. I pointed out that the only thing I was really annoyed with was the lack of communication.

He set up his gear and we were in the water just after 2pm.

We tried fishing at the spot where I had caught my flathead last time round but the current and wind was not favourable. So we drifted to a nearby yellow beacon where we settled down and anchored and waited for the fish.

I somehow managed to foul hook this guy after I got annoyed by all the little nibbles it made.

Annoyed by the incessant nibbling going on, I set myself free and began drifting west where I landed these 2 guys.

A kind of Parrot Fish that’s different from what I’m used to seeing and/or catching… not that I catch a lot of these guys.

There was a particular drift line where I caught those fish at and I would only get action at a certain point along the drift line so I gave up and tied off to Nordin, who by now had got a few fish as well (I apologise but I don’t know where the pictures are).

The fish started getting smaller and smaller.

I gave up after about an hour or so and decided to try drifting slightly further out.

I eventually came across a mound on the sea floor where I caught this little guy.

We stayed out right till dusk (Nordin told me as reparation for his tardiness, we could stay as late as I wanted to, but I wasn’t going to push it) and caught nothing else so we headed back.

The end of a short day of fishing, but a long day with my kayak.


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.