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.
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.
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 Lucky Strike
Team Sea Assasins
Team Z Fighters
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.
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.
The BBQ Preparations
Door Gifts for the first team to register
Bingo side game winner
Catch of the Day winner
3rd Place – $200 (team Lucky Strike)
2nd Place – $300 (team Z Fighters)
1st Place – $500 (SGYakAttack)
Individual Champion (side game) – Mathew
And so ended the inaugural Native League.
|East Side Anglers||2.255|
|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.