Category Archives: East Coast Park

Kayaking @ ECP

Shawn/ April 7, 2015/ Bottom Fishing, East Coast Park, Kayaking, saltwater/ 0 comments

I hadn’t intended to go kayaking today, but when I heard that there were some guys headed to ECP, I couldn’t help myself.

This would be the first time I launched my ‘new’ Native Slayer 13 at a location other than Pasir Ris. I even ignored the fact that they were starting early.

Alton and Alan were to meet us at the carpark (their kayaks were not parked at Watercross like mine was) so Nordin and I met up in the wee hours of the morning to load our kayaks onto our vehicles. Nordin’s kayak was also not at Watercross but he kindly offered to make the trip down to help me load mine (and also later to help me put it back into storage at Watercross).

By the time we arrived at the carpark, Alton and Alan were mid way through their setup.

Unloading…

Alton and Alan launched first while we launched slightly later.

With the experience of launching at ECP at night, and owing to the very stable base of our Native Slayer 13s, we were able to jump into our kayaks without difficulty.

As was the case the last time we were here, the scenery was beautiful and the waters near the launch point were fairly calm.

We were supposed to rendevous with Alton but couldn’t see them so we decided to fish somewhere along the way.

Almost immediately, I discovered that my Daiwa Freams 3000 (2011 model) that was close to death the last time I checked, had actually died in the intervening time. Luckily, I had a spare.

Also, the mount for my fishfinder that broke on New Year’s Eve was still broken but there was a workaround, unsightly though it was.

We found a nice drifting line and Nordin hooked up this grouper.

Check out that sky and that water! Compared to Pasir Ris, this water is crystal clear!

 

A better view of Nordin’s grouper!

I can’t help but wonder if Nordin thinks that if he smiles in photographs, the camera will steal his soul. The amount of nibbles on our hooks began to wane as the wind began messing with our drift so we decided to move on.

Check out that view!

This time, we could see where Alton and Alan were but they were quite far out so we decided to fish near them but closer to the shore.

The wind was messing with us and our drift lines soon became large scale curves and spirals…

Keen to find the fish, I checked with Alton if they had caught anything. He almost immediately sent me photos of all the 7 fish that they had caught so far. Coincidentally, he pointed out that most of the fish they had caught was in the same vicinity as where Nordin caught his grouper. We caught nothing else and hit quite a few snags before Alton and Alan hooked up with us.

Alas they were heading back while Nordin and I continued on in the other direction. Some guys like to fish for only half a day. When I still had my Mariner 10, I was not particularly averse to the idea…. till I got my Slayer 13. While an excellent craft on water (it really is excellent), it is a massive pain when on the land due to it’s weight. So I usually stay out as long as I can to make the effort of launching and recovery worth the effort.

The new Slayer 10 is much lighter (one person can load it onto the roof of a car/van without issue) but I already invested in my 13 with all the gadgets and DIY stuff (read as: LOTS OF TIME and EFFORT) and importantly, the Slayer 10 does not have an electronics console which means if I were to make the switch, I would be back to using Tupperware boxes for my switch panel. With the waterproofing issue on my console switch panel on the 13 (the waterproof boots for my switches are really shitty), the point is somewhat moot and I am back to contemplating on making the switch.

When we were in the area to watch the fireworks only a month earlier (exactly a month actually), we found some interesting spots on our fish finders so we headed there.

By now, the wind and waves were picking up and drifting was becoming extremely messy and uncoordinated. So we decided to head back to our first spot, where the waters were calmer and where the hungry fish apparently were.

That view again.

Somewhere there, I caught a pretty little Hind (I think it’s a Hind). It took a huge bite just before the sinker hit the bottom. It gave a decent fight too.

My Hind.

 

Me and my Hind.

It was released unharmed.

Catch and Release

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

About an hour or so before we called it a day, Nordin hooked up what we initially thought was a decent sized fish so I had my camera on the ready.

 

Had the camera on standby for what turned out to be a small fish.

 

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

We eventually called it a day and headed back.

I forgot that I left my C-Tug on the floor next to where my van was, but luckily Nordin was kind enough to drive out of the way (after storing my Kayak, I followed him in his car to help him store his kayak) to take it back. Blessedly, the C-Tug was still there.


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.

Catching the Fireworks on New Year’s Eve 2014-2015

Shawn/ March 10, 2015/ East Coast Park, Kayaking, saltwater/ 0 comments

This was a fairly last minute trip.

First suggested barely a week before New Year’s Eve, this trip, at one time swelled to 6 participants before eventually falling down to 2, Nordin and I.

The main issue was transportation. Nordin and I were the only ones who had our own vehicles with roof racks.

Fishing was an option but due to time constraints, we mostly decided against it, with the final decision being made just before we set off for East Coast Park.

Despite our setting off late and getting caught in large traffic jams, we managed to make it to the carpark (and there were exactly 2 lots available) and unload everything in short order. Rod holders were not mounted, fishing rods were left in our vehicles (we both brought our gear, just in case; jigs and any artificial baits were the name of the game), and we managed to get everything ready in under 5 minutes before lugging our near bare Kayaks to the shore in double time.

The launch was unusually chaotic. There we were, trying to launch in the quickest but coolest fashion possible, but the ocean was having none of it. Waves were crashing every second and to make matters worse, barely a metre from the shoreline was a sudden drop in the sea floor. Crawling into the kayak with our asses high in the air was a no go, what with all the onlookers at the crowded beach.

It was during this melee that my ram mount holding up my fish finder broke. Short on time, I just picked up the fishfinder that was hanging by its wires and dumped it in the hull. It’s very uncool to whine about damaged gear in front of an audience, unless that audience consists solely of fellow kayakers.

After mounting our kayaks ala the SAF’s Low Wall, the peddle was pretty straight forward. The waves were only crazy where the drop off was.

The change in scenery was breath taking. When I looked back at the shoreline, all I saw was sand, lights, and tall buildings in the background. Then when I looked to the ocean, that was all I saw, no islands or structures were visible. Of course, there were still tons of ships with their lights but through the gaps, I could only see horizon and I was enchanted by the view.

The anticipation of watching the fireworks and the excitement of trying to make good time probably added to the ‘feels’.

We eventually made it to the viewing area with significant time to spare. Water currents in our favour and a slight tail wind made for a short trip.

We spent the remaining hour or so drifting back and forth. We didn’t anchor because we weren’t sure where the best view was, although we did know where the bad views were.

The whole thing felt extra Christmassy because it felt as if only a select few were gathering for something special and unique, and indeed we were.

I shone a torchlight directly into my face to make this shot work. It was a mistake.

We whiled the time away taking sporadic pictures and peddling back and forth, trying to imagine where the best angles would be (alas there weren’t many – The Marina Barrage and Marina Bay Sands blocked a lot of the action).

I discovered here that the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S5 did not perform up to expectations. Its low light capabilities were worse than my old Samsung Galaxy S3. (I’ve since tweaked a few settings so it’s a little better, but it’s still pretty #weaksauce).

When the fireworks finally started, it caught me slightly by surprise as I was still peddling to the spot that I had chosen, but I managed to keep the lens on the fireworks while moving… most of the time.

The choppy waters and poor low light performance of the camera phone did not help.

Apologies for the shaky and poor quality video but I thought I’d post it up anyway for posterity.

 

Throughout all this, boats were dashing in and out, and moving between and around others, to get the best views, boats were honking and boaters were shouting “Happy New Year” while others shouted back. There was one particular group of anglers who were on a very large and very bright boat who coordinated their “Happy New Years”. It all felt very festive and special.

When it was all said and done, we made a beeline back to our launch point. The wind and current were against us and we intended to head back home as quickly as possible.

Halfway back to the shore, we came across a large group of kayakers with hand paddles. Based on their speed relative to ours, I’m not certain that they made it to the Marina Barrage to see the fireworks. We hung around them to socialise and offer well wishes for the New Year. It was here that we discovered that they were on the same channel as us (our walkie talkies). The problem with analog channels and ‘privacy codes’ is collisions occur and no one really knows about it.

As we were nearing the shore, i leaned over the side of my kayak to retrieve something when my torchlight with a brand new battery fell out of a hole in the lifejacket pocket. I had been meaning to get it fixed. At least it wasn’t my phone.

Happy New Year! ….ish.


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.