Tag Archives: Ang Cho Kee

Boat Fishing. It’s been a while.

Shawn/ August 18, 2015/ Boating, Bottom Fishing, Changi, Live Baiting (Floating), saltwater/ 4 comments

A friend’s birthday was around the corner so he decided to treat us all to a boat fishing trip. It’s not that unusual. Men have been paying for the pleasure of other people’s company since the dawn of time itself. Lol. Sorry bro. I couldn’t help it.

I was late. It didn’t help that I parked at the opposite end of the carpark and that I had to lug my gear along. It wasn’t that much. Just a small tacklebox, a water bottle, a small ice box and my fishing rod, and some gear that I that I had to pass to some of the guys. But the odd handles didn’t go well together.

I wasn’t the latest to arrive though. Another dude arrived just after me.

In attendance were Along, Fendy, Han, Hendrik, Hermann, Mael, Omar (the birthday boy), Titi, and naturally, myself.

With everyone ready to go and a few people sporting surprisingly heavy gear, we boarded the boat.

The boatman was friendly and assertive, stating that we were going to the South China Sea area and that our sinkers should be no less than size 6. We all looked around at each other as most of us had brought light tackle only. That was the plan after all.

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The boatman looked around at us, gave a wry smile then headed to the wheelhouse and began to move off.

We were barely 6 metres from the docks when the boatman suddenly stopped the boat and began to re-berth.

He struggled to shout out from the wheelhouse as he was laughing, “You guys are on the wrong boat!”.

We disembarked from the boat to an audience of somewhat bewildered fellow anglers, the ones who had chartered this boat.

Just to confuse them, we shouted out loudly about what a great trip we had had.

Eventually, we found our boat, the Ocean Jumanji.

The boatman was more friendly and more accomodating and we were relieved when he confirmed that we were going to Changi, where light tackle works brilliantly.

We made way at a decent speed to our first spot where I very quickly hooked up this snapper.

With the pictures taken, I rebaited and recast out my line, suddenly realising that my little corner of the boat had suddenly become more crowded.

Barely 10 minutes had passed before I caught this guy.

My spot suddenly become much more crowded and in line with protocol, I made way for them although I stuck close by.

We drifted for about an hour before we started getting hits again.

5 minutes later:

10 minutes after Omar caught his flounder, my rod took a sudden dive and my Shimano Twinpower started to scream.

I fought what seemed to be a very strong fish for a few minutes before I brought him close enough for Mael to net him up.

My little corner of the boat was now full, because between the rod holders, there were people holding their rods and gingerly casting between the lines. I was inched out of my spot. I didn’t even have the opportunity to give up my spot.

15 minutes later, while crossing my line (but not tangling it up), Fendy hooked up this little guy with his tiny rod.

There were a few hits and a few misses but nothing that looked substantial and so we shifted spots.

About an hour later, while some were eating their lunch – Spaghetti Bolognese prepared and packaged by Titi, Hendrik hooked up this guy on a maprawn setup.

Barely a minute later, Hermann hooked up this fingermark.

And barely a minute after that, Hendrik caught this small Kaci (Sweetlips) on his other rod.

The fish were coming thick and fast, small though they were.

In the next minute, 3 more people got hookups.

Omar

Me and my little fingermark.

Han and his fish caught via jigging with prawns stuck on his hook.

We continued drifting for about 10 minutes but with no hits, the hardworking boatman moved us to a new drifting line.

Eventually, Hermann caught this pretty coral trout.

Shortly after that, Omar caught this small but pretty Orange Spotted Malabar.

Despite already paying for the boat, Omar had also brought along some snacks. He had also brought along a box of 5 Alpen strawberry bars. I was already hooked on them and since no one was taking any, I may have singlehandedly finished it. Possibly.

Just shy of 1pm, Fendy’s rod suddenly took a nose dive and he struggled a little to pull it out of the holder.

Before the cameras could start rolling, the fish had swum from the back of the boat to somwhere off the port bow.

He skillfully played with his baitcaster and kept tension on the line. I personally find baitcasters hard to use so I don’t really use them. It may be the other way around.

He struggled to reel the fish in as it started to turn around and head straight for him.

After a few muted arobatics, it eventually came close enough for Mael to net the guy and then we could clearly see that it was a Tek Ngor (a.k.a Giant Herring, a.k.a Tenpounder).

Fendy beaming with pride

While fendy was still glowing from the excitement and busy trying to get everything in order, I took the opportunity to slide my rod back in my corner holder.

10 minutes later, and with the boat now drifting to our right, Omar caught this small but feisty Queenfish.

But there were no more hits after that so the boatman brought us further out.

Which is where Along caught this little trout.

Half an hour later, and finding myself out of the corner spot again, I caught this little Kaci.

And a half hour after that, Fendy caught this little guy.

They were a handful of hits and misses after this but nothing was landed.

The wind was picking up and the currents were getting weird as by now we were along the East Coast Area. We tried our luck for the next 3 hours, with the boatman trying his best to put us on the fish but eventually we had to call it a day.

It was a great day of fishing with great company. I found myself reacquainted with the conveniences of fishing on a proper boat but still prefer a kayak, except for the ‘getting to the spot’ part.

The End

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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.



SGYakAttack

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.

Tanjung Pinang Expedition (3 days, 2 nights)

Shawn/ September 29, 2012/ 24 hrs, Bottom Fishing, Jigging, Live Baiting (Floating), Live Baiting (Free Running), saltwater, Tanjung Pinang/ 6 comments

[Warning: This post may take a while to load.]

There were countless sea tales told by many-a-scallywag, tales of seas awash with the golden glow of the setting sun reflecting off an orgy of fish. Expectedly, there was immense anticipation for this trip.

Entire companies went on forced leave, old ladies began to report more and more missing jewelry, loved ones near death were told to hang on a little longer, all to make way for this.

Nick started buying gear at the first mention of the possibility of this trip, which was about a year before the date.

Although the trip officially started on the 9th of June, we were already having regular meetings way before that, both virtual and physical to plan for the best possible outcome.

I drove over to pick up Nick and Mark, Kiat picked up Weiyee, Nigel and Cindy took a cab while Pete was chaffuered.

My group was bang on time but Nigel was way early. When everyone had arrived and my group finished our coffees, we bought our internet-booked tickets, took one last look around and headed for the queue.

Thankfully, this queue was a little bit faster than the causeway queue and once we were in, Cindy, Mark and me headed for the duty free store to buy cigarettes, which were much more expensive than those at the airport. They were also lacking my favourite green lucky strikes.

We finally arrived at the Indonesian port about 2 hours later but were less fortunate with the queue over there.

We cleared customs about half an hour later before our driver took us to a local supermarket to stock up on supplies before dropping us off seemingly in the middle of nowhere. We managed to find the boat though and settled down for lunch at the “restaurant” next to the dock.


The food was alright but then again we were quite hungry. The staples in the otak-otaks were a nice touch.

 

Most of us headed for the toilets immediately after though. Perhaps it was in fear of the state of the toilet onboard. Nevertheless, just like my field camp in BMT, I did not take another shit until the very last day.

The accommodations on the boat were quite good, relatively speaking. Prone to getting seasick ever since NS (the massive headache kind, not the hurling kind), I reserved the lowest bed available.

   

There was only one AC socket available which I shared with the others. I didn’t trust anyone else’s chargers.

The deck was also incredibly spacious. My luggage for this trip was a simple waterproof floating backpack, many plastic bags of snacks, one orange Awashima tackle box and my rods.

Within half an hour, everyone was mostly settled in.

All the 4 ceiling mounted rod racks which held 7 rods each were completely full and many were forced to stow their rods randomly on deck or in the fishing rod holders.

 

Mark had neglected to bring proper tackle for the trip though and so spent the remainder of the trip fishing off other’s rods.

For the 2 hours it took to get to the first fishing spot, some slept, others played with their phones and others stayed up on deck and chatted or admired the scenery.

By the time we reached the spot, the captain declared that the wind was too strong and that he was going to shelter behind an island.

 

Nigel was keen to uphold the TP image and so tried jigging for some fish. Then all of a sudden we saw a flash of white in the water and people were shouting “GT! GT”. Alas, it never surfaced again so we spent the remainder of the evening enjoying our dinner.

Most of us went for seconds and a few even went for thirds. The food was that tasty. Naturally, the chicken wings were the first to go.

We were advised to head to bed while the boat trudged along to our next fishing hole. Some of us tried playing cards to pass the time but the wind and waves kept messing up the table so eventually, every one of us was in bed.





At about 12am, I was suddenly thrusted into the conscious world when Nigel ran into the room and exclaimed excitedly that someone had landed a big fish!

Kiat was sleeping as well and we both mumbled incoherently to each other although the message was clear.

“Frack that shit. I’m sleeping.”

I eventually fell asleep for a grand total of 15 minutes before he burst into the room again. I gave in and dragged my dying body to the nearest rod holder and planted my baited rod in.


My line was running all over the place due to strong currents. Eventually though, I managed to land this eel which I took as a clear and present sign to head back to bed, a sign that I heeded.

While I was sleeping, the others managed to land a few fish. I woke for a brief spell when Nigel woke me up to help him video Kiat’s “big stingray” but when it became apparent that the fish was stuck or the line was now snagged, I disappeared back to bed.

     

I woke up at about 8.30am the next day and was greeted by the sight of smiling faces on deck. Apparently the fishing was living up to the tales.

Someone had already landed this chermin.

I wolfed down the prepared breakfast and collected my rod from the deckie (who used it after I went to bed), repositioned a rod that was not in use, and squeezed myself in to where it seemed the fish were.


The moment the weight hit the floor, I had a strong tug and moved to strike.

Nick was already fighting a fish and as I striked, Mark hooked up as well. These “small” bulats only gave us a mild thrill but what really excited us was the apparent abundance of fish.

Pete, who pulled an all nighter, eventually contributed with another bulat before taking a breather.

I, on the otherhand, wasted no time in letting my line down again and  within intervals of mere minutes, I was rewarded with two more fish.

 

The rest of the gang had started to trickle onto deck and were seeing for the first time, what I first saw only a little while ago.

They too wasted little time in getting their gear ready.

Fighting 3 fish in such a short amount of time, I decided I would give up my space for a while and let them experience what I felt.

So everyone except me let their lines down at about the same time and almost instantly, everyone was hooked up!

In the melee that were it in Singapore, could only be called a feeding frenzy, someone was unlucky enough to hook up a catfish, while Pete burst his line.

   

The Tally:

Pete eventually retied his line and casted out just 10 minutes later (as shown in the picture on the left) but this eventually burst as well.
He was determined though and came back fighting (picture on right) with another setup.

I wasted little time with ‘species identification photos’ and rejoined the fight putting the total fighting fit count at 4 (including the skipper and Kiat).

The skipper eventually burst his line to a Barracuda – it hit the fish he hooked up.

The rest of us managed to land our fish.

  

Seeing that the fish were still there, Weiyee and Mark retook their positions on the front line and naturally I let my line down again while Pete headed off to bed.

None of us were disappointed. Unless it turns out that Weiyee was disappointed that his line had burst. Well, 2 out of 3 is still pretty good.

The fishing was still pretty good but had died down from the peak of only a few hours ago so the boatman decided to move elsewhere while the rest of us ate lunch.

Still groggy, one by one, they started to trickle off to bed. Nick, Mark and I were the last three to head to bed and we were lucky enough to watch a slight kerfuffle unfold as the boatman fought a massive fish only to snag it halfway up the water column and end up landing a massive fish trap.

 

Those who had headed to bed first were the first to reawaken (though not by much) and got to enjoy some light jigging while the rest of us stoned the day away.

   

The skipper managed to land two separate fish on his doubled hooked bait while Pete managed to land, among others, a baby Blue Fin Tuna!

     

Weiyee wanted in on the action but only my Freams 4500J paired with a Eupro Exploder was available. Nigel was quick to say that it would never work but Weiyee was having none of it and proceeded to jig with vigour.

When he eventually hooked up on his third cast, I was equally quick to vocally note the occurence!

I was also very vocal in pointing out that that was MY setup which was responded to with much laughter.

Eventually, we settled down and enjoyed another tasty dinner….

… and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

When was the last time you got to see the sun set over the horizon?

I can’t recall who it was but someone managed to land this eleventh hour Orange Spotted Malabar Grouper while the rest of us resigned ourselves to eging and squid scooping.

At about 9pm, we started to trickle off to bed.

I woke up at about 11pm to pull an all nighter with Nigel as if to get my money’s worth of fishing. Kiat joined soon after but kept drifting between the fishing and his bed.

I whiled the time away by playing with the boat’s resident catfishes on light tackle for about an hour.

Soon though, I heard a lot of action on the other side of the boat and watched as Nigel and Kiat landed these big cobias!

I was keen to get in on the action as well and let my line down. Almost instantly, I hooked up with a cobia slightly larger than the one Nigel is holding in the picture above.

Unfortunately, the hook gave way. I was determined though and rebaited and let my line out again.

After about 20 minutes, my reel started to scream! I lifted up my rod with much strength and striked!

I tightened my drag but the line was still running out of my Accurate BX2 500 N like a cheetah, so Nigel moved it close to max drag but the fish was still running!

So it was now on me and not on the gear to manhandle the fish!

I turned him around and quickly reeled in the slack only for him to shoot off in the other direction but I focused on the task and pulled it back towards me. The fish still had a lot of fight left in him and I was getting tired but I managed to coerce it near the boat.

When we looked over the gunwale. we could see how massive it was! It was about 50% longer than Nigel’s and was fat! There was also another cobia slightly smaller than the size of Nigel’s fish, swimming with it.

The fish was nowhere ready to be landed safely but because I managed to bring the fish to the boat, the deckies were ready to land it. Unfortunately, the gaff was passed to a green deckie.

He attempted to gaff it once and missed. He tried again and hit the fish but still failed to hook it up. By now my line had tangled with Nigel’s line which appeared to be snagged on the sea floor. Then the deckie tried again for the third time and hit the fish again but still failed to hook it up! The fish was having none of this and took off at lightning speed, before breaking the hook off.

I was devastated.

As the deckies untangled Nigel’s line from mine, I silently hoped that there was a huge stingray on the end of his line.

How it would console me I did not know.

As it turned out, there really was a stingray on the other end of the line.

The fish was near the boat in about twenty minutes but yet again, that same green deckie kept missing the mark which kept chasing the fish away.

After about 35 minutes of trying to reel him in, it was finally landed by another deckie.

Nigel enjoyed his freshly cooked pot of Maggi Mee with every crustacean we caught plus sotong thrown in, while the deckie skillfully portioned the stingray.

 

 

 

Owing to the method he used, virtually no meat was wasted.

With little bites, weakened flesh, and a dejected heart, I went to bed shortly after.

Whoever it was that woke up at 6am managed to take a photo of a muted sunrise.

I woke up at about 8am to fish strewn all over the deck and bombay toast on the table

   
I took a quick shower and an uneasy shit while the deckies filled up the iceboxes.

Mmm.. Bombay toast.

  

While it is a generally good idea to not fill up your icebox to the brim, this icebox was seriously underfilled!

Gutting the fish also allows you to keep fish longer which means it could have been filled up even more!

There was also a large quantity of “unwanted fish” which was “leftover”.

  

Much to our amusement, when it came time for us to alight, it wasn’t at a jetty or dock.

Instead, the boat stopped near the beach and we had to climb down to a leaking and extremely unstable sampan with a tattered cloth as a roof.


 

Some of the guys went for a massage while the rest of us went for a quick shopping trip and some light makan before we all reconvened for another round of food.

 

The ice cream man is on a sampan… AFTER the custom’s scanning machine.

A man also dropped his dentures on the ferry. I would have handed it to him instead of informing him of the fact but it just felt weird.

 

We reached Singapore about 2 hours later where we took a group photo and went home.

Great experience, good fishing, extremely fun. Looking forward to the next one.


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.