Tag Archives: baitfish

Desaru 2d1n – 7th to 8th April 2012

Shawn/ June 16, 2012/ Bottom Fishing, Desaru, Jigging, Live Baiting (Floating), Live Baiting (Free Running), TU Lighthouse/ 0 comments

We met up at 5.30am. It was freaking early but it wasn’t bright.

We arrived at the usual start point at around 7am and were joined shortly after by Terence and his brother Ah Yong. Whether they were blood brothers or actual blood brothers I did not and still do not know.

Badok led us to the launching point but we were surprised to find that his boat was still the trailer. After we parked behind his house, the guys loaded up the boat while I stayed behind to help the him.

He launched the boat as per the normal way of sliding a boat off its trailer.

As we were setting off, Badok informed us that the Tengirris were biting and that that should be our top priority. Keen to relive our past successes with Queenies at TU Lighthouse, we asked him if we could go there. He said that TU lighthouse could be done later as the Tengirris were only biting in the morning. Having seen the photos of Tengirris on his facebook page only the day before, we silently agreed to set off for the Tengirri spot.

Upon reaching the spot, Badok strongly suggested that we use Jackson Pin Tails only. Only Terence and Ah Yong had brought Pin Tails with them so they were the first to hook up. Those of us who had bought the Asari Pink Tails were sorely disappointed as we caught nothing.

Terence with the first Tengirri of the day caught on a Pin Tail.

And then his second.

He invited his brother to join him at the bow of the boat, a place commonly referred to as the spot with no fish. On most boats, the echo sounder is angled towards the stern and coupled with the fact that most of the anglers usually hang around that area, most boatman park their boats so that fishing at the back will land you on the fish.


Terence then hooked up a fourth fish but lost it halfway through the fight. By that time, he had lost all 4 of his Pin Tails to the Tengirris’ sharp teeth. According to him, he also had a total of 4 misses. Now while I don’t believe in numerology, that sequence was curiously intriguing.

Clarence then took his place and managed to hook up a Tengirri on his only Pin Tail but lost it to the anchor rope.

I then took his place and tried my Jackson Pin Tail Tune but had no luck. But I was not the only one. Another boat that had anchored just in front of us also stopped getting hits around this time.

We stayed there for quite a while more before Badok told us to bring up our lines to move off. We initially thought that we were finally going to TU Lighthouse to fight the tackle bursting queenies but alas when the boat stopped moving, we were parked over a bottom fishing spot.

Nigel tried out his inchiku and managed to land this coral trout. It gave Nigel quite a good fight.

I took the opportunity to test out my new digital weighing scale.

Not long after that, Ah Yong landed this beautiful Bumpnose Trevally.

We hopped from spot to spot until Nigel landed this tiny thing.

Some baitfish. Selar. or because the markings are not so visible, sometimes known as Kuning (Malay for yellow).

Blue Spotted Hind

Taking a break from the hot sun.

At one of our last spots, Terence managed to hook up and land a Todak.

Clarence and me still had not landed any fish (although I did catch some baitfish).

As we reparked the boat for the final time, I spotted some surface action and immediately casted out my Pin Tail Tune and almost instantly a fish tried to hit it but it missed. Undeterred, I kept reeling on the line and the fish hit the lure again but it fell out of its mouth. I continued reeling it in and I finally felt a solid connect with the fish’s teeth. I moved to strike but at that exact moment, the fish opened its mouth and the lure flew right out of it.

There were no more fish caught that day.

As I jumped from the boat into the ocean to keep the boat facing forwards (while the rest of the guys pretended to look the other way), badok went to retrieve his trailer.

We arrived at the accommodations later.

We were mildly disappointed with the place especially since we had requested separate beds.

As our room had 3 men to a bed, I eventually took the initiative and slept on the floor.

The toilet had no hooks of any sort to hang clothes so I had to move the fire extinguisher case inside so that I had somewhere to put my clothes. There was no water heater, the sink was extremely small, the shower head could not be moved at all and the flush didn’t work.

A river runs through it.

The walls were so thin that I managed to receive a GPS signal even in the toilet!

Dinner, freshly caught.

The next morning, on advice of our boatman, we headed out to buy prawns.

Unfortunately, the prawns were quite small and others had misgivings about “river prawns” so we gave it a miss.

I was looking forward to fishing the tackle busting queenies at TU and the rest had been built up on the stories of TU so there was some mild disappointment when we didn’t go there on the first day. Taking the cues, Badok brought us out to try for queenies there.

When Nigel saw this boat while on the way to TU, he immediately cut his pre-tied leader to prepare for what he thought was more Tengirris. When we simply side stepped the boat, he gave that sian look and proceeded to retie the leader that he had just cut.

He was eventually rewarded with this queenie.

Ah Yong also connected with another queenie.

There were a two more Queenies lost by Clarence and Nigel but the water totally dead after all but 10 minutes so we moved on.

We scouted out the new oil rig but left shortly after.

We headed back to the Tengirri spots.

Terence with a 500 gram red snapper.

A boat in a boat.


Nigel with a baby cobia.

Ah Yong with another.

Clarence had a cobia this size as well but was unable to land it because there was no gaff available. A second cobia of similar size was swimming right beside it.

Nigel with baby queenies.

Clarence with some kind of coral trout.

Terence with a good sized queenie. not at TU!

Nigel with a good sized coral trout.

Ah Yong hooked up with a dorado, a fish that I had never seen in real life before while on the other side of the boat, a barrucuda (probably) played with Clarence.

Ah Yong and his beautiful dorado!

A dorado quickly loses its colour when dying and is almost completely drained when it has died, before finally settling on a dark brownish colour.

Second ang kuey.

The following is a video excerpt of the highlights of the day.

End of Catch Report.

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.

Codename U.S. (17th Dec 2011)

Shawn/ December 18, 2011/ saltwater, Singapore/ 0 comments

After attempts to cancel the trip threatened him with mutiny by his men, the CO eventually handed the reins over to me.

I called the boatman about 4 days before the trip to confirm a change of command but he appeared rather confused and at first suggested that he did not have any trips with Nigel before finally conceeding that he did. We also confirmed that the destination was for mano wreck.

1 day before the trip, I called up the old CO and persuaded him to rejoin the fold which took some convincing but he eventually did.

At 2.30pm, Nick, Nigel and me headed off to Changi Village to stock up on supplies and fill ourselves with sustenance. We were waiting for Malau and Oldman to join us but they eventually informed us that they would meet us directly at the marina.

At about 3.30pm, we headed off to the SAFYC and met Malau and Oldman at the carpark. We reached the boat at about 4pm.

Our spirits were high because we had planned this trip more than 2 months ago and also because this was our first time fishing at a wreck.

Oldman and Malau

I smelt something amiss though when I heard the boatman tell Nigel that we wouldn’t be going to Mano Wreck today due to the strong currents. I mean, we had seen the calendar and were well aware of the currents and we had confirmed the fishing spot with him. Furthermore, when I sneaked a peek at his fuel gauge, it was below the red line. He even told me that the trip had to end at 7am instead of 8am or later because he had another trip after ours.

Nick cutting the ribbon on his new rod

When he brought us to the baitfish spot, he also neglected to drop anchor and he had to repark the boat every minute or so. We caught a total of 5 baitfish all below 6cm, which was something around 20cm smaller than what we were expecting. Within 10 minutes, he decided to start the fishing.



Eupro Hammer Jig with Tiburon

Throughout the first half of the night, he drove us round and round in circles to spots within a 1km radius and all within 2-3km from the SAFYC (based on GPS logs). From around 2am onwards, he stopped changing spots.

I was the first to hook up with an Ang Cho. I looked really bad due to seasickness earlier in the day.

Ang Cho or Russell's Snapper

Followed shortly after by the boatman with another Ang Cho, Nick with a bamboo shark and Nigel with another Ang Cho.

Nick with bamboo shark

Ang Cho or Russell's Snapper

After that the water fell silent for a few hours. And then we started hitting countless Ah Sengs which lasted for the rest of the trip.

It got pretty boring so we took turns sleeping and chit chatting about funny topics. I snapped this picture of Nigel and posted it on facebook.

Nigel sleeping like a girl

But he retaliated by posting this on facebook.

Retaliation by Nigel with me sleeping like a girl

We were getting pretty peeved with the boatman who by now was fast asleep. I think the only thing that kept me from really telling him off was the fact that he cooked some broth for us.

The morning got ever closer and we started talking about politics and how Nigel was going to get home with no MRT service (MRT had announced that they would only start the service at 11am today) and almost towards the end of the trip, Nick broke his brand new rod’s cherry with a tiny baby gelama.

Nick breaking his rod's cherry with a tiny baby gelama

Nick breaking his rod's cherry with a tiny baby gelama

Unlike most other boatmen who would change spots the moment an Ah Seng was lifted from the water, this guy just kept on fishing. It was only because Nick and me were interested in eating the fish (thanks to Nick who made me realise just how nice this fish was to eat a few years earlier) that we did not say much.

When the morning finally came, we packed up our fish and were about to pay the boatman when he declared that his price was now $450 instead of $400. That really really ticked me off and so where I would usually just say a cordial thank you to the boatman, we paid him and just walked off. Not one of us said thank you or goodbye. In hindsight, I should have confirmed with him the pricing over the phone but alas hindsight is always 20/20.

All in all this was a disastrous trip with a not very good boatman who changed the spot at the last minute from mano wreck some distance away to spots just a few clicks away from our launch position.

I don’t really want to diss this boatman in case it was just a one off shitty trip but if there is any hint to give, it’s that the U in U.S. stands for Uncle.

Known Tackle used:
Eupro Hammer Jig PE 3-6 + Tiburon Smart Shift reel (good budget reel) + 50lb Accubraid.
Eupro Exploder PE 3 – 6 + Daiwa Saltist 40H (Nick)

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.