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.
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.
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.