Tag Archives: catfish

Camping & Fishing @ Mamam

Shawn/ August 15, 2015/ 24 hrs, Bottom Fishing, brackish water, Kayaking, Live Baiting (Floating), Live Baiting (Free Running), Luring, Pulau Ubin, saltwater, Wild Outdoors & Camping/ 1 comments

Almost everyone was late, some more than others. I myself was late by about 5 minutes.

Omar’s caddy couldn’t wait to launch.

Eventually, after some of the shared weight had been distributed somewhat evenly, we gathered for the pre-launch photograph.

Most of us at least.

In attendance were Hermann, Hendrik, Titi, Fendy, Omar, and obviously, your’s truly.

Along and (unconfirmed right up till the moment he reached Mamam) Mael would be joining us later.

Much to Omar’s and Fendy’s annoyance, there was effectively no wind during the launch.

With 2 unhoisted sails, we made our way to the prawn farm to get us some fresh bait and some ice.

The floating restaurant Christina is open again!

Curiously, all 6 of us managed to berth at the kelong. As per normal, I’m the last to get prawns so I took the opportunity to use their facilities.

The tide was high but none of us had bothered to check whether we could cut across Chek Jawa (we’ve been forgetting to check for quite some time now). Despite being the only one in a hand-paddled kayak, Titi decided to join us the long way around for personal safety reasons.

Below is a picture of me standing on my kayak at Chek Jawa. There really was no wind at all!

Around this time, I got a call from a client about an overseas job that was to happen tonight but I had already committed to this adventure so I politely declined.

Some of the guys who you would not expect to be slow were lagging behind so the guys in front slowed their pace. Unfortunately, just like at St John’s, slowing our pace meant the tides and currents caught up with us quickly and for some, they had trouble setting their mind on the goal once they saw the water rushing past them. Later, we found out that one guy who we expected to be miles ahead of us, had actually been on the verge of heat stroke. Fortunately, he set his mind straight and paddled to slower moving waters with the guys in the lead.

Hermann and Titi were doing very well, especially considering Hermann had been towing her for some distance. They were among the first to finish the chek jawa crossing.

Those who arrived first, anchored themselves, and began to fish.

In that brief period of about 10 minutes waiting for those behind to catch up, Titi and Fendy both managed to catch some fish. Titi, with a pretty decent Red Snapper and Fendy with an unfortunate Sembilang (eel tailed Catfish).

Just a little further up, the current changed direction to match the incoming tide and those of us who had peddled ahead found ourselves drifting comfortably towards Mamam.

Then the wind suddenly started. Off in the distance, to our East, we could see storm clouds gathering and lightning thundering across the previously flat waters.

Most of us made a beeline for Mamam Beach. Up till this point, we were undecided on whether to camp at Mamam Beach or Nordin Beach, despite reports of the latter being closed off. The whether made our decision for us as Mamam was closer and fortunately that decision was the right one because as we later found out, Nordin really was closed. It was also the right one because it had started to drizzle.

BOOOOSHcraft style.

Fendy was surprisingly quick to mark his spot and so I followed suit.

Early days.

We beached our kayaks (and later anchored them in the middle of the river) and began to set up the rest of the campsite.

We met a few kayakers who had rented their kayaks from a local guy. That local guy was very helpful in pointing out to us the least slippery way to get up and down the breakwater and pointed out to us a few good fishing spots.

Charging these China clone solar inflatable lanterns. The quality isn’t very good and there have been a number of DOA ones and a number of those that die for no reason. If you want quality, go for the original, Luci Solar Lights, by mpowerd. (Especially avoid the RGB clone ones; they are useless)

In the mean time, Omar and I began to play with our firesteels. He had just bought his but I had bought mine many many years ago. Aside from a single time that I had played with it while outdoors (it was a BBQ and it was from there that this trip was born), I had never really used it before.

We caught on quick but little did I know at the time that there was so much else to learn (and that we were doing it wrongly)!

With our living quarters all set up, we began to settle dinner.

Titi was our main chef today so she settled almost all meals. She steamed her Red Snapper in aluminium foil and threw it in the coals.

It was very tasty and the meat was very tender.

Then she set out to cook the Lamb Chops.

It was very tasty too.

Some of the guys then helped to set up the kettle so that we could have English Breakfast Tea. At night. Culture knows not of time. lmao

With the food mostly settled by now, some of the guys went into the nearby jungle to gather firewood for a campfire. Someone found some cotton wool which made starting the fire that much easier and though the strong wind blew it out once, we were able to get it from embers back to flames by, ironically, blowing air on it.

Fendy had gone to sleep in his hammock by now.

At around 10 to 11pm, and after a few overseas calls (you can’t get local reception here but you can get a Malaysian signal), Along and the unannounced and uncofirmed Mael showed up.

After more food (the 2 late comers had brought snacks and jelly!), the 2 of them and I relaunched to see if we could get anymore fish. We didn’t.

Fendy, having awoken from his slumber, promised to join us but as we later found out, he merely dozed off back to lala land.

So about an hour or two later, we headed back.

As our kayaks were near the middle of the river, I left everything on except the camera. The in hull lights and external lamp were left on their lowest setting.

Then we went to sleep. Or most of us at least. Along and Mael did not plan to sleep and so didn’t bring any gear other than that for fishing.

I lay my weary head to rest on my very comfortable hammock and I began to have one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in a while. Except for the fact that it was cut short.

A few minutes shy of 7am, I felt rain drops falling on my face.

The rain grew very strong for about 5 minutes before calming down and alternating between a moderate strength rain and a strong drizzle.

I wasn’t exactly pleased as I value sleep very highly, and to lose out on very good sleep made it worse.

We made our way to the toilets, which happened to be the nearest shelter we could find.

When it became apparent that the rain wouldn’t let up, the guys began bringing their cooking gear over.

Most of us had brought our own food to cook for dinner/supper last night but as the dinner portions prepared by Titi were quite large, we found ourselves with an abundance of disposable, bulky and heavy items needing to be consumed. A certain special someone wearing a red jacket and going by the name of Omar had also brought a truly surprising amount of shareable snacks and light foods. While a nice surprise, it had also meant that there was a small but not insignificant number of redundancies.

And that is the story of how we ate breakfast next to the toilet.

As you can see, it was a complete protein breakfast though I personally skipped the beans.

The weather kept up for a bit then finally petered out.

More English Breakfast Tea.

With the tide coming up, we were able to pull our yaks (some of us at least) right next to the breakwater to load our stuff up.

When everyone had loaded up, we headed off.

Based on the currents, we decided to head left (West) to make it easier on us.

We passed by Nordin and not only was it fenced up from the inside (we already knew it was fenced up from the outside), the beach was practically gone.

If they had built it higher they could have sold it as a “Small villa over the water”

Everyone except Along, Fendy, and I, had made a beeline for the west edge of Pulau Ubin, eager to avoid the outgoing current which would be against them. They were rattled by the strong currents they had experienced at Chek Jawa yesterday.

They literally sped off with little to no word of caution.

For our determination, I was rewarded with a little catfish, Fendy got a Kaci, and Along got a Red Snapper.

By this time, as predicted, the current had started to shift against us.

Then the currents got a little stronger.

As we were nearing the west edge of Ubin, the wind began picking up and it blew strongly against the 3 of us. The waters became extremely choppy and the skies began to get gray.

The rest of them were still nowhere to be seen.

If we stopped peddling, within a few seconds, we would be drifting backwards at about a knot or 2.

Low on battery power for my phone, and without a spare battery or charger, I headed straight for watercross. Fendy and Along joined me shortly after and the rest soon appeared on the beach too, evidently returning from the Lorong Halus dam.

I forget what this is.

I learnt many lessons that day and I’ve since learnt many more. This trip is officially my first proper step into kayak camping and indeed camping in general.

The End.

PS: Oh… and a little video. Like and subscribe!


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.