The day began fairly early. Omar had been keen to try kayak fishing at NSRCC after hearing about the adventures that Nordin and I had been having.
As he did not have a proper roof rack yet, he chartered a lorry and offered up the remaining space to the rest of the gang for free. I was adamant that I would use the roof rack that I had bought for my kayak though, and so I did.
We were scheduled to have about 6 kayaks in the lorry which would barely fill it halfway but one guy had to cancel the night before due to work commitments and the other couldn’t wake up although we waited for him for as long as we could.
By the time we hit the water it was 10am.
Present and participating were Hermann, Ipen, Along, Omar, and me. The beach was overgrown with seaweed and got caught in many places of our kayaks.
The current was unusually strong (but not oddly so as it was a spring tide) and with it pulling us westwards, we decided on heading to the yellow buoy area.
The cuttlefish seemed keen to make us aware of their presence as they kept stealing our bait.
The baitfish were also out in full force today and everyone who tried to hook them up with tamban jigs was not disappointed. They were not very useful as bait though.
Drifting a little way away from the yellow buoy seemed to produce slightly better results with my line getting a few more hits.
Eventually I got this little guy who was released unharmed.
Off in the distance we saw rain clouds gathering and we saw that rain was already falling on some parts of the island.
I decided to move a bit further away to see if the fishing would get better. And it did.
I had to keep repositioning my kayak to drift over a certain area where I had been getting a number of strong tugs and eventually I hooked up with a Chermin that fought me all the way to the top.
My Shimano TwinPower C3000 was screaming all through the fight and I was having the time of my life.
By the time I had all the pictures taken I had lost the spot. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to find it again and although I did, the action was not as good as it was before.
I went back to the yellow buoy area again but the currents had changed so I decided to move away altogether.
Omar and Along also had the same idea but they were expediting their drift because they were hungry and tired so by 2pm they were already halfway to the shore. When Omar reached dry land, he took down our orders while I stayed out on the water in an area not too far from them.
I had almost drifted back to our launch point when suddenly, in about 5 metres of water, and with the bait dangling at about 4 metres, my rod made a huge bend before the line went slack. Before I could put my phone down, I was splashed with a large amount of water as the fish – that I briefly recognised as a Queenfish – leapt out of the water.
I spent just under 2 minutes getting the photos done and when I released it back into the water it gave a soft kick. It took a while more before it gave a few more kicks and I released it. Unfortunately, it didn’t simply swim away, instead, it seemed to sink to the bottom. I’m not sure if it survived.
10 minutes after that, Omar informed us over the radio that our Macdonalds orders had arrived.
He never offered to bring the food to us and I suspected (and he later confirmed) that he was trying to get all of us up on the shore, knowing that once we touched dry land and had food in our bellies we would not be heading out again. His day was done and he wanted to get the lorry to bring us back asap.
As luck would have it though, we had to wait a good long while for the lorry to come and pick us up because he was super late. So we ended up chatting till late evening, as each one of the remaining kayakers out on the water trickled back to shore for some tasty grub.
The day left its mark on me.
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.