Tag Archives: Grouper

Kayak Fishing with Nordin @ Sentosa

Shawn/ September 30, 2017/ Bottom Fishing, saltwater, Sentosa/ 0 comments

Regular reader(s) will know that it’s been a really long time since I last fished.

In fact, the fishing has been pretty sporadic for the last 2 years or so.

Finally though, I have a blog post with pictures of fish!

After all that time of not fishing, I had a hankering to touch the sea so I asked if anyone in our Native Watercraft WhatsApp group was keen on a trip, and got a reply from Fendy and Nordin.

We left the planning till pretty late and when I started to begin the prep work, I got no reply from Fendy; at all. It was probably something to do with his mantra of “Not wanting to be the bearer of a dissapointing mesage” because I later found out from Nordin that he had to work.

Aside from the initial mumblings of which kayak we were going to use, and where we were going to fish at, the actual finalisation of the trip was done the day before.

At 2.30am both Nordin and I were still awake. 

I don’t really know why Nordin was still awake; I, on the other hand, was still awake due to poor discipline and Facebook’s evil ‘related videos’ algorithm.

Due to my army training (cue the ‘During my time’ jokes) and not being at 100% exhaustion (it was close though), I was awake 1 minute before my 6.15am alarm rang. I waited a little to see if God would bless me with a valid reason to go back to sleep. As usual, I was blessed.

Nordin didn’t reply. I have no idea what was going on there. Maybe he was staring at his screen blankly. So I called him and it took a few rings before he picked up, we were both agreeable to delaying the launch to let the rain pass.

Ashamedly, this time, I woke up 5 minutes after my 9am alarm. Again, it took a direcet phone call to Nordin to get a response.

We set a time to meet, at the location where our kayaks were stored.

While I waited for Nordin to arrive, I ran into Azharita and his friend (whose name I have embarrassingly forgot). I tried to cajole them into joining us but all he could do was lament on his lack of transport options.

The entire kayak fishing scene has been pretty dormant for quite a while as evidenced by this photo of some dude’s Kayak at Watercross.

So it was nice to bump into Azharita again.

Nordin finally arrived and no doubt, we both said a silent prayer to God to give us the strength to lift my heavy-ass but totally worth it Native Slayer 13 Propel; all the way up to the roof of my van.

We headed to Changi Village to stock up on bait and various other bits of tackle that had gone missing since we last fished. Then we headed off to Sentosa. Curiously, I reached the gantry before Nordin but as I later found it, it was actually because he was waiting for me at the last bus stop before the turn into Sentosa. 

That gantry fee though!

We finally arrived at the Tanjong Rhu beach carpark and proceeded to unload. Because we only had one wheel cart between the two of us, and because the beach sand was exceedingly soft, we had to ferry our gear multiple times between our vehicles and the beach. 

It was alright though since it gave us more opportunities to make a show of our immense strength in front of the bikini girl. That wasn’t a typo. There was only one.

After taking a respectable amount of time to get everything set up, and entertaining just 1 guy who came to talk about our kayaks, we set off. We seem to be losing the ability to draw curious onlookers; regardless of whether or not we suck in our tummies.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that they had mostly removed the blue barrel barrier thing that used to grace this beach. We had no trouble exiting the small cove that is Tanjong Rhu and out into open waters.

Although, the further we got from the beach, the stronger the current became. Fortunately, at least at that point in time, the wind was blowing in opposition to the current and was strong enough to allow us to move with a fair amount of ease.

Aware of the fact that our target destination was about 5km away, we stopped to fish at various locations along the way to break up the monotony of non-stop peddling.

Perhaps, it was fortuitous that we did this (time to rest; not that we needed it), or perhaps it was a mistake, but the more time we spent at each location, the stronger the current became, and the more the wind died down.

With our tackle being disturbed by hordes of small fish, the current reaching a point where we could only average 1knot, and hoping to reach our destination and make it back to the beach by 8pm (it was already way past 3pm), we decided to make a beeline to our destination, which was near the Marina Cruise Centre. I say beeline. It was more like a snail trail.

On our way there, we came across a group of fellow anglers in a boat. I noticed it right away but Nordin didn’t quite seem to register what was happening. He asked me, 

“Why that guy’s T-Shirt looks like a bra?”

I say ‘He asked me’ when in truth, he spoke loud enough for the people in neighbouring Batam to hear.

As we neared the boat, his fellow anglers began motioning towards him and yelling “Sexy!”, “Merman!”, “Chio or not?!”.

The poor fellow was wearing not but a bikini top on his upper body. Thankfully, he was wearing normal clothes on the bottom so our eyes, brains, and souls were not damaged irrevocably. He was quite sporting though, giving us a wave, before (significantly) lowering his head and continuing with his fishing. No pictures were taken, because according to SOLAS, a ratified UN treaty, when we are on the sea, we are all Bros and the Bro Code is strictly enforced.

If anything, this was a prime example of why gambling is never a good idea. Although, it also showed that he was a hard core fisho.

We fished once more along the way, near the end of Sentosa, but were stopped shortly after by the always friendly and understanding Police Coast Guard who thought that we were going to be fishing in the channel we were about to cross. Just to be clear, I wasn’t being sarcastic. Those guys are always nice.

We eventually reached our destination. Within seconds of my tackle hitting the bottom, I hooked up this little bugger.

I was about to release the pretty trout but it was already about to die.

For some reason, Nordin was eager to move away from this random spot that seemed promising, to another spot which we both agreed should have housed monster fish.

In what should have been prime ground for said monsters, we found nothing but flat ground, small fish, and sporadic snags.

Slightly before we gave up hope, I did manage to get this small teenager.

We eventually decided to move on while lamenting our results, or lack thereof, at what should have been legendary grounds.

I eventually chanced upon a nice spot that produced 3 smallish medium sized groupers (next picture only shows 1 as I was too busy fishing).

Nordin also found a spot fairly nearby to where I was that produced 2 for him.

As the sun began to hide behind the horizon, we began to make our way back to the beach. True to form, we still stopped to fish along the way, and arrived at the beach way past curfew.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the trip happened when we were nearing the beach. A huge fish suddenly dove back into the water from what we thought was a small swell. It was right between our kayaks and it’s tail drenched us with the sea. I was momentarily blinded as the light from my hand lamp got caught in the splash that engulfed us. I kid you not, all I saw was illuminated water. Maybe it was amplified by a wave that we didn’t see coming but Nordin said he managed to see a huge tail that momentarily blocked out my lamp from his view. 

Shocked and shivering, we briefly considered fishing at that spot but decided against it due to the time and the risks of staying out even later. The currents were only getting stronger, the swells were beginning to pick up and it was seriously dark. Trying to fight a huge fish in these conditions would be a risk best left to when were more prepared.

Total tally for the day was 4 fish for me, 2 for Nordin. A pretty blessed day of fishing but most definitely extremely great fun.

The End.


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.

Kayak Fishing @ NSRCC with Hermann, Ipen, Isa, Omar

Shawn/ April 5, 2016/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, NSRCC, saltwater/ 0 comments

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.

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.

20150517_075704

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.