Friday, October 28, 2005

James Boat trip - organised by Vin

This little event actually started from the day before.

When Ice and me decided to go to Vin's spot in the afternoon, followed by an overnight stint at Changi Boardwalk, followed by a boat trip the next day. The 48 hour Fishing marathon you may call it.

I'd done it before. Once.. The results was cuts all over my feet done by barnacles.
This time however, the second leg of the trip was going to be on a boat with the Lorry Gang. So i was to be safe from barnacles.

The day before's escapade produced no fish. At least, Vin's spot had some action. Changi boardwalk however, was dead. No surface action. No nothing.

Prawnstar was there. He also turned out to be my schoolmate, Alex.

Malau was also there but he had to leave early because he was working the next day

Chatted a bit with the guys and realised it was the first time i had fished with Nick since we realised we were neighbours about a year back.

All in all, the day was really uneventful except for when Ice decided he liked my biscuits very much. And I'm talking about real edible biscuits here, not.... the other thing... or things... :p

Long story short, Ice and I were spent by the the next morning when we were to have our boat trip. While we waited more than half an hour for the bus that would take us to Bedok Interchange where we would take yet another bus to Sengkang where we were supposed to meet Vin who would tumpang us to Punggol Marina, Ice and I chatted with Nick on our past fishing experiences.

In the end, Ice and I knew we were gonna be so late that we told Vin not to wait for us and we alighted off the bus halfway to Sengkang and took a cab the rest of the way to Punggol marina where the boat we were going to take was berthed.

We ended up reaching the place before Vin and gang.. wahaha...

Total headcount for that boat trip was at 6 with Vin, Gary, Oldman, Ice, and me plus a "replacement" for malau who couldn't make it named, Theone (pronounced Theeee-on).

We left the docks about 10 minutes off schedule. All of us had a good feeling about this trip. The same good feeling that we had for all our other empty trips it would seem. :p

James, the owner of the boat seemed like a nice guy as he welcomes us on to the boat. His boat war rather small for our group. If everyone was sitting down at one area, it would've been ok. But as we all had only just got on, it was a little cramped. The "roof" also was relatively low so all the rods had to be sticking out of the boat more or less for the whole trip.

We set off to a kelong where we would get some prawns for bait while i "kiasu-ly" began to set up my rod while the boat was still bumping away on the waves. By the time we reached the kelong, I was ready. :p

I stuck on a prawn to my rig and proceeded to set up my other rod which was going to have a floater with a dead mullet 1 metre away from the float. Stinky, dead mullet. Gooey, stinky, and dead mullet.

We reached our first spot within an hour. Gary and I casted our our floaters as far as we could. And then the rest of us casted out paternosters and sinkers.

Then we heard it. A distant boom in the sky. As we all faced the direction of the source, we saw these huge, gray and ominous clouds. Si beh cialat we all said. All but 3 of our trips always saw rain. Granted it was the monsoon season, but the sheer "uncannyness" of which days it actually rained and the days we had our trips, it was very very odd.

We had a few small bites here and there but all in all, we didn't catch nuts. The boatman didn't change spots until the rain had stopped though. About 45 minutes later, the rain quietened down and Vin asked James if we could shift to a post near Hyundai. So off we went.

About 5 minutes in, as we were going to the new spot, our speeding boat suddenly stopped, jerking us all forward and nearly making us fall down. Then James cut power to the engine and proceeded to check the propellers. Apparently, we had hit a "leng", or "fishing net".

James gave it an all-Ok and we set off again to the spot near Hyundai.

We reached the spot. Gary and I casted out our floaters which, seriously floated.... way too far.. lol...

Then we realised that this place was damn familiar. Fucking hell!!! It was the spot that we all had talked about recceing during our "haunted" trip. It was a little offshore from the place labeled "Island". Refer here. Nah behz.. I also realised i had been to this spot before, on my very first boat trip, with some pretty good results.

So i casted out but i kept getting sangkut-ed... Nah behz.. I had only just respooled my reel with some Navis 12lb line.. I was afraid the line would eventually snap after all that streching. So i was getting sick of all this tugging and pulling so when i reeled up my rigs to replace the prawns, i let it down to about a foot off the seabed.

Imagine my surprise when i began to get bites. But time after time again, i missed the hookup. Everybody saw how frustrated i was getting so Gary asked if i wanted some of his hooks citing that maybe my hooks were either too big or not sharp enough. Although i had my own hooks, trying his out seemed somehow, better.. lol..

So i tied a 2 hook paternoster with Gary hooks that seemed to be around a size 4. Again, i let it down till about a foot off the sea bed. This time when i got a bite, i managed to hook the sucker up. It was a, as the locals (and me) know it, an Arumugam around the 200 gram mark. Finally satisfied that i was getting something, i rebaited my rig and cast it down again.

I got a strong pull. I struck. Then suddenly line started peeling off my reel. And then it stopped. It was stuck fast. Damn i tot. Some fish must have took my bait then ran into some snag..

I tot the fish was lost. But then i felt some movement from the other end of the line so i tried to strike again. It was stuck fast now. Thinking it was a ray, i slowly waited and pulled and had a tug-of-war with whatever was down there.

It was tiring work. I had battled with whatever was down there for almost 15 minutes now. Oldman didn't think it was a fish. I'd agree with him but he believed it was just a sangkut. Whatever it was, it wasn't a snag i can tell u that. The sucker started taking out line as i was reeling him back at one point.

Then it happened, and i was left dumbfounded, and blur, and even more groggy since i had stayed up all night.

PIAK!!! My rod broke!!! Just above the second joint. For a moment, i stood there dumbfounded and i continued to reel in my line. BIG MISTAKE. Without the tip of the rod to absorb the tension, the line was withstanding some serious pressure. Within about ten seconds, i began to realise what i had done but by then it was too late. I suddenly felt no more tension. The line had snapped. I stood there looking dejected. I had just broke a barely one week old fishing rod that i had bought at around $50 as a replacement for the exact same type of fishing rod that had broke almost a week earlier.




I totally gave up. I went to tie another rig but slowly.. I had totally give up for the rest of the day. After a while and a few more Arumugams from the other guys, James decided to change spots. It was line's up for the rest of them and Gary and me reeled in our floaters. James pulled up the anchor and we were off to the next spot.

About 2 minutes in, we suddenly stopped. Then we started again. But we stopped again. Something was obviously wrong with the boat. After a few starts and stops, James came down and went to check the propeller. Apparently, that hit we took earlier from that "leng" had done some serious damage because he said that we couldn't move anymore. The propeller had been damaged to an extent that no matter how hard it turned, we would only be able to move very slowly and that would also burn a lot of fuel.

So he called the guys at Punggol Marina.

We had to wait like almost an hour for the "rescue boat" to arrive. The boatman though, graciously tried to maneuver us to a spot where we could at least continue to fish while waiting for the "rescue boat".

I did a little trolling here and there, mainly just to get the bait torn off the hook. Cleaning the tackle as we anglers call it.

When the rescue boat finally did arrive, it took them about another 2 hours to tow us back. The speed was painfully slow. Gary did some trolling himself but instead of using bait, he was using a lure.

Vin called malau who was back from his work and asked if he'd like to do some fishing since we wouldn't be fishing on James' boat that day anymore. Malau said ok..

At the end of it all, we ended up going to PPP to fish but nobody actually did that. All of us just went there for a look see. Each of us paid James about $18 instead of the full $60. He actually said that we didn't need to pay but Vin insisted that we wouldn't mind. With hindsight, it was a very generous thing to do. Well, maybe not very.

Oh well.. We live to fight another day....

The "monster" that i hooked up with Gary's magic-hooks(as we now call them as they also caught some fish in other trips when all the others couldn't) was assumed and estimated to be about a 10 kg Stingray or a really big "swimming" stone if u get what i mean. lol

EDIT: On another fishing trip, i saw outside a tackle shop, the exact same type of rod, in the trash, also broken. This rod is the Shakespeare connoisseur. This rod is damn lousy man. Don't ever buy it.

2 comments:

James Addison said...

nice blog. nice story. my most favorite activity which i love to do is fishing. me and my friends weekly do Fishing In Dubai

Angela Lea said...
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