Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Fathom Bank – Catch Report

Location : One Fathom Bank
Date and time : Departure from Tanjung Harapan Jetty – 10:30 am, 21 October 2005, Arrival back at Tanjung Harapan Jetty – 12:00 pm 22 October 2005.
Anglers involved : Sharma, Navin, Jeishen, May, Hari, Kavitha and Vasu Uncle
Boatman (tekong) : Encik Nazami (019-3477766 or 012-9233793)

The night before the fishing trip, I was supposed to be tying my rigs and hooks, but instead of doing so, I was out with Navin. We were at Fisherman’s Wharf having a few drinks, talking about the fishing we would be doing and shooting some darts. I finally got back home at about 1:30 am and only then that I started to do my rigs.

The next day (21/10/2005), I had to wake up early. I was supposed to meet the others in Taman Desa at 8:30 am. After a quick breakfast, I proceeded to Navin’s apartment. As usual, all of our fishing trip never seems to start on our intended time. Jeishen was late and we had to take a slight detour to Shah Alam before proceeding to Tanjung Harapan.

We arrived at the Tanjung Harapan jetty at about 10:00 am and after unloading all our fishing gear from the car and loading them onto the boat, we finally made our move at about 10:45 am. The ride there was quite ok I guess. Not too bumpy. Our boat had three 60 hp outboard engines and halfway through our journey, one engine just died. Uhh… oooww…. Anyway, thank God that nothing bad happened. We did get a little scare, thanks to the Royal Malaysian Customs. While we were on our way to OFB, we saw a small boat headed towards us at full speed. We asked the tekong what boat was that and he said it was the Royal Malaysian Customs chasing us. Nothing to worry he said.

We arrived at OFB at around 12.30 pm and we immediately started jigging using Apollo from the boat. Jigging was fun and every time we put our Apollo jig in the water, we would end up with a minimum of at least 3 fishes. We kept the fishes alive as we intended to use it later as life bait for bottom fishing. May and Jeishen we feeling kinda wozzie due to the rocking of the boat. They were both feeling seasick. We wanted to go onto the lighthouse as soon as possible but were unable to do so. One of the reasons was that there was a Malaysian Marine boat which was at the lighthouse. According to the tekong, the marine guys change personnel every 10 days and today happened to be the day that they change shift. As long as the boat was at the lighthouse, no one else can go on the lighthouse. Another reason why we couldn’t go onto the lighthouse was it because of the tide. When we arrived there, it was low tide and our boat was too small to be ‘parked’ at lighthouse. The tekong did try to ‘park’ the boat but ended up smashing the boat against the beams of the lighthouse jetty. There was another boat, much bigger and made from wood which arrived shortly after our failed attempt at parking the boat. The bigger boat managed to park at the lighthouse. Our tekong then proceeded to tie his boat to bigger boat and we all had to hop from our boat to the bigger boat. Only then we could board the lighthouse.

Once we were on the lighthouse, there was a little bit of drama going on. Our tekong neglected to inform us that the lighthouse was undergoing some renovations, thus the rooms couldn’t be used. Everyone was feeling a bit upset and some even wanted to back that very evening. After much deliberation and talking we decided to make do with what we had and rough it out.

After that little incident, we quickly rigged our gears and proceeded to do some Apollo jigging. Some of the sizeable fishes were quickly thrown into the cooler box and some we used as life bait. We were having a whale of a time. We were getting hookups after hookups. We were filling up our bait box as well as our cooler box.

At about 4:00 pm, our tekong asked us if we wanted to fish from the shipwreck. Navin and myself jumped at the opportunity; hoping to catch monster fishes. The others decided not to follow up, instead, they opted to fish from the lighthouse. Before leaving, the both of us were already imagining the fights that we will be having at the shipwreck.

We arrived at the shipwreck and wasted no time. We immediately started jigging for bait fish. After getting a few bait fishes, we then proceeded with bottom fishing. There was another boat beside us who were also fishing at the shipwreck. Navin who was busy jigging away on his Abu Garcia rod, suddenly gave a shout. His Fenwick rod, which was placed in the rod holder was twitching away wildly. He had a fish..!!! He quickly passed his jigging rod to me and proceeded to play with the fish that was on the Fenwick rod. After about 5 minutes, he landed the fish. It was an ikan jenahak. (He claims it to be. But after checking out, it could be a jenahak or tanda. The English name for the fish is either Onespot snapper; Lutjanus monostigma or dory snapper; Lutjanus fulviflamma). About 15 minutes later he had another hook up. The way he reacted was as though he had a 10 kg fish hooked up. He was pumping his reel and at the same time was getting prepared to land the fish. It was one hell of a fight. He took almost 10 minutes to land the fish. The fish was a rather feisty little fella. It was swimming all over the place. When Navin finally managed to land the fish, our tekong and myself had a good laugh. Instead of a 10 kg fish, the fish he landed barely tipped the scale at 1 kg. It was another jenahak (benefit of doubt given to him). We fished at the shipwreck until about 9:00 pm. There was no more action after the 2 hook ups that Navin got. As for me, I didn’t manage to land anything. A few bites here and there but no hook up.

We returned to the lighthouse, but instead of going up to fish, we opted to fish at another location. The reason why we returned to the lighthouse was to get some bait. After getting our bait, we made our way to the old lighthouse. After setting anchor, we started to fish. The current was VERY strong, and the waves were quite rough. We were already felling a bit wozzie from the tumbling in the sea. Almost had seasickness… but being true fisherman, we were able to steady ourselves. We had hoped to land some monster fishes at the old lighthouse but I guess lady luck wasn’t on our side. We were not even getting any nibbles on our line. The sea was getting rougher, up to the extent that we were unable to stand to cast our line. The boat was rocking like a rocking chair. Damn..!!! What a wrong decision we made in deciding to fish from the boat. Then at about 3:00 am the worst possible thing happened. IT STARTED TO RAIN. Mind you, it wasn’t any normal rain. More like a thunderstorm. Bad enough we were stuck in the middle of the ocean in a small boat, we now had a thunderstorm in our hand to contend with. There was nothing else that we could do. We can’t fish, so might as well sleep. Quite comfortable though to sleep, feels like sleeping in a cradle. The boat was rocking and we just had to make do with whatever sleeping position that we could get.

We woke up at about 7:00 am and the first thing that we did after waking up was Apollo jigging. We were still hoping to catch the biggies that are lurking around the old lighthouse. NOTHING. NO BITES, NO HOOK UPS. We gave up on the location and decided to head back to the lighthouse. We are in for a big surprise.

Once we were on the lighthouse, imagine our horror when we saw the catch that Jeishen, May, Hari and Kavitha had. They had a red snapper, a few sting rays, and a lot of ikan gerut-gerut (saddle grunt; Pomadasys maculatus) and a bucketful or smaller fishes; namely selar kuning (Shrimp scad; Alepes djedaba). Both of us wasted no time and hoped to catch a few fishes before we leave the lighthouse. Our tekong said that we should leave by 10:30 am as the tide was going down. If the tide is down, we wouldn’t be able to board the boat; and the next time to depart will be at around 5:00 pm. Since Hari will be working later in the day, we had to leave by 10:30 am. Navin and myself were desperately trying our very best so catch a few more fishes before leaving. But then again, as usually with us, we didn’t manage to get any biggies. We only caught small fishes on our Apollo.

It was time to leave. We boarded the boat at around 11:00 am. We with a heavy heart, we left OFB. Navin and myself wowed that this would NOT be our last trip to OFB. There will be a second trip. When it will happen? Depends on our financial situation and time availability. This time, we will make proper research on the tides, weather conditions and wave conditions. When we go there the next time, I will definitely be fishing from the lighthouse. No more boat fishing for me.

We arrived back at Tanjung Harapan at about 12:30 pm. After unloading all our stuff from the boat, we took the opportunity to take some photos. We arranged all the fishes that we caught on the floor and took photos of the fishes. After satisfying ourselves with photos of our catch, we divided the fishes equally among ourselves. After a quick goodbye, we all headed back to our respective homes.

As a whole, it was an enjoyable fishing trip and we hope to do it again some other time.

For photos of our trip, go to

1 comment:

alang bidara said...

Interesting report on OFB.

Hope to go there myself with my "fishing kakis".

Thank you.

Alang Bidara (11 July 2006)