Monday, June 25, 2007

Pulau Sembilan 23 June 2007 : Catch Report

About two weeks ago, while recovering from my trip to Penyabung, I received a call from Vincent (Rorytate from MFN). The conversation went something like this...

Vincent : Sharm... u free on 23 June? Planning for trip to P9... U in?
Me : Yeah... !!! Count me in....
Vincent : Ask your cousin as well if he interested.
Me : Ok.. will do..
Vincent : Chow....
Me : Chow....

Less than a minute of conversation and my trip to Pulau Sembilan on 23 June was set. In the days to come, I had the chance to meet up with Vincent and the the rest for some discussion on the tackle setup for the assault on Pulau Sembilan.

Fast forward to 23 June 2007.

We left KL in a convoy at 3.00 am. Since we were all coming from different parts of the city, we all met up at the Rawang R&R to group up before heading out to Sitiawan. The journey there was quite fast and very uneventful.

We arrived at Sitiawan town at around 6.00 am. We met up with a another angler who was joining us from Ipoh. We had breakfast at a mamak shop and took the opportunity to take some pictures and pop some sea sickness pills.

:::... Breakfast time in Sitiawan Town ...:::

From the mamak shop, we all proceeded to Leasure Bay where we would be boarding the boat from. I took this opportunity to tie my leader. I was in such a rush that I didn't have time to do any prior rig tying at home. The boat that we were going to board was the best so far that I have encountered. I would say that this is the perfect type of boat for all offshore fishing.

:::... The location where we would launch the boat ...:::

:::... Fish cage for farmed fish ...:::

:::... The boat ...:::

:::... Ample space to accomodate 8 anglers easily ...:::

:::... Twin 200hp engine ...:::

We board the boat at approximately 7.45am. One this that I can tell you that this boat was SUPER fast. The boat ride itself was a thrill. Half way to our first fishing spot, the weather started to change. It was raining and the rain was quite heavy. The boatman slowed his boat down and asked Vincent if he wants to proceed with the journey or turn back. We all decided to proceed. Thankfully we made the right decision. The rain was on at that particular area. when we arrived at the first spot, it was bright and sunny.

:::... Only picture of me on board ...:::

The first spot that the boatman went was near and island. This spot was quite rocky. The boatman told us to do casting, and soon all of us were casting different types of lures towards the rocky shores, hopeing to strike it big. We all tried everything we had; poppers, deep divers, shallow divers, spoon, bulu-bulu, and even jigs. I can't really remember if we had any catch at the first spot. After some time, the boatman decided to move on to a different spot.

The second spot was more productive. This was where I got hit on my jig. The feeling was awsome. This is my first jigging trip and the first time that I got something on jig. The feeling is beyond words.... All of us managed to land fish here. Well, almost all lar... Hehehe... When the bite died down, we moved on to a different spot. The boatman had a lot of spots for us to try out our jigs. I was trully impressed with this boatman. Very professional and very hardworking.

We fished till about 6.30pm and decided to return to shore. We reached the shore at about 7.00pm. We were all salty, burnt, tired but happy. Only when we reached the shore we decided to take a peek into our coolerbox to see what the damage was like. I would say that this trip was quite a good trip.

:::... Cooler box filled with our catch ...:::

:::... Better view of all our catch. Not bad eh ...:::

We all went for a shower and then proceeded to a seafood restaurant to get them to cook the fish that we caught. Very satisfying indeed. Fresh fish from the sea.

:::... Fresh GT ...:::

:::... What is left from the kerapu ...:::

We retired for the night at about 11.00pm. As soon as our head hit the pillow, we were drifting away in lala land. We were that tired.

The next day, at around 11.00 am, we said our goodbyes and then proceeded to leave for KL. I will be back in Pulau Sembilan in 2 weeks time. This time I will be going with Jeishen, May, Hari and Navin. We would be using the same boatman. Hopefully that time I would have more photos to show all of you.

:::... My catch ...:::

:::... Biggest queenfish I got was 1 kg ...:::

Note : Danny, my score for this trip is 6 points . 1.5 kg x 2 x 2 = 6

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Penyabong Trip 2 - 3 June 2007 - Catch Report

The trip began on 1 June 2007 at 10.00pm for Navin and myself. We had met up at Fisherman's Wharf in Taman Desa for a drink before meeting up with the rest of the guys. We were supposed to meet up with the rest at around 11.00pm but they we delayed and we only started to move from Kuala Lumpur at around 12.00am.

The journey there took about 4.5 hours. We convoyed in two cars and both the cars were driven well below the permitted speed limit. It was a dark night and we wanted to avoid any untoward incidents on the way to Penyabong.

:::... Location of Penyabong, Johor ...:::

:::... Route map to Penyabong, Johor ...:::

We arrived at Endau Town at around 4.30am. The town was still asleep and not a single shop was open and the streets were empty. We decided to take a short nap in the car while waiting for the shops to open for our breakfast.

We woke up at about 7.00am and then proceeded to one of the coffeeshop that was in the vicinity. The town was a sleepy town... Very little traffic with a lot of old people. Guess all the youngsters are still asleep or had left town to seek for greener pastures elsewhere. After breakfast, we all then proceeded to head for the wet market to buy some fresh bait. We managed to get some sotong and fresh kembung fish to be used as bait for our fishing later.

:::... Endau Town at daybreak ...:::

:::... Quiet and street peppered with old shophouses ...:::

After obtaining our bait, we made our way to the jetty in Kg. Penyabong where we will be boarding our boat for the trip. The sight that greeted us was awsome... Crystal clear water, clean beach and very calm sea. Nothing like what had imagined what the place would look like.

:::... Clean beach and beautiful scenery ...:::

:::... Very calm sea and beach free from any debris ...:::

:::... Beach clean enough for a quick dip ...:::

:::... View of the jetty from the boat ...:::

The initial plan was for us to board the boat at 9.00 am. With that in mind, we quickly unloaded our stuffs from the car. Imagine our dissapointment when we found out the boat was not around. After a few frantic phone calls to the boatman, we found out that the boatman had gone out the previous day and was only due back to the jetty at 12.00 pm. What a bummer... We had left KL early to make it to the jetty by 9.00 am and to be greeted by this kind of news is a real damper. We had looked forward for this trip with great anticipation and to be greeted with this news is such a mood buster. We then spent the next three hour loitering around the jetty and looked at other groups that were leaving with much envy.

After what felt like a lifetime to us, the boat finally arrived at 12.00 noon. We wasted no time in boarding the boat and was soon on our way to the first fishing spot. Along the way, I had the rare opportunity to have a close encounter with some sailfish. There was about 3 -4 fishes which were swimming and judging from the size of the fin, they seem to be quite large. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on me and I was busy tying my rig so I was unable to get any photo of them. Within a split second, they were gone...

:::... Me with the Great Maniam on the boat ...:::

:::... Navin all ready to do battle ...:::

The first spot that we went, we did some appolo jigging. According to the boatman, we could get some baitfish from this spot. The baitfish was not the usual selar or tamban fish, instead it was the ikan kunyit. The size of the ikan kunyit was not too big... If I were a fish, I could glp it down in one bite. It was quite small.

After gathering enough baitfish, we proceeded to our second spot. the boatman asked us to use prawn as bait as we were expected to get parrot fish at the location. True enough, Navin got the first strike at the that location. It was a small parrot fish. Nod bad for a start.

:::... The first parrot fish by Navin ...:::

:::... Another parrot fish by Navin ...:::

:::... My first grouper (kerapu) ...:::

Navin had a few strikes after that, but unfortunately, some of it could not be landed. I too had a few strikes but was unable to get a solid hookup. In the end, I was rewarded with a small grouper. This grouper was bluish in colour, not the normal brownish coloured grouper that is normally caught.

When the bites became slower, we moved on to a different spot. At this spot, the fish was more obliging to take the bait. I was rewarded with a double hookup of grouper and Navin managed to land a bigger specimen of the parrot fish, as well as one grouper and one sweetlips (kaci). The boatman was also fishing at the same location, as he was hauling up one grouper after the other. Guess the boatman had more luck that the both of us combined. There was an incident that happened during that time, and I will post a report on that later. This has got to do with the attitude of the boatman and his assistants.

:::... Double hookup of grouper by myself ...:::

:::... Anyone care to identify this small fella ...:::

:::... Navin with his grouper ...:::

:::... Navin with his sweetlips (kaci) ...:::

That night, there wasn't much action from everbody. No fish were caught that nite. In the end, all of us ended up sleeping on the boat.

The next day, the sun was blazing like there was no tommorow. I was badly burnt and and I am still suffering from a bad sunburn. The fishing on the second day was very very slow. The water condition is was the tekong would call an air mati situation. The current was barely moving that day. The highlight from the second day, was the landing of a 3kg cobia (haruan tasik) and a 6kg spanish mackerel (tengirri). Both fish were landed by Maniam. A few trips that I had joined him, he seems to be landing all the biggie. Guess he has lady luck riding on his shoulder all the time.

:::... Look at the bent rod ...:::

:::... I can see you now ...:::

:::... 3kg cobia (haruan tasik) ...:::

:::... 6 kg spanish mackerel (tengirri) prior to being gaffed ...:::

:::... Got you ...:::

:::... Maniam proudly posing with his 6 kg spanish mackerel (tengirri) ...:::

:::... The Great Maniam with both his catch ...:::

We arrived back at the jetty at around 1.30pm. After unloading our stuffs from the boat, we quickly left the place as Navin has a different appointment to keep. We left the place with mixed feeling. It was a great place to fish, but the attitude of the boatman was a major dissapointment for us. We wowed to be back in the near future, but with a different boatman this time.

:::... Majestic Sailfish of Rompin. Our next trip perhaps ...:::