The MFF Blog

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Polarized sunglasses

As all anglers know, we sometimes have to brave the wind and the sun to go fishing. Thus, a good pair of sunglasses will help keep the bright sunlight out of your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses would be even better, as they actually allow you to see into the water by eliminating the glare. Take a look at this page for some explanations and illustrations.

There are many brands of sunglasses out there, but much fewer choices if we only want the polarized type. In Singapore, one option is to buy a cheap one that costs about $30 (e.g. Skyline) off the shelves from a petrol station and the other extreme is to buy a branded one that costs a couple of hundreds (e.g. Oakley) from an optical shop.

I was agonising over which to buy (there aren't many options in between) when I saw these in the Sevenseas tackle shop in Bungsamran during our last Bangkok trip.

They come with a soft pouch with belt straps.

If my memory serves me right, they cost 1350 THB, which converts to about S$56. The design looked alright to me and they sit pretty well on my noses (better, compared to the really cheap ones), so I bought  one. They have served me well for the last few months, having accompanied me on trips like the last one to Pekan (I was wearing them in my photo with the baby cobia).

All in all, I certainly don't regret buying them. But when I have the moolah to spend... it will definitely be a different story!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Secret spot = Good spot?

Yesterday, we went to a new spot that was recommended by a friend. I'm not supposed to say where it is, so I think it qualifies as a secret spot? Hehe... Anyway, it took us almost one hour of walking to reach that spot so I hope our readers would feel better about not being able to go.  ;p

When we finally arrived, we eagerly started casting - one of us using a surface lure and the other a sub-surface one. Within a few casts, the X-Rap registered a few taps and then a bite! Though it was a baby and did not give much of a fight, it was fun to catch a wild haruan in Singapore! It was released to fight another day when it has grown older.

Rapala X-Rap. Delicious looking, yes?

Unfortunately, those looking forward to more photos will be disappointed... This was the only one landed! There was a strong take on X-Rap Deep, but that heart-stopping fight was short-lived as the mainline burst due to abrasion.  :(

There were lots of surface action, but no more takes. There were a few more taps, but that was all. We tried a few other lures but none of them seemed right (we brought only 2 suitable lures, the rest were sub-surface or surface types)!

In the end, we had to admit defeat (for the day only, mind you!) and went home. We promised ourselves that we would return with more lures and land the biggies!

Before I end, let me show everyone another interesting aspect of this place...

Yikes! What neatly positioned caterpillars!

I certainly hope we would have a much more exciting CR for our readers next time round!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Smart fish, smarter angler?

There's a report showing that researchers have successfully trained certain fish to differentiate shapes and colours. This simply confirms what we have known for a long time -  that fish can be smart!

Photo from

It is not uncommon for anglers who visit catch and release ponds to complain, after a certain period of time, that their lures are no longer as effective. The fish have already learnt from experience that these baitfish look-alikes do not taste good at all. What you get for your pains is not a delicious meal, but an encounter with silly humans who play a game of tug-of-war with you, pull you out of the water, take a photo of you and then throw you back.


Who can blame them for getting smarter? So we better make sure we are ahead of them in this game, yah?  :p

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Self-service servicing

Either after a long period of use, or after an especially punishing trip, our reels would show the wear and tear. Instead of bringing them to tackle shops for servicing, we decided to try it on our own. Of course, that would not be possible without the help of our friend - thanks, Jonathan!

Jonathan demonstrated using our Daiwa Hyper Certate Custom, and WT tried what he learnt on a Diawa Freams J.

'Deconstructed' Daiwa Freams J

'Deconstructed Daiwa Hyper Certate Custom'

That was on Sunday, and yesterday we went Beach Road and Jalan Besar to buy the tools with the new ball bearings and drag.

New ball bearings - not all were available in stainless steel.

Lubricants and etc.

It's amazing what difference it makes after all the time, money and effort you put in. There's definitely much more satisfaction then enlisting the help of the service centres!  :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arapaima at Loyang Dua Pek Kong Temple

Went over to Loyang Tua Pek Kong (洛阳大伯公庙)yesterday night and was surprised to see 2 big arapaimas living in the pond in front at the main entrance. When I was there the last time a few months back, there was only the usual carp and koi. This time, I saw 2 big arapaimas around 10kg, 2 small ones about 1kg each, 2 small arowanas and even a Soon Hock that someone must have released quietly inside!  

It was very dark so I did not even bother to try take photos. However, if you go down, you can try to touch the fish as it glides past you... for luck! :p

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deepavali CR from shore

Getting fish in Singapore is not very easy, thus we always try to up our chances by going on good days according to the 'fishing almanac'. Heehee...

To save costs, we actually tried to buy live prawns from Sheng Siong supermarket. Unfortunately, they were sold out last night and stocks had yet to arrive this morning at 7am. Thus, we set off for one of our favourite spots armed as usual with 300g of live prawns from Pasir Ris Pond bait house.

As our last visit to this spot was about 4 months ago, we had again forgotten that the tides here are a little wacky - at least 1 hour earlier than the timing given in the tidal tables. The meant that instead of arriving 1 hour before the change of tide, we arrive during!

This would explain why this catch is poorer compared to previous ones.

The one and only squid caught!

While jigging with tamban hooks, I spied a couple of green-eyed sotongs following the baitfish up. I used my eging lure and caught one immediately! Excited, I quickly continued to try catch more, but... unlucky me lost the lure to sangkot!

This precious squid was 'dissected' to become bait, which then caught us 2 reasonably sized fish. The crab in the photo was caught as it greedily refused to let go of the prawn in its pincers!

2 fish caught using fresh sotong as bait.

We actually released a dozen or so smaller fish which we hope to meet again when they are much larger.  :) The todak was caught by floating a dead prawn out. It was released after photo taking.

This was one of the 5 todaks spotted  swimming around.

Well, we simply MUST remember to turn up much earlier for a better catch!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pekan on hindsight

Some of our friends asked if the fact that we did not manage to set hook on any sailfish was due to the hooks we used - I would say possibly.

We know some anglers use trailing assist hooks, but have also heard of horror stories of swinging assist hooks embedding themselves into the eyes of fish. Thus we simply attached the luring hooks straight onto the stickbaits.

Is this the best method or is there a better way? Or is the problem not with the way the hooks are attached, but our method of setting hook?

Hmm... ...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CR - 10/10/09 Pekan

We departed Singapore and reached JB around 3pm on Friday. It was agreed that we would take half day's leave so the the drivers could have a good night's rest before fishing on Saturday. The journey took about 4 hours so we reached Pekan 7 plus pm, had dinner, set up our gear, washed up and went to bed.

15 rods + 4 bags for the 6 of us!

The next morning, we went for breakfast, boarded the boat and set off about 9am.

The 3 speedboats operated by the same boatman.

We were to go catch some baitfish for the sails. There were baitfish, but they weren't biting enthusiastically and thus the bait-well had only 10 over assorted fish ranging from selar to tamban to slimy mackeral. Some of us, including yours truly, was tired of the slow baitfish action and turned to eging. Yeah! It was a one drop one kill situation, with the familiar tugging from big green-eyes and arrows appearing only after a couple of bounces off the seabed!

Nobody got inked!

As the squids there were plentiful and all of reasonable size (you won't find those puny little ones I caught during the last kelong trip!), it is better to use sized 3 eging lures. I caught 7 within 15 minutes! The only regret was that we had to leave for the sailfish spot soon after I got into the momentum. Sad...

A pail of assorted squid... Yum!

Ok, the next part is when it gets a little painful to talk about. So pardon me for being brief.

When we reached the sailfish area, the boatmen rigged up 2 rods with baitfish and waited for the fish to take. Neil and WT immediately started casting their stickbaits, hoping for a chance to get a sailfish that they had casted, set hook and fought entirely by themselves. The two were to be disappointed.

Despite being armed with very good lures (Gunz Tailwalk & Shimano Ocea Pencil respectively), their hardwork and perseverance was rewarded only with misses. It was either that the hook just could not be set properly when the fish took the lure, or that the sailfish followed all the way back to the side of the boat without biting. Haiz...

There were a total of 5 saifish taking the live bait. 2 were lost and 3 were landed by the other 3 who made up our group - June, Vincent and Desmond. A fourth was actually caught when it took Vincent's jig, so he actually fought 2 sails! (I turned as green as my ima Ro jig with jealousy...) So people, do be hardworking. You never know what fish will take your jig!

I was jigging all the way too, but my catch was a 2kg cobia and assorted smaller fish like table sized Kerisi and Grouper. No sails leh... :(

My cobia on jig. 

It was about 3pm when the boatmen suddenly said that the winds were rising and we should move to a bottom spot for some baiting. Despite our extreme reluctance as we had yet to fight a sailfish, we had to agree. However, the winds were even stronger when we reached the new spot and we had to return after staying less than 15 minutes! The journey back was a very wet one as rain started soon after...

And that, was the end of our sailfish dream... Sob...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Taking the wind out of my sails

I am feeling rather dejected at the moment... The wind has literally been taken out of my sails... I fought no sailfish at all during the Pekan trip!

Haiz... There were 3 speedboats out together that day and each boat caught around 4 sailfish. The problem was... there were 6 of us on the boat and I was a gentlemanly gentlewoman who graciously offered to let 3 other friends fight first. So, when it was finally my turn to fight the next fish that took the bait, no more fish was landed till it was time to go back!


My apologies to those who are waiting for my updates, will tell everyone the details when I am feeling better...

Sigh... ...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pekan weapons

This is part of what we are bringing to Pekan tomorrow.

A selection from different brands

From a friend's experience in popping for GTs in the Andaman Islands, we've learnt that swimbaits can be more effective sometimes. Moreover, it's less tiring (which makes it much easier for me!).

We know that many actually catch their sailfish using bait. To challenge ourselves, we've decided to try using poppers and these lures. The repeated casting and retrieving will also be good practice for our up-coming Similan and Andaman Islands trips. Wish us luck so we can come back and report to our readers which of these was the most effective!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our new car is here!

Yeah! MFF's new Kia Cerato Forte has arrived!

Proud owner in car

The reason why we could go on the Sep 09 kelong trip was that our friend Andrew gave us a ride (yes, this is the same Andrew that went with us to BKK in Aug 09). We were also going on the coming Pekan trip in somebody else's car, but not now. We are very appreciative of these friends and their help... but... nothing beats your own car on a long journey, just like there's no place like home!  ;p

Anyway, if our readers should meet a light silver Kia Cerato Forte with a license plate beginning in SJT and ending with Z on the roads, wave! It could be us! Hehe...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eat a goldfish?

It is a known fact that bigger fish do eat goldfish - WT has tried it (you can go ask him for details!) with success - there is also a lure that looks exactly like a goldfish. Go to their website and look at the different colours!

Lucky Craft Kingyo

But... would you eat one?

Apparently, a woman in Houston USA fried 7 goldfish and ate 3. These unfortunate goldfish were actually purchased by the woman and her ex-husband during happier times. The couple have since quarreled and the man called the police to report her 'fish-napping' their pets. When the police arrived, there was no crying over cooked fish...

Looks like hell hath no fury like a woman scorned... for the fish at least.  ;p

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3/10/09 FW3 Prawning CnC report

We heard about the special October promotion at Ed'sPro Pond, and so had to go try our luck. Unfortunately, the situation was almost as bad as the last time we went.  :(

So while WT continued fishing with hopes of getting a big one (as usual, the boys were trying out all the different methods in their arsenal with little to show for it...), I decided to defect over to the prawn pond.

It has been a long time since I have prawned at FW3. The charges are rather different from the others.

I chose to prawn 2.5 hrs for $24

While I was there prawning alone, a very kind gentleman offered me some of his 'special' bait - cut chicken heart coated with a red powder. He apparently mixes this powder himself and there are people who buy it from him. This additive is supposed to attract more prawns and improve your catch.

Frankly, I cannot say if the additive is very effective as I did not catch much more than usual, but that uncle's total catch was definitely more than mine... So, if you are interested you can go look for him, as he said he is always prawning there every weekend morning!

22 prawns, not including the free prawns that were given to me.  :)

It is very obvious from the photo below that the prawns at FW3 are all the bigger prawns with pincers, I did not catch a single female one there. Maybe the operator specified this with the supplier?

Naked prawns with a teaspoon for comparison.

As my last recipe for fried prawn wontons was a success, I decided to try make their cousins - prawn dumplings in soup.

Prawn Dumplings in Soup
  • 15 medium sized freshwater prawns
  • 5 water chestnuts
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs chopped spring onion
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chinese cooking wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 20 pcs round dumpling skin
  • 150g caixin
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 cube ikan bilis/chicken stock

  1. Wash caixin and cut into 2 inch lengths. 
  2. Shell and de-vein prawns, chop roughly into small cubes.
  3. Remove skin of water chestnuts and dice. (Note: Do not chop both above ingredients too fine, or the filling would have no crunch.)
  4. Remove root part of spring onions and dice.
  5. Marinate the prawn meat with the fish sauce, pepper, sesame oil, wine and cornflour.
  6. Add the garlic, spring onion and water chestnuts and mix evenly.
  7. Scoop 1 tbs of filling and place in the middle of 1 pc of dumpling skin. Brush the edges with a finger dipped in water, fold over into a semi-circle and press to seal.
  8. In a pot, add the stock cube to the water and bring to a boil.
  9. Put all the dumplings and cook till the dumplings float up and the skin turns translucent.
  10. Put the caixin in and wait for the soup to boil again.
  11. Turn heat down to a simmer while checking to see if the seasoning is satisfactory. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste if required.
  12. Serve immediately (with fried shallots and more spring onions sprinkled on top!).



Final product!

The uncle who gave me the 'special' bait told me that he is actually quite tired of eating his prawn catch every week. Maybe he doesn't try cooking the prawns in many different ways like we do?  ;p

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mid-autumn's festival

Today's the 3rd of October, but it's also the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar!

Fishy mooncakes!

MFF would like to wish all readers a very happy Mid-autumn's festival and hope that it is 月圆人圆,事事圆满 for everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009

'Gay Fish' - South Park

I was feeling very depressed just now, and that depression was like a writer's block that prevented me from writing. Luckily, South Park came to the rescue (both literally and figuratively!).

I have been a fan of South Park for many years. If you can see beyond the foul language, violence and sexual references (that makes the show unsuitable for children), what's attractive is its very potent humour. The writers often make jokes out of current affairs, events and news, poking fun at the situation in a way that never fails to make me smile (sometimes even laughing out loud...).

So if you are in need of a good laugh (and is above 16 years old... Hehe...), do it at the expense of rapper Kanye West in this Episode 5 of Season 13.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin