Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sitiawan - Wreck - 9th July 2007

This is one of those trips where there was absolutely no anticipation at all. At least until the night we sat down and chat with some of the other boatman.

We left KL around 9pm and head towards Sitiawan. We arrived around midnight, and unloaded all our stuffs in the hostel and proceeded to the cafe for some beer. Sitting around another table next to us, were several local boatmen whom from their looks and volume of speech, were clearly intoxicated.

The location that we will be fishing the next day is a wreck close to the Indonesia border. A location (according to the boatman) that he hardly goes to due to the distance and also the security. Ah Chung, the boatman, has been quite popular lately with his trips to Pulau Sembilan and Jarak and the abundance Queenfishes/Talang, and also baby GTs. His old boat 'Talang' was recently replaced with 'Tuna'. The Tuna is bigger in terms of size and horsepower. But the Talang is higher in fuel consumption, hence the changed. I must say, after 1 day of jigging on the Tuna, it's not a very comfortable jigging boat. Yes it's big and powerful. But many parts of the boat were not meant for comfortable and safe jigging. A lot of wasted and contraining space. Although I have not jigged on the Talang, but from the looks, I'd prefer to jig there anytime.

Anyway, going back to the cafe. While sipping our Carlsberg, the few boatmen on the next table asked us if we are the ones going to the wreck near the border. And we said 'Yes'. And that started the intoxicated speech which went something like, 'For sure you won't come back empty handed!! blah blah blah...', 'Huge groupers there!! Blah blah blah...', etc etc...

The moment they started, most got very excited. I was sipping my beer and just gave a smirk to another fellow angler. And he just burst out laughing! Hahahahaha... I'm not doubting their stories or anything. It's just that we have heard these kind of stories way too many times. And as much as you wanna brush it off, it fills you up with anticipation. And very often, these wonderful stories turns into a myth.

But this time round, it didn't...

The next morning, we started our journey around 7:45am. The night before, I was told that the journey to the wreck will be at least 2 hours. Normally, I will be all gear up the night before, but hearing 2 hours, I decided to do everything on the boat so the 2 hours won't feel that long. Wrong move :-) With two 225hp engine mounted, the boat is fast. ANd with the water being quite choppy in the morning, the next 1.5 hours was like a roller coastal ride!! SUPER BUMPY!!! So we were all just sitting there, and holding on to something. It was so bad there were 2 who were so knocked out by the ride that they were puking by lunch time and slept through most of the day.

'Tuna de Roller Coastal' stopped in 1.5 hours. Ah Chung said we need to warm up first. So he stopped at a smaller wreck for us to drift jig at around 60m of water.

I brought 3 setups for the trip -

1) Extreme Anglers Custom PE1.8 with Daiwa Caldia Kix 4000. 30lbs main line with 30lbs fluorocarbon leader.
2) G-Craft, Jekyll Super Short Rodders PE6 with Avet SX. 40lbs main line with 60lbs Xzoga Camoleader.
3) Tenryu JigZam PE3-5 with Shimano Stella 8000. 40lbs Kitaya Batline with 80lbs YGK Galis Castman Absorber.

Only 2 setups were used; G-Craft and Avet was not touched at all. And since the Stella is still a virgin, she was the first to drop a 170g pink jig. I choosed a pink colour jig because I saw Ah Chung was using pink colour Ofmer jig. The good thing about Ah Chung is that he loves jigging himself. It's always best to have a boatman who knows or loves jigging. And I must say, his jigging speed is TURBO CHARGED!! Super fast!! And since I followed his colour, I may as well follow his speed too. And within 5 minutes, Chung had his first strike on his Daiwa Monster Mesh PE4 and Shimano Stella 5000. TENGGIRI!! First fish of the day. Not long after, another pink colour jig in the water with the same presentation was striked by a bigger Tenggiri! :-D Absolutely no match with the Stella 8000. Would have been much more fun if I was using the PE1.8 setup. But definitely NOT complaining here! Before long, almost everyone was landing fish, baby GTs everywhere and most were double and triple hookups. Every single GT were released to fight another day :-)

After much warming ups, we proceeded to the further wreck which is nearing the Indonesia border. Water dept was 60m and the top of the wreck was at 30m. Here, we had many bust offs. All unstoppable trains. Be it Stella 8000 with Tenryu, Ryobi Safari with Zenith, VanStal with Tenryu, etc. We just couldn't stop the initial run; all our leaders were cut off by the wreck. We changed to heavier leaders but to no avail. :-( Sad but SHIOK!!!!

Later in the day, we changed to another spot. And this is supposedly 'THE GROUPER SPOT'.

The first 1 hour of jigging was not very productive. This is when Hou (Kingfisher's ex camera person) put down his camera and was gearing up to do some jigging himself while saying 'Grouper loves blue colour...' And so I changed to a blue headed and yellow tailed 180g jig and started jigging. Several minutes later, I wanted to move from the left end of the boat to the right end. So after my jig touched down, I reel it up couple of feet and proceeded to move to the right end. And when I wanted to start jigging up my jig, I realised it was moving!! STRIKE!! Several minutes later, I was taking picture with a perfect table size grouper!! Hmmm...stationary jig...grouper...

Several minutes later, I was taking a break sitting and drinking 100plus. Michael and Vincent of Fisherzone were still jigging for groupers but no takers. This was when Vincent was complaining to Michael that his Ryobi Safari was making funny noises. So Michael exchanged rods with Vincent and tried jigging with his setup to see what's wrong with it. It happened again. Michael dropped his jig down to the bottom and let it sit there. He was then talking to Vincent about his reel. Like me, Michael was not jigging. Another STRIKE!! Several minutes later, Michael was taking picture with another Grouper!! Hmmm...stationary jig...grouper...again...

In total, we only managed to land around 5 small groupers in this area, with the biggest landed by Michael. Just like the earlier spot, we had several unstoppable runs and bust offs. Sad, but STILL SHIOK!!!

All in all, this was a very fun trip. We had good fighting fish and also good eating ones. We had many double and triple hookups along with multiple missed strikes. And the DEFEATS only made us all wanting more! And it turns out the intoxicated stories were not myths at all.

Talang and Tuna

Some of the arsenal
Rods - 6 Tenryu JigZams, Extreme Anglers Custom, 3 Xzoga, 1 Zenith, etc. Reels - Shimano Stella 8000, VanStal 150, 2 Daiwa Caldia Kix, Daiwa Freams Kix, 2 Tica Taurus, Ryobi Safari, etc
Baby GT!! Small but FUN! :-)
Ah Lim the GT King. GT after GT after GT after GT...

Michael with his share of the GT action.
The only Ang Choh landed by Michael.
Me and the first decent size Grouper of the day :-)Michael with his Grouper.
Me and Baby grouper!
Michael and his Big Fat Grouper!!

Ah Chung the Boatman with the first fish of the day! And the Pinkie!
Me with another Tenggiri / Mackerel, and the Pinkie!!
Michael and Me!! Thumbs up and PEACE!!

1 comment:

Bluefish said...

Hello there,

I am desperately trying to find a competent Perak boatman. Can someone give me contact detalis for Ah Chung, the boatman, who has been quite popular lately with his trips to Pulau Sembilan His old boat 'Talang' was recently replaced with 'Tuna'. I believe he may live in Sitiawan or Lumut.

My own e-mail address is

Many thanks

Prof Rodney ("Bluefish")