Monday, April 27, 2009

Spratly 2009 - Pop Fest

Alltogether, we fished the Spratlys water for around 5 days 5 nights where we spent 2D2N at Dallas and the rest of the time at Mariveles.
Right after 'checking in' at Layang Layang, we head straight to Dallas.

Overall, Dallas was much much more productive compared to Mariveles, with very obliging GTs and Blue Fin Trevallies, who are not shy at all with whatever poppers thrown at them.
They are so ganas that lines were peeling out the moment my popper hit the water!! YES... before I even start popping!!!
What's even MORE amazing is according to Michael and the deckhands, they even have some where the GTs leap out of the water before the poppers even touch the water. Can't quite comment on that... :-p

ANyway, few jackpots were hit right here at Dallas!

After the 1st hour of popping, after landing several decent size GT and Blue Fins, we saw the other boat chasing after some boiling action on the surface. I think the boatman (red boat) was quite inexperience as he was charging right smack into the boiling. From what I know, that would usually drive the boiling further or disperse them. Fortunately for US!
Several minutes later, the boiling was a mere 20 metres away from OUR boat!!! And lucky me, I was holding on to my rod in a standby position that time and without hesitation, I cast past the boil and started popping smack through the boiling!

BIG SPLASH!! MISSED!! ANOTHER SPLASH!! MISSED!!!!!!!!!! THIRD SPLASH!!! With flipping fins!!! And my popper went DIVING!! Very quickly, I retrieved all the slack line and realised that the fish is heading right under the boat. Once the lines tighten, lines were peeling out at SUPER HIGH speed from the almost LOCKED Stella 10k, heading underneath the boat!!! And very quickly, I had to lean forward with rod under my armpit, half of my Shimano Kaibutsu LP is under water, both my hands on the rod hanging on to the raging speeding bull!!!

Everything happened so fast and Johnson and DD, who were on board, must have freaked out thinking my rod is gonna fly off my hand as right after I leaned forward in a very composed and commanding manner, (or was I slipping and falling) they were both behind me trying to give me a hand to hold me up and lift my rod up. No way am I gonna let anything slip from my hands!!!
After it's first run, the boatman repositioned the boat to let me start gaining lines on the fish.
At the same time, NN who was jigging behind me with Sabre Dance II and Stella 5000, hooked on to a TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which got cut off after some non stop lines peeling!!!

I couldn't do much about it as I was very very engaged!

The fight lasted about 15 minutes, of which by the 5th, I was already dying... but NO WAY am I gonna let go of my first monster of the trip!!! So as tired as I was, I went on fighting the fish til my leader finally appeared on the surface of the water... And shouted the boatman 'SHARK, SHARK!!'.

Armed with a 3 feet gaff... and a tiny boat with 4 anglers on boat... bringing that beast on board would be freaking dangerous. Well... sometimes can put on your lap, sometimes cannot... This time, we shall let the fish swim away with the popper. This is when I quickly turned to the boatman and asked for a weight estimate.

'Boss, brapa kg ah??',
'30 kilo lebih oh...'
'Ya kah? Ok Ok...' :D :D :D

After that, I was too tired to carry on anymore so I went back onboard mother Sea Maiden I so another few could take over my place. This is when history was made once again on DAY 1 by Andrew, newbie to jigging and popping, who landed a 20+kg GT!!
Dallas totally KICK ASS!!!!! And most importantly the boatman for Sea Baby. Please pay attention to the guy in BLUE in the picture below. If you see him, make sure you are with HIS BOAT!!
Seriously no joke. If you look at the pictures here, these are only a fraction of the fishes we caught while popping at the reefs.
But if you gothrough them, the boat is always WHITE colour. The other boat, the red one, taken by another fellow always makan telur. Serious shit man...


Anonymous said...

hi Ken,

Its a thrill and pleasure to meet up with you at Labuan, looks like u guys have a lot of fun. The guy with blue shirt on Sea Baby 1 is my buddy, you can call him Yut, he is good!

Great popping and warm regards!!


BREWST said...

PAY ATTENTION to the guy in BLUE akakakakakakkaka CONFIRM!

Ken FK Yong said...

HI Isaac!!

We should fish together one day!!!

Yut is definitely the CHAMP!!!


S. Ferreira said...

Amazing photos, and beautiful fish, Ken!

Fishing with surface lures is really fantastic.

Do you also use skipping lures and stickbaits for GT?


Ken FK Yong said...

Thanks Sérgio

Most of the time i only use poppers and/or chuggers. Honestly, I don't really know how to present a stickbait properly... :-p


S. Ferreira said...

It requires some hand work, but sometimes the results are better:)

We use it a lot for bluefish in Portugal, even considering that the poppers are fantastic;)