Monday, November 19, 2007

Pulau Jarak: November 10-12, 2007

Ah Ho's new boat. Max 17knots with 12 anglers.

This was an unplanned, luxurious trip. Only 5 of us on Ah Ho's GT Chaser. Me, Iskandar, Zul, Hamdan and Adlizam. We arrive at Bagan Datuk 7am, Saturday. By 10am, we already light jigging at Black Rock Island, Pulau Sembilan. Not takers on jig. Ah Ho Suggested that we use appolo to catch selars since we did not bring any mantis prawn for our night time bottom fishing. 

Weather was OK until 11am, and then the rain came with light wind. After the rain passed, we proceed to Pulau Jarak and reach there ca. 3.30pm. Since the current is too strong to do jigging, Ah Ho parked the boat at the East side of the island, near the exposed "Table Rock" or Batu Mandi. 

As soon as, he turns off the engine, I start casting with Saltiga 4500H and Caranx Kaibutsu. Iskandar also popped with Halco Rossta 105 Flouro Green. Since this is his first popping trip, I willingly popped with a River2Seas chugger to wake-up the fish and told him to cast just behind my popper. After 2 casts, he got hit by ~ medium size (5-6kg) GT. After 1 minute of tussle and fumble on his Penn 5500 drag setting, the hook gave away i.e. straighten. Immediately Ah Ho asked him, did Iskandar upgrade the original hook with Owner 3X? He said No. Quickly Ah Ho replied "we cannot use "cap ayam" brand at Pulau Jarak"....we laugh, but I know Iskandar learn few popping lessons i.e. never estimate the power of Pulau Jarak GTs and always check the drag setting.

After 45 minutes of tea break, I start to cast alone in front of the boat. After the 3rd cast, a small ~4kg GT hooked up with Duel Surface Bull 60g. Later, when Ah Ho anchored-up and we start popping around the island, 2 more GT ~ 4kg were landed using Adhek's short Goby.

By 7.30pm, we finished popping with not a very good results, besides 2 from me only 2 GTs landed. All <4kg>I missed 2 hookups, probably due to slightly higher drag setting coz I don't to lose my Adhek pooper to the reefs.

8pm, after dinner we parked besides the island for golden snapper bottom bashing using live selars as bait.  I managed to catch only 2 snappers, biggest is only ~4.5kg.  My fishing stopped at 12am.

I woke up at 6.30am and starts doing some jigging and later popping at Batu Mandi.  On the 2nd cast, after I drifted the popper pasted the exposed rock, a dark shadow appeared from behind and engulfed the Duel popper with a big splashes.  Fish ON! I scream.  Lucky for me the fish swam away from the submerged rock and I got my chance to "play" with it.  ~3minutes later a healthy 6.5kg GT was tail-gaffed by Ah Ho.  With a happy face, I went back to sleep.

Later in the morning, Ah Ho woke me up, saying that we are going for jigging.  The whole morning, until lunch time we jigged at least in 4 locations but no takers.  Hamdan jokes that all the fish were gone to the Bersih demonstration in KL.

During lunch, 2 Malaysian Navy boat were seen parked near the Jarak Island.  One is identified as a supply boat and the other one is a patrol boat.  I asked Ah Ho whether we can go back near the island for some popping.  Ah Ho said to me, better not to confront the navy within this few months. They are now quite sensitive since the "diving boat" incident few months back.  I asked him the news in "diving forum" saying that the navy declared Jarak Island is now off limit to surface and subsurface activities.  Ah Ho said he does not aware any announcement and said that he'll get to me later after conforming it with Marine Department and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.   

After a short discussion with team members, we agreed to proceed to jig at "Kaplan Karam" spot which is on the way to Pulau Sembilan.  Most of my friend said that if you were on the right timing and blessed/lucky, this spot is famous for big golden snappers, groupers and GTs.  We reach the spot ~ 4pm with high hopes and spirit but the current is too fast for us to jig.  We waited until the current slowed down at 6pm and started jigging.  We jigged for 1 1/2 hours with no takers.  It is really frustrating to hear people's stories about this spot but when we were there, not even a SamyVellu grouper took our jigs.  At 7.30pm, I noticed the wing starts to blow from S-SW and told Ah Ho about it.  He said storm will hit us within 2 hours and suggested that we seek refuge near Pulau Rumbia, Sembilan Island.   I agreed.  I told him that I want to test the spot for the last time with my Seven Seas 220g Hooker jig.  Quickly, I changed the jig. Upon reaching the bottom and 1 jig, I felt a small tug and I struck hard.  Fish ON.  With Stella 8000FA and Tenryu Jigzam 3-5, the beast was tamed within 2 minutes.  It was a GT, scaling at 6kg.  I was happy coz managed to pop the Tenryu "cherry" on its maiden trip.

The strom hit us as predicted but we manage to get to safety near Rumbia Island just in time.  Tiredness engulfed me, forcing me to hit the snag until 8am the next morning. After breakfast we did some light tackle fishing near Black Rock with no takers. So i said to Ah Ho, since we're in "injury-time", might as weel we try at the White Rock.  Zul & Hamdan quickly drift 2 selars after we parked near the White Rock and i grabbed my PE2 Xzoga + FreamJ loaded with 20lb TuffLine XP and pulled out a Riverside 4" pink grub and sticked it with #3/0 Gamakatsu jighead.  

After a  few cast to the outcrop, i felt a light tug and gave only a very light strike.  I thought i was a small GT judging by the head shaking.  After ~30 seconds, i started to realise that it is not a small GT but an unknown beast at the end of my 40lb Xzoga leader.  When the fish swimmed near the boat Hamdan screamed "Spanish Mackerel!!!!!".  Suddenky i felt adrenaline rush since i've no wire leader to cater for this toothy creature.  The fish gave my a tail flipped when diving underneath the boat and i saw a yellowish colour at the tail-end. Aaaa... Yellowtail barracuda!!!!!! What a relief.....i just played the fish since i've no sorry if i lost it.  A minute later Zul gaffed the fish and photography session begun.  The cuda scaled at 10.5kg!!!!  Ah Ho said that it was a record since i'm using only a 4" grub.

Next trip:  24th Nov.hehehehehe

Note the Duel popper with 3X hook.  Batu Mandi is on my left.


6kg GT popped my Jigzam's cherry.

The cuda on grub

Bottom bashing results.


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