Friday, November 28, 2008

My recent fishing trip

Last week my son’s IB exams finally ended and the two of us headed immediately to the kelong for a time of father-son bonding. Next January, he will be packed off for his National Service, and I don’t know when we will get the chance to do this again.

We went to a kelong in Malaysia called “Ah Ngan”. This is one of four kelongs between the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia and Pulau Sibu. Starting from the north, the first is Ah Fatt, the second is which is supposed to be owned by Singaporeans, is called Hot Boys, the 3rd is Ah Ngan and the last is Ah Yew. We have been to Ah Fatt twice and this time we decided to try out Ah Ngan. I think they are more or less the same.

We had a great time. Compared to the ponds in Ipoh, there were much more fishes to be caught, especially if, like me, you are an ‘amateur’ and are satisfied with small fishes like Selar. For those who are interested to go, let me give you some details.

1) How to get there?

You need to first get to the jetty at Tanjung Leman which is about 120 km from the causeway. You take the route to Kota Tinggi and Mersing. About 90 km from JB you will see a big sign to turn right towards Tanjung Leman and Sibu Island Resort. After that it’s another 27 km through deserted oil palm plantations. About 11 km from the destination, you need to make a left turn. We started from Singapore at 7.00 am and reach Tanjung Leman at 10-something. We chose a weekday to avoid the traffic and the crowds. The boat came from the kelong to pick us up and 11-plus. The boat ride took about half an hour and we reached the kelong just in time for lunch. (I hope I've recalled my figures correctly)

The 3 days 2 nights package costs RM225 per pax. It used to be only RM195 before. We departed from the kelong after lunch time on Day 3. Parking at the jetty car park is quite safe. It costs around RM14 – can’t recall exactly.


2) What to do there?

Besides fishing, there is really nothing much else to do, although I saw some people watching videos and some mahjong tables. I understand that the kelong can arrange for you to visit Pulau Sibu or go snorkeling; but mostly people are just interested in fishing. It rained on both nights and I took the opportunity to catch up on some reading.

Conditions, as you should expect, are quite rough; but I did see some kids and young girls. You sleep on wooden double-decker bunks. Of course there is no hot water baths. Because of the rain, it was quite cold to bathe at night. With the cool rainy weather and the incessant sound of waves below us, I slept like a baby on both nights.

The food is surprisingly good.

3) What to bring?

Besides your fishing gear, you should bring along a big ice box to keep your catch. Ice is provided free-of-charge. Be sure to bring a big hat and long sleeves shirt to provide cover from the sun.


4) Photos

This is what the kelong looks like close up.

This snake-like fish is called a Todak. Some girls wanted to take pictures with our todak. I told them it will cost them only RM2 per shot :) Last year, my friend who introduced us to these kelongs, caught a big corbia which weighed more than 8 kg.

In one of my previous posts about kampongs, some readers asked about attap houses. For those who have never seen an attap roof close-up, here are few photos. I am really impressed that in spite of the heavy rains, no water seeped through the attap roof.


The attap leaves are arranged in an overlapping pattern like this and the water flows into a gutter and is drained away.

Do you know what these men are doing?
They are banging in a stilt into the water. It is 100% human power. They latched a cross beam to the vertical pole and then in unison they called out the timing and ‘piled’ the stilt into the sea bed taking hours to do just one stilt.

5) Contact details

I am afraid I only have the name cards of these two kelongs; Ah Fatt and Ah Lam (aka Ah Ngan). But if you do a search on the internet, you should be able to get details. Don’t worry if you forgot to bring along the contact phone numbers - they are prominently displayed on the wall at the Tanjung Leman Jetty cafeteria.

19 comments:

peter said...

I like this idea about father-son bonding. Good sign you did it and don't need much or resist the call for more government encouragement or incentives.

I dare say not many parents are proactive on it especially when career is # 1 or "not interested in hobby" are common excuses.

Chun See, the immediate benefits are not apparent but somewhere down the road, what you did will be etched in the memory of your children. I am sure he can blog about this when he becomes an adult like recalling his childhood or young adolescent memories.

Zen said...

Chun See - Yes, bonding with your children is very important especially between father and son, mother and daughter. Luckily your son shares the same interest with you. Some fathers are poles apart from their children. When you talked about nice food served in the kelong, I would naturally think of fresh sea food. Am I correct? From the your photos, I could see that the attap roofings are pretty well done and looked quite new, and could withstand bad weather. Well run kelongs can generate more income for their owners. Like David who is very passionate in this hobby, I too love fishing in my younger days but this interest seems to slacken after I took up a religion.

stanley said...

Some years back I was introduced to deep sea fishing by some of my fishing buffs. We had to hire a boat to take us to where the rich fishing grounds was. Usually the boatman has intimate knowledge of where the fishes are concentrated. Some of the fishing boats are equipped with sonar sensing devices which can detect the presence of fishes. Even with the high tech aid one is not assured of a bountiful catch as there are many factors such as absence of undercurrent and boulders or rocks on the sea bed. Some species of fish prefer live bait. If you are fishing with a non-life bait and another angler next you uses a life bait, you can be assured that he will bring in more and bigger catch. Deep sea fishing is more challenging as compared to kelong fishing. The catch from deep sea fishing is more varied. However deep sea fishing is fraught with danger as whenever a huge boat or tanker passess by the fishing boat will rock causing some anglers to puke.

peter said...

As a child I caught "lokang fish". My first fishing trip was some 20+ years ago in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was part of our company sales convention and I was the only Asian participating.

All I knew I would get sea-sick since I was told the fishing trip would be for at least 8 hours. To my pleasant surprise it wasn't because our boat was stocked with Budweiser and snacks and sandwiches.

I innocently asked the boatman how deep the sea was. he said at least 6 miles. That got me cold feet. What would be catching I asked? he said in Spanish, "Marlin". Hih what was that? Never heard of it in my life.

At the end of the day, I had caught 2 "baby marlins", each weighing 120 lbs. I never knew how big a marlin was until I pose next to it during a photo-session. So when I saw Chun See's photo of a "Todak", it reminded me so much of a marlin, although there was a big difference in the size.

Lam Chun See said...

Actually, I am not much into fishing. That's why I am quite happy with the many small fishes that I caught. Being a sentimental fellow, it reminds me of my kampong days when we used to catch a lot of tilapias from our neighbour's pond as described here. Also with age catching up, I find it very difficult to tie the knots and hooks etc.

My main purpose is to accompany my son. That's why whenever my friend (the one who caught the corbia) comes along, I hand my son over to him. His son on the other hand, has no interest whatsoever in fishing.

Lam Chun See said...

I don't know if my son will remember these kelong trips years from now; but I think he will certainly recall our time of bonding in Ipoh where father and son 'suffered' together for hours at the fishing pond; seeing people on our left and right bring up fish after fish, whilst the two of us did not even get a bite :(

Victor said...

I was never interested in fishing. Didn't have the patience for it. The last time I went for fishing was out at sea with my Pre-U classmates in the early 70s. We used large sotongs (squids) bought from a fish monger as bait. We caught only small fishes and I still remember what my friend said: "I think you all will be much happier if you have caught the large sotongs by using the small fishes as bait instead."

yg said...

victor, kelong fishing and pond fishing/seaside fishing are different kettle of fish. at pond and seaside, you may not see much action but at kelong, actions can be fast and furious. sometimes, with one line and mutiple hooks, you may land three or four fish. i remember this from our fishing trip to pulau babi besar, off the coast of mersing.

Victor said...

I just realised that you looked a little like Thaksin in the photo. Luckily you were not fishing in Thailand.

stanley said...

Victor,
I agree with you. I also notice Mr.Lam bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Thaksin. Mr. Lam could also be fun to watch. See Uncle Yip's blog on Infocom and you can't help laughing at Chun See's head gigglng antics.

peter said...

Now's the time to wear yellow T-shirts and sit in front of Chun See's house.....

Lam Chun See said...

I shd use that image for my new avatar.

Seen This Scene That said...

Good to read about your father-son relationship building, despite your busy schedule. Thanks for sharing this kelong fishing place too.

peter said...

Chun See
The photo of the fired fish on a plate, is that selar fish?

Lam Chun See said...

Yes they are selar. Very tasty.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun See What was the size of the fishing rods you were useing? I was clearing out my closet, and I came across two old rods, one of them is a 11ft fly rod and the other is a 14ft coarse and sea fishing rod. I can mind when I was wee lad, I use a long bit string a small hook worms to catch the fish, at the harbour, the fish I pulled in were called flounders , they are a small edible flatfish.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun See What was the size of the fishing rods you were useing? I was clearing out my closet, and I came across two old rods, one of them is a 11ft fly rod and the other is a 14ft coarse and sea fishing rod. I can mind when I was wee lad, I use a long bit string a small hook worms to catch the fish, at the harbour, the fish I pulled in were called flounders , they are a small edible flatfish.

Tom said...

Tom said...
sorry I dont know why the comment came out double ?

Lam Chun See said...

I am not sure what size rods we used. My son takes care of those details including tying the hooks, etc.