SLAP CR: Lucornia / Dogtooth Reef by Gamefish

Kelvin Gerard
edited April 2006 in Catch Reports
Now before you start reading, we suggest that you print this CR and take a break - it's gonna be a long one. Attached are some pics from my digicam - will leave it to the rest who went to flood a little more!

Sunrise Monday, 27th March 2006: Second spot

The sun rose at Warhead and everyone started jigging (me included). The echo sounder showed lots of activity, but again … jigging was a futile effort. As the morning progressed, my arms were aching, the sun was merciless and no results.

David Phan decided to change tactics and managed to land the first fish of considerable size – a nice Japanese Red (approx. 3 kg) for our lunch. I decided to follow David’s lead and managed to land Kerisi Bali and other bottom dwellers of various sizes and things were looking pretty good.

By 1030 hrs, most of us were bottom bashing and the results were far better than jigging. The jiggers did manage to land some fishes, but nothing really spectacular – just the plain old Kerisi Bali.



At approximately 1115 hrs, I caught Leslie in the corner of my eye rigging up a huge live Scad as bait. Oh well, what the heck? Might as well try the same thing. Before I could reel up my line and make my way to the bait-well … my man Leslie was on! Something huge had taken his bait and he was practically running from portside to the aft in order to control his fish. He stepped up on the platform and the custom made Riptide rod paired with the Accurate 665 was simply working overtime.

Most of us made our way to Leslie to encourage (and tease) him and after fifteen minutes of backbreaking action, Leslie decided to let me have a go. Yep! I stepped up … oh mother of all that is good and pure - whatever was attached to the hooked was a real brute. Line was peeling out in short strong bursts and the fish was fighting hard for its life.

I could not recall how long the tug-of-war was played out, but it felt like forever. At one point of time, I considered giving the rod back to Leslie – but I told myself that I wanted to be rewarded with that cold Tiger Beer in the cooler! Then came a glint of white and silver…. A good-sized Amberjack that had swam all over the place and entangled itself with five other sinkers (each sinker was 900 gms). One can do the math – 18 kg Amberjack, depth 140 meters, strong current and 6 sinkers attached. Now give me my Tiger Beer! Cheers Les! Objective number one – Assault on an Amberjack achieved.



1500 hrs Monday, 27th March 2006: Third spot

We arrived at Merpati and everyone got into the “Will Smith Modeâ€￾ by getting jiggy-with-it. Our good friend Lod (of the Split Rings) from Indonesia managed to haul up an Amberjack and Ah Lim bagged a 7.0 kg Grouper.

Lod ... of the split rings



As the sun went down, we switched to bottom bashing – as soon as the baits hit bottom, the bite rate picked up. We were in Amberjack territory! Jimmy engaged another brute and the action on the rod was really sweet. All through Jimmy's fight, I was humming Daniel Powter's song ... 'Jimmy gets higgggghhhhh tonight ...'

Jimmy in action








The final tally of Amberjack at Merpati: -

Jimmy Lim: 12.5 kg
Victor Sim: 11.0 kg
Lod (of the Split Rings): 8.0 kg
Harold: 12.0 kg
Ah Man: 7.5 kg
Ah Man (again): 6.5 kg
Edy Lie: 11.5 kg
Chris Lim: 7.0 kg
David Phan and Siong: 6.5 kg
Lai Chun Lang: 5.0 kg

That’s 87.5 kilograms of Amberjack in a span of 2 hours and we released all of them to fight another day.

Now here’s a spot that some of us (especially me) were afraid to drop our lines. The fear of being whacked out of shape again by an Amberjack was that bad and I wanted to conserve some energy for the Red Ruby (positive thinking huh?) later that night. The brutes (Amberjack) were taking big baits so I decided to use a small hook (size 4) with a small strip of squid. Attached that to a 50 lb FC leader and dropped my line.

Thinking that the Amberjacks will not pay any attention to my kucing kurap (unworthy) presentation, I cranked up a little as soon as the sinker hit bottom. Boom! No such luck. Oh my goodness, another brute. Line was peeling out from the Torium 30 and the first mate declared proudly ‘Ah abang another Amberjack’. Yeah Thanks! Fought the fish for a good 5-8 minutes and the FC leader surrendered (phew!). A burst leader and a lost fish, but who’s complaining? Not me.

If memory serves me correctly, it was this point in time when I exchanged looks with Chris who was fishing next to me. We silently agreed to put our rods down for a while and rest. No words were spoken; just an exchange of looks and it’s true that great minds think alike.





Fishing Amberjack at Merpati – excellent but it can be pretty scary. Now where’s my friend RK a.k.a. Amberjack Hunter? Here’s a spot dedicated to you buddy!





Throughout the trip - Les and myself agreed that after our Amberjack encounter .. even a 2 kg Kerisi Bali looked tiny. And what was considered big by Sedili standards did not even register here.

After lunch, Chun Lian and Ah Man managed to catch and release two Amberjacks weighing 5.0 kg & 7.0 kg respectively. Another 7.0 kg (by Ah Man again) was put into the icebox and contributed to our lunch / dinner. More yummy food from the Chef coming up! Yeah!

It was also here that David managed to snag a 6.5 kg (approx.) Amberjack on an Apollo rig. Who’s the wise guy who said that a leader must be at least two meters in length when the current is moving? Mate, no hard and fast rule in this game called fishing.

Sunset Tuesday, 28th March 2006: Sixth spot

Friendship Reef.

Chris Lim sums it up the best … ‘this reef is just too friendly’. Besides a 3kg Big-eye Trevally jigged by Victor, the rest of us practically hit zero in the first two hours.

There was a bit of excitement when Amir engaged himself with an Escolar (approx. 15 kg), but the action died out soon after and the sleep bug hit most of the anglers.

Slow hit rate throughout the night, until Amir landed a big ugly Barracouta. This is one fish whose teeth you don’t want to mess with. Edy Lie suggested that I use its meat as bait. Edy told me to fillet a large chunk (about 1.5 feet in length) and sink two hooks with a wire trace. I told Edy that if I got a shark, I was going to pass the rod over to him.

Le fillet de Barracouta went down and Edy told me to crank it up 16-18 times. Like a good boy, I did as I was told and sat down to share some instant noodles with Leslie.

Into my second spoonful of noodles, the tip of the rod twitched. Fish you got to be kidding! It’s a large piece of Barracouta as bait. Then came the confirmation – bent rod and I ran for it. Slipped, fell on my backside but managed to set the hooks.

After a few cautious minutes – up came a Red Ruby (approx. 3.0 kg). This surprised everyone. The size of the bait compared to the fish did not tally at all! However, who cares? My personal objective number two – Rumble with a Red Ruby was achieved!

Worth the slip and polishing the deck with my backside!


Seeing that fillet-a-la-Barracouta was the order of the day. Down went the baits. Siong managed to haul up a big Red Ruby himself and so did Chris Lim. But soon after that, the action went to sleep and so did we. I retired and got up around 8.30 am and was pleased to hear that the jiggers landed the following: -

Ah Man: 5.0 kg Yellow fin Tuna
Chun Lian: 19.0 kg Amberjack
Victor Sim: 30.0 kg Thresher Shark

Kicked myself in the behind for missing the action! But the Yellow Fin sashimi prepared by the Chef made up for it.

1000hrs Wednesday, 29th March 2006: Final Spot

After breakfast, we set out for our final destination – Dogtooth Reef. Now this is what we came here for. We will stay here till it was time to head back to Miri. Arrived in the afternoon and the jigging started.

While jigging, Ah Man hit an 18 kg Dogtooth Tuna that did not survive the ordeal. My first time seeing a live Dogtooth and what a sight it was. Both angler and fish put up a respectable performance.



Throughout the afternoon, almost everyone managed to land a fish while jigging. Leslie and myself were still firing blanks when it came to this aspect of fishing. Then like an answered prayer, something took my jig …… yes hookup! Leslie was next to me and was about to give up when his jig was whacked. Double hook-up for Les and myself!

Frankly speaking, between Leslie and myself - we did not care what was attached to our jigs. We just wanted to land a fish with them. After a few strong runs and powerful bursts, we saw our fishes … and it surpassed our expectations. Yellow Fin Tuna baby! Yeah baby yeah! These were smaller specimens. But who cares? To experience Yellow Fin Tuna as our first fish on jigs…. I shall cherish that memory forever.

Yeah Baby!




Sunset Wednesday, 29th March 2006: Final Spot

Jigging here at Dogtooth Reef was the most productive and besides Barracouta landed by all anglers, we managed to get the following: -

Edy Lie: Big-Eye Trevally
David Phan: Rainbow Runner
Chun Lang: 16.0 kg Escolar
Chris Lim: His first ever Dogtooth Tuna
Yours truly: Juvenile Wahoo

The fishes were even taking “stationary jigsâ€￾!

Bottom bashing produced Flame Tail Ruby Snapper. Two of the biggest belong to Jimmy Lim and Edy Lie. After the Flame Tails, came the plague of Barracouta that massacred our lines.



Edy prepared a whole Dogtooth Tuna (2-3 kg) as bait only for his line to get cut. David Phan took half an hour to rig up his Rainbow Runner (2.5 kg) and as soon as his bait hit the bottom … bye bye braided line.

Dogtooth Tuna .... as BAIT!


Rainbow Runner .... BAIT again!


Credit must be given to Siong for landing the most Barracouta while jigging. All anglers heading up to Dogtooth Reef in the near future must pay homage to Siong for helping us get rid of the Barracouta population! I think he had close to 18 Barracoutas in a span of two hours. And who could forget the sexy moves by Edy Lie when jigging? Man! That is to die for! Please lookout for the video, coming your way soon!

Barracouta King

With the relentless assault on our lines courtesy of Barracouta Inc. (collectively we lost approx. 1000 plus meters of braided lines), we retired and called it a day.

Dawn Thursday, 30th March 2006: Final Day

Jigging at daybreak produced two 7.0 kg Gill Fish by Lod and Victor respectively.

The day progressed with nothing really spectacular. Just the usual hot day with Grouper and Coral Trout by the Lian Sin lads, Flame Tail by David and Kerisi Bali for the rest of us - till something took hold of Jimmy’s line.

At first we thought that it was stuck onto a rock, but the line was peeling out of the Shimano Torsa in a completely different direction. We then realized that something HUGE had taken the bait. I had the opportunity to hold on to the rod for Jimmy while he strapped on the gimbal and gloves. This fish was just swimming; it didn’t even feel the drag. The suspect? A big Marlin – who else has the audacity to swim off in such an arrogant and cool manner after consuming your bait. Grrrrr! And I bet it was saying bad things about my momma!

Since Jimmy was targeting smaller fishes, the terminal tackle consisted of an 80lb leader, 60 lb wire trace and size 5 hook. The odds were against him. The reel was almost empty and when the fish decided to go for it, so did the wire trace. Lesson learnt … expect the unexpected.

So much for our final day and we set off for Miri at about 6.30 pm.

0930 hrs Friday, 31st March 2006

After sorting out our catches and the customary picture taking. Our expedition came to an end and we arrived safely in Miri.

Even though the anglers came from different countries, background, religion, beliefs and cultures – there was no animosity. It was good to see cheers and encouragement whenever a fight was on.

The Kucing lads and your shouts of ‘Lok Chiak! Lok Chiak!’ (One drop, one bite) whenever it was time to jig. Thanks guys, I will be saying the same thing whenever I am out at sea and you will definitely find a jig or two in my tackle box.

Kudos to Nelson Ng and Gamefish.ws for organizing this trip, I really enjoyed myself. And to the crew & Chef of Crystal Coral – it would not have been possible without your hard work and great food!

On a personal level ending this report, I would say that the trip was an excellent one and surpassed all my expectations. Even though I set some objectives, I never expected them to be met. But in fishing, sometimes your dreams do come true.



Till we bash again.

Kel

Please note that this CR is based on my personal views as an angler. It should not be taken as a reference for future trips or advertisement/endorsement in any way.
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  • ozfisho
    Great read. I truly enjoyed it. Thanks for this wonderful CR.

    Cheers.
  • Amberjack Hunter
    KG mate, I'm lost for word man..... :shock: :shock: you fellas must have felt real good ya..whats that word again.." Lok Chiak " .... seems like anything dropped there also kena Chiak lah ... :P

    Sorry fellas, forgot to convey earlier that some very enthusiatic folks of my namesake from "Kampung Merpati" just couldn't resist their lifetime opportunity to visit you guys... :P :lol: :lol: :lol:

    KG, as per norm....excellent CR my friend...bet you after this trip, Sedili & TP will be history for you :wink:

    Rgds
  • LEI RUO
    This is a novel 8)
  • Kelvin Gerard
    Amberjack Hunter" said:
    KG mate, I'm lost for word man..... :shock: :shock: you fellas must have felt real good ya..whats that word again.." Lok Chiak " .... seems like anything dropped there also kena Chiak lah ... :P

    Sorry fellas, forgot to convey earlier that some very enthusiatic folks of my namesake from "Kampung Merpati" just couldn't resist their lifetime opportunity to visit you guys... :P :lol: :lol: :lol:

    KG, as per norm....excellent CR my friend...bet you after this trip, Sedili & TP will be history for you :wink:

    Rgds
    :lol: :lol: :lol: No RK - Sedili and TP will not be history yet. Trip to Lucornia takes 5 days. TP and Sedili ... we'll be done bashing after 3 days! Plus "Ministry of Home Affairs" is not issuing visas to Lucornia for the year :wink: :lol:

    Yeah at some points, the fishes were whacking anything! Like I said -stationary jigging ... no need to jig or crank. There was one night where all you have to do is leave your jig in the water and you will get hit! 'Lok Chiak'

    Edy left his jig in the water, went to the toilet and by the time he came back - a sizeable Dogtooth was fought and at the transom. Same thing happened to Amir from Indonesia - left his jig in the water and a 15 kg Escolar whacked it!
  • chineseguy_1979
    powerful CR there man
  • iam537
    Kel, great CR as usual... great read when doing bizness in the toilet :lol: :lol:

    RK - I now know your name sake nick..... AJ are exceptional fighters. My bloody arms are still aching.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • Nelson
    Great CR write out, can't be better.
  • fishpullipull
    Wow bubba! Once again fantastiko CR and looked liked u guys had a blast!well done Les also. Thanks for the pics/memories.#1 :smt023(took me one red bull and 5 sticks of gudang garam cigs to finish reading it bubba).....hee hee ...kdding!
  • Allen
    Excellent CR, easy for bandwidth easy on the eye. Nice to heard that people from different countries, background, religion and with their pattern can fish happy together. :) :)
  • xiang24
    dam power la...perfect CR..
    btw howcome u guys put the paip into the fish mouth while taking photo?
    is it sth to do with releasing the fish back to the sec again?
  • Jeffrey Tee
    Kel,

    Nice to hear that you and Les had a great trip! And the CR is indeed impressively written. Two SOLID THUMBS UP! :smt023 :smt023

    Reading your CR, almost makes one believe that he is there at the scene with your crew rather than hunched over a computer monitor!
  • fishpullipull
    Allen" said:
    Nice to heard that people from different countries, background, religion and with their pattern can fish happy together. :) :)
    Nice! :smt023
  • Vin Tan
    Thats a nice CR.....Hope that can tag along next time!
  • Kelvin Gerard
    xiang24" said:
    dam power la...perfect CR..
    btw howcome u guys put the paip into the fish mouth while taking photo?
    is it sth to do with releasing the fish back to the sec again?
    That's to ensure that water and oxygen is flowing thru the gills. Increases the survival rate when you release them.
  • barafilm
    Excellent CR. Very enjoyable read and congrats on your first fish on jig.
  • xiang24
    That's to ensure that water and oxygen is flowing thru the gills. Increases the survival rate when you release them.
    thanks for the info man.. 8) 8)
  • Ultimate Angler
    Kel,

    "Tok Kong'' report. =D> =D> Errr...you got conduct how to write "CR" lesson....i wan to join hor... :wink:

    Also your next trip there... i joining hor...invited or not.."Bo Chap"..i going with you..hor...u like it or not..i also "Bo chap":twisted: :twisted:

    Together with a few of my kakis hor....thank you....you take the lead...ok? 8) :wink: :)

    Nice Ajs' guys...Baras' also nice... :twisted: :twisted: dame Pain in the the bloody Butt right?? :lol: :lol:

    Anyway...you "Tow Chew" for the next trip... i happy to join as kaki can liao.. :) I be deckie hor... :twisted: :twisted:
  • EdWiN-_^
    Steady la Team Slap ! That's a great slapping catch report.

    regards,
    lw
  • Golden Sniper
    Bro Kel

    Now you know why I asked you to do some workout before the trip.. :wink:

    Looks like I've another long-range convert on-hand :lol: :lol:

    Wish me luck bro, going off tomorrow for my 8D trip...yay :D

    Cheers.......Daryl
  • Kelvin Gerard
    Ultimate Angler" said:
    Kel,

    "Tok Kong'' report. =D> =D> Errr...you got conduct how to write "CR" lesson....i wan to join hor... :wink:

    Also your next trip there... i joining hor...invited or not.."Bo Chap"..i going with you..hor...u like it or not..i also "Bo chap":twisted: :twisted:

    Together with a few of my kakis hor....thank you....you take the lead...ok? 8) :wink: :)

    Nice Ajs' guys...Baras' also nice... :twisted: :twisted: dame Pain in the the bloody Butt right?? :lol: :lol:

    Anyway...you "Tow Chew" for the next trip... i happy to join as kaki can liao.. :) I be deckie hor... :twisted: :twisted:
    Rob,

    Like we said - plans in the making. :lol: :lol:

    Yeah them Barracoutas are a real pain the in butt! Their sole purpose is to make one's life miserable. Does not matter if you have white, yellow, green, blue, black or red braided lines .... they'll just cut! :x :x
  • Kelvin Gerard
    Golden Sniper" said:
    Bro Kel

    Now you know why I asked you to do some workout before the trip.. :wink:

    Looks like I've another long-range convert on-hand :lol: :lol:

    Wish me luck bro, going off tomorrow for my 8D trip...yay :D

    Cheers.......Daryl
    Yeah Daryl,

    You were right. Luckily, Les and me did take your advise. Just cranking up those 1kg sinkers from those depths can make one go crazy! And if a big fish is attached/fighting - good luck!

    Must say that before going to such a trip, conditioning is a must. Otherwise you will be wasted after a big one. Whoever said that fishing was relaxing must have been high :lol: :lol:

    Yes! Totally converted ....... next stop : Louisa, Mariveles, Dallas!

    Have a good trip bro! Knowing you ... I bet you will be rigging a 5 kg snapper as bait! May you be blessed with a big "Tun".
  • Ultimate Angler
    Kelvin Gerard" said:
    [quote="Ultimate Angler"]Kel,

    "Tok Kong'' report. =D> =D> Errr...you got conduct how to write "CR" lesson....i wan to join hor... :wink:

    Also your next trip there... i joining hor...invited or not.."Bo Chap"..i going with you..hor...u like it or not..i also "Bo chap":twisted: :twisted:

    Together with a few of my kakis hor....thank you....you take the lead...ok? 8) :wink: :)

    Nice Ajs' guys...Baras' also nice... :twisted: :twisted: dame Pain in the the bloody Butt right?? :lol: :lol:

    Anyway...you "Tow Chew" for the next trip... i happy to join as kaki can liao.. :) I be deckie hor... :twisted: :twisted:
    Rob,

    Like we said - plans in the making. :lol: :lol:

    Yeah them Barracoutas are a real pain the in butt! Their sole purpose is to make one's life miserable. Does not matter if you have white, yellow, green, blue, black or red braided lines .... they'll just cut! :x :x[/quote]

    Kel,

    Ok..good..let me know how many kakis. :lol: :lol:

    Think the baras' are our worst nightmare...braide line makers best friend....eats braided lines..can't figure this one. :idea: :?: :evil:
  • xiang24
    when is video coming?
    just cant wait to watch...
    hand itchy ady.....hahah 8)
  • chester
    damn....this trip the one i missed.......
  • Kelvin Gerard
    Oh yeah ... this is one pic that should be included in the CR.

    It's our friend Lod that landed a Gill Fish on jig (pic by another angler onboard) - that's what they called it. Great fighter! Landed on an ATC rod, fish weighed 7 kg. And what's more ... real good eating! The Chef prepared this fish sweet & sour and it tasted better than any grouper in a seafood restaurant.

  • Mike Goh
    :smt119 :smt119 :smt119 :smt119 :smt119 :smt119 :prayer: :prayer: :prayer:
  • Kelvin Gerard
    chester" said:
    damn....this trip the one i missed.......
    Hey bud ... there is always a next time :wink:
  • NightAngler
    Great trip & wonderful CR !! =D> :smt023

    Wished I was there to feel the excitement !!
  • Grago
    Kelvin Gerard" said:
    Oh yeah ... this is one pic that should be included in the CR.

    It's our friend Lod that landed a Gill Fish on jig (pic by another angler onboard) - that's what they called it. Great fighter! Landed on an ATC rod, fish weighed 7 kg. And what's more ... real good eating! The Chef prepared this fish sweet & sour and it tasted better than any grouper in a seafood restaurant.

    They should just call this fish the Bulldozer... :shock:
  • Grago
    After a good feel.... this is an extraordinary CR to read... nice one bro. Ok, let's plan it for US next year.
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