CR: SCS Trip on Rico II from 6 - 8 Sep 2005

Jeffrey Tee
edited September 2005 in Catch Reports
It had its beginning about a month ago, several Kakis were spreading the word about organising a SCS Horsburg cum wreck-fishing trip in the month of Sep on board Rico II skippered by John Hendricks. At that time I was debating in my mind whether should I take time off to relax as this trip covers 3 working weekdays. Finally the mind swayed, “Oh well, might as well join this trip to end my fishing calender for SCS this year.â€￾ I reasoned.

Then the news came, the Pacific Ocean is contriving to spoil my plans by conjuring up Typhoon Talim and Nabi (both cat 4 typhoons) and thus significantly downsized my expectations.
(For people venturing out to SCS and beyond, interesting and useful maritime info can be found at: http://intranet.mssinet.gov.sg/marine/ )
*corrected the link to make it work


Tuesday the 6th of Sep 2005 saw Mike Goh, my friend (theblob) and myself making our way to Punggol Marina to rendezvous with the rest of the ‘who’s who’ list of Kakis that included:
- Uncle
- phtay
- Sam Teo
- Frank7
- moo
- Bernard Tan
- Yogi_bear

The departure timing had to be postponed by about 10 mins as I had taken the deadly “Laxative Brewâ€￾ (Coffee and Orange Juice) during breakfast and this potent concoction was churning up massive rumbling in my bowel system. Doesn’t take a genius to guess that I was taking that moment in time clearing that commotion in my tummy.

All set and ready to go, we boarded Rico II and gleefully set off to fishy wonderland (so we hoped!)!





And here’s the skipper at the wheelhouse, John Hendricks.


Along the way, some of the guys figured that a good rest is the key to good fishing and here you have our dear frank7 taking a light snooze (and probably battling with demonic ang chohs and pratas while in his sleep).


After which I totally forgot that I had brought along a camera (until day two) and so, you guys will have to endure with me recounting notable incidents from my memory.

Having cleared immigration and arrived at Horsburg Lighthouse area, the anglers in us as usual went about wetting lines unknown that we had been placed under surveillance by not one, BUT two boats. The boats were like predators, stalking us, watching our every movement, every detail, trying to sense our fragility.

It was then I noticed that a camouflaged vessel had made its move and I quickly pointed out to everyone. The vessel and its riders in camouflage colours were approaching us, nearer and nearer, till you can almost see their grubby beards bristling with predatory intent. We expected the worst.

Unbelieveably that camouflaged boat packed with grubby bearded seamen only circled us once and then slowly disengaged from us, as if sulking away knowing that it’s meal was not to be. It was then we realised, looming on the horizon, the other bigger and badder predator had made its move but thankfully we are not the prey this time.

Pulling up alongside our starboard, the PCG Coastal Vessel 'Thresher Shark' from the Singapore Police Coast Guard beckoned to us and urged that we fish closer to Horsburg Lighthouse waters where we will be kept safe from unwanted attention. Kudos to the PCG forces and many thanks from us, especially to the team on board the 'Thresher Shark'.

Fishing wise, the bites were pretty sporadic. We did not come across any schooling snappers queueing up to commit hara-kiri on our lines but the uncle’s 3kg ang choh at 3am did keep our optimism pretty high till we left for deeper and further waters at 6am. Add to that, the weather was getting benevolent and the winds were slowing down. It was then we voted to move on to our next fishing ground almost 4 hrs away.


(note: pic was taken at Punggol Marina at end of trip)

End of fishing on day 1 at Horsburg waters produced (if I remembered rightly):
- 5 Kaci
- 2 Ang Choh
- 1 ‘CONFIRMED’ Cobia by Mike Goh
- 1 Wrasse
- 1 Triggerfish
- 4 Stingrays (one of which is caught by me)
- Assorted small fishes

Destination: Mystery Wreck in SCS
Before arriving at the ‘Mystery Wreck’, we were supposed to stop by an unjam (FAD) to fill up our livewell with baitfish. Unfortunately, the disappearance of the FAD is to be the first omen that we have probably used up our luck quota. It was theorised that possibly a ship or trawler had wiped that unjam off the face of the earth, or the recent bad weather had uprooted it.

With the wreck in our minds we pressed on with our plans. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a sight for sore eyes. Possibly thousands of tongkol were schooling just above the wreck and the sea birds swooping in and out of the sea, going after baitfish chased up by the little tunas.





Upon seeing this, I quickly grabbed my jigs and started casting right into the schools of feeding tuna. However from Mr Champ to Raiders to Yo-Zuri jigs, the tunas were simply not interested in my offerings. Moo came out with Storm rubber, Mustad worm rigs, the works. And the tunas couldn’t be bothered either. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated but I was probably more frustrated by the strong headwind that caused major beehoon in my tackle and made me give up. Spinning sets would be more useful in such applications.

By a few hours later, the headwind is turning nasty and gusting at probably 20 odd knots. Whitecaps were starting to form and from the looks of it it could only portent bigger waves are coming our way.



From the front of the boat, I managed to snap some pics that would really be nasty if they had hit us sideways instead of the bow.





About evening time, several fellas had already gone wobbly because of the bad sea-state (we should be in about 2 - 3m wave heights with some bad ones coming at us probably 4m tall). The fish count doesn’t seem good also and with the weather is projected to go worse, the decision was to head back to Horsburg while we still can. Night fishing in such conditions could be very risky for everyone on board.

Fishing at ‘Mystery Wreck’ produced:
- 1 trevally
- 1 triggerfish
- Assorted small fishes

So we went back to Horsburg Lighthouse on a 5 and a half hr (extra 1 and a half hrs due to the bad weather) journey from where we had set off. Most of us crept back into the bunks and dozed our way back to pass the time away.

Arriving at Horsburg at around 11pm, we were aghast to find that we were visited by hordes of ‘kelong chi’ that made short work of all our bait we sent down. And I being the most hardworking ‘Sotong Catcher’ by scooping up 5 pieces highly prized squid where there isn’t much and having the ‘kelong chi’ clean them out with ruthless efficency, geee… maybe I should have taken a nap instead.

Other Kaki’s Catches:
- Grouper
- Grey nurse sharks (affectionately known as bodoh in Malay, ‘cheh meh suah’ in Hokkien)

At Horsburg, we were hit again by a pretty bad thunderstorm with winds gusting up to 45 knots and visibility reduced to mere metres. The thankful part was that we were already on the move and so the storm didn’t affect us much.

We did pop by at a spot in the daytime to catch some coral fishes to fill up the iceboxs but unfortunately, the spot was not producing much quantity and so we headed back early to Singapore.

End of the day, though this trip was pretty uneventful in terms of fishing for myself, I had enjoyed the company with all the Kakis on board and will look forward to more trips in future with them as my Kakis!

Uncle and Sam


Arrival at the Marina


Clearing the Ice Boxes


Our Fish Tally


Uncle and Sam strikes again!


Post Trip: After the trip, we adjourned over to P&P Thai Restaurant located at Veerasamy Road where we had a hearty lunch and talk cock session. The cobia and 2 kacis were served as our lunch.


Deep fried Kaci in Thai sauce and mango salad


Fish Dissecting!




The ‘CONFIRMED Cobia’ turned into Tom Yam
  • frank7
    hey guys, thank you all for the trip, you're a bunch of nice kakis to fish with.


  • iam537
    Jeff,

    Great CR as good as Kel's I must say, we were hoping you guys catch biggies as we had theorised that with the weather, current and waves...only the biggies would be bold enough to hunt.

    Bottoms up,
    Les
  • Jeffrey Tee
    iam537" said:
    Jeff,

    Great CR as good as Kel's I must say, we were hoping you guys catch biggies as we had theorised that with the weather, current and waves...only the biggies would be bold enough to hunt.

    Bottoms up,
    Les

    Well Les, you weren't exactly wrong. We saw big 'kelong chi' during our trip!!!!

    As for the rough weather, current and waves, well it wasn't exactly everyone's cup of tea as we had some guys KO'ed pretty badly. According to John Hendricks, one of the boat that departed Punggol Marina about a day or two earlier had it's trip cut short by one day cos of the bad weather.

    In any case, looks like the tail end of the typhoon is making it's presence felt so people going out to SCS beyond Horsburg had better be careful. Horsburg is still relatively fine during the time we were there.

    Cheers!
  • iam537
    We were scheduled to go from 5 - 7 Sep 05 but was cancelled due to the weather. :smt013 :smt076

    Oh well!! Let's if October is good....last chance before the monsoons hits.... :smt078
  • Ah Gu
    Now this is real hardcore in my opinion! harsh!
  • Allen
    Hi guy, tail wind was felt at the same time in rompin too, reported a few boat also cut short their trip up there.
    Alot of smiling face from the pic, you guy must be in great company :)

    Rdgs / Allen
  • Jeffrey Tee
    Hi Allen,

    When the fishes and the weather aren't cooperating, it's the company that counts! We had many great jokes and incidences to that would put grins and laughter on everyone's faces!

    I'll let the rest of the motley crew fill you all in!

    Cheers!
  • uncle
    Hi Jeff, and all the guys in particular to MikeGoh, Frank and Bernard and Yazid,

    "CONFIRMED" in good company and "Full Moon kenna fish" and the "Bee Hoon twins"

    Yes, I personally enjoyed the trip as in the company though not so much the fishing. Nevertheless it is still ang chor dinner tonight.....


    cheers
  • Jeffrey Tee
    uncle" said:
    Hi Jeff, and all the guys in particular to MikeGoh, Frank and Bernard and Yazid,

    "CONFIRMED" in good company and "Full Moon kenna fish" and the "Bee Hoon twins"

    Yes, I personally enjoyed the trip as in the company though not so much the fishing. Nevertheless it is still ang chor dinner tonight.....


    cheers
    Uncle,

    With you and so much good kakis around, fishing is always enjoyable! Anyway the equations were stacked against us for this trip but not to worry, I'm quite sure there will be further trips for us to take revenge. Heck, this trip is already 100% better than my previous trip cos I caught a big fat 'kosong' on the earlier trip!

    Cheers and give us a field report on the ang choh's taste!

    :wink:
  • Vin Tan
    Can see that is fun there.....nice CR man...keep it up.
  • phtay
    sorry for the poor catch guys :oops: .. dont felt good about it.. :smt010 how about a real hardcore trip again on nov?? :smt107 .wat do you say half moon?? :smt033
  • Mike Goh
    phtay" said:
    sorry for the poor catch guys :oops: .. dont felt good about it.. :smt010 how about a real hardcore trip again on nov?? :smt107 .wat do you say half moon?? :smt033
    Hello Oil Drum, who are you calling half moon :smt013 :smt013 :smt076 :smt076 Next time i see you, I CONFIRMED poke you harder.

    :lol: :lol: at least i have Full Moon to accompany me.

    Uncle Harry, finally we declared your F1 title overtaken by another younger driver :supz: :supz:
  • uncle
    :lol: :lol: :lol: hahahahaha!!! I just cant help laughing by the phase half moon and oil drum.......... :lol: :lol: :mrgreen:

    Tay,
    Dont feel bad about the catch. It is just one of those things. We cant fight Mother Nature. I can safely say on behalf for the rest of the group - a big thank you to you for taking the trouble to organise this trip. Buying the drinks, fruits and baits etc., We really appreciate that. =D> =D> =D>

    Being overtaken by another F1 driver, well this title I gladly hand over. :smt041 What a relieve. Keep it up Frank7 and keep the title always. :wink: :smt015 :smt015

    Hi Gu,
    Jeff Tee was the hardcore one. In the night running around without shirt and a never give up attitude. =D> =D> Of course besides Jeff, there was Frank7 =D> =D> equally hardcore. Of course the laziest fisherman on board was needless to say......your truely :roll: :roll: [-X [-X

    Hi Mike,
    why dont you relate your part on how you got your cobia. :lol: But seriously I kind of quite like the cobia meat when we had it for lunch yesterday. Of course "confirmed cobia" meat got to be good when it cost "$138" per kilo. :smt012

    Ok, the dinner. 9 of us including Bernard's lovely wife. The ang chor's head into soup. The meat into 2 different Thai (northern and southern) salad style. Not a good fish eater myself I will still rate it as good. Something different. As usually always in good company and good food with plenty to laugh. :drinkers:

    To sum it all, I am not sure if everyone will agree with me. I feel that getting a group of 10 and spending something like 60 hours together on a confined area and having fun, to me is well worth it. To top it all, by any chance a good catch this itself is a bonus. I am of course looking forward to another trip but really I dont know when. :smt057
  • iam537
    Looks like you guys are a great bunch of people to fish with!! Only thing if could go back in time to SCS say in the 1980's where Biggies and Monsters use to lurk...takes your line...and scare you SH#@LESS!!!
  • moo
    Beside being the mermaid on board I do enjoyed the fishing & the company of the fishing kakis.

    I thought I can handle this trip with a packet of mild & preventive ginger pill and left the stronger Dramamine at home. I was very wrong. The 1st day at Horgburg was fine as the wave was not so rough then. On the 2nd day at SCS that's where my stomach started whriling and at the peak of about 3m wave I berley the sea. So I learned a lesson "never leave home without Dramamine" Thanks Uncle for a Dramamine that knock me off for the rest of the trip.

    Also need to specially thanks Sam Teo for his very concern act of covering me with his blanket when I was completely knock off and with the wind blowing cold over me as I was laying at the lobby deck of the boat. God bless you Sam. You good deed will be remembered.=D>

    Thanks all the anglers who contributed their catch for our lunch and again Uncle for the confirm biggest ang cho to our dinner. :supz:
  • Xccess
    I understand you did mentioned about the camouflage boat tailing you guys, may I know is it coast guard or a bunch of guys planing to hijack the boat? I more concern on this issue, care to enlighten abit cause this concern about the safety of fishio who's going way out to fish.


    Thanks and nice catch report.

    cheers
  • uncle
    Xccess" said:
    I understand you did mentioned about the camouflage boat tailing you guys, may I know is it coast guard or a bunch of guys planing to hijack the boat? I more concern on this issue, care to enlighten abit cause this concern about the safety of fishio who's going way out to fish.


    Thanks and nice catch report.

    cheers
    Getting into the path of un-wanted character/boat in the high seas is beyond anyone's control.

    At this point, luck and Heavenly guidance is needed to avoid any serious happenings. Of course on the hand, those on board, meaning everyone and not just the captain and his crew has to be vigilant. Inform the captain anything you dont feel right. This will surely helps. Try to make it a practise of having at least 2 person fishing in the night. The buddy system is important.

    We were indeed lucky and once again thanks to the PCG boat.
  • Penn
    phtay" said:
    nov 4 ??..if the current weather continues you should get a better situation..all the best for your trip.. i m looking at 2nd week of nov..
    I spoke to John yesterday, he says the north west wind has started. The one that is creating havoc is north east wind. He ask me not to worry anymore on the weather. It should be fine.

    FYI, he has a slot in Oct due to cancellation. Unfortunately, my 'quota' for this year has been used up :smt010 If not I will wish to go in Oct and Nov :smt106

    All the best to your trip too....tight lines :D
  • uncle
    Hi Nick

    Seriously IMO the Oct month is a better month to fish on John's boat. Will not tell you much but take it from me you should consider.

    Therefore if I am you, I will swap the Nov trip to Oct.

    I have a slot in Oct but yet to be confirmed.
  • Penn
    Hi Harry,

    Idealy, I wish to go in Oct. However, due to combination of factors with work commitment and 'Ministry of Home Affairs' objection. :oops: I have to settle for the next best alternative.

    Well...that's life. You give some, you take some :wink:
  • moo
    Confirm, cobia like to be hooked by him very much. Immediately after he striked he already confirmed its a cobia. If you happen to be with him next time better don't bet with him if he confirmed its a cobia. :smt023

    Steady lah Mike. one more report like this I confirm you'll be :smt029 of cobia.
  • James Wang
    This is the 3rd time I see him with cobia. Lol.
    He is already the KING
  • Bernard Tan
    zihao" said:
    This is the 3rd time I see him with cobia. Lol.
    He is already the KING
    I was with Mike Goh on 2 Trips to Horsburg, one on Kee Siong's and the other John Hendricks'....and he landed himself Cobia on both occasions!

    In fact, our very own Mr Mike Goh was just honored by our FK President (Uncle Harry) during our last trip as ...... ***Drum Roll ...... SIR Mike "Confirm Cobia" Goh
    =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
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