31 October 2009

Beginner Guide to start fishing

At tackle shop, whenever I manage to pick up a conversation between a newbie fisho and the tackle shop assistant, it is usually an interesting barrage of questions answered by some technical answers. I wonder at times how much can a newbie picks up these info and the frustration felt. Of course I can sense the frustration of the tackle shop assistant when these newbies are asking how to catch BIG fishes (maybe to impress the girl girl they are bringing along for the fishing trip), it's like trying to run before one learn to walk.
As a matter of fact when I started fishing, my dad is always around to help me. He is a fisho too, and he will prepare everything I need for me and more. But in those days, money is hard to come by, we fish the most traditional way, handline on pier and lakes. Only in my twenties, then I started to fish with fishing rods and reels, and started a new chapter of learning on fishing once again. Allow me to share with you what I have learnt so far and to explain as much as I can the simple basic fishing methods.
Let's start off with the most essential items, the rod and reels.  I will start with the most 2 common form of fishing locally, inshore baiting and light luring.

28 October 2009

Where to Grease / Oil on Reels? (BC and Spin)

I have these 2 image on my HDD giving a reference to what to oil or grease on Spin reels and BC reels. I can't remember where I got these from but they gave me a pretty decent guide on the places to oil/grease. However these could only serve as a guideline, as you might have specific requirement for some reels. From the guideline, it seems that whoever have done this is more concern about protection as seen by the heavy usage of medium / heavy oil.

As I am not into heavy oil since I do maintain my reels on a regular basis, thus I set up my own guideline. I like the use of lighter oils to improve my fishing pleasure, but they do dry up faster thus the need for regular maintenance.
Oil - for Fast moving parts, usually on ball bearings.
Grease - for Slow moving parts, usually gears and interconnect parts.
Some unique case where I will put grease into the bearing are like Abu handle bearing which then tends to rust rather easily and it is a slow moving part.

As for what oil or grease to use, here's what I have put up before in this posting Reel Servicing. Again, just as a guideline for you.


26 October 2009

Reel Schematics

Well, Google is offering so much more then just Gmail and Blogger. Let's not waste what others they are offering me, thus I put up some of the reels schematics I have on my HDD. So far I have upload these schematics, will add on when I have time start scanning and upload the rest.

Since I have upload it and might as well share it with anyone who might need it. Will simply update this posting by adding more links to the schematic I have uploaded.

Penn SS7500 / SS8500
Daiwa Freams 4500J
Daiwa Sealine 30H
Penn 920/930/940
Penn 140L, 146L
Tica Cetus SB500

User Guide - Not useful, but might just need it
Penn 555/545/535GS 525Mag
Penn 920/930/940
Penn SS Series

24 October 2009

Accessories for Prawning

I feel the need to know more about prawning after my virgin experience at doing prawn fishing.

Please do not misunderstood that suddenly, I became an expert in prawning and now telling you how to do prawning. What I am trying to achieve is to share what I have learnt while talking to other fisho who like prawning, and hopefully newbies and fisho ,who are as clueless as me when it comes to prawning, can come to grasp with the concept without tearing out one's hair.

Although I have very limited experience in prawning, but with my noodle rod and limited pole fishing experience, I felt that it is actually not as difficult as I thought it would be.

Back to main discussion topics, this post will be more applicable to those who already own or intend to buy their own prawning rod. As usually the house rod is 'ready to go', there's not much things you can do to it.

First of course is the rod selection, some like soft tip while some like it stiff. After asking around, it seems that most actually prefer a soft tip. No idea why, could be because it is more forgiving and gives you a better sensation while fighting the prawns. I have been told to use soft tip rods if I am to do SW prawning, as they are more alert and frisky then their FW cousin. Length wise will depends on which pond you frequent, choose one that suit the pond.

Next if the main line, if you have some spare light poundage superline use them, be it fireline, power pro, etc. The lightest poundage is enough. Although it is just a short length, it does makes a different to me at least, in fact I am surprised that it did make a difference. Should you do not have any light poundage superline around, when you purchase your rod, ask the tackle shop if they can spare you some. I do know some tackle shops do give it to their customer when they buy prawning rods from them.
As a guide, the length of the main line, plus swivel, plus the hook rig should not be longer then the extended rod. This will make it easy for you to handle the prawn when you have lift it out of the water.

Prawning floats, that small tiny tear drop shaped float as shown in the pic above. Obviously, not all floats are created equally, in fact they come in different sizes / buoyancy, it is usually stated by a number on the float itself for the better quality ones. Unlike mine which is a cheapo version, there is no number indicator on it.
Once you have rigged up, and place the entire rig into the pond, the float should be resting between the 2 blacks lines, at the top of the float, at the water surface. Too much of the float above the water surface, the resistance of the float gives might cause the prawn to let go of the bait. Too little of it above the water, it get too sensitive that the water current might fool you to think a prawn is taking the bait. Do stock up some in different buoyancy, as on different day the water condition might be differs slightly.

Use the smallest swivel you can find, the swivel gives it the required weight to sink downwards and easy for you to change the hooks should you need to easily. Before you secure the swivel, make sure you have the float stopper on the main line before you secure it. I dun have any float stopper to show the pics, basically it look like a short length of rubber tubing.

Prawns hooks are available in most tackle shops, they look like circle hooks. Gone were the days where the ultra tiny hooks are used, these new designed hooks makes it easier to remove the prawns once they are caught. However, I learn that sometimes those tiny hooks are still being used once a while by some prawning fisho, might be on slow biting days, something I have yet to discover. Hooks are usually available tied and ready at the pond, just asked the pond operator for it.

In case if you wonder if I have incorrectly include the lead weight in the pic, I have not. This is the last tiny bit of tips I wish to share. This is a fast and easy method to measure the depth of the pond, simply hook the lead weight to the hook and chuck it into the pond to adjust the position of the float. Really quick and effective way to measure the depth if you keep moving around the pond.

23 October 2009

Fast & Easy Method to Rig up

Before I proceed further, I have to warn that this method is NOT the most secure way to rig up. I usually do this for my bait fish rigs, which usually I have to prepare a few set. This method allows me to do it at a much faster way then I previously do. Afterall, what will I loss if one of the hooks gave way? A bait fish that's all, nothing to cry about.

If you need a strong and secure knot, do not use this method. This is not for you. So what is this good for you might ask. This is the usual method when I do my tamban rig, Sabuki rig, Rabbit fish rig, and in fact any rig that uses multiple small hooks.

Afterall, what will I loss if one of the knots gave way? A bait fish that's all, nothing to cry about.

22 October 2009

Rod Review - ANYFISH ANYWHERE BIG BEACH surf rod 14ft

After having a far bit of mid-range surf rods passing thru my hands cause almost each and every rod that I used to own have always something I hoped it can improved on.

This is one rod that I really enjoy using, but the length is quite a hassle, 7ft long during transportation.  But once you reached your fishing ground, assemble the rod to cast, all is forgotten.

The very first time I tried to cast with this 14footer, I got worried as this is I have never cast anything longer then a 12ft6 before. Can I handle the extra length?  After a few practice cast to get the timing tight for the extra length, I tried it with my half baked OTG. Oh yeah, the lead just shoot out into the horizon (as a matter of speech).  Right after that, I decided I love this rod, and I still do even I seldom do surf fishing these days.

From the pic, you can see that I am using a high mount position for the reel, which in actual fact is wrong because the rod is designed for a low mount reel, thus they gave you a 18inch reducer. But heck, I can't do low mount, so it is a high mount setup for me and it works for me.  While doing my research before purchasing the rod, I read on their website that it have a 'fishing tip', exactly what I am looking for! For a novice surf angler like me, I really needed the softer tip launch the lead out as I usually don't compress the mid section enough to get the power. Also softer tip equates to bite detection, which is also what I really wanted. Back to the pic, this is taken when I have an unknown biggie at the end of the line (I hate to admit it, but I lost the fish because of a lousy rig), see how soft the tip is? It is during this hook up that I notice the tip is moving before my reel line out alarm goes.

A couple of major problems of using a UK style surf rod for asian are resolved with this rod, weight and blank thickness. Make no mistake about it, this rod still cast like a typical UK surf rod, except that it is much lighter (still heavier then Jap rods) then those of old and the blank thickness on the bottom section surprises me. I had a much more comfortable and secured grip then the older Penns that I used to owned.

Yes, I do love this rod, and No, it is not the prefect rod for me.
However, this is the closest thing to a prefect rod for me. Thus for now, it is still my rod of choice for beach surf fishing.

+ Impressively easy to cast 14ft.
+ Soft Tip, bite detection and ease of casting for beginners.
+ Though is a UK style rod, it's weight and blank thickness should suit most Asians.
+ Good quality rod bag with pocket for the 18 inch reducer.
- Not available locally, purchase this rod via a mass order exercise.
- Would actually hope it comes with SIC ring guides, however it is using Alconite ring.

Review is based on my personal experience and thoughts. This review bias towards surf fishing rather then distance casting.

20 October 2009

Ed's Pro Pond - Location Review

Wrote a CR using these pics in a local fishing forum early this year and created some big hoo-ha. That's one reason why these days I prefer to do all these fishing stuff on my Blog, remove all these issues and also easier for me to check back should I needed to. Also with the soon might be implement MDA guidelines on blogging and commercial interest, I better put in a disclaimer before I get myself into any trouble.

Disclaimer - I do NOT have any commercial interest in this fishing pond. It is just that I know one of the staff there which I know from fishing trips.

This pond is a SW fishing pond that is located at Paris Ris Farmway 3, not too sure what's it name when it is first open but it is known as Ed's Pro pond because the boss is known as 'Ed'. As you can see from the date stamp on the pics, these are pretty old pictures by modern standard, but it still generally look the same except for a few more shelters.

When one first visit the pond, it could look be depressingly small, most 'Pro' pond are usually larger then this. However, the magic of this pond is it's depth, I am told before it undergoes some renovations, the deepest part is as deep as 4 meters. Having the depth, even catching small GP are fun too as they will dive and dive, however most anglers will be going for the snappers and groupers for it's meat. From what I understand, during the renovation, they have fill up the bottom with new sand, pumping in fresh seawater, building trenches to help fish distribution, and some small other improvement. While the water condition have definitely improved, the hot spot for the snappers are still at the keep net area. Alex, a friend and one of the staff there, told me just a couple of days ago that there is a couple more hotspots around this small pond. I might be meeting up with him soon for kopi and hopefully will be able to reveal where are the other hotspots.

Currently they are running a couple of competitions, which is kind of confusing to me, anyway they are basically the heaviest catch of the month. Prizes range from High End tackles to Free membership at the pond (X hrs of fishing bascially).

Address - 70, Pasir Ris Farmway 3
Rates - SGD50 for 5 hrs, fish release at 5hrs interval; Weekend Night fishing from 10pm till 7am (I think), NO fish release.
This is a Catch and Keep pond; However fishes above 5kg and GT are to be released back to the pond.
Others - There is a Snack store, prawning area and FW CnR which is operate by another operator.

Below are some other pics of the pond.

Why use a Noodle Rod?

The very first time I have seen a noodle rod in action is on a Sibu kelong by DesT, then I don't know him yet, but yet he is willing to tell me about the rod, lasso rig, etc. Many moons later, I meet him once again on a Sibu kelong and is formally introduced to him, and after many trips together, we have become good friends.  He is considered to be one of authoritative figure in Noodle Rod locally, and almost everything I know about noodle rod fishing is learnt thru him.

Noodle rod, that long,soft, limpy looking fishing rod that look like it will break anytime soon. Why would any angler want to use it to fish? It look like an fishing rod that will break really soon, and would anyone able to bring up anything larger then bait fish with it?

First, let's make it clear that noodle in the Noodle Rod is NOT a brand, it is a Rod Action classification, which is confusing to a lot of anglers locally because most of the rods sold here are seldom goes below Medium Light action. As you can see from Noodle Action is in the last position, which means you can expect a rod with very little backbone and flex almost throughout the entire length of the blank.

Extra Heavy ; Heavy ; Medium Heavy ; Medium ; Medium Light ; Light ; Ultralight ; Noodle
Given the lack of power in the rod, if you fish the traditional method of tug-of-war method, stay clear of this rod, this rod is not built for this purpose. Must likely the only tug-of-war you are likely to win are with bait fishes, hardly one's idea of fishing. Even if you intend to use this rod to jig for bait fishes, Don't. The action is so slow that chances you will not get a hook up when you try to set the hook, we have tried before and failed big time for bait fish jigging. So what the heck is this rod good for?

If you are fishing in open waters for pelagic species, then this rod will suit your applications. You are asking for trouble if you use this rod to hunt for groupers, snappers, stingrays. Simply because you need to tire the fish before you can bring it in, if they go into their cervices in coral or rocks, the rod will not have any power to pull it out of it.

Still, I have yet to answer the question on Why use a Noodle rod? Using light lines and smaller hooks, it will not spook fishes that easily and hopefully entice them to feed on your bait. But using lighter lines and hooks, any sudden jerks or turbo-boosted run by these pelagic species will likely to lines to snap or hook being straighten, with the noodle rod acting like a shock absorber to take these punishment, you will be able to land your fish.

18 October 2009

Making Todak into Otak

Banana Leaf wrapped OtakThis recipe is done like a year ago, I posted it up on a couple of local fishing forum. However, being so old, I have a hard time looking for it if I need the info. As this recipe is given to me verbally, I have no digital record of it, so decided to put it up here.

PhotobucketTodak is a type of gar fish which is found in abundance in our surrounding waters, while considered a pest fish for most anglers, myself, DesT (my great fishing kaki and mentor) and a small group of noodle rod users like to target them. Not for it's meat but for the great fight it provides on ultralight tackle.

As it's meat is pretty firm and bland, it is cooked usually as curry or assam pedas in our region but I decided to give it a little twist by using it to make otak. As very little flour is used, the finished otak is essentially fish meat and spices mix, very filling on the tummy.

Abu 5600D5 - Hidden Cast Control adjustment

Abu 5600D5 is marketed as a Smart Mag Brake reel, which suppose to reduce the line overrun to 'Zero'. This posting is not to discuss about the no overrun design, but on the adjustment one can make on the hidden Cast Control Knob, which is not visible on this reel. This series have been removed from Abu reel line up, but I suspect the current BCX Series might share this hidden feature.

When you first see this reel, you will notice that the Traditional Cast Control Knob is not available on this reel, at least from the exterior. Instead you will have a Mag Control Dial to set your desired Mag Brake, so does that mean that the spool position is fixed upon manufacturing and there is no way to adjust it? Fact is, when you adjust the Mag Control Dial, you are also adjusting the Cast Control at the same time.

Higher Mag brake - Tighter Spool position and vice versa.

While most are happy with the 'Default' setting when reel is shipped, I am not too happy with it as most of the time the spool is too tight for me (i.e. lateral movement is very very minimal). I prefer the spool to be more loose (slight shift left and right) at Max Mag setting. Thus I set out to explore the reel more and manage to 'tune' it to my liking.

Note - As it is troublesome to adjust it, I will not advice anyone to do it in the field. So you might need to go thru a few test casting session to get to a setting you like.

I have posted this article on some local Fishing forum, simply now to put it on my own blog in order to have a record of my works.

15 October 2009

Virgin experience - Newbie 1st try at FW Prawning

Prawn CatchFor all the fishing I have tried before, fishing for prawn is something I have never ever try before.  Although I have learn from other anglers about the art of prawn fishing, I have never ever tried it until today.  Alas, no longer a prawning virgin already.

PhotobucketIn fact, it is something I didn't setup to do, it just happen. I am at the Taman Jurong Pond to pass time with a friend, then met some other fisho friends as well, who are into prawning. As usual, started talking about fishing stuff and inadvertently about prawning, one of them is a prawning fanatic at this pond and share with me some tips and show me a few tricks as well. Since he intend to do some prawn fishing, I shamelessly asked to tag along to learn more about the feeding pattern, when to set hook, where to hunt etc.  And yes I do learn a lot and managed to catch some prawns when I tried using his setup with guidance.  I am very very impressed with his catch, he is still fishing (albeit finishing soon) when I left and he have already catch an estimated 50pcs of prawns, pic shown are just part of his catch which he gave to me.  In the pic there are 30 prawns (yes yes, I counted them), plus the smaller 1st batch he gave away too, that comes up to an estimate of 50pcs.

07 October 2009

Some Minor Add-On

Finally have sometime to check out some new Gadgets to add to my Blog

1. New random Post on Side Bar
2. Related Posting after each posting

Something you can't see, that's using Google Analytics to check out the traffic on this Blog, if readership is low then I might just give up writing those tutorial as they are troublesome to do.

Wanted to try out some new template for the Blog to give it a 'fresher' look, but alas cannot find a good & free one. Will spend sometime to check out more from the web.

02 October 2009

CR - 1 hour Quickie at Taman Jurong Pro Pond

Taman Jurong PondEver since I knew more about rubbers lures and how effective it is at the Taman Jurong Pro Pond, I always recommend fisho I know to try out rubber at the pro pond.  After a long long break, I visited the pond 2 weeks back with a non-fishing friend, not to fish but to watch EPL at the little pub there.  As the water is very clear that night, I can see a few schools different species of fishes they released (KBL, Taiwan Ngor and MJ).  Notice that the KBL are of decent sizes, 1kg+ and saw a 2kg+ one too, I find that odd as usually they release 700g to 800g KBL only.  However, with 5 rods at that time and all using live prawn, I didn't see anyone catching any fish.  So sent as SMS to a fellow fisho who like to fish at this pond, telling him the KBL at the pro pond have grown cause no one is catching them.

This evening, fisho friend called me telling me he wanted to go take a look at the pond as he have not been there for a while, so off we go with no fishing gear.  But I brought along two 1/8 oz jig head and some rubbers, in case of zero fighter newbies who need to bring at least one fish home, I can give them the stuff to try.  After a while, friend get really itchy as he didn't fish for a while, and after seeing that I brought the rubbers, he decided to pay for an hour of fishing using their house rod.
Cabala Rubber
After a very short session, he decided to take a smoke and pass the rod to me to have a go, a couple of cast later, I got my first hook up, but alas, jerky drag plus entangle with another angler's line make me lost the fish and also the jig head.  Damn, now left with only one jig head for the rest of the session, thus we decided to go for high drag setting and hopefully bring in the fishes fast to reduce the chance of line out situation.

Friend landed 2 fish shortly, one KBL and one MJ, and after that I have a go, I simply cannot believe that I have 7 takes and zero hook up and friend got 2 to 3 takes and also zero hook up.  However, we both ended the one hour session pretty satified with the bite rate, but non too happy about the hook up rate.  I think the jig head hook got blunt after the 2nd fish is landed, this unable to increase the hook up rate.  But nevertheless, it still prove to us that rubbers work well at the pro pond.

Bring your own tackle, their reels is in real need to service and have the drag system changed. Drag is jerky, and is either low or very high setting, not good at all.

Use rubber with good tail action, commonly found rubbers like Sure Catch, Angler's Pal, White Rabbit are okay, but the material is a bit hard, trim the section between body and tail thinner to achieve better tail action; Without good tail action, catch rate is significantly reduced. Remove the bottom triple hook as well, snag too easily as the strike zone is just above the bottom of the pond; Best are those soft unweighted rubber to be used with jig head, can use as it is with good tail action.

Tips - Kelong Fishing @ Sibu Kelongs

PhotobucketA kelong visit with family or friends are always an enjoyable trip, to enjoy the outdoor, sea breeze, blazing hot sun, sea all around.  These days the kelongs found in Sibu Malaysia are converted into a family resort style, no longer used to haul in fishes from the net.  To spare you the agony of reading the history of kelongs, google for more info.

Back to fishing, whenever I visit kelong it is generally to fish.  Heck, what could an angler ask for when he is surrounded by sea? So what can you expect to catch from a 'hut in the middle of the sea'?

What I can share with you is what I have learn from fellow anglers, who so unselfishly shared their knowledge with me. I should now in turn share with you almost everything I know about fishing at these beautiful kelongs, except for some closely guarded rigs which I am not suppose to share openly without their permission.

Instead of telling you what rig to prepare for a kelong trip, allow me to do things a little bit different here.  I will put up some different species of commonly found fishes and the method to fish for them.  There are usually hundreds of method to fish, and as a matter of fact I am still learning as always.  But these are my usual methods whenever I want to specifically target for a certain species.  Most method are using baits instead of artificial lures, as I am not experience in luring and kelong are a pretty tough place to lure due to the height where we will be fishing.

Comments are always welcome!!!

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