So I went for a trip to catch me some CNY fishes and I was pumped with excitement of catching me some new fishes and hopefully on my new tackle as well. Preparations were done slowly which required some topups of terminal tackle, and I ensured my gears were in fighting condition and even had spare gear to boot. All in I had 4 sets of tackle on hand :
Storm Adajo matched to a Tailwalk Elan Widepower 71BR loaded with 300m of PE#1.5 Varivas Avani Slow Jigging Superconductor PE line.
BlackHole Hurricane S-66RR matched to Shimano Twinpower C3000 loaded with PE2 Varivas Casting PE line.
Daiwa Procaster-X 601HRB matched to Tailwalk Elan Widepower Plus 71R loaded with PE#3 Varivas Casting PE line.
Valley Hill Buzztriks Mobile Edition 4pc 3-8lb matched to a Daiwa Fuego 1000A loaded with PE0.8 Varivas All purpose PE line.
My tackle bag was overloaded with jigs 3 bags full (and no they were not as light as wool), 1 box of rubber jigs (aka Madai), 2 boxes of tenya hooks, 1 box of lures, spools of leaders, spare hooks, split rings and GP rings. I ended up using a trolley to lug the whole bag to make it easier on my shoulders or I would probably be walking with a slanted posture this CNY.
Btw, this is an idea I got for easy storage of such terminal tackle which is easily viewed and retrieved for usage. Storing the packs of hooks, split rings and GP rings in a small clear box.
The trip was on Ah Heng's new boat (a big one which could easily fit in 10 or more anglers).
Somehow, there was a miscommunication and we ended up with only 6 anglers this first outing but it also gave us much more room to walk about and fight fishes. I would say, 8 to 10 would be a comfortable fit for this boat which also boasted of a nice clean and spacious loo (aka head for the sea-farers). There is also room for up to 39 rods on his rod rack under the roof.
The drop from the gunwhale or railing to the water edge was quite a bit though which meant that the long-handled net was a needed tool for landing the bigger fishes.
There are still some things which Ah Heng is looking at to improve, such as increasing the numbers of rod holders on the sides as well as shelter on the front as he walked around watching our action and making plans for more touch ups.
Live bait well was good, and the prawns were kept alive pretty well, the water pump also provided for a quick hand wash too after baiting up. I ended up doing more of tenya as the current was kinda erratic and only flowed slightly faster at the wreck area but it also meant quite a few snags were encountered. Not to say slow fall didn't work, the other anglers managed to persist and get a few groupers and even a hairtail on slowfall jigs.
I however always preferred to be different and constantly try other forms especially when it's not working well for me. First spot, we all tried slow fall jigging or madais but sadly there wasn't much of a current even at deep waters of 60 - 70m. So I hung up the slow fall setup and quickly rigged a size 10 Daiwa Tenya hook with a live prawn and sent it down slowly. Once on the bottom, I jumped it off the seabed in a series of slow hops. Couple of hops later, I felt a nibble and then a take which brought the sensitive tip down. I reared back and struck hard, pumping up the fish from the bottom as quickly as I could with the gear on hand (which took a while considering the depth and the lower gear ratio and size of my Shimano C3000 reel). Ah Heng was obviously excited as this was the first catch on his new boat and quickly came by with the net and there I scored the first kill of the trip.
We moved a couple of spots, catching along the way and I continued to try tenya as well as back to slow fall but it was the tenya which continued to work for me. Snags were common and we kept getting hung up, occasionally we would get free without any damage. And at times, we would lose the rigs. I had one bad burst off which broke just near the last guide, that cost me more than 70+m of line... I may need reload the line for the next trip, more money...
On the last spot, we went to the micro jigging spot where Ebeks were known to roam and we all dropped our micro jigs and jigged for a while. But sadly, nothing showed other than one small sagai (which was probably a straggler as there were no others to join him). I looked around and glanced at the depth sounder, 13.6m... One quick flash went thru my mind and I instinctively picked up the tenya rod and baited up. Once down on the bottom, I could feel the nibbles on the sensitive tip and I waited, and waited, then I struck and lifted up a small parrot fish. 2 more reef snappers came up and the some of others gave up on micro jigging. I passed them 2 of my Decoy (self tied Tenyas) jig hooks and continued. They were also rewarded with a parrotfish each. Luckily, it meant that all of us on board at least had caught something decent by then.
Ah Heng's baited micro jig was drifting in the current when the rod bent over doubled, drag running hot. He quickly grabbed the setup and started fighting the fish which proved to be a Ebek after a couple of runs and was landed smoothly.
When the current kinda dwindled down, the bites dropped off and I was back to my crazy antics as I was getting a little bored. I picked up my micro setup and rigged a Northcraft BMC 100 and sent it flying out towards the reef. A couple of snap retrieve strokes later, a fish launched at it and grabbed it running. I reared back, struck it securely and watched as the needlefish (aka Todak) started to tailwalk acrosss the water surface as well as dive a few times trying to get free from the leash I had on it. A short while was all it took for me to bring it back and over the railings for a quick release back in the water.
It was raining already at the micro jigging spot and it rained till we got back to shore. Back on the docks, we gathered the fishes for a snapshot and divie'd amongst the group.
A long entertaining trip was then concluded and I was still left sore with the amounts of breakoffs I had and the fact that I was not hardworking enough to persist with the slow fall setup and used my trusty Tenya setup instead.
Till the next boat trip, I shall continue to get my gear in shape and also prepare the hooks for the next fish.