Monday, July 9, 2007

Catch of the DAY - Fishing at Pasir Ris

Saturday July 7th 2007
Time: SGT 17:07 pm
Location: Pasir Ris Town Park - Lake Side

We were at the ticket Counter, buying tickets for the Hee Hee Pond to start with our long pending mission of Fishing.
For those who are new to Singapore or haven't heard about this place. You have to get to Pasir Ris MRT & walk towards White Sands Mall and take a walk towards the Pasir Ris Town Park which is a park with small lake and grounds with green grass with place for Children's park & lot of ground for youngsters to play a game of football.
Usually at the weekends it is not difficult to miss this area of the Park, because you would be greeted with a huge number of Fishing enthusiasts trying their hand at this Fishing area. Well the organisers/owners of this lake have made a very marketable place with place for experienced ones who can catch Fish standing anywhere along the lake & for the budding amateurs like us, they have small sections of about 15 feet by 15 feet along one of the shores. There are about 5-6 such sections, which is called as the Hee Hee Pond. One end of this section there is the ticketing counter where you can buy tickets for fishing at this Hee Hee Pond as well as for other sections in this lake which is meant for experts or freelancers. Fishing Packages: The cheapest package consists Fishing time of 1 hour which includes Fishing Rod provided near the Hee Hee Pond & the bait which are pieces of dead Prawns(live prawns are also available). We also saw a few pieces of Gold Fish & other small fish which were also on sale for getting better catch. The hooks used to attach the bait are also available within this pack. This package would cost you S$ 21 and is good for starters since you would want to know the game first before going for the big one. We, myself, my wife & kid and our friends a couple went in for this package, this being our first time. We had once spent about 30-40 minutes watching the experts showing their tricks. This had given us a hope to get into this new hobby/game :) and we were eager to try a hand at this sport.

It was 5:10 pm and we went to collect the fishing rod and the hook and bait & started off. You can see I am getting the bait onto the hook in the picture. During this time, there were a couple of experienced people trying to get a good catch. Usually there is a decent audience as well for watching people do this & it is sheer fun. Ok, so we were now at one of the ponds & we dropped the bait into the water & I was holding the fishing rod, trying to guess what would happen next. Frankly speaking I was not sure if we would even get a catch or some fish would even come close to our bait. Anyway, my 22 months old son likes Fish and calls it " ish " and I thought of nothing good as a nice gift to him than catch a nice fish.

About 10 minutes later since we started I felt a slight nudge to the rod, and I could feel the pulse in my palms in excitement. I was not sure what it was so I moved the rod & then felt nothing. Maybe the Fish were smart to know it was an amateur trying to catch them & slipped out easlily. I tried checking out if the bait was still there & noticed that it was not, so it was what I thought. I went back to this blue box full of baits & got another bait hooked & dropped the line into the water. Meanwhile there was excitement in the camp where one of the experts seemed to have got a Big fish hooked onto the line. he was maneuvering the rod to the movement of the fish so that he could make sure the hook is engaged into the mouth of the fish & then he could not lose it in the midst of the struggle. Uncle, whom we called him was busy doing his routine and it was almost about 5:35 pm or so by when I had changed the bait & hook as well 2 times. The fish were strong while in water & could give a good fight.

I had dropped the line low into the pond at the deep end & we all were waiting for a fish to get the bait. I felt a tug to the rod & could sence that one fish was on the hook. I waited for a while with bated breath & then slowly started pulling the rod vertically upwards to try and see if the fish was engaged and felt the tension in the rod. Then I let go the slack again and was watching the movements of the fish. meanwhile my friend was standing next to me giving instructions on what to do next. He was asking me to hold on the rod firmly. I had sweat on my brow & was clenching hard at the fishing rod and moving slowly along with the movement of the fish. Everyone in our camp was active now looking at the developments happening & another friend carrying the camera started taking snaps of the scene. I was holding onto the rod with both hands now and eager to see what I had caught.

From the earlier experience when we had been watching the others catch fish, we had seen, that once the fish is onto the bait move with it until you are able to gradually pull the fish to the surface where you can see it struggle to get free from the fishing line. Once you notice that the fish is almost given up you then slowly start pulling it towards the shore and with a tug get it on the ground. I had earlier seen some of the guys getting the fish near the shore and then one of their colleagues or they themselves taking the fish out of the pond using their bare hands.

So I recollecting the same stuff, started playing with the fish on the end of my fishing rod and hoping to not let this one go. Instructions were continously being bombarded from my friend & it was getting my blood pump faster & my excitement was at a new level. People around us also started gathering a little and looking at what was going on at our end. Meanwhile continuing with the maneuvering & not making sudden movements I stayed on with the catch. Then after about 2-3 minutes I had been successful to get the fish at the water surface & we were excited to see a big enough catch. Behind me I could hear, my friend asking someone from our group to grab hold of the fish and be ready for it. neelum wanted to come for my help but she was taking care of my son & it was difficult to keep him safe away from the pond, so she asked my friend to look after him. So my friend was moving towards my son to hold him. Amidst this chaos, I could not hear a positive "Yes" from anyone & I then decided to take things in my hands & go in for the catch myself and pull it on the shore.

Finally the fish was almost 12-15 inches from the shore and on the surface and looked a little helpless to fightback & so I decided to make my move and I started moving backwards & pulling the rod towards the fish along with the catch. 6 inches..... 3 inches.... and HOOOORRRAYYYY!!! I had done it. The fish was still at the hooks end, which held it properly & I had got the catch of the day.. It was a foot long fish with its body covered with black scales. You can see the fish in the photo showing all of us gathered around with an excited look on my son's face. The day was really lucky for me and all of us to get something this big in the first attempt..

Aadi my son was very excited after looking at the fish & was not afraid to touch the fish and experience the smoothness and jelly like feeling of the fish. He was uttering the words "Ish" again and again & was asking me to go for some more fish again. But this was the Catch of the day for us.. since we were not as lucky after this catch and we were short of time as well of our 1 hour fishing time. But this was sheer fun & we decided to regularly go for fishing in the near future.

There is a place at the far end of the lake where there is a small outlet to have your Fish caught scaled, cleaned & cut to your choice. The charges are S$1.20 for 1 Kg. When we weighed our fish, I was thrilled to know it was a hefty 1.5Kg & we were surely going to have a treat when we were going to cook our catch...

I would surely recommend this place for amateurs and new comers in singapore to have a lovely experience at this place. You can have a picnic here, with lot of food places around here & also have good time trying a hand at fishing. You can come in as group unless you are fine at being alone for few hours. Although putting the fishing rod into one place & waiting for the fish looks easy, it is a game of patience, luck & fun... so get your self scheduled for one of the weekends to this place.. and do drop me your comments.

1 comment:

Yogendra Rampuria said...

Woa... what a day. I am a vege but I think for others it could be fun. Will have a peep in this place some day.

And hey... congrats for the new blog ;)