Though my find turned out to be a Navy reserve area, I’m not totally saddened. Just looking at such beautiful refuge of fish is a relief. At least with the ongoing conservation efforts by the Navy, the propagation of gamefish will flourish for us anglers to continue enjoying the sports we dearly love.
Not losing hope, we went to the other end of the shore. It is a rocky area but equally blessed with clean and deep water and most importantly, no longer within the Navy reservation. This is what I found:
A place full of promise…..full of hope. A perfect hole for anglers like me who easily succumb to seasickness whilst aboard a boat.
The place did not disappoint me. Just minutes after baiting shelled shrimp and started casting from the rock, fish started accepting my offerings. And I'm more than willing to catch them.
It did not take long before I got an enormous pull from my rod. The reel immediately screamed and my adrenaline pumped in. The battle begun and my small rod was subjected to massive bending. The fish is heavy and very strong. Then I saw it, a trevalley about 3-4 kilos, giving me a real tough fight. The battle continued for quite a long time. I was able to reeled him close and lifted several inches from the water. But just before I was able to sway the rod to toss it on the rock platform, he gave his final wiggle of resistance and made his way back to freedom, taking along my rig mounted on a 12 lbs leader.
I felt the world has tumbled down. What could have been one of my most memorable catch was lost. I will have to settle with this video to reminisce the day.
I was beaten, but the moment I started thinking of the possibilities this place could offer, my smile reappeared in my face. Without further thinking I declared the place as my new “Playground”.
Day 3 (10th May)
While the original plan is to go back to the first hole/breakwater I visited on Day 1, the new “Playground” is just irresistible. Whilst the rain is still prevailing, I thought I might just get lucky and be able to cast several times. So I made an exciting return.
Having given a short period with no rain, I wasted no time and started casting with shelled shrimp and cut squid. This time I used a slightly bigger hook and leader (15 lbs). Several minutes passed by and still no takers. I noticed the dark clouds started to accumulate above me as the wind blew. Not a good sign I said. But I am still hopeful of that heavy bite before the rain commence its fury.
After around 30 minutes of casting re-baiting and casting, an enormous pull suddenly occurred, not to the rod I'm holding but to my companion's who is fishing for the first time. As the fish pulled even harder the rod was handed over to me. This could be it, I said. The reel started screaming that familiar sound and my heart was again pounding. The fight was not as furious as yesterday’s but also forceful.
I had a short glance of the fish still on the water trying hard to run away, its multicoloured and maybe less than 3 kilos. I took every care not to lose this battle. Not again I said. And then finally….. I was able to land the fish. It’s a beauty, wide and thick. Not really a biggie but massive and gorgeous.
I’m not quite familiar with this catch. My friend said it is known as “mulmol” in their place. It seems it is just a Carolines Parrotfish. Whatever it is, right now it is a priced catch to me.
I again baited my hook and continue fishing, hoping for a trevalley bite, but the weather became so unforgiving. I also tried popping several times. I saw big fish appearing blurry on the water before me but the waves grew mightier and rendered the “Playground” quite unsafe for the sports. I had to call it a day without a single strike to the popper.
That trevalley has to wait for some time. He has time to grow more. Right now, I have to find way to cook this “mulmol” and of course start planning the next trip. The “Playground” will be waiting.