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Tips for seaside fishing in Singapore
1) Fishing season.
You think Singapore is a tropical country and enjoy fishing throughout a year, partially you are wrong. Though this is a tropical country, there is still a season for fishes become active and to know the season, you may be more productive.
Unlike other countries, there is no winter season in Singapore and there is no fish becoming active in chilling cold water. Fishes become active after monsoon season that is between December and February, when you can meet with more smiling face of nuisance various type of cat fishes throughout day and night fishing.
During monsoon (Dec to Feb), weather is also not favorable like drizzling rain and strong against wind disturb you most of the time. Even you can feel very cold sometime without extra clothing. In the end you may catch only cat fishes, and may catch cold additionally.
After monsoon, air getting dry, wind warmer gentle and you can feel season has come. You may start fishing season of the year slowly.
From April to June, weather becomes hotter, humid and you sweat and feel uncomfortable, that is the sign that best season is near.
Between July and November when is hottest and least rain in Singapore. You may encounter downpour sometime in this season but if you are shore angler, night fishing may smile for you with bigger catch of various fish species as far as you do not mind to play with cat fish, they like cooler night water, avoiding sun shine and playing in the night regardless the season.
2) Fishing Day or Night?
If you are a BIG gamer, then stay up all night. In this tropical country, night fishing presents you comfortable sea breeze, serene nature and beautiful sun rise, but not everything is perfect for you. You must be careful for your food or you may go back home with empty stomach, as your neighbors too are hungry and aiming your food. Some are sitting and waiting their catch on the ground, some are running hole to hole, and others are marching on the soil. They steal your food, making hole and invading your food, or many gather on your food and holding party. In order to avoid their attack, you have to hide your food away from their eyes and noses or hanging your food on the branch away from the crawler. Yes, they are cat, rat, ants and roaches.
The story is not finished, in fact there are many more you have to concern in this quiet darkness.
These guests aim not your food but you, flying around you, landing on your body and suck your blood, not only mosquito but also sand-flies coming near and steal your blood like ninja. They touch your skin like small blow of air, you don't know what is happened then itches starts next day, cause small red dots and last for 2 weeks sometime. To avoid their attack, you have to bring mosquito coils torching around your sitting area, spray insect repellant over your body or shoot insecticide in the air around you time to time to blow up school of mosquito and sand-fly.
Last of all, that is not always but at some remote spot, group of wild dogs appear at night from bush and roaming around coastal to look for food. Many of them are friendly and no harm to us anglers but some are fierce, barking and running towards you. If you found them, always keep distance and just prepare yourself with your spare fishing rod. From my experience, as far as you avoid them, there is no harm so far.
During Day Fishing, you can forget most of above all (except ants and roaches food attack) but your happiness is yet far away. If you fail to prepare for daylight fishing, you cannot continue fishing as your most concern should be sunlight for day fishing. First of all, your attire must be with long pants, long sleeve shuts and fishing hat with neck skirt and long brim to create shade over your neck and face. These attire protects your body from burning by strong sun-ray.
Next is water, just imagine you have to stand under strong tropical sunlight and working physically whole day, you sweat constantly and if you do not have drinking water, you can last just few hours as longest under the sun. Dehydration causes you serious case like faint and fall by heat stroke. For my case, at least 3 bottles of 1.5 litter drinking water keeps me safe for whole day fishing.
The issue for daylight fishing is not only dehydration but also suffocation. This depends on the situation of the fishing spot where you fish. In some remote and undeveloped spots, there is neither buildings nor big trees to hide you nearby, for example, reached there early in the morning, fresh cool air, morning sun and bird warbling welcomed you, around 9am sun risen, air became hot but still had morning fresh, kept fishing, time ticking ... when clock hand passed over 12 noon, you said yourself, " hot air is no joke " and started to look for sun shade ... around 1 pm, you were aware you heaved, ... because strong sun ray and still air turned air around you lower quality (could be lack of oxygen) and you were suffocated. For me, it could be lucky as I found a short tree offer me just a compact space shade at where I had a chance to take a rest. In the end, quickly packed up and went home.
Fish species you catch daytime are more varied than night, but rather smaller. I don't say you can not catch big fish but chances are lesser than night.
3) Weather at the spot
Weather at the sea coast is not always same as it at your heartland, even you have gentle cool breeze at your living district, there may be strong wind blown at the coast line. At the coast line, weather change is predictable as you can see dark cloud is developed far away at Malaysia or Indonesia coast, even you can see there is heavy rain over there but still fine in Singapore, however the cloud is developing toward Singapore quickly, drizzling start and heavy rain soon.
Very often, there is no shelter to hide during heavy rain and if you do not have umbrella or rain coat, you are to just stand under the tree nearby and wait heavy rain stop, in the end you get soaking wet and catch cold sometime. Please pack rain coat or umbrella in your bag during preparation to avoid such above trouble.
4) Mind your step
Spedcially whey you fish at cobbled breakwater, water level is different between high tide and low tide, when level went down, few meters of breakwater is exposed where you can walk down.
You are happy when you hook big fish but you hooked the leader at the bottom of breakwater during retrieving the line. You can see the fish at the end of leader is swimming right and left trying to escape. You have to pull the fish out of water immediately before escape. You quickly go down breakwater and when you step on the rock with darker color, scenery in front of you disappeared suddenly, yes, you had slipped and fallen. When you are aware, you have got pain on your back and bleeding on your palm as you cut your hand by sharp edge of barnacle developed on the rock. Similar case was really happened to me last time, so please watch out your step when you want to go down water break.
5) Transport to and from the spot
If you have or secure your private transport, this issue solved, as far as I experienced, there is no problem to find parking space at the spots. The issue is always with those anglers to go to location by public transport. It is very difficult to find the way by public transport with smooth transit, since those spots are away from daily life most of the time and infrastructure development must yet be. Therefore, if you are financially affordable, taking taxi to the location is easiest way, in this case, please do not forget to plan how to go back from the spot. Even by taxi, reaching there is easy, but return from the spot is another maze specially from those remote spot. Imagine you go back home from spot at Tuas South Ave 14 without your own transport, (Please plan how you can go home from there by using public transport, ... your homework)
6) Tackle shops
In this small island country, population of angler should be limited, moreover most parts of the coastal line are controlled by the government and restricted for public "Trespassing". Even if you fish in the national park, police appears sometime and requesting you to show your identity card.
That is why so called hot spots are limited, and very quick to be infested by anglers, in the end, hot spot turns to dry spot too quickly.
Many are discouraged to fish at Singapore shore line, some changed to boat fishing, kayak fishing, lure fishing, etc, etc.
At this unwelcome environment, it should be difficult to increase angler population and to attract businessman to open tackle distribution business (tackle shop). Numbers of small tackle shops are found at Beach Road and Changi Village area. Other tackle shops are found here and there at among HDB shop houses. If you need simple item such as simple line, sinker or standard size hook only, you can go to Fair Price Xtra and Daiso. For further description of Singapore tackle shops, please use search engine and find Singapore tackle shop listing like this,
7) Public manner ...
Singapore angler said " I wan many many big big fish lar, don wan go boat fishing sooo expensive and poor catch as boat captain lousy " " Oh yah, My kaki has secret hot spot lar, PM him meh and wah lah sure many big fish loh "
As far as you enjoy fishing at your secret spot (may be state land and fishing at your own risk) with your kakis, not so obvious as such location does not provide any easy access for the public, however most anglers fish at national parks such as Sembawang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast, at where other public come too and enjoy past time by other mean such as walking, cycling, camping, swimming, family picnic, etc, etc. Most of them have no knowledge how fishing is dangerous and come near to you with smile even if you are ready to swing your rod to shoot sinker to the sea. Hopefully you do not hook human that is really big catch but high price you may pay later.
Other scene at the beach, I often encounter in the morning when I reach the spot, known night fishing angler left the same spot but not long ago, they left over bait, food, empty plastic bag, spilled drink, etc, etc, only fly and ants were enjoying what you left there but day fishing angler and other public must bear rubbish smell and bugs. Please imagine, in the end, some claim may be posted to NEA and fishing may be banned like Punggol Water Front right side track. Like this, our precious few legal fishing ground becomes narrower and narrower in this small island garden city.
As angler is not only part to play public manner but also other "public" who come to seaside has to play this "manner" needless to say. Personally, I request other "public" be aware is: Please do not open our cooler box without the owner's permission. This happens frequently, I know they have great curiosity what kind of fish is in the water, any big fish caught?, I want to know, may be next time I can catch, etc, etc ... but please do not forget the cooler you are going to open does not belong to you. Please just ask permission to the owner of the cooler box, he or she should be just standing near to you or the cooler box. Most of Singapore anglers are happy to open cooler box to show the catch if there is nice catch or he or she may say "koson" and may not open the cooler box as they feel shy.