During our research of Deep Sea fishing options in Port Dickson, we could not help but notice a location that kept coming up – “Jigging in Tanjung Tuan, Teluk Kemang”. A boatman named Apek was featured in many blogs and highly recommended and thanked in many Facebook Fishing pages in Malaysia. Famous for species that includes and are not limited to Queenfish, Giant Trevally & Spanish Mackerel of very impressive sizes.
My husband got down to business with his research and contacted Fishyology’s very own Norullah Razak. He wrote of his fishing trip with Apek and another fishing blogger named Andrew Griffin, from their entries and pictures alone, we knew we had to give it go!
Before we know it, we booked our very first jigging trip with Apek.
Naweshad and I were more acquainted with the concept of Trolling as well as bottom fishing, jigging and popping were techniques that we would have to learn and apply immediately on this trip.
With pointers from Apek himself on the types of Jig to look for; its shape, weight, and colours, we soon found ourselves on a jig & popper shopping spree. Thankfully, the owner at one of our favoured tackle shops has had prior experience fishing with Apek, they spoke highly of him as well as their trip with pictures to prove and inspire us further. They were kind enough to share on the jigs that were effective during their trip, which fit the information given to us by Apek.
Our confidence level was high. Extremely high. How shall we take a picture with our 10 lbs Queenfish? Thoughts and ideas were flowing through our minds.
The day finally arrived. Naweshad, our cousin Riz, our friend Saran who will be experiencing his first boat trip, along with myself- confident and on a mission – pushed our boat into the water, boarded, took our places and…
the engine won’t start…
3o minutes and an entire fishing village worth of pliers later, we were on our way!
Due to the wait with waves hitting close to shore, some of us were developing early signs of seasickness. Our boatman was Apek’s uncle, known as, Pak Besar. Captain Apek himself was on another boat ahead of us.
An hour out & we were told to look for “boiling” activities on the water’s surface… something we were not aware or familiar with until we saw it for ourselves. That was where we were to cast our brand new jigs.
Quick lessons from Pak Besar on jigging and popping techniques and we’re off! After a few continuous cast and jigging, I could feel my arms burning, my wrist straining… momentum slowing down. I looked out to Apek’s boat and they were jigging like their lives depended on it!
We kept moving to different spots, Apek’s boat was catching however still no bites on any of our jigs. We had to be doing something wrong I thought. By now, Saran has succumbed to sea sickness on his first boat trip, our friend is down and out.
I kept looking back at Apek’s boat, trying to understand the method… I figured, lets do it! I decided to jig like my life depended on it too! One… Two… Three… WHAM!!
I felt immense pain as my wrist was pinned between my rod and the side of the boat. It was the strongest most unexpected take I have encountered thus far. Pak Besar was quick to react, freeing my wrist, putting my rod in position and there I was… a surge of excitement running through me, reeling in but I couldn’t … It was too heavy, I could not lift my rod with my aching wrist and whatever that was at the end of my line was heavier than I expected. Then… Snap.
A moment of weightless silence within me as I reeled in… I lost the fish.
The boat went silent for awhile, Pak Besar’s voice echoed through the air as he signalled to Apek’s boat, “LEPAS!” (Gone, in Malay).
It was at that point that I realised, what we got ourselves into.
Holy Fighting Fish! Let’s do this!
With a slight swell on my wrist, we continued. My husband got a take, a quick one sending his reel screaming, he was fighting with excitement filling the air again. Pak Besar positioned his boat as we were directly above reefs, unfortunately, the fish got away leaving the lure tangled onto the reefs, snapping the line.
The sun was shining and our jigging momentum was getting weaker by the minute. The art of it requires energy that us lazy bottom fishing gang was not prepared for.
Due to previous fishing trips to PD where trolling proved to be more successful, we made a request to troll around the area. Pak Besar, stressed that it would not produce any results but stubborn and adamant we were, he kindly obliged. Naturally, he was right.
By 3p.m, we were exhausted and ready to give up… until we spotted fins emerging ahead of us. We stood up trying to get a better look.
“Dolphins”, said Pak Besar rather nonchalantly.
“DOLPHINS!!!” we exclaimed like 4 year olds!
Pak Besar was kind to take us closer to the Dolphins… A moment that took our breaths away, mo more aching arms, the sun…wait, was the sun shining?, our energy restored by the sight of Dolphins swimming right by our boat.
Did we say we were about to give up? Oh hell no! We continued, despite being tired, moving closer to shore right by the Cape Rachado Lighthouse, scenic and serene. However, still no bites.
Our trip soon came to an end with Apek’s boat catching more than 10 fishes & us with nothing. It was evident how important the right technique of jigging was to entice the fishes with our lures.
The boiling activity on the surface proves that the water is brimming with fishes. Added to that, Apek’s boat was catching therefore technique and experience was certainly lacking from our part. Pak Besar, our boatman was by far the most hardworking boatman we have ever encountered, he persevered and never gave up in his attempt of trying to catch us a fish. Unfortunately, it was just not our day.
Over dinner, we took more pointers from Apek himself, on the methods and technique of jigging as well as the type of jigs suitable according to different water conditions.
Despite the trip ending without any catches for us, we were still confident and determined to come back, to try our hand at the art of jigging and popping once more, convinced that it is only a matter of time before we get a picture with our 10 lbs Queenfish. Apek is definitely a boatman to head out to sea with, at least once in your angling life in Malaysia. Fish or no fish, the experience was priceless!
Enjoy the video of our trip below!
(Video cannot be viewed on a mobile device)