Older generations might say, “Fishing is a poor man’s sport!” and it’s sad to see how this perception has been carried down to the younger generations. In our modern world today, the term fishing has been branched out into many categories. Fishing for food, business, scientific purposes and lastly, as a sport hobby.
Fishing for food is uncommon in Singapore, however, surf casters may bring back their catch as they would probably gut-hooked their catches. You can also find foreign workers casting nets, long lining and fishing using live baits to “tabao” their catches and share it with their mates. The locals despise this, but it’s probably due to the culture differences between their country and ours.
Fishing for business is an unseen activity in Singapore. Due to globalisation, the number of fishermen in our country has dwindled down to only a handful number of people. In the wee hours of the morning, these fishermen would hop onto their speed boats and travel to their ideal location where they will collect their catches from their nets. They would then sell their catches to large scale seafood processing firms for a small reward. In the years to come, such activities would just be a story to share to our younger generations. Some anglers practice food conservation by selling their excess catches to restaurants, butchers and even hotels. This is an ideal way of making money, I suppose, but disregarded due to the various inconsistencies.
I have little knowledge on fishing for scientific purposes but I can only portray the activity as observation of water quality for fish farm sustainability, fish species discovery, migration observation and changes in fish populations.
Fishing as a sport is a highly popular activity in our modern world today. I guess someone in the past found thrill in having a tug of war with a fish and decided to share it with others. To whoever that is, I salute you. Sport fishing is mainly branched into two categories, salt and freshwater fishing. One may find fishes that are unique to each category in terms of fighting power, rarity and the looks of the fish. In both categories, many sport fishermen target predatory fish which produces a stronger and worthier fight.
Freshwater fishing is divided into two methods, baiting and luring. Baiting consists of putting a bait that is familiar to a fishes’ diet, ie. worms, prawn onto a hook and line and tied off with a sinker or float. Luring on the other hand is where the complexity of freshwater fishing starts. Luring, or rather, fooling a fish with a live bait lookalike, consists of a lure that has a hook attached to it. A simple example would be a spoon lure. Upon casting the lure, anglers retrieve the lure using their fishing rods at various speeds and patterns. This is to fool the fish with the lure’s movements, thinking that it is live bait swimming away from its predator. Different lures target different fish and the size of lure, colour and rigging style affects its presentation. Bigger lures target bigger fish and vice versa, and the colour of the lure is affects its visibility in the water. On hot sunny days, where the water is clear, bright or natural colour lures are ideal to entice the fish, whereas in muddy waters, darker colours are recommended to contrast with the water colour.
There are hundreds types of lures that cater to different species of fish. Some examples are crankbaits, soft plastics and frogs and the list goes on and on. In Singapore, the main game fish species is the Peacock Bass. This fish is attracted to fast moving lures with strong vibrations or movements. Oddly, the colour of the lure affects the fish minimally. I will post more picutres of this amazing game fish in time to come. I am an avid angler and I hope to share my knowledge and skills with others as much as I can. Part II, where I explain about saltwater fishing will be up in time to come.
For now, adios.