ROYAL PAHANG BILLFISH INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE 2014 – DAY 1 – 13 SEP 2014
The idea of forming a team for the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge 2014 first come to mind during mid February 2014. First discussion takes place in March and soon FISHYOLOGY.COM Team was formed to participate in this annual event. It takes a lot of effort in convincing sponsors to sponsor our team. We manage to secure all sponsors within the final month in August, thus opens a new chapter in Fishyology.com not only as angling blog but hopefully a professional angling team in the future. Apart from securing sponsorship, getting the right skipper for the job was no easy task. We secured our boat earlier on this year and with funds secured within weeks before the event, I must say thank you for holding to our arrangement and have full confidence that we will be there when the horns are blown.
Registration begins in Friday at Lanjut Resort, Rompin. Myself and Salihin drove from KL on Friday evening and reached at the registration venue at 7.30pm. We completed our registration around 8.00pm. I manage to have a short chit chat with Mahfuz and Eddy from Go Pancing Malaysia. They are there as Skipper for Team Finnor. They have been searching for sailfish over the past two days at Berhala Island and DO and apparently no sailfish has been spotted. Rumors has been swirling that there are no sailfish over the past week in Rompin waters and it has been a serious issue as sightings of trawlers invaded the No Trawler zone of Rompin. Briefing of Rules & Regulation begins at 8.00pm and it is conducted by Mr. James from PeMM. It started with the rules and regulation for anglers and ends with a short briefing on safety. A very simple briefing and short introduction on the rules and regulation and it is easy to understand 😀
After the briefing ended, we head to Sri Rompin Hotel to check-in to our rooms and refresh ourselves. Unpacked all our stuff and tied up all our shock-leaders. Pretty much we prepared early for this tournament as we need to stay fresh and upbeat for two days fishing. I am excited and don’t know what to expect for tomorrows billfish challenge. With the support from friends and families, I know all we need to do is just do our best no matter what the outcome is. We have reach this far so we will make the step all the way to the end.
Entrance to Lanjut Beach Resort, pretty nice a place 🙂
A short showcase of RPBIC history displayed at the entrance
Day I begin as early as 6.00am in the morning. After packing our rods and reels, we head down to the main jetty and meet up with boatman and skipper. A sense of adrenalin rush started to pump in. We need to be at the Lanjut Jetty at 8.00am where all the boats are gathered for media opportunity and Marshall are being assigned to their respective boat. Isma from Klang is our Marshall for day 1 and he is a cool guy and clicked in with our team. A rare sight of 30+ boats gathered in two lines and waits for the horn to be blown. Mark the beginning of Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge 2014 Day I. Marshall are given a note book to record all our catches and lunch for the rest of the team and crew.
RPBIC 2014 was joint coordinated with the Malaysia Fisheries Department
As usual, the beginning to any sailfish fishing is to find live bait. After 20-30 minutes from Lanjut Jetty, we have reach our first location. “Unjam” a man made underwater structure has been a shelter for small baitfish from “Kembung” to “Selar”. We started the day by jigging our Sabiki rigs to catch small baitfish. All we need to do is let the rig sinks all the to the bottom. Once it reach the sea floor, we would reel in and jerk the rig. A small white paper covered the hooks and act as a miniature lure.
Baitfish during the first day was abundance based on my experience. We surely hopes that our team would do well on day 1. Catching a hefty number of baitfish was a great way to start the long first day. Fishing duration for day 1 starts from 8am until 6pm. The boat has to cross the marker or buoy no later then 6.00pm. Any boat that crosses the line after 6pm will be disqualified and will not take into account of any catches made that day.
All are aboard and ready to go!
Media and VIP’s are stationed at the Lanjut Jetty prior kick-off
RPBIC 2014 was joint coordinated with the Marine Police of Malaysia
Live well, not like those fancy offshore world championship boats but it will still do the job 🙂
Fishyology.com first ever RPBIC score!
After we have completed our first task, we straight away head to the fishing spot and it is known as DO. Since this is our first outing and on a limited budget. We are only able to fish within the Rompin seas. Top teams would have the ability to venture further to Berhala Island or other favorite location. We have to make do with what we have on hand and hope for the best. It started well as we spotted an anchovies fishing boat near DO and we knew right away that sailfish would lurk near to the fishing boat. As soon as we cast of our first live bait, Eddie would take the honors in scoring Fishyology.com Team first sailfish. At first we thought it was a Tenggiri @ Spanish Mackerel as it didn’t jump out of the water and was easily brought near to the boat, but first glimpse suggest it is a sailfish and its a juvenile size. No matter how big or small the sailfish is, the scores still stands.
First sailfish of the day! #1
We are fired up to score our second sailfish, and it was not until 12pm when Salihin scored his first sailfish of the day and second for the team. Again, we thought it was a different species as it was easily taken near to the boat. This time is was an impaired specimen with a short bill. Scoring 2 with less then 5 hours to go was pretty slow for us. Other team has been experiencing the same thing but it was better then expected. We had a short brake for lunch to energize and motivate ourselves. Our skipper was tough on us but that how it goes as this is a tournament and we need to keep our performance at a very high level.
The next 2 hours was a waiting game. Only spontaneous cheers can heard in the distance when other team bait fish was taken by a sailfish. It was not long when we had our third strike. This time on Salihin rod, but since I’m the only person near to the rod, thus it will be my pleasure to take the dance hahaha! This time it feels like a sailfish and a few jumps brought cheers to our boat haha!. It took 12 minutes to land our third and my first sailfish of the year.
Salihin with his first sailfish of the year and 2nd for fishyology!
Third sailfsih for Fishyology.com Team and first for me!
Fighting on a PE2 rod was no easy task
30 minutes later, Eddie once again was called to duty when his rod was taken by yet another sailfish. The fight was brief yet again scoring another juvenile sailfish. Adding a total tally of 4 and Eddie 2nd of the day. It was soon quite again with notable action from the distance. We continue on to stay as close to the Anchovies fishing boat hoping to score more sailfish. The first day we have lost a total 4 strikes and a last triple hookup. Although we suspect it was not a sailfish but still scoring 4 when others seem to struggle was a great result for the team. Eddie’s sailfish mark the end of our day. We soon had to rush back as heavy rainstorm and wind hit the Kuala Rompin and we are lucky that the water entrance towards the jetty was calm. Our boat took a beating when we drop-off our Marshall. Once we safely reach the main jetty, we are all tired and head back to our hotel. After refreshing ourselves, we took a short nap before we had our dinner. Such a great experience and warm hospitality from our skipper Mr. Ikhwan the boat owner. We sure appreciate all the hard work for day one and stay tune for the final day report!
Our final sailfish of the day! Total tally for day 1 is 4!