Dateline: April 6, 2014 – Endau Rompin, Malaysia
The fact that a weekend with Jarvis and Alex means endless sophomoric humor and juvenile pranks doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that they are so much better at it than I am.
You may remember these two knuckleheads from previous blogs – see “Angry White Man.” Despite their vile horseplay, these guys are great friends of mine and two of the most dedicated fishermen I have ever met. For their part, they still can’t understand why I am throwing sabikis at “panty fish,” when they will cast a freestyle jig for 12 hours waiting for one big bite.
The destination this time around was a familiar one – Endau Rompin, on the east coast of Malaysia. A quick drive from Singapore, especially if Jarvis has the wheel, this is an outstanding spot that features great variety and a bunch of name-brand gamefish like GT, barred mackerel, and sailfish. I’ve gotten 18 new species in Endau over the years, and I highly recommend visiting if you get a chance.
Endau Rompin at sunrise.
We set out very early on a Saturday morning, or more like very late on a Friday night, at some indecent hour when only the Australians are still wandering the streets of Singapore, not that they’ll remember it. We made quick work of a 150 mile drive – it was like Guido was driving except there we didn’t get arrested. (For driving lessons from Guido, click HERE) We hit Endau just at dawn, loaded up on two days of 7-11 food, and hit the water.
I had fished here several times before, so I accepted that I would have diminishing returns – but new species or not, the action here can be spectacular. Of course, there were a couple of difficulties apart from Alex’s inconsistent personal hygiene. For starters, I was still nursing a broken collarbone, and the sea was a bit choppy – a bad combination. Normally, water conditions short of hurricane don’t bother me, but with a bit of a sore shoulder, each bump was a new experience in ouch. Needless to say, this greatly amused Alex and Jarvis.
And then there was the unfortunately-named deckhand.
Pa Wer the deckhand.
The deckhand’s name was Pa Wer. Pronounced in English, this sounded a lot like “Power,” and while I don’t know why this was funny, every time someone mentioned the deckhand, the whole group would yell “POWER!!” And every time someone used the word “power,” the whole group would yell “POWER!!” For two fulls days, this never got old.
After a lumpy, wince-filled two hour run, we pulled up at some offshore islands. These are beautiful places, loaded with a variety of fish – it’s just unfortunate I have caught most of them. It was still great to be out on the water, doubly so once the boat stopped, and we got to work.
The Gnoidea Vattheycalled islands off Endau Rompin.
I got loads of bottom fish, including one of my favorite species of all time – the floral wrasse. I pulled it on deck, and said, “Pa Wer, the pliers please!” The group responded in chorus “Powerrrrrrr!”
The floral wrasse.
We moved out to some slightly deeper reefs, and the first fish I got made the trip worthwhile. Though small, it was indeed a new species.
The striped mackerel – a new species. What rough water?
That night, before dinner, the guys asked to use my bathroom, so we could be ready to eat faster. They said they only needed my room to shave. Like an idiot, I TRUSTED THEM. When I returned, I discovered that they must have shaved their heads, their backs, and a small dog, and left the aftermath for me to enjoy.
Idiots. I ask them what the hell they thought they were doing, and the responded “Power shaving. Powerrrrrrr!”
The next day was more of the same fishing. The guys cast and cast and cast lures, and while things weren’t wide open, they did manage to get a few nice coral trout and narrow-barred Spanish mackerel. For my part, I was busy whimpering about the bumpy ride, but I did manage to jig up one small flounder that was new on the species list – the savage Cinnamon flounder.
Who says I don’t have sole? Alex said this was a power fish, and they all yelled “Powerrrrrrr!” You can’t imagine how funny they though this was.
I try to take some advil and get a nap, and I end up with a bunch of photos like this.
We made an earlier day out of it, as we had to get back to Singapore, but it was a solid day of fishing and I was glad to add two species for the weekend, even though the image of that sink will haunt me until the day I die.
The triumphant group as we landed on day two.
All that remained was to shower, eat at KFC, and make the terrifying ride home with Jarvis Andretti at the wheel. As they dropped me back off at the Hilton in Singapore, Jarvis and Alex did something pointlessly cruel. They let it slip that they “may” have hidden a crab in my equipment, just as idiot Alex had done to me last year. (Right HERE) I was forced to unpack and go through everything, and there was no crab, but I still wasted two hours. This is terrorism.
I tear my equipment apart looking for the crab that was never there.
I will get them for this. And I wish I’d thought of it first.