Slow Pitch Jigging in Muar with Tiger 55

Tiger55 ZEEzone Muar
A friend of mine told me to check out a catch report on Facebook about a charter that specialized in slow pitch jigging in Muar. Scrolling through the pictures i noticed a fair amount of Golden Snappers in his catch reports. (My tummy told me that Fish Head Curry would be a lovely addition on the menu and my brain agreed.) I contacted the Captain and booked a slot with him and sent out a message to my team about the trip. Jith and Lemuel responded and confirmed their attendance. 

View from my hotel room as dawn broke.
Drive Angels started to pick us up at 3am and we made our way to Muar. The journey takes about 2 and a half hours. (depending on road conditions) We were greeted by rain as we arrived at the Muar Traders Hotel.(You can do the booking here.) I went up to the Hotel's reception which is located on the 6th floor to see if we could check in early (normal check in 12pm) and they graciously agreed. I had booked 2 standard rooms and it cost about RM$310.  However, i was told that the standard rooms did not have a fridge and so i opted to upgrade both rooms to the deluxe rooms for an additional RM$65.We also choose to do a late check out the following day at an additional RM$10/Hour. (Nothing like a hot shower after a day of fishing!!!) We put our belongings in the room and realized the keycard needs to be in the slot for the room to have power! (Dammit!) The view was nice though.

Clean, Spacious and Comfortable.
We drove around looking for a place to grab a bite and found a Chinese shop that sells noodles and roast pork. (mmmmm) Muslim friends, there are loads of places for you to grab some grub too. However, they were all closed due to Ramadhan. We made a quick stop at a 7-11 to buy some bread for lunch and went back to the hotel. (Mineral water and ice are provided by the Captain.)

Wanton Noodles and Roasted Pork for Breakfast
 The Jetty is just behind the Hotel and you can use the staff back entrance. We loaded up our stuff and set up our gear before setting off. The boat can technically take up to 6 pax but for comfort i would recommend 4 pax ( Otherwise it will be crossed lines galore) The boat has a sheltered cabin and a toilet (too small for the likes of me to fit into.)

I was told that this is a club house
Sheltered Cabin with Toilet
The journey to the first fishing spot took about 45 minutes. We were drift fishing in the shipping channels and the average depth was between 40-60 meters. The current was limp and we got away with using 150 to 180g jigs. The bottom was mostly muddy with small patches of coral scattered around. The Captain was also quick to announce when we approached any coral so that we would be a little more alert and avoid getting snagged. 

Lucky Lemmy with the first fish
 The Captain told us to keep the jigs close to the bottom, so we were only pitching to about 3-5m above the seabed before letting the jigs fall back to the bottom. Lemuel scored the first fish of the day with a nice grouper.  A short while later, things started to get rough. The wind picked up and storm clouds were beginning to close in on us. There was a lot of lightning and the Captain decided to stop fishing as visibility became really bad. It was Cat 1 weather in the middle of the shipping lane. So we hung out in the cabin and waited for the rain to pass while munching on some snacks and sharing some fishing stories. It took almost 2 hours for the storm to subside.

It was pouring cats & dogs
The next captain (Son)
The Deckie hooked up after the storm. Another grouper. It went quiet after that.The Captain was very hardworking. He shifted location every 30 minutes and fished along with us. When there were no bites we could see the disappointment in his face as he told us to reel up our lines. We have been through enough fishing trips to know when the fishing is hard and told him to relax. No pressure. We continued to fish throughout the day, changing strategy to cover more ground through the water column by each fishing at different depths to try and locate fish. The Captain and Jith were fishing mid column when they got hit by a school of small GTs. We chased the school for a bit but they were spooked after the first two got hooked up. 

The Captain (Dad)
GT Killer!!! (Just Kidding)
Due to some miscommunication one of the GTs was gaffed. The Captain kept it for his dinner and we released the other. Having had an early start we called it a day and headed back in for some dinner and rest.

This building had a twin just across the river
Thats the Hotel. You can see how near the jetty is.
After a shower and some rest, we went for dinner at Dominoes Pizza which is located at the ground floor of the hotel. There is also a Doughnut shop and another cafe there. We devoured the pizza in a flash.

Meatasaurs it said.

Jith and his onion ring fetish

Anyone know why chicken in msia taste so much better?
Jith wanted to buy some otak otak for his grandma so we went for a walk. We didn't manage to find any otah but we found more food. Kambing Soup and Tandoori Chicken. Nothing much to do for entertainment around here so we went back to the hotel and watched TV before we fell asleep. (There is free wifi available in the rooms so you entertain yourself on social media if there is nothing good on telly.)

Soup Kambing! (So good Jith wanted to tabao the next day)
Charcoal oven grilled tandoori chicken
The next morning i woke up to rain. The Captain told us to take our time as it would take awhile for the rain to stop. We went for breakfast (Free when you book via the website) and hung out at the cafe before topping up some snacks at 7-11 before we set off.

Morning doom and gloom
once bitten twice shy. back to the hotel!
As we made our way out we saw this. We made a U-turn and headed back to the hotel. The Captain told us that he will let us know when it was ok to head out. So we made some arrangements to go sightseeing and find some otak otak!

35 year old Datsun
Indulging Jith
City Center
According to our 65 year old guide, there are two otak otak sellers in Muar town. The most popular being A Class. However, they were sold out. (On a sunday morning!) They have relocated their factory so stocks are not replenished daily. Better to call before you go down.

Sold out at 10am
So we headed to Cheng Boi. Which looks like a family run business. The Uncle is super friendly and to us to keep the Otah frozen for as long as we can. We grabbed almost 30 packs of frozen Otah before heading off. Otah Price: Fish - RM$6.50 Prawn - RM$7 Sotong - RM$7

Busy Busy
The sun came out around noon and we headed out to fish. We ran into a school of pesky juvenile Tenggiri that kept cutting off our jigs, Jith and Lemuel managed to bring up two before we decided to move to another location. The bite was slow and we had to work hard. We did bring up a lot of lizard fish. Irritating specimens, whack jigs twice their size. But no Ang Cho! As time began to run out the Captain made one last run to his best spot. I got a grouper there  and the Captain landed a barracuda but i guess we got to wait for another opportunity to land them Goldies. 

The Killer Strikes!
Payback for his lost jigs. (Well, technically Lala's Jigs!)
Well, better than a big fat ZERO. 
Final Haul minus the GT
Thanks to Drive Angels for the Dinner Treat!
We went back to the hotel and cleaned up before checking out. After saying our goodbyes, we went to JB where Drive Angels treated us to some nice Bak Kut Teh. We planned on returning, but early Monday morning, i received new that the boat had been stolen. By Tuesday, news that it was found in an island off Indonesia began to circulate. I sincerely hope that the Captain will be able to get his boat back. Bookings are suspended til then but you can check for updates here.

Tackle Used

Rods: ATC Vulcan PE1.5, 2.5 and 3.5, 
Reels: Ocea Jigger 1500HG, 1501HG, 2000NRHG
Jigs: ATC Venom, Xesta Slow Emotion (150-200g)
Line: Ocea PE 2, Duel Hardcore x 8 PE 2