Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Return to Sin Poh Farm...

Catching up with an old friend...

I received a call from Ah Pan, an old friend of mine.
He has been living in a farm for the past eight years and its really doing him some good.
Prior to that, he stayed in a shophouse near Taman Dato Harun in Bandar Sunway.
After the motorcycle repair shop he ran and wound up, this guy had moved out to Karak and worked for Farmer Wong, a mutual friend of ours.

Ah Pan and his pooch Bob
 Honoring my word.. 

I gave my buddy a call and set a journey to visit him at Sin Poh farm in Karak, Pahang.
This is one of the few vegetable farms in the country to be awarded the Good Agricultural Practise certification by the Department of Agriculture.
I view this as a huge success for its owner Farmer Wong who worked for three years to achieve his goal.
Now, there aren't many sincere and honest men out there, Wong and Ah Pan are the exception.
And being accepted as their friend was truly an honour.
Back in the real world, I deal with scumbags, ass-kissing corporate people who are 100% fake.
This makes my stomach turn.
Meeting with a bunch of friends who appreciate your company and respects you for what you are, that is truly a feeling money can't buy.
I caught up with Ah Pan over some tea in Karak town
He told me that he is interested in a plot of land near Farmer Wong's place.
And in a world that is uncertain, there is hope for an old-timer like Ah Pan.
I told him that I will help in any way I can to market his Farm stay to the world...

The Fish farmer.. 

Feeding his commodity..
In the past year, Ah Pan has been busy rearing freshwater food fish.
His main commodity are the Tilapia (tilapia mossambica) and the grass carp.
This pellet-fed fishes can fetch as much as RM12 per kg and there has been some interested parties in the harvest.
If he keeps it up, the haul will be ready by the end of this year.
We are looking at some good money for the Farmer to roll.
Living in the farm, Ah Pan had been diligently feeding the fishes and the results can be seen..

Some good old fashioned fishing..

The Climbing Perch
The Sin Poh experience would not be complete without a fishing trip at the pond.
I've done some good fishing here and with Farmer Wong's awesome ponds, choices are aplenty.
They were aiming for Tilapias and the haul would be divided among the farm workers as their meals.
Nothing is wasted here.
While Ah Pan, a fishing guide himself and champion angler - did most of the work, landing a good catch, I struggled a bit.
My tackle was not suitable for the pond. The line was simply too thick. But I persevered and landed a small Tiliapia.
Then, my luck changed.
Slowly, but surely, I began landing some ikan Puyu or the Climbing Perch.
This primitive air-breathing fish is nothing but amazing.
I used to catch them at a decommissioned waste treatment pond near lake Titiwangsa in my late teens.
Now, what's interesting was the fact that I kept on landing this little fellas with fish pellets as bait.
Slowly as time dissolves into the late hours of the evening, I had at least 10 climbing perches.

Our humble haul..

Catch of the day: A snakehead landed with my telescopic rod
A last-minute surprise..

I hooked up a piece of fish pellet on the hook and casted it into the water.
While waiting for a bite, the guys were doing really well, filling up a basket with fish.
Then, I notice my line going out.
"Ah, another puyu!," I thought out loud.
The line became taut and when I set the hook, I felt a heavy tug.
This was not a perch. 
My cheap-assed Shakespeare telescopic rod began to bend as I let the drag on my ultralight reel do the job of keeping the fish on the end of the hook.
Now, this rod and reel combo doesn't seem ideal for such a situation, but it surely held up to the brute force of the fish that was on the other end of the line.
Farmer Wong said it was a snakehead.
Slowly, I let the small Shakespeare Dimension 10-ballbearing reel do its job, and reeled in a table-sized Snakehead. 
I estimate this fine table fish at 1.2kgs and it was my defining moment.
Despite a slow start, I managed to land a predator with my travel rod and reel set.
This inspired me to look at "Cyclofishing" in my future outings.
After packing up the gear, we brought the haul back to the farmhouse where it would be divided among the farm workers.
I parted ways with Farmer Wong and Ah Pan and assured them that I would be back for more visits.
Later, I took the rest of the climbing perch to my in-law's place where they were released into a pond.

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