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Topwater Sagai Casting off Singapore

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2014 has been a year of freaky weather. It could be really hot and sunny in the morning and suddenly pour cats and dogs in the afternoon with some lightning thrown in for good measure! So you could imagine how apprehensive we were when we heard the Sagai had come in to the inshore reefs just off Singapore. Fishing in stormy weather isn’t fun, not to mention dangerous when you’re right in the face of thunderstorm. But anglers being anglers… how could we refuse after seeing photos of good Sagai (Trevally) catches from the local captains. And so our day begins…


The morning was fairly quiet as we had missed the tide. However, things started to fire close to noon when we started seeing surface commotions and feeding activity on the calm water. Interestingly, we only caught small fish by micro jigging with 12g Gomoku Micro jigs. The bigger ones were somehow not interested in our jigs, despite casting right into the feeding Sagai. Our captain was saying they had caught them on pencil baits on a trip prior. And so, we brought out the NORTH CRAFT BMC 100F lures for a ‘walk’.

Sagai Casting Singapore with North Craft BMC First random cast and the slowly-worked NORTH CRAFT BMC was intercepted by a Sagai.

Sagai Casting Singapore with North Craft BMCNo qualms about whacking such a big bait!

Micro Jigging with Storm Micro Jigger 2014Next up to get into Sagai action was Andrew!

Micro Jigging with Storm Micro Jigger 2014I don’t need to tell you he was having a blast!

Sagai Casting Singapore with North Craft BMCThis one also took the NORTH CRAFT BMC 100F in SPCD colour.

Micro Jigging with Storm Micro Jigger 2014Andrew’s ON again!

Suddenly Andrew was engaged in a battle of epic proportions. A big Sagai had hit the BMC on a slow retrieve and decided to head towards the reef in the same direction as the current. Just when we started seeing some spool, the fish decided to stop and head away from the reef. Assisted by the strong current, pulling back the fish was an uphill task. Sadly, the hooks gave way after a prolonged battle on the micro outfit of a Storm Micro Jigger and Daiwa Luvias 1003. But you could see that Andrew took it rather positively despite the lost fish as he went on to cast again for the next fish.

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCThis time it’s Nigel’s turn!

All this while Nigel was at the bow casting away with the new Storm Shore-X casting rod (PE0.8-2.0) He had several good fish on but somehow they managed to throw the hook each time after hookup. For those that he managed to secure, they gave a good account of themselves on the light casting outfit.

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCA happy camper!

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCNORTH CRAFT BMC 100F in SPCH

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCHowever, SPCD was the colour of the day!

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCNo other colour could compare during the Sagai feeding. Seriously. This intrigued us too!

Sagai Casting Singapore North Craft BMCAnd another!

Micro Jigging with Storm Keiryo and Daiwa KohgaJigging became conducive later on in the afternoon.

Micro Jigging with Storm Micro JiggerAndy hit the jackpot with two delicious Coral Trout one after the other on Storm Super Gomoku jig (We suspect it must be the lucky red shirt!)

Micro Jigging with Storm Micro Jigger 2014Of course, the Queenies were fast and furiously entertaining!

Micro Jigging with Storm Keiryo and Daiwa KohgaThe new Daiwa Kohga 100 is a suitable micro jigging reel for these micro jigging applications.

As light gradually faded, so did the Sagai surface frenzy. We were grateful that we had perfect weather throughout the day and got to enjoy quite a prolonged session of Sagai casting.

At the end of our trip, we swapped notes and found that among all the BMC lure patterns that we tossed, the Sagai seemed to zero in to a particular colour – SPCD. Even other pencil lures with a similar, white base pattern were ignored. They were locked onto something that had a semi-translucent colour. We later discovered in the afternoon that the Sagai were actually hunting down groups of squid, chasing them to the surface before wolfing them down. Each time we saw ink being squirted on the surface it would be quickly followed by a loud “whoosh”! Gotcha! We could only deduce that the SPCD colour was very similar to the translucent colour of the squid and therefore, looked like the real deal. We did try other colours of the NORTH CRAFT BMC but only those with a translucent sheen such as the SPCD and SPCH worked. Even then, the SPCD outshined the SPCH!

TIP: The NORTH CRAFT BMC 100F were worked very slowly. There’s not a lot of aggressive jerking involved, but rather a gentle, sub-surface, side-to-side sliding action. Basically using the rod tip to work the lure.

Daniel Wan has been fishing since the age of 12 and has a deep passion for fishing with artificial lures – especially light-tackle jigging. Previously working for two multinational IT companies, Daniel left the IT industry to follow his passion for fishing, photography and writing.