Four times a year, Raffles Country Club (RCC) organises a fishing event where their members and a few select guests are allowed to fish within one of their golf courses (either the Palm Course or the Lake Course, depending on which is currently under maintenance). During these quarterly events, the once-familiar sight of golf buggies laden down with golf bags and clubs are replaced with buggies carrying fishing rods and tackle boxes instead.
Apart from providing their members and guests with an opportunity to fish in a tranquil and unspoiled environment, this event also helps the Country Club curb the populations of the local giant snakehead (channa micropeltes) population. Known locally as “toman”, giant snakeheads have voracious appetites that tend to upset the ecosystem of their environments, making them an invasive species that can quickly deplete the populations of other local fishes.
This event attracted a wide variety of anglers, each with their own setup: from fly fishermen and luring enthusiasts to those who prefer using live bait like tilapia, the fishing methods were as varied as the members themselves. From the sheer number of fish that were lain out on the grass, it looked as though few people were going home empty-handed that day.
It is great that the RCC organises events like these. Not only do they provide their members with something fun to do, this is an ingenious method of making sure that invasive species such as giant snakeheads do not completely destroy the golf course’s carefully designed and balanced ecosystems.