SADAT OSMAN spoke with the host of Singapore’s first angling-centric show, The Fishing Marathon (TFM), Jayve Macfudge Goh, to find out more about what makes her tick.
Jayve’s keen interest in fishing is rare among females in Singapore, and is it her passion in angling that saw her become the face of The Fishing Marathon (TFM), a local fishing programme [see video below]. I met up with the young and outgoing sports enthusiast to learn more about her affinity for fishing.
How did your interest in fishing develop?
J: When I was about three years old, my dad took me to a ‘longkang’ in Choa Chu Kang, a long canal that lead to a fish farm. We would walk into the drain and use a scoop net to catch small fish to keep into a plastic tank. To me it was just playing, but as I grew older, my dad and I would fish overnight at Changi and East Coast. At six, I picked up a rod for the first time when my dad brought me to Malacca. I only got serious about the sport in 2013 when I wanted to introduce my boyfriend to my dad. It was a pleasant surprise that both of them have a common interest in fishing and as such, we went for our first group trip to Farmway 3. I remember catching heaps of tilapia which reignited my passion for the sport.
What do you like about fishing?
J: It started out with the goal of simply landing fishes, but as I did more fishing, I began to enjoy the fight once I had a hook up. Luring is also one of my favourite aspects of the sport. An expert, Yu Hock from Rapala, taught me the various ways I can manoeuvre a lure to trick the fish into biting. Casting was quite easy for me to pick up, but I have my regular miscues. I like to fish at reservoirs and ponds to learn as much as I can. What I miss are the friendly fishing folks at local spots—something that I had experienced in Perth. Anglers here are pretty quiet, conservative and like to keep to themselves. Sometimes when I go pond fishing, especially the former Bottle Tree Park where the catch rate was low, I would incorporate exercise while waiting for the fish to bite. I would do squats and star jumps to remain active, instead of eating. I also make it a point to run around MacRitchie if I have plans to meet my dad for luring. Moving forward, I would like to catch a mahimahi one day. I like the fish’s body structure, colour and that it puts up a good fight.
Do you think that fishing is an easy hobby for a lady to pick up?
J: If a girl enjoys the outdoors and doesn’t mind spending hours under the sun, then it is easy to pick up. Even if you are initially uncomfortable, just bear with these two aspects, (and mosquitoes too). It is important to have an open mind to learn the intricacies of fishing and it can be frustrating. One way to start is to try your hand at prawning first. Many ladies already enjoy this and it could be a ‘gateway’ hobby for fishing. I would advise newbies to be daring enough to get their hands dirty because they would have to handle bait. It wouldn’t be nice to always depend on others to rig for you. Considering that the luring and jigging are quite trendy, and there are also pink fishing rods designed for women, the sport is clearly leaning towards the ladies already. Fishing ponds have also been upgraded to look like resorts and make for a good dating destination.
How can fishing in Singapore be improved?
J: I think the fishes here have somehow outsmarted us. For example, the legal spots in our local reservoirs rarely have fish. And there are a lot of anglers who try to test the system by going to illegal areas. I feel that it’s not worth it to bend the rules. However, the situation may improve if anglers are allowed to fish as long as they practise catch and release. Maybe then the authorities can look at fishing in a different light. All it takes is one angler to start cultivating good habits for the rest to follow.
*For the full interview, buy the latest copy of HOOKED Magazine. Purchase an e-copy here: https://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/hooked-magazine/id623242573