Navigating the waters of the Southern Islands of Singapore

November 10, 2017

Every intrepid marine adventurer needs to know his way around his waters.

 

The Southern Islands of Singapore are home to the greatest diversity of coral species around our shores, and its undulating underwater terrain coupled with the shelter provided in some of its lagoons makes it an ideal habitat for many species of hard-fighting and delicious fish to thrive and reproduce. 

 

The greatest concentrations of fish are found near uneven terrain features like drop-offs or seamounts. Depending on the prevailing current, fishes typically hold in the lee of the feature to take advantage of the slacker current while having food carried to them. 

 

As anglers go where the fish are, they can at times find themselves in potentially hazardous situations, such as when their craft is anchored in the path of oncoming boat traffic, or when they drift too close to a reef or shoal while trying to fish the productive drop-offs around the various islands.

 

In order to maximise the chances of a safe and fruitful day of fishing, here are some things that would-be seafarers should take note of:

 

1) Current

Due to the uneven geography of the islands, the direction and magnitude of the current is not always consistent with the height of the tides. This is a key concern as some areas are better fished when the current is flowing in a certain direction or at a certain speed, and extremely fast currents can cause turbulence that will not only hamper effective fishing, but also make a day at sea less enjoyable.

 

2) Bathymetry 

Bathymetry refers to the depth of the water at every point in the sea, and ranges from 0-100 metres in the Southern Islands. Anglers should be suitably equipped if they intend to fish the deeper end of the range, and captains and crews should be aware of the very real danger of having their vessel run aground on hidden shoals. They should therefore exercise extra caution when travelling in shallow waters.

 

3) Weather

It goes without saying that the weather should always be considered in planning any outdoor activity, but even more attention should be paid in this case as anyone out fishing will probably be exposed to the elements for the duration of the trip. Rain and wind will usually result in choppy seas, and the hot sun can be unforgiving on exposed skin. Boaters should therefore be appropriately attired to stay cool (or warm and dry), and to stave off seasickness or sunburn.

 

With due care spent on keeping track of the above factors, you will almost certainly find your day at sea invigorating and rewarding, and with a little bit of luck you'll even have some fresh seafood to top it all off. So set your course for the horizon, and sail off into the sunset. 

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