FIVe anglers were all smiles after they landed dozens of large fish in their first trip out to sea in weeks.
One of the anglers was Zul Danialrullah Pawanchek, 25, who said the trip in the waters off Tanjung Tokong in Penang was among the best he had experienced.
“We managed to fill the entire cooler box with decent-sized snappers, grunters and croakers.
“There were just so many fish that we even sold some, ” said the company supervisor.
Recently, the government announced that recreational fishing, gym, golf and driving activities were permitted during the movement control order (MCO) period with standard operating procedures in place.
The activities allowed include singles games of tennis, ping pong and badminton as well as two and four-wheel motorsports.
Zul and his group stopped fishing for almost a month after the second MCO was imposed on Jan 13.
When the Government allowed recreational fishing again, he and four others immediately chartered a boat large enough to ensure physical distancing while they were on board.
“I usually go out to sea for fishing twice a month, ” said Zul.
“After the second MCO was imposed, we all stayed home. We missed fishing a lot.
“This trip was meant as a warm-up but we ended up exhausted with all the reeling of fish and fighting to get them on the boat.”
Zul and his friends were fishing near a decade-old shipwreck.
“Many fish like to live around a shipwreck and fishermen don’t like to cast their nets there because their nets will get snagged.
“Only anglers with hook and line can target fish in shipwrecks.
“We think the fish population in the shipwreck increased tremendously due to the lack of anglers in the area during the MCO, ” he said.
Describing his exciting trip with the amazing yield, Zul said the group even achieved a triple hookup in which three anglers on the same boat simultaneously caught fish.
“This trip was such a relief and escape from workplace problems.
“All the stress is gone when we go out to appreciate the deep blue sea. Fishing teaches us to be patient, ” he said.
Meanwhile, avid cyclist and golfer Bryan Toong, 47, welcomes the Government’s move.
“After the first MCO last year, many people were unable to exercise. When they suddenly resumed sporting activities, they fell ill and suffered cardiac arrest.
“They were not ready for vigorous workouts after months of inactivity.
“With permission to resume some sports, people can now get back to shape through regular exercise, ” said Toong, an assistant captain for Penang’s Bike On Friday, a campaign to encourage bicycle commuting.
He said having a cycling partner also increased safety.
“When the second MCO was imposed, only solo cycling was allowed.
“Having a partner to trail along at a distance increases our visibility on the roads and should one cyclist need emergency assistance, the other rider is ready to help, ” he said.
As for golfing, Toong said most golfers were glad to play again although they are limited to one person per buggy and sharing of equipment is not allowed.
“In the past, two golfers would share a buggy.
“But we don’t mind taking a buggy each as long as we can enjoy the nice fresh air on the turf.”