We all know that Singapore is an island country, but do you know that there are more than 60 islands in Singapore waters? This country might be small, but it is definitely not lacking places for you to explore.
Most of us are aware of the popular islands that were taught in school such as St. John's Island which used to be a quarantine area for cholera cases; Kusu Island where thousands of worshippers visit the island during the ninth month of lunar calendar; and Pulau Ubin where you can trek, cycle and eat fresh seafood.
We shall leave the exploration of these islands to the less adventurous. But if you are game for something more challenging, there are several exciting offshore places for you to explore without having to bring your passport. Coincidentally these places house a huge variety of marine life which attract anglers like us. So let's get up close and personal to these beautiful hidden gems in Singapore waters.
1. Pulau Tekukor
This longish island which used to be the site of a former ammunition dump, is just swimming distance away from Sentosa Cove though we are not suggesting that you attempt to swim over from Siloso Beach. Pulau Tekukor looks extremely wild compared to its close neighbour. This is the type of natural beauty that we anglers are looking for - where the coastlines are untouched by man.
The steep drop-offs and the rocky sea bed make this island a hot spot for catching groupers and tusk fish.
2. Sultan Shoal Lighthouse
Constructed way back in 1895, the lighthouse is a mix of Oriental and Victorian design which gives it a majestic look. Situated in between Jurong Island and Tuas Reclamation Land, it is well protected from the Southwest wind. Compared to the time before Tuas area was reclaimed, the waters are much calmer now. The lighthouse operation was automated in 1984 and is currently unmanned.
There are a few shipwrecks scattered around in the vicinity of the lighthouse which are home to territorial fish, and the breakwaters at the perimeter of the reclaimed land are also potential hiding places for monsters. However you may require ample supplies of jigs and sinkers to fish in these areas as they can get stuck easily due to the wrecks and the uneven terrain.
3. Pulau Hantu
Pulau Hantu is actually made up of two islets: Pulau Hantu Besar (Big Ghost Island) and Pulau Hantu Kechil (Little Ghost Island). The names sound eerie and you may imagine that you will have unwanted company when you go camping there at night. But from our past few camping and fishing experiences, the only company that we had was the starry night and the occasional shooting star that left a trail across the night sky. Pulau Hantu is also quite well illuminated by the oil refineries on the adjacent island which have tall chimneys with flames on top burning quietly all night.
The strong current flow and the shallow coral reefs make this area the perfect playground for pelagic fish such as trevallies.
4. Lazarus Island