Prawn Fishing

29 11 2012

Chillin’ with Team Italia – Michele R, Michele LM, Giovanni and Paolo. (This, and most photos, courtesy of my good friend Michele LM.)

OVER A week ago, I ran the second to the last event I’m organizing or have ever organized as Chair of my department’s Teambuilding Committee at the office.  Putting up these events is a lot of hardwork, but at the same time, allows me to reap a lot of intangible rewards.  The friendships I made with all of those who are part or were part of my Committee are at the top of the list.

Not being a very outdoorsy person myself, I would never be the first to volunteer an event such as prawn fishing.   But some of my Committee members were passionate about it.  As a truly democratic leader, I listened to all they had to say.

One of the best photos – if not the best – of the prawn fishing event. This was taken by one of my good good friends, Nathan, The Chef, with his Samsung Galaxy S2.

I became so intrigued I went to try it out with Vincent and Kelvin before actually staging the event.  I ended up writing my whole team a very enthusiastic e-Mail the following day, saying just how pleasantly surprised I was.  Again, coming from someone like me who would rather spend a day at the mall than somewhere even remotely related to nature or the outdoors.

As a department, we’ve done all sorts of things, with a typical participation of 200 give or take a few tens every single time.  Prawn fishing was one of those that allowed all of us to really spend time with our colleagues and friends outside the very busy working hours.  We didn’t have to run around all over Singapore so it meant we had the chance to sit back, relax a little, chat and really catch up with one another – with part of our attention still devoted to the fishing rods we’d cast in to one of two ponds dedicated to our group for the whole duration of the event.

During the hour’s worth that Vincent and I got to try it the first time, we caught a total of eight – seven big ones and one so little we just had to send it back to the waters.  Once you’ve gotten the hang of it – setting the bait in the hook, casting the hook into the water, waiting for the initial pull of a prawn’s bite, counting five seconds before giving the rod a quick, crisp flip of the wrist to secure the bite, lifting the floater halfway from the water’s surface, counting another five seconds before another quick wrist action, and lifting the rod to reveal the catch – you will be catching prawns like crazy.

Vincent and I took less than a minute for every catch we made, but it was the “unhooking” of the prawn from the bait that took a lot of the time.  We wanted to be as careful as we could because we could feel the prawn’s “pain”.  We just didn’t want to rip the bait off of it!  Too cruel, even for me,

For added excitement and spirit of competition, we awarded individual prizes to the top three biggest prawns – weighing in at 185 grams, 154 grams, and 135 grams each – and to the top three groups with the most prawns caught.  The three individual winners and the top group each went home with “champion” fishing rods, courtesy of our venue, HAI BIN PRAWNING at their Punggol outlet.  To learn more about them and prawn fishing in general, please see

One of the come-on lines in the series of teasers we released towards the day of the event was the guarantee that every participant would be able to make at least one catch.  I’ve asked around and I think we did achieve at least that.

I do highly recommend this event.

Charlie caught the biggest prawn! This giant weighed in at 185 grams!


Celebrating Aris’s first catch! Michele, Aris and the prawn, Mike, Boon Guan (our team’s Big Boss), Kiddo, and Claudio.


Michele, Ran Bi and Claudio


One of our managers, Ms. Lay Koon, and one of our Senior Engineers, Hwee Li. (Hwee Li used to lead Team Building too!)


Claudio and Ran Bi work on unhooking a catch.


My good good friend Kwang Fook trying to figure out how to outwit the prawns. Haha!


Michele must be saying, “Proud of this already? I can do better!” Hehehe…


It’s time to hit the grill!


I don’t know who looks more fierce. Haha!


With Michele and Giovanni


I guess for someone who’s not into seafood, Paolo must have had a little fun too. Here he is with his first catch.


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