variety of freshwater and marine environments in Malaysia offer a vast
scope of angling opportunities. Whether for serious game fishing or fun,
Malaysia boasts a plethora of angling destinations. However, proper
planning is essential when considering serious angling in Malaysia.
Target species must be identified, timing and seasons also need to be
taken into account. A well-organised Malaysian fishing package may prove
to be the difference between success and failure.
rivers and natural and man make lakes are home to over 300
species of freshwater fish of which around 40 species can be caught on
rod and line.
The prime freshwater
sport fish include the ferocious Giant Snakehead, the fast running
Malaysian Jungle Perch, the Giant Featherback, the massive fresh water
Catfish and the elusive but powerful Malaysian Mahseer.
The Giant Snakehead or
"Toman” is a powerful fighter and can attain a weight
of more than 20kg. However, common catches average around the 5 to 10kg
mark. The Giant Featherback or “Belida” also attains a size of over 20kg
while the Catfish or “Tapah” can reach more than 50kg.
The Malaysian Mahseer, a sub species of the Indian Mahseer, is probably
one of the most powerful of the freshwater fish. Although not as big as
its Indian cousin, it nevertheless provides excellent sport. Arovana or
“Kelisa” as known locally is a totally protected species. Now
only caught in the more remote areas, this fish is a superb fighter, but
must be released if caught. Freshwater fishing can be relatively easy
with may pay ponds in close proximity to all west coast Peninsula
Malaysia towns. Also there are few resort fisheries which offer a wide
range of accommodation, a variety of activities and well-shocked fishing
ponds. For the more hardy angler, jungle excursions which may involve
trekking and camping can be arranged. A few excellent fishing centers
are also be found on the fringes of Malaysia’s massive man made lakes.
The seas of Malaysia
offer a wide diversity of depth, terrain and fish species. The west
coast of Peninsula Malaysia is primarily a bottom fishing are. Depths
rarely exceed 100 meters and quality table such as grouper, snapper and
threadfin are the main quarry. Sailfish and Narrowbarred Mackerel are
found seasonally while Giant Trevally and Barracuda are quite common
catches. In contrast, the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, off the
distant Island of Aur, Pemanggil and Tioman is home to big game fish,
the Black Marlin being the most famous. Other game fish include
Sailfish, Giant Trevally, Dolphinfish (Mahi-Mahi), Cobia, Mackerel and
Barracuda. The Marlin of Malaysia’s east coast average between 50kg to
150kg. The Borneo coast of the South China Sea also offer also offer
excellent big game fishing with the island of Labuan being centrally
located to these prime fishing areas. The east coast of Sabah bordering
the Sulu and Sulawesi seas, with water over 2000 metres in depth, boast
both excellent bottom fishing around reef areas and top class game
fishing with Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin, Bigeye and
Very few fishing
organizers, however, provide a full service including tackle, fishing
masters and customized itineraries. Should you wish to fish in Malaysia,
it is advisable to arrange your trip through the experts. With angling
in Malaysia still in its infancy, opportunities to land that “big one”
are real. Fishing can be a one day affair or a 2 week affair. It all
depends on one’s quarry and destinations. Whether you are a serious
angler or a fun fisherman, Malaysia offers the best for both.
Prime Freshwater Fishing Destinations
• Tasik Kenyir
• Tasik Temenggor
• Tasik Chenderoh
The above are man-make
lakes built for hydro electric power. The fishing areas are the flooded
rivers that feed the lakes in the more remote higher reaches.
Accommodation is fairly basic, but clean, while the fishing can be
• Tasik Chini
• Tasik Bera
These are both natural lakes set in peat
swap areas. Fairly shallow, they offer a wide variety of species with
• Upper Endau River
• Kuala Koh
• Kuala Tahan
The Endau river is
primarily situated is the Endau- Rombin National Park bordering the
states of Pahang and Johore while Kuala Koh and Kuala Tahan are situated
in Taman Negara. They al boast beautiful waters, rapids, waterfalls,
jungle clad river banks and a wide diversity of flora and fauna.
Accommodation of various levels is available in each area. These
pristine rivers provide excellent fishing.
COMMONLY LANDED FRESHWATER FISH
Malaysian Jungle Perch
Arowana ( protected)
Kap Rumput or Tongsan
PRIME SEA FISHING DESTINATION
• Pulau Aur, Pemanggil and Tioman
The above and other small
islands off the coast of northern Johor and Southern Pahang on the South
China Sea are prime Black Marlin grounds.
• Pulau Perak/Tukun Perak
Midway between Langkawi
and Penang at the southern end of the Andaman Sea. This island/atoll
destination is remote indeed, but the fishing is excellent.
• Labuan/lucornia Shoals
Lying just off the coast
of Sabah, the offshore banking centre of Labuan is the disembarkation
point for regional game fishing.
• Mabul Island/ Sulawesi
With waters of over 2000
metres in depth, this area is the centre for yellowfin Tuna fishing in
• Straits of Malacca
From Johor to Penang,
there are many off points for bottom fishing. Tides and currents need to
be taken into account before venturing out. Very fast currents
associated with the full moon and the new moon are to be avoided.
• East coast Peninsula
Most coastal waters offer
good fishing for snappers and groupers with Cobia, Sailfish and Rays
being fairly common.
West coast Sabah and Sarawak
The many offshore-shoals
boats boast fine fishing similar to the above.
COMMONLY LANDED FRESHWATER FISH
Dolphinfish (Mahi-Mahi) (Dorado)
Pisang – pisang