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The 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.


Malaysia’s 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 Dogtooth Tuna.

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 excellent
• Tasik Chini
• Tasik Bera

These are both natural lakes set in peat swap areas. Fairly shallow, they offer a wide variety of species with reasonable accommodation.
• 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.


Giant Snakehead
Giant Featherback
Malaysian Mahseer
Malaysian Jungle Perch
Giant Catfish
Common Catfish
Giant Gourami
Grass Carp
Javanese Carp
Arowana ( protected)
Kap Rumput or Tongsan
Lampan Jawa



Game Fishing

• 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 Sea

With waters of over 2000 metres in depth, this area is the centre for yellowfin Tuna fishing in Malaysia.


• 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.


Black Marlin
Dolphinfish (Mahi-Mahi) (Dorado)
Giant Trevally
Great Barracuda
Narrowbarred Mackerel
Yellowfish Tuna
Rainbow Runner
Red Snapper
Golden Snapper
Tenggiri Batang
Pisang – pisang
Ikan Merah
Ikan Yu

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