Malaysia, covering the Malay Peninsula and the north and north-western part of the Island of Borneo offers a prime tropical paradise that presents the angler with an opportunity to discover one of the world's newest game fishing destinations
Endowed with a wide variety of marine and inland angling destinations, Malaysia hosts a plethora of fish species in both environments. The tropical seas hold most of the main target species of tropical game fish including the king of the seas, the Black Marlin and the Blue Marlin. Striped Marlin have also been taken and the Pacific Sailfish is common.
Tuna - Yellowfin, Bigeye and Dogtooth are found in the deep water areas around atolls and drop offs. Wahoo, Giant Trevally (GT), Cobia, Narrowbarred Mackerel, Dorado, Barracuda, Escolar, Rainbow Runner, Great Amberjack and big sharks add to the variety of game fish to be found. The rivers and lakes, surrounded by primeval topical rain forest, provide a backdrop to angling second to none.
These pristine rainforest waterways, although more limited in the number of species extant, nevertheless, can test angler's skills to the limit. The Malaysian Red Mahseer, the Ferocious Giant Snakehead and the Hampala Barb all possess superb fighting qualities.
Many other species exist, often not in the record book, while quite a number of species are not even identifiable. Malaysia has recorded International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world records in both environments.
Planning Your Trip
Proper planning is always essential when considering a serious angling trip anywhere. Malaysia is no exception.
A properly organised fishing package encompassing local knowledge may prove the difference between success and failure. Fishing is normally customised to suit angling groups and their particular choice of destination. Whether you want salties or freshies, or a combination of both, packages can be tailored accordingly.
The main season for the Rompin Sailfish runs from mid March to the end of October. Royal Belum, upper Temenggor, is year round fishing.
What you should know
1. Rules, Regulations & Bag Limits:
Currently rules and regulations with regard to angling are being drafted by the government. However, at present no legislation has been imposed on angling in general. The only exception to this is with regard to national and marine parks. In national parks a permit to fish is required and is obtainable for a fee of approximately US$3 from parks' offices. A camera fee of approximately US$2 is also imposed. In marine parks, fishing is not permitted within 2 nautical miles of the park boundary. In order to sustain the quality of angling, catch and release is highly recommended for the majority of species.
As with all tropical destinations, it is advisable to carry high UVA / UVB sun block skin protection and good quality polarised sunglasses. Hats should be worn at all times during exposure to sun. Anti-malarial protection is strongly recommended.
All angling visitors should arrange their own personal accident insurance and sufficient cover for their fishing tackle, cameras and other valuables. You will be requested to sign a waiver form.
Many factors need to be considered when it comes to angling and even if all the required measures are taken to ensure a good trip there is still no known method to force a fish to bite. Excellent catches, however, should prevail.
5. Accommodation, Food and Drinks
All itineraries include accommodation(usually twin sharing), meals at site(including packed lunch) as part of the package. This, however, is mainly local fare. Bottled water and soft drinks are provided on board. All other drinks and food are at one’s own expense.
Sailfish Kuala Rompin
The small east coast town of Kuala Rompin, located at the south east coast of the Malaysian state of Pahang and facing the South China Sea, is home to one of the world's great angling secrets.
The new town is small and compact, and has a couple of filling stations, five to six rows of shop houses, a small bus station and a couple of local, open-style restaurants.
The town is small and quiet and easy to walk around. There is no night life as such, no bars or clubs-but some local open coffee shops sell beer and there is a wine/cigar shop. A few hotels exist within a 5 to 15km radius of the town and these range up to possibly 3 star level.
We, however, prefer to stay at the local riverside chalets. These are clean, have attached bathroom and air-conditioning and are only a minute walk from a good restaurant and one minute-walk from the jetty where we board our boats. There's nothing nicer than sitting in the open with a cold drink and good food on a balmy tropical evening.
The fishing at Kuala Rompin
It is difficult to describe something that, until you have been there and seen/done it yourself, is almost beyond comprehension. The clear, azure waters off Kuala Rompin boast one of the world's great angling secrets.
And it is still a relatively unknown destination for the Indo-Pacific Sailfish. The season runs from around mid-March to early November each year. At certain times, the Sails congregate in such numbers that daily double-figure catches are the norm. However, not every day is Christmas, but all in all you would be most unlucky if you don't get a couple, at least!
Other species include the Black Marlin (mainly juveniles but the odd 100kg specimen comesup now and then), Cobia, Dorado (Mahi-mahi), Barracuda, Narrow-barred Mackerel, GT and other Trevally species, and bottom-fishing Snappers, Groupers and Parrotfish.
The Sailfish of Kuala Rompin are not monsters as such, but average around the 20kg to 50kg mark. That being said, our biggest for 2015 weighed in at 71kg - a decent fish in any language.
The thrill, however, is in that first run when 200 to 300 metres of line can strip off at 100km per hour! And then that first leap, and maybe a tail walk as well - an awesome sight!
Guides, boats and tackle
As you can see in ‘About Us’ both Aziz and Anthony have a wealth of experience in the world of fishing.
There are, however, a number of websites proclaiming to be specialists in the Rompin Sails. Chances are, they are little more than middlemen.
Others claim to have been the first, the founders of the Rompin Sails, or the best. We claim non of this. We are good at what we do, we were the pioneers of the Rompin Sailfish in the late mid 90’s (before we established Hook, Line and Sinker) and we still outfish others most of the time.
ROYAL BELUM (Upper Temenggor Dam)
The massive man made impoundment of Temenggor covers around 150 sq km. Developed for the production of hydro power the upper reaches, called ‘Royal Belum’ is a state park, a virgin tropical rainforest covering, some 1,175 sq km surrounding the upper reaches of the dam. The many rivers of the flooded forest boast some fine fishing. The ‘King’ of these waters is the Giant Snakehead (Toman), a powerful and ferocious predator. Other species include the Malayan Mahseer, the Malaysian Boneytongue (Arowana or Kelisa), Hampala Barb (Malaysian Jungle Perch), and the Giant Featherback(Belida).
The virgin tropical rainforest backdrop makes for excellent pictures/video’s, totally at one with nature. A plethora of wildlife abounds in the forest. If you are lucky, sharp eyed and very very quiet there is a variety of wildlife you may encounter. Monkeys, wild pig, elephants, deer and tapir are the most commonly seen mammals. Tigers also inhabit the forest but are seldom, if ever, seen. Numerous bird species from the fish eagle to hornbills, humming birds and jungle fowl (the original chicken) can be spotted regularly.
Accommodation is pretty basic but clean and tidy and boats (18 footers)and guides are provided for fishing.