Fishing In Malaysia

Fishing in Malaysia is one of the many activities that you can do while you are here. Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are surrounded with long coastlines hence sea fishing here is a must for serious anglers. The best time for fishing here is from the months of March to October.

Serious anglers will go to the Spratlys Islands, located in South China Sea off the north-west coast of Sabah. The Spratlys is virtually unexplored with coral atolls rising from the depths of 1 km to 2 km. The four main reefs here are Swallow or Layang-Layang Reef, Dallas Reef, Royal Charlotte Reef and Ardasier Reef.

Head for Pulau Aur or Pulau Dayang in South China Sea off the coast of Johor if you are looking for Black Marlin. These islands are not too crowded as they are located further away from the mainland.

The west coast of Peninsular Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca has many good spots for fishing. The water here is calmer compared to the South China Sea on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Here are some locations that anglers will go.

  • Kuala Selangor is a small fishing village on the west coast of Selangor and many visitors visited this place for seafood before visiting the fireflies along the river of Selangor. Pulau Angsa is the nearest location from this town to do your fishing. Rent a boat from Kuala Selangor, Sungai Besar or Port Klang for a day trip or consider a 3D/2N fishing trip.
  • Pulau Sembilan and Pulau Jarak are located off the coast of Perak and are popular with anglers for barracuda, trevallies, groupers, jenahak and mackeral. Charter a boat from Lumut to go to these islands.
  • Kuala Sepetang (used to be called Port Weld) and Kuala Gula are located in Perak and fishing around these bays may be rewarded with snappers or barramundi that thrive in these areas.
  • Pulau Perak in Kedah is another island off the Straits of Malacca for game fishing. Chartering a boat with accommodation is necessary as this island is quite a distance away from the mainland(6 hours from Langkawi Island). Getting a group of fishing enthusiasts to go along will help to reduce the cost per person of the trip. Giant trevallies and groupers are plenty here. Use bait such as live squid for better results. You can charter a boat from Teluk Bahang, Penang or Langkawi Island to get here.
  • Langkawi Island is the place to go for sun, sand and excellent beaches. You can charter a boat at Kuala Kuah and fish around the many islands here. Squid, trevallies and groupers can be the catch of the day.

If you are into Sailfish, try the coast off Kuala Rompin, Johor.  If you are a beginner and want to try fishing for Marlin or Barracuda, consider going for a day trip from Kuala Lumpur. 

If you are into freshwater fishing, lakes and rivers fishing are other options that you can do. Kenyir Lake in Terengganu and Tememggor Lake in Perak are the two main inland fishing that are popular with serious anglers. Giant Snakehead or Toman is one of the species that thrives on these man-made lake. Other smaller lakes are Lake Bera and Lake Chini, shallow swampy lakes located in Pahang.

For beginners, there are many lakes and ponds located near the city and townships that you can try your angling skills before graduating to more serious game fishing destinations. Some of the lakes are state-owned and you will need to apply for permit to fish here. There are also many private ponds that you can fish for a fee.

It is always a good idea to learn the types of fish that you are fishing. Here are some of the main freshwater and marine species that you probably will encounter.

Fishing In Malaysia - Freshwater Species

Common Name Scientific Name Remarks
Catfish Many Species Tapah is the largest species. Most
species live in lakes and rivers.
Giant Featherback or Belida Notopterus chilata Leaps a lot when caught.
Giant Goramy or Kalui Osphronemua goramy Suitable for fly fishing.
Giant Snakehead or Toman Channa micropeltes Ferocious.
Hampala Barb or Sebarau Hampala macrolepidota River fish.
Jullieni Barb or Temoleh Probarbus jullieni River carp which is quite rare now.
Malaysia Bonytongue or Kelisa Scleropagus formosus Also known as arowana, protected
and must be released when caught.
Red Mahseer or Kelah Tor tambroides Thrives in rivers of National Parks.

Fishing In Malaysia - Marine Species

Common Name Scientific Name Remarks
Bigeye Tuna Thunus obesus Caught by trolling.
Black Marlin Makaira indica Found at the Spratlys
and Aur Island.
Blue Marlin Makaira nigricans Found at the Spratlys.
Cobia Rachycentron canadum Fights well.
Dogtooth Tuna Gymnosarda unicolor Night fishing using jigs.
Dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus Fun with great leaps.
Escolar or Oilfish Revettus pretiosus Deep dweller.
Giant Trevally Caranx ignobilis Liking for large poppers.
Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda Widely distributed.
Greater Amberjack Seriola dumerili Can grow to 70kg.
Groupers Many species Habitats near coral beds. Popular dish.
Narrowbarred Mackerel Scomberomorus commerson Popular dish.
Rainbow Runner Elagatis bipinnulata Found close to rocky islands.
Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus Found mostly off Rompin.
Short Bill Spearfish Tetrapturus angustirostris Quite hard to find.
Sharks Many species Found near atolls.
Snappers Many species Bottom dwellers and
popular dish.
Trevallies Many species Abound near corals
and wrecks.
Wahoo Acanthocybium solandri Fastest fish
in the sea.
Wrasse Many species Tendency to rush to
rocky structures.
Yellowfin Tuna Thunus albacares Highly prized Sport Fish.

Fishing In Malaysia - Lakes and Rivers

Kenyir Lake
This man-made lake in Terengganu is the biggest in South East Asia. Malaysian Mahseer and Giant Snakehead(Toman) can be found here.

Kelong Fishing

Kelong Paradise Waterfront Resort
You can stay overnight and fish here. This kelong in the Straits of Malacca is located off the coast of Sabak Bernam.

State Government-Owned Ponds & Private Ponds

Fishing In Petaling Jaya
There are 5 public parks that you can fish managed by MBPJ. You will need to apply for permit to fish here.

Fishing In Shah Alam
There are 8 public parks that anglers will soon be able to fish once the MBSA open it to the public for fishing.

Danau Serendah
This private fishing pond is located near Serendah Waterfalls.

Shah Alam Agriculture Park
You will need to buy fishing permit ticket to fish here.

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