Fishing tends to be relaxing and puts you out in the open for some fresh air.
If you’re feeling pressured by work or even like to have some solitary time out, fishing can be a good hobby for you. It’s relaxing and puts you out in the open for some fresh air, yet not necessarily always under the baking sun. Since the sea is usually out-of-the way for most of us, consider a commercial paypond. There are literally hundreds of these scattered throughout Malaysia, and some in surprisingly accessible places. Be warned though, if you really get hooked on this hobby, it can end up costing you a fair bit if you go crazy on fishing gear. Here’s a variety of fishing spots you can consider.
Located near the town of Semenyih, Fish Valley is one of the most perfect family getaways in the KL area. It’s only about 20km from the KL city centre, yet resides amidst tranquil settings. Framed by mountains, this place comprises a number of payponds, as well as features a restaurant, hiking trail, and ATV rides. Fees for recreational fishing are low, starting from RM7 for an entire day, and get progressively more expensive if you want to target other species, such as the famed Haruan and Toman. Fish Valley practices catch-and-release fishing, but you can buy the fish you catch from them.
Located in a very urbanized area of Shah Alam is the Seksyen 24 paypond. This place is fairly packed with anglers, so try avoiding weekends. The pond is well stocked with many species of exotic fish, such as the giant Mekong catfish, Amazon Redtail, Alligator Gar, and the violent Pacu. The Mekong here get quite large, and rumours of a 50 kilo monster float around, although so far the larger landed are more in the range of 20 to 30 kilos. The pond is restocked around once a month, usually up to one ton of live fish going in at a time. Catch and release is also practiced here, but you’re free to take back as many of the fish you want which are under two kilos. Come armed with strong rods and tough line.
*image courtesy of Hulu Langat Fishing Resort
One of the newest and brightest stars among the high-end ponds is Hulu Langat Fishing Resort. Aimed at rivalling famous regional fishing spots such as Thailand’s Bungsamran, this place is new, clean, and naturally comes with the famed Mekong catfish. Fishing guides are provided, and there are strict rules to follow as there are keen to protect their fish. The guides will teach you how best to mix your bait, rig your equipment, and basically do all they can to ensure you have a great fishing experience. Just remember, service comes at a price.
Empangan Air Kuning is located in the midst of a massive park, Taman Pertanian Malaysia, in Shah Alam. Most of the park is populated by joggers, cyclists, and the scenery is simply picturesque. You’ll have to park outside of the fishing area, and pay for a fishing pass to hike down to the waters. The slope is steep, and coming back up with all your fishing gear will have you huffing and puffing away. This pond is strictly catch and release, and there are gamekeepers to ensure you don’t sneak away with anything. Local species abound, with lovely Tilapia as well as something not usually found in most ponds, the Red-bellied Pacu which is beautiful in its colouration.
For those of you closer to the North of the Peninsula, the options get even better. Thye Fishing Village is located in Bendong, and surprisingly somewhere hidden inside a plantation. The roads are rough, but the fishing experience here is not to be missed. The premises offers residency in rooms in large chalets, with air conditioning included. This pond stocks saltwater specis such as Grouper, Seabass, and most interestingly, Tarpon and Milkfish, which is quite rare in commercial payponds here. The owner is friendly and cooks up a great meal at the restaurant near the pond. This is a good place for fishing enthusiasts who want a couple of days away from the urban jungle.