Saturday, March 25, 2006

Attack of the ‘toman’

KUALA LUMPUR: Prized birds at Zoo Negara have been falling prey to an unlikely predator in its lake – the ikan toman (giant snakehead fish).

Zoo Negara Reptile House and Veterinary Department supervisor Jamsari Mohamad said the fish, considered the dominant species in the lake, were becoming increasingly unmanageable and were endangering the bird population in the zoo.

He said the fish attacked in the morning and afternoon, with the birds sustaining injuries in the feet and neck, while some had also been reported dead.

‘THIS BIG’: Jamsari says the giant snakehead fish is a danger to the birds at Zoo Negara

“We used to have mandarin ducks some years ago but they are all gone now,” he pointed out.
“The fish have been living in the lake for as long as the lake has been there, and it is difficult to estimate their number.''

It was only three years ago that the zoo authorities found out that the ikan toman had been attacking the birds.

According to Jamsari, the zoo staff now net the ikan toman every two or three months to control the population, but the fish reproduce very quickly.
MEAL TIME: A worker feeding birds at the Zoo Negara lake recently. It is believed that very little food is left for the birds as the giant snakehead fish will gobble up everything first.

“It is also risky to try draining the lake to catch them as this will endanger the other fish species,” he added.

He said zoo keepers fed the birds – which include painted storks, white swans, pink black pelicans, little green herons, black-crowned herons, black-headed ibises, Egyptian geese and black swans – with 60kg of ikan kembung (black mackerel) twice daily.

“But it is believed that only about 10kg of the food is left each time for the 300 plus birds as the giant snakehead fish will gobble up everything before they can start eating,” he added.

He said an aquarium was under construction at the zoo and the fish would be one of the main attractions once it opens around the middle of the year.

“We have been keeping the fish caught in the lake for the aquarium for one year now and have more than 10 fish in our collection,” he noted.

Jamsari said the zoo had also been organising annual fishing competitions since 2004 to reduce the lake's ikan toman population.

This year, the competition will be held from 8am to 2pm on April 2.

It is limited to 300 participants.

The registration fee is RM70.

Those interested can call 03-4108 3422/7/8, or Zariatul Zita (012-926 3508), Junaidi (019-371 2195), Ahmad (012-351 9589) or Mazrul (013-623 6319).

~Source : The Star, Saturday 25 March 2006, by

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nightmare Trip

Last weekend me and my regular kaki went for fishing. The plan was like this....
  • Push off from Taman Desa at 8.00 am
  • Buy live prawn from Pulau Indah Paypond
  • Start fishing at Pulau Indah at about 10.30 am
  • Leave Pulau Indah at around 1.30pm to fish in Banting
  • Start fishing in Banting at around 3.30 pm
  • Leave Banting at around 8.00 pm
That was the initial plan. AS USUAL our trip never seems to follow plan. What happened was the total opposite.
We left Taman Desa at around 8.30am. And after buying the necessary items for our trip we proceeded to Pulau Indah. Did a quick stop at the paypond to get our prawns and we are off to our first fishing location. Angler's Paradise, Pulau Indah.
Arrived at Angler's Paradise at around 10.00 am. After unloading our gears, we decided on where we were gonna fish. The place looks VERY promising. Its at the rivermouth flowing into the sea. (Click here for video of the location). Soon we realized something was wrong. The tide was going out. Very soon we practically ran out of water to fish!!!!.
It was really hot and we were practically frying on the rocks. Note the colour of the rock that I am sitting on. That shows where the water is supposed to be when the tide is up.
Navin waiting for a bite.

We then decided to leave Pulau Indah and make our way to Banting. After loading all our fishing gears into the car, we then proceeded to leave the area. Guess what???!!!! MY CAR WAS STUCK...!!!! The front wheels got stuck in the soft sand. We tried everything that we could think off to get the car out but nothing was working. Instead, we were burying the car deeper into the sand. Alas.... after trying for 1 hour we gave up. I then had the honour of walking for about 1km to get help.
There was a fishing resort nearby, and I though I could get some help from them. Instead, I was told that it would cost me RM50.00 to get my car out. It seems that cars always seems to get stuck in the soft sand and these enterprising people decided that they could make quick cash from it. the rate was RM50.00 for daytime and RM60.00 for nightime. I had no choice but to pay RM50.00 to get my car out.
See how deep my tyres were. Note the rocks around the tyres. We were trying our very best to the the car out.
A closer look of my front tyre.
This was where my car used to be. Quite deep into the sand.

After getting out from our sandy grave, we then proceeded to fish in Banting. Navin has fished there before about 2 years ago and he is not too sure of the way there. Lucky, we managed to find the place without much difficulties. The place looks nice. We reached the place as the tide was coming up .(Click here for a video before tide up). We didn't was any time and proceeded to start fishing.
After fishing for about 1 hour or so.. I decided to try casting. I took out my Halco lure and started to cast. The first few cast were ok. I didnt cast for long. I would do about 20 cast then take a break. Soon the thing that feared the most happened. I did a wrong cast and my lure went flying into a tree. Navin was laughing at me at that time and I was desperately trying to save my lure. Luckily with my skills, I managed to get the lure out from the tree. Whew...!!!!
Halco in Tree

The day passed by slowly. We didn't get any fish at all. Nothing... there were a few strikes here and there but no solid hookups. I did manage to get an eel though. This eel took my bait and in the process committed suicide. What happened was after taking the bait, the eel had somehow managed to get tangle in my main line and it got strangled in the line. See the photo below.
Suicide eel

As a conclusion, we didn't really achieve what we had wanted to get. We ended up with 2 miserable belut and one small fish. Don't even know what fish was that. The Banting spot looked quite promising. (Click here for video when high tide). I'm sure this is not the last time that both of us will be at the Banting spot. The next time we come, we shall come with a vengence.

Summary of the trip : Got back home with sunburn, headache, muscle ache, bruises and scratches, and fever (only me).

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Lures

Got myself a few lures yesterday. Went down to Tightlines Sportfishing and got myself these lures.
  1. Halco Scorcerer 90 STD - Colour Code : R4
  2. Abu Garcia Terminator (Sinking) - 18g / 90mm (Model H-RT)
  3. Rapala Magnum - Silver Mackerel - Model CDMAG11 - Colour code : SM
  4. El-chepo lures (RM1 per lure. I got 5)

Scorcerer 90 Specifications
Length : 90 mm
Weight : 15 grams
Swim Depth : STD 3 metre
Hooks : No. 2 Mustad 3xx Trebles
Speed : 1 - 5 knots
Applications : Trolling / Casting
Buoyancy : Floating

Abu Garcia Terminator Specifications
Length : 90 mm
Weight : 18 grams
Hooks : No. 6 Trebles
Applications : Trolling / Casting
Buoyancy : Sinking

Rapala Magnum Specifications
Length : 111 mm
Weight : 24.8 grams
Swim Depth : 9 feet - 25 feet
Hooks : No. 1 Trebles
Applications : Trolling

El-cheapo lures

Thursday, March 16, 2006

SureCatch SureStore Fishing Bag

Remember my post to Santa (read : Dear Santa) that I posted before Christmas last year? Here is an update.....
"I DIDN'T GET THE BAG...!!!!!"
As a consolation.... I bought a different kind of bag early this month. Kinda like my birthday present. From Sharma to Karzie Fishie (pathetic huh... have to buy my own birthday present).
Well here it is.......

Product : SureCatch SureStore Fishing Bag
Model : SCB01 Large Shoulder Fishing Bag
Colour : Purple
Number of pockets : 11
Dimension = 50 (L) x 30 (W) x 30 (H)

:::::..... Front View .....:::::

:::::..... Back View .....:::::

:::::..... Side View .....:::::
:::::..... Side View .....:::::

:::::..... Top View .....:::::

:::::..... Inside with pocket .....:::::

:::::..... Pocket in a pocket .....:::::

Able to fit 7 Plano ProLatch StowAway Model 2-3600 when placed vertically

Able to fit 6 Plano ProLatch StowAway Model 2-3600 when placed horizontally

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fishing Buddies Needed

Dear loyal readers (If there is any lar),

Recently I had a problem. You see, me and my regular fishing buddy, Mr. DHL, wanted to fishing. We had the boat and the boatman has agreed to take us out.
Then we had a problem. We didn't have enough people to cover the cost. The boat cost around RM1000.00 and so far we only had two people confirmed. Don't tell me two people go fishing for RM 500.00 each.
We had tried to call all the known fishing buddies that we had, but no one was available.
I have decided to put up this post.

To any fishos out there,
If you ever need any fishing buddies, do drop me a line. I can be contacted at or
If you need people to make up the numbers, you can count on us. The both of us will respond promptly.

I do hope someone will respond to this plea of mercy. We also have some contacts for fishing at One Fathom Bank and a secret lubuk. Maximum 10 people per trip.... Do get in touch with us if you wanna go. We can help you plan a trip down.

Sharma aka Karzie Fishie

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Protect & Preserve

KUALA ROMPIN in southern Pahang has seen some impressive development over the past five years or so. New shops, hotels, housing estates and government offices have sprung up to serve not only the local populace but the increasing number of tourists – not just the Singaporeans during the school holidays, but all-year-round anglers.

Angling has become big business in Kuala Rompin, primarily because of the sailfish. It is probably one of the top five sailfish destinations in the world. I know of no other place where one boat of three to four anglers can catch and release 15 to 20 sailfish a day.

Kuala Rompin is one place where anglers do not have to exaggerate their catch, and it needs to be preserved and nurtured. We always talk about “world-class” in Malaysia; now we have a truly world class angling destination. What are the powers that be going to do to preserve it?

That the economy of Kuala Rompin benefits from angling tourists can’t be denied, but has this benefit ever been quantified? I have heard many figures bandied about, ranging from RM1mil to RM10mil a year. My personal calculation, a conservative figure, comes to around RM3mil annually from sport fishing alone.

My calculations take into account boat hire, hotel, food, fuel, ice, drinks and the purchase of goods from sundry shops, pharmacies and fishing tackle shops. This figure is increasing annually as more boats ply the waters for the anglers.

The corollary here is that if the sailfish stocks are depleted, the local economy will suffer. If catch-and-release of sailfish (others such as dorado and tenggiri can be kept) is practised, then more angling boats will enter the markets, with little or no effect on stocks. The boats are virtually fully booked now for weekends through to September. The scope for Kuala Rompin is huge.

Sailfish in Kuala Rompin need to be protected to ensure fishing tourism has a long life here. The sailfish in this picture were released alive. Only the first fish for any angler is allowed to be brought on board for photographic purposes, only for a brief period, before being released and resuscitated if necessary. All subsequent fish may only be photographed in the water.

But Thailand leads the way in attracting high-spending foreign anglers. A large swathe of their sea has been designated for recreational fishing only and trawlers enter at their peril. Enforcement is strong and trawlers are confiscated and fined if they fished in the recreational zone.

On the freshwater scene, Thailand has successfully developed the new, world-famous Bung Sam Lake as an international destination.

Malaysia had the opportunity 15 to 20 years ago to do the same with Tasik Kenyir. Alas, despite the meetings, study papers, articles and letters, nothing really happened. Many an announcement was made but that was as far as it got. The illegal netting was never controlled and enforcement virtually non-existent.

In all the years that I visited Kenyir, not once did I see any enforcement on the river areas where the anglers go. Not once was I stopped and had my ice-box checked. Neither were any of my fishing buddies.

I have not been to Kenyir for over three years now primarily because fish stocks are at a critical level. There’s nothing to catch! The number of serious anglers now visiting Kenyir has dwindled to a trickle.

Will the same thing happen to Kuala Rompin ?

In the last two seasons I have escorted anglers from UK, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Korea, Japan, Australia and the US.

Already trawlers are targeting the sails as other fish stocks decline. Sailfish are classed as trash fish for these fishermen. They are off-loaded at Tanjong Gemuk and sold to fertiliser manufacturers, Toman breeders (as a protein source) and Keropok Lekor (fish crackers) makers for as little as 50 sen a kilo. A 30kg fish is therefore worth RM15.00 dead. Alive, caught and released to be caught another day, it is worth thousands. Where is the economic sense in this?

If fished commercially they will disappear, and then there will be no more fish and no more anglers pumping millions of ringgit a year into a small-town economy.

Next year, 2007, is Visit Malaysia Year. Anglers are also tourists and, I might add, big spenders. Let 2006 be the year that action is taken to preserve this angling paradise. Let 2006 be the year that enforcement is properly carried out.

I remember a letter to The Star sometime around Sept 2005 from a German policeman. He fished the sails here and saw trawlers netting the waters. He dived in Tioman and saw lots of big steel bubu (fish traps) within the marine park area. He lamented that these fishing and diving attractions would disappear in a couple of years without protection and proper enforcement.

I hope the new Tourism Minister, MP for Kuala Rompin, and the minister responsible for fisheries can get together very soon, before it’s too late.

Kuala Rompin also needs to enhance its facilities. A new jetty would be a welcome sight. At present, the old jetty, although serviceable, does tend to put tourists off. It’s dirty, crowded, full of nets, and, often access to angling boats is difficult.

Let us not lose another angling paradise and revenue generator.

~Source : The Star, Saturday, 4 March 2006 - by ANTHONY GEOFFREY