SG. MERBOK, KEDAH – 21 FEB 2015
Sg. Merbok, Kedah has been in our to do list since January in exploring new fishing opportunity and spot over the northern territory of Malaysia. Estuary fishing for Barramundi and Mangrove Jacks has always been a dream fishing trip for me. Estuary is define as a location where an inflow from the sea meet up with the drainage from the inland and the water tides dynamically shaping the ecology of the area. It is home for many game species such as Barracuda, Barramundi, Mangrove Jacks, Baby GT’s, Groupers and even Black Bass in the Eastern Territory of Sabah. Surrounded by mangrove tree that acts as a shelter for baby fishes and also acts as a barrier for tidal erosion.
I still remember when I finished my SPM examination, I used to head down to Bagan Lalang with Izzuddin and Asrazi for our monthly fishing activity and boy we had fun catching “Ikan Gelama” or Croaker Fish. Just an ordinary fishing trip and it was good memories 🙂 Thank you to Shamrilz from GoPancingMalaysia who is kind enough to show me around and set a fishing trip in Sg. Merbok. Mant Fosa also joined us as he is on holiday with his family in Penang. Since this is an exploratory fishing trip, we will only use live bait and dead bait for this trip to just test and scout the area for further fishing opportunities. Our trip didn’t start well though as I overslept haha and even Mant Fosa overslept too haha. I head down, meet the guys in Bertam, Penang and we drove off to the jetty.
Hand picked by the best haha
We made a short stop over a local tackle shop to buy our bait supplies and terminal tackle. Since its Chinese New Year, all tackle shop in Alor Star and Sg Petani closed for CNY festive holiday. We were lucky that our bait shop has almost everything that we need.. KUDOS!!
Our skipper today was Shamrilz MARA apprentice “Bob” as currently he is in the Grouper Farming business. He sold all his Grouper before CNY, pretty awesome. Everything is well placed and build. I even get to hold a fishing poll that are used by Bob to fish for Barramundi. It has 100lb mainline, a big fishing hook and the pole was probably close to 10ft in length.
The pole will be placed near the water banks and left there overnight. Any unlucky estuary predator which ate the bait will have hard times freeing itself from the strong elastic bamboo pole. Estuary fishing requires anglers ability to judge the condition and tide of the water to ensure their trip is a success. Changing condition caused by weather, tide, water clarity will effect the outcome of any fishing trip.
Local would use bamboos with line and hook to fish for Barramundi, since this pole is sitting on table, I guess today is not a good time for Barramundi fishing 🙁
Shamrilz and Mant Fosa ready to hunt Sg. Merbok game species 🙂
Selfie on the boat, heading to to main river system 🙂
Saltwater prawn is one of the species available in this ecosystem and it has been the species that are position in the bottom of the food chain. That means other species would eat it as part of their diet and using live prawn is the best bait to go around this area.
We begin our session at a nearby structure where they place fishing nets to catch prawns. Predatory species such as Barramundi or Mangrove jacks loves to stay close in the area to ambush their pray. However fishing for this species requires great luck and for today only croaker fish and sw catfish takes our bait.
My trophy catch today, Ikan Gelama haha
Shamz with his first catch of the day, a Croaker fish or Ikan Gelama hehe
Mant Fosa with his Croaker Fish haha 🙂
Beautiful scene, if only the river is cleaner this can be a good fishing spot 🙂
With no target species on the list of our catches today, I guess this is going to be a relaxing, mind freeing activity. Simply enjoying good conversation while observing nature at its best state really turns the mood up. Things has been a bit intense back in the office, but to get a chance to enjoy this beautiful moment simply priceless. We were just messing around and requested 2 species from the river. We want a small stingray “Ikan Ketuka” and “Ikan Gerut2”. Not long, Bob landed a small stingray and Shamz landed a baby Gerut-gerut haha.
One ikan gelama after another, 🙂
This one looks like Chao Praya Catfish, but rest assured this is a normal “Ikan Duri” or sw catfish. Safely released back to the river 🙂
Small Stingray, “Ikan Ketuka” is one of many species inhabits this estuary ecosystem. I’m not sure if it can grow to a bigger size or its a smaller species to its cousins.
All the sudden, this man is in action. A strong pull at the other end, could it be one our targeted species???
Lol we are bound to return home without any barramundi today haha. Mant Fosa landed a big croaker fish haha
Ikan Gerut-Gerut, courtesy from our Skipper today, En Shamrilz 🙂
Shamrilz landed an unknown species. This the first time we saw this kinda fish and the name of this fish is unknown by me so far.
We ended our fishing session at 4.00pm with box of full of croaker fish haha. We head to the coastal area to have our late lunch. I cant recall the name of the place but its a place where locals would go and have Mee Udang. Freshly prepared Mee udang and fresh prawns what makes this place special. Located just next to the beach, travelling locals and anglers like us would definitely stop over for a bowl of Mee Udang.
Thank you again to Shamrilz and Mant Fosa for organizing this humble trip and can’t wait for our next trip in March :D. I guess the quote ” A day of fishing is better than a day at work” really is true 🙂
Great way to end our day 🙂