Paka, Terengganu – 15 Aug 2015
Officially this will be our first SW Outing in Terengganu. Its a 350km drive from KL thus this is probably one of the furthers trip we ever ventured. I have been fed with reports of outstanding fishing around a place called Paka, which is less than 50km from Terengganu’s capital – Kuala Terengganu. Diamond Trevally, Long Fin Trevally are some of the specialty species plus the famous Red Coral Trout. Usually season starts right after East Coast Monsoon which is in April and ends in October. This trip is considered pretty late so we are hopping to see some great catch from Paka.
How good is this place? Well pretty awesome as catch report stated the heaviest DT ever landed was 12kg and Barred Mackerel weighing more than 15kg! and about 6ft long! Video footage of several anglers got their line spooled makes it even tempting and itching to come at this place. 6of us (Me, Octo, Boss, Bard, Gan and Scott) set off on friday night to Paka and we reach at our pre-booked homestay at 3.00am in the morning. I hope we could reach earlier but the traffic to get our KL were pretty bad. Packed our stuff, rig our jigs and we set off to bed as soon as possible. Suggested setup? Pe 0.6 – 3 with 3000 or 4000 size reel (daiwa) and the usual jig color that are effective is Green/Yellow, Pink and Silver.
The tides is quite high today haha thus we need to leave as early as possible before we were caught on the bridge as it was build with not enough gap on the surface of the water. So if you guys planned to come here be sure to check on the tides. We set off to buy breakfast at 7.00am and embark on journey at 8.00am. Mr Nazri will be our skipper today and first impression he is punctual and knowledgeable on the condition of the tide. We had our breakfast on-board, with little rest hopefully I am able to withstand through out the day.
Itchy hand! First outing with Mr.Octo
On deck with Scott, Gan and Boss. All our gears are ready!
Not to worry on the excess carb coz today we are gonna burn it all!
Approaching the bridge and a traditional fishing boat at the background
Were barely made it! If we were late 5-10 minutes we have to wait until 12.00 to get to our fishing ground. Talk about pure luck and hopefully we are lucky today haha 🙂
It doesn’t took long to reach our first jigging spot. It was nearer to the shore and the first thing our boatman did was to drift along a man made structure called “Unjam”. It is used to attract small fish to seek refuge and it is also a smart way to ensure predators would stay close to the Unjam to hunt down small baitfish. So we are targeting the predatory fish as we are on top of the food chain haha. After a few drifts still no luck. We move out further to stop by at another Unjam. After the boat finishes calibrating our jigging spot, It was Scott who scored our first fish of the day!
Scott got the first strike! It fought well and really hammered his Silver Jig!
A super size Queenfish! It was probably weighing more than 5kg and was about 4ft long. With its strong fast runs and acrobatic jumps, Queenfish is a great gamefish. Scott safely released the Queenfish back to the sea 🙂
We continue on fishing at the same spot hoping to land other pelagic species. We’ve notice a glimpse of Barracuda and Garfish playing just beneath the surface. I had a couple of strike of Gar Fish same as the others. We have no intention of catching them and it seems they are all over the place, ambushing our jig when it was just about the reach the surface.
We head out further and stopped by at another Unjam. Octo manage to score a table size grouper and even Scott scored one. I had a couple of takers but could not hooked it properly. Probably a grouper or any other common species that are lurking on the sea floor. Since Gar Fish are still around, Octo decided to have fun on Ultra Light rod and reel. Using a heavy spoon tied on a metal wire leader it was easy to entice them to hit the shining metal spoon.
Scott with a common grouper.. safely released in our cooler box lol
Hooked! Ganko Blank UL Rod paired with Shimano Technium 1000. Maximum fun!
Foul hooked it, so in the cooler it must go 🙂
Catching Kerisi is much more effective on Sabiki as compared to Metal Jig
Baby Grouper fallen for Storm metal Jig!
After our first few hours of fishing, we only landed a handful of fish. No monsters are to be seen yet but soon Boss were about to have his fight of the day. Using Senses Candy Metal Jig, he cast the jig and begin to work on his horizontal jigging. Seeking top water predator like Tenggiri or even Gar Fish. After few unsuccessful cast, finally a fish took his bait. We thought it was a Gar Fish but as soon as it jumps out of the water we were surprised it was a Mahi-Mahi or Dorado!
It was fun to watch it perform acrobatic jumps, it fights more like a Queenfish but to have a Dorado for this trip just adds the variety of species that are available in Paka coastal area. The fight was brief, Boss finally land it safely on deck. It was fierce and jump all over the place. After a quick photo session, it was safely release in our cooler box haha.
A quick snapshot of a Dorado jumps out of the water, they swim fast too
A new species that has never been caught in Fishyology outing, Dorado!
Since we went out early, the day felt longer and I was already tired when we reach 2.00pm. I stopped for a while and went it to the bunker and rest. Since we are heading back to KL tonight it was necessary to sleep at least an hour to regain some strength. Hehe I kept peeking at others looking if they have caught any but it seems the fishy takes a break too.
It was not long when I heard Fish ON!! at the back. It was Wan’s jig has been taken by a worthy opponent. The fight was intense and finally he landed our first Diamond Trevally of the day!. It was 2-3kg size but surely it will put a smile to those who caught it. I was tempted to start jigging again but I decided to continue my sleep until I feel refresh again.
Towards the end of the session all of us continue on Jigging and we landed several species like Grouper, Barracuda and our first Long Fin Trevally. Boss had another fierce fight but this time the fish got the upper hand. Breaking his Zerek Light Jerker PE 1-3 and earn its freedom. Clearly it was unexpected, that rod was pretty tough, I guess after years of hauling fish finally it gave in and break.
Wan with his trophy catch, a Diamond Trevally!
A nice size Grouper will put a smile in your face 🙂
Wan with his Barracuda! A common species in this area!
Long Fin Trevally or Sagai are fearsome foe, they are a distance relative to the famous Giant Trevally. Even at this size they can still pack a good punch to the anglers rod! Super!
Towards the evening, the sea was choppy due to the strong winds. We drift too fast and occasionally we would miss our jigging spot. That proves to be our Achilles heel as we are not able to send our jig to the perfect spot. It is frustrating as we kept missing strike zone.
The captain drift several more times and Gan seems to be able to read the flow of the drift and manage to get several strike but yet again the fish were not hooked properly. We called it a day at 6.30 and head back to shore. It took an hour to reach the jetty and it was a great exploratory trip. I guessing we came here a bit too late or on the wrong tide. A mixed bag of everything and the place was very diversified with pelagic and game species. All in all, we give this place a 8/10 fishing spot. The boat was spacious, the spot was superb and the service was outstanding. We will be back next year hopefully in April or May right after the monsoon season ends. Special thanks to Gan who hook us up with this trip and be sure to check more report from us!
We win some and we lose some, as long as we kept on going things will always come your way 🙂