Sg. Kenarong, Royal Belum – 29 Aug 2015
August was a busy month for me with several outings are listed down in my calendar. Rompin, Paka and Take me out fishing outing is some of the outing that has been executed brilliantly. Except for TMOF which is going to be reschedule to another date. Out off all the activity, there is always room for another personal trip of mine. Although not planned by me, I was invited to join TE and Pown for their annual Merdeka FW outing in Royal Belum. With limited tackle equipment and packed schedule, I make myself available on that date (29-30 Aug) for some FW outing.
It is always intimidating for me to venture into FW outing as it requires a heavy investment in tackle and lures. Yes we can the same reel and rod that are meant for SW outing, but its the different variation of lures that will determine the success rate of FW outing in Malaysia. Top water, shallow, deep cranks, poppers, sliders, buzzbait, spoons, jumpfrog are some of the lures required to start a FW outing and the list goes on and on.
Blast off to our first fishing spot! Feels good and ready to go!
Royal Belum is famous for Houseboat, Kelah Sanctuary, native people and the worlds largest flower, Rafflesia
We leave KL around 10.30 and stop by Ipoh to pickup TE from Kedah. It was a long journey as people are rushing back to their hometown due to the long merdeka holiday. We reach the jetty at 4.30am in the morning and relaxed for a while before the boat man picked us up at 7.00am. To my surprise we are staying at the Casarina boat house and the house boat was just awesome and has hotel like features. It was cozy and has all the basic facilities that we need like room, bathroom and kitchen.
We embark on our journey and basically we begin our morning session preparing our rod and reel, take a shower and breakfast before we head out to our first spot. The Casarina will be heading into Royal Belum but our boat will head in first to start our Sebarau and Toman hunting session. Our first spot is Teluk Y, just outside Royal Belum entry point. Small river flowing into the large lake. Since it is still morning its a good bet for us to land some Sebarau to kick start the day.
Teluk Y is our first casting spot, a Y shaped bay and there is a small river system that flows into the main lake. With several downed trees and bamboo that acts as a safe ground and ambush spot for Sebarau to hunt down their pray. What sort of lure to use in this area? Metal spoon, to be exact Abu Island Spoon 7g Silver. It is a perfect lure for Sebarau and lucky Pown has some extra spoons.
We need to cast into the structure and it is necessary to let it sinks right at the bottom and quickly retrieve it to trigger the killer instinct of Sebarau. I never had any luck on spoon before and to had a great guide to show us how to do it, I’ve scored my first Sebarau and this trip first catch! Pretty cool and to haul it on an ultra light rod just adds the icing to it.
Hampala Barb or local called it Sebarau is one of the best FW game species that is available in the Asean Region. Strong powerful run and known for its strong jaw, larger specimen can simply crush your lure and straighten 3x hooks
Pown working his lure, hoping to land his first catch 🙂
TE enjoying this outing, he landed a a huge sebarau last time outing here in Royal Belum
After an ecstatic feeling landing our first Sebarau, we continue to cast our lures along the banks. We can see clearly there is a lot of surface activity and most of them are Sebarau hunting small fishing along river banks. It was not long when Pown finally hooked on to an unknown species. It doesn’t fight as hard as the Sebarau but definitely it was a heavy species. As it closing in to our boat, we catch the first glimps of his catch and it was a Malaysian Native Catfish or Baung! It was huge probably weighing more than 1kg!
Baung is well known for its tasty flesh and can fetch up to 40-50 Ringgit per kilogram in the market. Since this is caught in the wild, it could have been priced even more! Still remember when I have my first taste of wild Baung 2 years ago in Jeram Ketir, Royal Belum and it was tasty indeed.
We continue on our fishing and stayed closer to a bamboo tree that covers a small patch of water. Pown cast his spoon right in the center of the structure and it soon it was taken by a decent size Sebarau. The fight was brief but intense, hauling the fish quickly out from the structure to avoid any snag. This time it was bigger than my fish and to avoid all the structure simply amaze me. I really don’t have any confidence throwing spoons or lure close or in the structure as I could have lost the lure. Pown suggested to use a single hook to at least decrease the tendency of lure to be snagged and it worked!
We stayed on until 12.00pm with a total tally of 6 Sebarau ranging from 700-900g each which is pretty decent. Still no sign of over 1kg or 2kg Sebarau but we definitely have chance to match them as we are staying in Royal Belum for 2 days. TE had a great start with 3 Sebby, Pown got 2 Sebby and 1 Baung and me just 1 Sebby haha. One thing particular about Sebarau fishing is when we lose one fish, it will totally spooked the fish. Even if we caught small one we are required to put in the holding line and released it after we decided to move on. All of the fish were caught on Abu Island 7g spoon which is a very very effective lure.
Fish on! The fish didn’t put a fight until the final moment 🙂 but it was to late 🙂
Definitely not a Sebarau 🙂
Baung aka native catfish is a delicacy for FW Fish lover. A great shot and probably weighing more than 1kg
Sebarau fallen for an Abu Island 7g Spoon
Not yet a trophy size but definitely will put a smile to your face 🙂
TE with his catch, this guy is very good when it comes to presenting and casting the bait. It seems he knows where are the potential Sebarau spot and with 3 to his name today was simply awesome 🙂
We ended our morning session and head back to the jetty to have our lunch and rest. Packed food from the mamak stall was a welcoming meal after a great morning run. We take our chance chit chatting with the Capt of Casarina, Pok Jan and his Deckhand Abg Joe. Very helpful and friendly guys a friend of Along RB. Its good to know the demand for boat house is steadily increase over the years and it provides job opportunities for locals.
I took the chance to recharge myself with a short power nap and shower. One thing that is challenging when it comes to FW fishing is the hot weather. It is even hotter when I compared to SW outing. Have a positive mind and attitude really does helps angler to continue to focus and excel. Next target location for our evening session is in Sg. Kenarong, the opposite path Sg Kejar and Sg Tiang. Sg Kenarong is a small river system that are connected to the main lake, a great spot for Sebarau! Since overall water level is low in Royal Belum, It is worth to take a visit to Sg Kenarong as the old river pathway can be easily be spotted and Sebarau would roam in a smaller area.
Off we go!
Locating old river system that are 200m below the surface!
To me, this is a perfect spot, with underwater structure, shallow pathway and flowing river. A perfect hideout for large Sebarau!
As we reach Sg. Kenarong, the sight was just amazing. It feels like we are in a different place. Several surface activity that are linked to Sebarau and Toman thrills us even more. We maneuvered towards the original pathway of Sg Kenarong which is 200m beneath the surface. As we reach nearer to the water source, it gets shallower and we can begin our fishing session by trolling towards upstream. TE was the only guy who trolled at that time using a Rapala Fat Rap 7cm.
After several minutes upstream, suddenly we stopped as TE lure were though to be snagged by underwater structure. He tried to pull it up and all the sudden, something heavy pulled the line out and dash frantically. TE were caught by surprise and try hard to stop the fish on full drag of its Daiwa Tatula HD Custom. Nothing can be done, basically nothing! Unstoppable! It all happens within a few seconds and finally the fish earn its freedom. Straightening the Rapala original treble hook with ease.
Some people who has not experience Malaysia FW fishing may have think that I stretch the truth with this sort of write up to entice people. Well me fellow readers, it really can happen. Sebarau is very strong and will use all the element surrounds it to win against an angler. We were shocked but fired up to end our day on high. As we reach the end, Sebarau frenzy is everywhere. Hunting small fish around he banks and fallen trees. TE casts his Rapala Shallow Shad Rap GFR color and scored a decent size Sebarau.
Out off all the lures in our box, it only took the Rapala Shallow Shad Rap GFR and currently we only have one. We hardly took any photo as we are too concentrated to hunt down more Sebarau. TE is the only successful person during the evening session. Me and Pown only manage to land juvenile Toman and we safely release it! Not even a photo was taken! lol. I think you can imagine how frenzy it is. Back in town, we are desperate to land even a small Toman but here, we simply don’t have time to amuse us with it. We are too occupied casting our lure and boy, how time flies so fast.
One last drift towards the outer banks of Sg. Kenarong, while I was casting towards the main river. I’ve witness a huge Sebarau strolling on the surface and it doesn’t even care about our presence. On my hand right now was only an UL rod, Daiko ULS762. I knew if that fat mama took it, it will be a one way ticket, but I just can’t stand that ego and arrogance. I took my chance and cast TE Rapala SSR GFR lure. It streak towards it but all the sudden turned away. I though I lose my chance. TE and Pown also cast their lure towards the area and all the sudden BANG!! Something took my lure. I haul it as fast as I could, tighten the drag drastically hoping that I give that fish one hell of a fight. As it comes nearer, it surfaces and it is not that huge Sebarau but another juvenile Toman.
Haha, damn, I thought that would be my trophy catch haha. I took my time and took photo of it. Such an amazing experience to witness its capabilities to dash towards the lure so fast. I took my chance but rezeki was not meant to be. That was our final action of the day. Landed 3 Toman and Pown another 2. TE with the perfect lure haul another 4 Sebarau. Satisfied? Extremely satisfied with the result. We head back to Casarina and it was already 9.00pm at night. Shower and then dinner, courtesy of Casarina crew just adds the icing on the cake. Extremely tired after travelling from KL with little rest and after 1 day fishing. Slept with ease and hoping tomorrow will be another great day!
Out of 5 Toman landed that day, this is the only lucky one that are photoed haha. Toman on Rapala SSR GFR