Sg Tiang, Royal Belum – 7 Oct 2015
Fresh water water expedition in Royal Belum was definitely one of the best way for local and foreign anglers to experience the diverse angling field that Malaysia has to offer. Its thick lush jungle and multiple mountain river system that connects to the main lake is filled with diverse FW species from Mahseer, Hampala Barb and Giant Snakeheads.
Vincent Timelli is visiting his brother who stayed in KL Kevin Timelli, they decided to go fishing in Royal Belum State Park, Perak right after a week stay in Tioman Island. We head out early to Royal Belum and reached a small town of Gerik for a short rest and breakfast. Gerik will be the final town and last stop to resupply stuff before we head to Tasik Banding Jetty. A night sleeping in the car was not ideal but it gets the job done as we are able to reach the jetty as early as possible to maximize our fishing time.
Supplies, bags and tackle! We are ready!
It will be another hour before we reach Sg Tiang Base Camp. The usual two stop for permit submission and security check point ensure Royal Belum State Park is properly managed and ensure the protection of the ecosystem. We were a bit tired but to watch the amazing view of Royal Belum keeps us awake. The weather was cooling, as heavy clouds shades our 1 hour journey. Luckily it didn’t rain as we were about to begin our first fishing session with Giant Snakehead.
The pathway to Sg Tiang becomes narrower and the sight of underwater logs sticking out of the water was one of the best feature of Royal Belum as this is a man made lake. The view of Orang Asli village was a welcoming sight, knowing there are people who stayed here even before the lake was made. We are so used to technology, proper infrastructure, and have been away from natural elements. Heading into Royal Belum adds a different perspective to our lives as it open ourselves being so close to nature and away from all the distractions that we are accustomed too. Fishing might be a small part of creating an overall moment here, but the journey and experience will last forever, hopefully 🙂
Welcome to Sg Tiang Base Camp, and our Fresh Water Expedition begins!
Sg Tiang Chalet, not bad!
A view from the chalet, an open concept that allows visitors to be close to nature
Surrounding area with camp sites and kitchen area
Eatery area, oversees the green lake and lush jungle
Reception area, managed by State Park Rangers, they are friendly and help full, and now we are off to our first fishing session for Giant Snakehead
Toman or Giant Snakehead was our main target for Day 1, we have live-bait and lures in our disposal and we out out to Sg Tiang main river system. There is a small community in Sg Tiang, where the Government built schools and community facilities to improve the well being of Orang Asli who lived here. The color of the water changes from green to tea like color. The idea is to cast our live-bait at surfacing Toman. We had a couple of good rises but as it went further deeper, we were not able to hunt them down as the water was too shallow.
An hour spent here but no even one snake head took our bait. We head out to the main lake hoping for a better luck this time. As we reach the area, it was literally filled with Toman. They are all over the place, large and small Toman surfaces and mock us as every cast of our surface and deep diving lures were not enticing enough for them. About to go crazy as they are everywhere!! We switched to live-bait hoping they are hungry for baby catfish haha.
Approaching the end of Sg Tiang, it was shallow as overall water level dropped 7-10 ft
On a mid heavy tackle, but Toman here proves to be to strong for us!
Changing to live-bait is a game changer for us, we are getting strikes but they were proven to be too strong even on mid heavy range tackle. It was the first time I had a strong take from Toman and it is a menacing fish. It goes directly into underwater structure, and snag the whole rig. No matter what we do, if its snagged we already lost the battle.
Some takers also cut the 40lb wire leader with ease… I have no answer to this issue and we continue on fishing hoping that atleast a small size Toman can be landed today. After 2 hours of fishing we finished all our live-bait and were forced to used lure again. As I mentioned many times in my previous blog, fishing for Giant Snakehead was no walk in the park. It takes pure determination and luck to get it to strike our bait or lure. Even if it does took it, landing it was another matter. They may look ferocious but they are quite shy. I got one good chance on Senses Savior50S lure, the Toman give it a chase as it approaches the boat it took the bait but I’m running out of water and the lure surfaces, and it turned away! What a bummer!
The Timelli Brothers didn’t gave up and continue on hunting for snakeheads, their effort was admirable if only they were rewarded with a decent size fish! But it was not meant to be.
It was getting late and we head to a different spot hoping that we can find a Hampala Barb or Sebarau to make it interesting for Day 1. Still luck was not on our side as each of our cast is fruitless. A new spot I did notice a small log cross over underneath the water. I cast my new Senses Savior 50s hoping that a Sebarau might wait and ambush my lure. Suddenly bang! A small fish took the bait, I thought it was a Sebby but a baby Giant Snakehead took it haha. That marks the end of Day 1. It was tough but still we have another day tomorrow to turn things around. We head back to base camp and cooked a nice meal for all of us to keep the moral high. We head to bed early as we need to be in our fishing spot 6.00am in the morning tomorrow.
Senses Savior50s, I like this lure!!!!
Kevin Timelli pose with a baby Giant Snakehead. If only we can land a bigger one that would be awesome. Anyway there is still one day to go and keep our heads up!.
Judgement day hahaha.. It now or never. The day we need to catch something! We head our breakfast and straight head to our Sebarau fishing spot along the main stretch of Sg Tiang. It was still dark and cold as it rains all night. It took us at least 30 minutes before we reach our Sebarau spot. Spoon will be the our first choice of lure! It worked the last time I went here so Im hoping that it will work in this new location too.
As we reach our first spot, there are lot of fallen trees and underwater structure. A great place for Sebarau to ambush its pray. They only thing they did not know that the silver spinning lure will probably be their last “pray” that they would ambush Muahahahaha. I showed them the right technique and hoped they would succeed today. I cast my Abu Island spoon just at the edge of the structure. As I about to retrieve it, an unknown species took it and I struggle to to hold on to it. The assailant manage to run away with it and with my spoon (TT). A great way to start a day, loosing your favorite lure.. NOT!! Bronze spinner bait, my next best choice. I cast at the same place and after several tries finally Fish ON!!!
Sweettttttt 🙂 Not a formidable size but still it packs a punch! A Sebarau on Abu Garcia Bronze spinner bait! Now this is a great way to start the day!
Vincent Timelli and his first Sebarau! This time fallen for Senses Savior 50S!
Kevin Timelli finally scored his first fish in this trip! Game On!
We never look back since then, landing one fish after another. It is great to see them having fun casting lure and spoons. They also getting better and better, casting right at the edge of structure, in between trees, within bushes to maximize their catch rate. It was awesome! Kevin scored another big Sebarau with an Altima Spoon! Vincent end the day with the most catches! An honor to know you guys and you guys are great anglers! Great anglers don’t whine but we keep our heads up and improve in the field.
Attaque Rapide! That is the description from Kevin about Sebarau!
Enjoying sweet success haha!
My last Sebarau of the day 🙂
Lunch Break, 11pm and we starts to feel the sun’s heat, marked the end of our Sebarau fishing 🙂
We head off for the afternoon session hoping for a last chance fishing for Giant Snakehead. The fish is still around but yet again all our effort were not being reward fairly as the Toman are not interested with what ever we throw at them. It was 2pm and we can see rain in the distance. We packed our stuff and head back to base camp. That was the end of our journey and it rained heavily. We waited until the rain slows down and we have to wait until 4pm to head back to Tasik Banding jetty.
That marked the end of our FW expedition, what a great experience and to able to share it with people from abroad was even blissful. It was great to have Kevin and Vincent on board and relive our past journey here in Royal Belum.