Kg Beng, Mini Amazon, Perak – 30 JAN 2016
Kampung Beng is a village located on the banks of Chenderoh Lake, and it’s not far from the town of Lenggong. It takes about 45 minutes from Kuala Kangsar toll to get to Kg.Beng. Kampung Beng is famous for its Peacock Bass, Giant Snakeheads, Sebarau and its challenging terrain similar to that of the Amazon river. Recently I had the chance to join Mr.Noru and his friends on a trip to Kampung Beng. We would be staying at Homestay Kampung Beng,a homestay well known for being a filming location for movies and commercials.
This would be my first homestay experience. I also had high expectations for this trip,as it will be my first opportunity to write an article for Fishyology.com. Our plan was to travel on Friday night,and fish throughout the day on Saturday. On Friday, Mr.Noru would be getting his friends first, and then me at 11 p.m. At 11 p.m, Mr.Noru arrived and after a quick greeting we were on our way to Kg.Beng from Batang Kali.
We reached the small town of Lenggong by 2.30 a.m. Mr.Noru gave Mr.Roslan,the homestay owner a call to ask for directions. After making a few turns here and there we reached the end of a road, with a small stall beside it.Mr.Roslan was there waiting for us and then he got into his car and guided us to the homestay.It took just a few minutes and in no time we were parked next to Chenderoh lake. We carried our stuff and followed Mr.Roslan.
As we walked along a path just beside the lake, we were welcomed by the bright moon and the beautiful night sky. The view was breath taking. There were no lights along the path,so we had to use our phone lights to light up our path. It took a few minutes to get to the homestay. The yard in front of the homestay was very bright as there were a few lights around. We carried our stuff up into the homestay,and then returned back to the yard as Mr.Roslan had taken out tables and chairs for some late night chit-chat.
Mr.Roslan told us that another group of anglers would arrive soon. They were regulars here,and that made me a bit excited as I could learn a few things from them. Soon they arrived and joined us around the tables. They turned out to be local lure makers as well. We spent the next hour talking mainly about fishing for Peacock Bass in Kg Beng Mini Amazon. The lure makers also took out some of their lures for us to buy. The lure maker group shared their experience here and gave their advice and effective techniques. Mr.Roslan recommended lures with red or orange colours, as the Peacock Bass here mainly feed on Giant Snakehead fry. By 4.30 a.m,everyone was back in the homestay, ready to catch some sleep.
By 6 a.m, I was already up and I went out to enjoy the view. At 6.30 a.m, I went back in to see if the others were up yet, as they agreed to get up a 6.30 a.m. Everyone was still asleep, and I didn’t dare to wake them up as they were probably exhausted from travelling. Luckily for me, I managed to catch a few hours of sleep before Mr.Noru picked me up the night before. Breakfast was ready at 6.45 a.m, and the others were up and getting ready. There were two options for breakfast, which were fried rice and ‘Kuay Teow’. Both were tempting, but I went for the fried rice and some tea. I took my breakfast and greeted Mr.Sarip or more famously known as ‘The Legend’. He was going to be our guide for the day. After breakfast, I was fired up and ready to fish as Peacock Bass started rising along the banks close to the homestay. After setting up my gear,I managed to fish for 5 minutes,with a 7g Altima spoon. I tried a jigging style retrieve and missed a small sebarau right at the bank. Not a bad way to start the day.Mr.Noru fished as well. We then got onto the boat,ready to take on Malaysia’s Mini Amazon. The boat was around 19ft,spacious and perfect to accommodate four anglers.
We travelled up Sungai Perak, and reached our first spot, a bay area, with tons of hydrilla lining up the banks and there were about four Giant Snakeheads rising. Mr.Noru had the first bite while fishing along a bank with his Senses Savior 50s but it failed to connect. Most of our lures were rigged with single hooks to avoid snagging the weeds. The Giant Snakeheads continued rising,and occasionally there were Giant Snakehead fry balls as well. Mr.Badrul tried deep cranking with no success. We patrolled the bay for about an hour without any action and continued on to another spot. As we were leaving the bay, there were a few jumps, presumably from Peacock Bass. I spotted a dragonfly close to the jumps, and assumed that the fish was going after the dragonfly.
Our second spot was a main section of an inlet. This area had screw pines lined up along it. I was told that the fishes here tend to hold under the screw pines. There were some splashes but they were very quick. We had absolutely no action for the next hour. I used my Deeper Fishfinder to search if there were any fishes around. The depth was around 3-4 metres but no fishes were around,not even schools of baitfish. The water was quite clear, but shallow due to dams from surrounding areas holding up water. I assumed that this might have affected the fish behavior. At 10 a.m the sun was up and we continued fishing until 11 a.m and still had no action eventhough we fished all kinds of soft plastics and hardbaits. Pak Sarip suggested that me move on to another spot.
We exited the inlet and travelled to a ‘heavy cover’ spot packed with hydrilla, and Giant Snakeheads were rising as we arrived. Once again there were splashes at the edges of hydrilla, with dragon flies close by. If the Peacock Bass were going after dragon flies, then yo-yo-ing a bait over a branch might trigger a bite. I kept that in my mind, maybe to try later on. We started fishing jumpfrogs in the thick hydrilla for Giant Snakeheads. A Peacock Bass would be no problem too,as they are known to hit jumpfrogs here. Mr.Noru had a solid hit at an opening but it was a miss. A second cast to the area produced another topwater blast, and this time it connected. The fight did not last long as the fish managed to escape, leaving Mr.Noru pulling up a load of hydrilla.
Mr.Andrew kept casting and got the next hit, which didn’t connect. By 12 p.m, we had to return to base. On the way out of the heavy cover area, I tried skipping a 3.8” Berkley Powerbait Saltwater Slinky Shad down under screw pines but failed. The bait ended up on top of a screw pine. I shaked it off and out of nowhere a wake came straight behind my bait. I saw a black shape behind it, biting the tail two times and disappearing. It was either a juvenile Giant Snakehead or a juvenile Peacock Bass.
Back at the homestay, we had cold drinks and rice for lunch. The rice came with fried fish, vegetable soup and the famous ‘Ikan Pekasam’. If the fish aren’t bitting, might as well we enjoy Kampung Style lunch. The food was awesome, not like the ordinary “Nasi Campur” shop back in KL. It is a welcome treat to boost our morale a bit to endure another session later today.
The group of lure makers were there as well, and they told us that they lost a Sebarau to snags,and missed some kilo sized Bujuk/Forest Snakeheads as well. After that, Mr.Noru and the others took a quick nap after lunch while I went to fish along the banks with Mr.Roslan and Mr.Elffizan, a lure maker and also a guide here. We had no success, but as soon as the sun’s intensity decreased, there were rises along the banks. There were countless Tinfoil Barbs beside the homestay, but they were not our target.
By 3 p.m,everyone was ready to go out for the second half of the day.The first spot was an inlet with clear water and a depth of about half a meter. This area had a lot of weed beds, perfect ambush points for Peacock Bass. While entering the inlet,we spotted some wakes,heading towards the screw pines. Mr.Noru had the first hit with his jumpfrog, probably from a haruan. I had some follows with my clone Flutterstick lure,but no bites. Most of the follows came from the weedbeds.
We continued patrolling the area, with no action except a few jumps right next to the screw pines. At 5 p.m,the sun was less intense and we moved to a wide area with tons of hydrilla on one bank and overhanging trees on the other. We did not have much action here, but Mr.Noru had a bite slow cranking a deep diving firetiger coloured crankbait. We continued to the next spot,a bay with hydrilla and a laydown.
Mr.Badrul had a follow from a finger sized Peacock Bass while fishing a Storm Flutterstick. I spotted some commotion around the laydown, and fired out a few casts with my clone flutterstick. I had a follow twice but no bites. I also spotted a Giant Snakehead rising in the area and decided to fish a buzzbait, and had a bite probably from a small Giant Snakehead, on the second cast. At 6.30 p.m we moved to the final spot, the heavy cover area we fished in the afternoon.The Giant Snakeheads were rising, but they were not interested in our lures. By 7.30 p.m, we called it a day. Back at the homestay,we had dinner and packed up,ready to head back home. Mr.Roslan also showed us pictures of two big Peacock Bass he caught right in front of the homestay on a topwater pencil. It burned my soul, but I was happy, and I’m sure the others were too.
Overall, it was a great experience, despite the lack of action while fishing. The lack of bites throughout a day made it hard for us to dial in any patterns that could be used to our advantage. But well,it’s fishing. I think we did considerably well with a few bites, as the regulars even had a tough time to get bites. This was my first solo fishing trip as well, and it was great. Even though I was fishing with strangers, everyone was helpful and displayed good teamwork on and off the boat. We said our goodbyes and began our journey back home. I was asleep the whole way, sunburn and exhausted. The next day, Mr.Ellfizan uploaded a picture of a Peacock Bass caught on a popper. He said he’s lucky he had a second day to fish. I will certainly be back in Kg Beng Mini Amazon for more than a day when I have the chance.
Tight lines and thank you for reading.