Malaysia (2007)

 Kuala Rompin  – East Peninsular Malaysia (October 07)

Sailfish Fiesta

I’d only recently arrived in-country when the offer of a team-building sailfish fishing trip, courtesy of a well known oil-field service company, came up. The charter was with Bluesails, a Singapore based company. I was keen as I’d heard from a colleague (& former fellow game fishing enthusiast in Oman) that the bite was currently very good. We set off late afternoon in a convoy of (2) mini-vans, amply supplied with beer for the trip. I’d also brought along some of my own tackle – a Penn Slammer rod plus a 7500ss reel spooled with 30lb braid – I was set!

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The trip out was log, but full of beer fuelled good banter. There was me, Rusty Desmoreaoux, Pat Moran, and a few others drinking and bullshitting. We arrived at the Summerset Hotel at Kuala Rompin (on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia) at around 8.30pm. The hotel looked grand from the outside but was, typical for Malaysia, run down and neglected (they never seem to maintain anything here). The rooms reminded me in some ways of Club Med in Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil – the same style of room, poorly maintained, and with rotting wood, bugs and spartan furnishings. Unlike Brazil, however, the food quality was poor and the beer was expensive!! Still it was a more than adequate place to sleep / eat in-between fishing sessions!

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Day 1 (27.10.07)

Weather: Calm, overcast.

Water Temperature: ~29°C

Time: AM – PM

We headed out at about 8.30am after a hearty breakfast. We were split into two groups, 4 to a boat, and we were paired up with our Singaporean guide, Harvey. After making bait at various marks and FADs, we motored out to the sailfishing grounds, which were, surprisingly, only located in 15-25m of water depth. Infact, we continued to jig for bait and bottom fish throughout the day.

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Once we found evidence of sailfish activity (fish spotted breaking surface, birds, etc.) we drift fished livebaits under balloons. We drew straws & I was lucky enough to win the first strike (I was very happy because, after my experiences in Oman, where the fishing could be very good but was also sporadic, I felt that I at least I had a chance of catching my first sailfish). In a matter of minutes we had a strike and I was into my first sailfish – a spirited c.25kg fish which soon tired and came to the boat for the obligatory pre-release ‘photos. Unfortunately, despite using a circle hook and a short drop-back, the fish was hooked deep & started to bleed., which marred the event. However, he seemed to revive & swim away ok.

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Fighting my first Sailfish #1 (27.10.07) Fighting my first Sailfish #2 (27.10.07) Sailfish at surface (27.10.07) Harvey leadering my Sailfish (27.10.07) My first Sail billed (27.10.07) Me with my 1st Sailfish #1 (27.10.07) Me with my 1st Sailfish #2 (27.10.07)Andrew Griffin – my first Sailfish!

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Spectacular Kuala Rompin Sailfish run

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Pat enjoys the fight (27.10.07) Pat with Sailfish (27.10.08)Pat Moran’s first Sailfish

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The first fish was quickly followed by a second, and the pattern continued throughout the day, with fish being raised to poppers when the action slowed. The day provided sailfish firsts for me, Rusty, Pat and Orient (this was his first ever fishing trip ….. what a way to start out!). Highlights of the day included a c.40kg fish for Orient and a double hook-up, with me taking a c.30kg fish on my 30lb class Penn Slammer spinning tackle outfit. We finally finished the day with 7 fish from 8 strikes & hook-ups. It was a brilliant start, and we return to port tired, but with excited anticipation for the following days fishing. At port, we learned that our other team had caught 8 sails for the day.

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Orient straining with his first Sail (27.10.07) Orient's c.40kg Sailfish (27.10.07)Orient’s first ever Sailfish – a  40kg + beauty (& his first ever game-fish)

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Orient with another fine Sail (27.10.07)Orient with his second – another monster!

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Another Sail to the boat! (27.10.07) Rusty's 1st Sail (27.10.07)Rusty Desormeaux – happy with his first ever Sailfish!

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Andrew Griffin & Pat Moran double hook-up

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My 2nd Sail - one of a double header (27.10.07)Andrew Griffin & Pat Moran’s double

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Day 2 (28.10.07)

Weather: Calm, sunny

Water Temperature: ~29°C

Time: AM – PM

We set off on the second day with Bluesails owner, Mike Tan. Seas were again calm, but the skies were clear and sunny. Once we’d reached the fishing grounds and spotted tailing and breaching sails we put out two big mackerel livebaits and slow trolled to cover ground. We were soon rewarded with a double strike, hooking up one fish for a good start to the day.

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Another double header for me & Pat (28.10.07)Another double header for me & Pat

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Orient's Sail landed (28.10.07)Orient’s Sail landed

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Orient's Sail release (27.10.07)Orient’s Sail release

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Orient battles a big Sail (28.10.07)Orient battles another big Sail

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Sailfish end-game (2) (28.10.07) Sailfish end-game (1) (28.10.07)Sailfish end-game

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The day preceded in the same way, with periodic strikes throughout the day, including a number of double hook-ups. I was able to sight cast live-baits to fish raised on poppers, and was able to land a further 2 fish on my spinning tackle. The tackle was also press-ganged into use by Rusty, who landed another good sail on the 30lb outfit. Orient again managed to land the biggest fish, another c.40kg+ beauty, whilst Pat & I shared double hook-ups on two occasions! We finished the day with 11 releases from 16 strikes and 12 hook-up (despite finishing a little earlier than the previous day as we had to return to KL  that evening) . Only one fish was lost during the fight. Our colleagues boat took a further 8 fish.

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Rusty puts my Penn Slammer to the test (28.10.07)Rusty puts my Penn Slammer to the test

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Reviving Rusty's Sail (28.10.07)Reviving Rusty’s Sail

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Me fighting Sail on spinning tackle (28.10.07)Me fighting Sail on spinning tackle

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Another revive & release (28.10.07)Another revive & release

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Me & Pat with double hook-ups (28.10.07)Me & Pat with yet another double hook-up

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Billing big Sailfish (28.10.07) Sailfish release #2 (28.10.07) Sailfish release #1 (28.10.07)Sailfish releases

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All-in-all, an excellent trip. Thirty two sailfish caught by 8 anglers over 2 days fishing. I thought that it was world class. My personal tally was 5 fish in the 25-30kg size class. I will return next season (the winter monsoon was due to arrive any day, and would last from November-March, with rough seas and heavy rain) …..!!!

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Summary:

18 Sailfish

–o00–

This entry was posted in (1) Malaysia, (1.01) - Kuala Rompin, Sailfish. Bookmark the permalink.

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