Malaysia – Kuala Rompin (July.08)

Kuala Rompin – East Peninsular Malaysia (July 08)

This was my eagerly awaited return to Rompin following the sailfish “fiesta” of the previous October. Me & my son, Siôn, were fishing with Anthony Sullivan, who runs the Hook, Line & Sinker game fishing charter company. I was really excited about this trip, and it was good to take Siôn (who is also a keen fisherman) to experience the great fishing available off Rompin. We were not to be disappointed ….!!!


Kuala Rompin Jetty (6.07.08) (2)The Jetty at Rompin River Chalets

Day 1 (5.07.08)

Weather:Calm AM, breezy PM.

Water Temperature:~29°C

Time:AM – PM

We left port at Kuala Rompin at around 8.30am. Our first stop was to collect live-bait at some local FADS. Whilst there, a local fisherman was fishing for Tenggiri (Narrow-Barred Spanish mackerel, AKA Kingfish) & said that the fishing was good. We also noted some surface activity so decided to spend half an hour trolling – we put out some deep-diving plugs and circled the area …… nothing. We then put out a couple of livies, and despite them showing occasional signs of panick, we got no hits, so we decided to head offshore & begin the sailfish hunt. We motored c.25-30km offshore to a “reef” & put out 2 livies under balloons. It was slow, but after c.2hrs the Saltiga rod (paired with a Shimano Stella 20000 reel loaded with 40lb braid) went off. I pick-up the rod as the fish headed to the right, and wound down until the circle hook found its spot and I tightened into a reasonable sailfish. I immediately passed the rod to Siôn for the fight. Siôn demonstrated considerable angling skill and soon fought the c.25kg sail to the boat… his first. He was very happy – his personal best fish (by about 18kgs ….!) and his first billfish.


Siôn fighting his 1st Sailfish #1 (5.07.08).

Siôn fighting his 1st Sailfish #2 (5.07.08).

Siôn's Sail landed (5.07.08) [ed].

Siôn's first Sailfish (5.07.08)

A very happy Siôn Griffin with his first ever Sailfish & personal best catch (c.25kg)


Shortly after, Siôn was catching bait when he said that he thought he’d hooked the bottom. His line then came free and a large Cobia (the “bottom”) followed his sabiki + baits to the surface. I dropped a livie, but it ignored it & headed straight for the balloon bait that was being let out t the stern by the mate. The mate felt the take, let the fish run for a few seconds and then set the drag …. fish on! I took over and, after a relatively weak fight on (too heavy) 30-50lb class stand-up tackle, a plump 10kg Cobia was soon in the boat. This was followed mid afternoon  by my first sail of the day, a c,28kg fish & capped of the day with a “Singapore Marlin” …… c.3kg garfish, that surprised Siôn by making a sudden, explosive run that nearly pulled him off his feet! That marked the end of the action for the day – a very enjoyable return to Rompin, and some new species (Cobia) and personal bests for us. We rounded the day off with fresh cobia steaks washed down with Tiger beers (me and Anthony, not Siôn – he had 100 plus …..) before hitting the sack for an early night.


Cobia end-game (5.07.08) [ed].

Cobia to the gaff (5.07.08) [ed].

10kg Cobia #1 (5.07.08).

10kg Cobia #2 (5.07.08).

10kg Cobia (5.07.08) [ed]

c.10kg Cobia. Dinner!


Day 2 (6.07.08)

Weather:Light swell, slight chop PM.

Water Temperature:~29°C

Time:AM – PM

The next day again started off slow. After gathering live-bait we skipped tenggiri trolling and headed straight offshore to a FAD located in deeper water. We tied to the FAD and set the live-baits out below the customary balloon floats. After a bit of a wait I got a decent take that I let run for c.5 seconds before setting the drag – I felt the fish briefly before the line went slack … missed! I didn’t see anything as I was concentrating on setting the hook, but the Captain said “Marlin”, the fish having breached as it felt the drag engage. I cursed to myself as I started to reel up the slack & felt, to my surprise & joy, that the live-bait was still on. I dropped the reel into free spool and waited. After c.30 seconds the spool started turning slowly & then quickened as the fish ran with the bait. I thumbed the spool and then hit the fish with the drag and set the hook on a c.30kg Black Marlin. The fish was subdued at first before making a series of runs and leaps before sounding. After c.15 minutes I had it boat side and Anthony took the leader. That just made the fish mad and we were treated to a number of spectacular leaps right next to the boat, before it finally succumbed. It was a beautiful fish – dark green on its dorsal surface with neon blue vertical stripes. After a couple of quick pictures she was revived and released to fight another day. I was very happy – another new species and my first Marlin.

My first Black Marlin #1 (6.07.08) (2).

My first Black Marlin #2 (6.07.08) (2)

My first ever Black Marlin – a beautifully coloured c.30kg + fish 


Black Marlin fight sequence


We had another slow period, followed by a couple of half takes before I set the hook on a decent sailfish. Siôn took over and did the honours, battling a good fish to the boat. This fish was tired, so we opted to take some quick picture in the water to ensure a healthy release. Anthony estimated this fish to be pushing the 40kg mark, although the pictures didn’t do it justice. Siôn was very happy, particularly as this fish was bigger than any sail that I’d ever caught. His personal best ever fish had now jumped to the 40kg mark! This fish was the last of the trip & we returned to port very satisfied with the trip, planning to make another trip the following month.

Siôn's c.40kg Sailfish (6.07.08) (2)

 Siôn with his second Sailfish of the trip and new “personal best” at c.40kg

Siôn playing at the livewell (6.07.08) (2)

The run home (6.07.08) (2)The journey back to Sungai Rompin

3 Sailfish
1 Black Marlin
1 Cobia
1 Garfish (“Singapore Marlin”)
This entry was posted in (1) Malaysia, (1.01) - Kuala Rompin, Cobia, Marlin - Black, Sailfish. Bookmark the permalink.

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