Malaysia – Pacu Fishing (May.08)

Malaysia – Pacu Fishing (May.08)

I was starting to get “City Fever”, and my next serious fishing trip (to Kuala Rompin) was not scheduled until early July. My colleague (& ex Oman game-fisherman) Steve Burford suggested a trip out to a local “lake” (more like an oversized pond) c.25km to the west of Kuala Lumpur city. This place had been showed to him by a UK expat (and long term Malaysia resident), Anthony Sullivan, who is an expert on all aspects of sports fishing in Malaysia. The lake, locally known as “Tow Foo” pond, is officially part of Kundang Lakes, which appear to be man made features, and sit alongside the aptly named Kundang Golf Resort. The pond itself is a little green & smelly, but it’s not unpleasant with the golf course alongside (watch out for the occasional stray ball!). What makes things better are the “fishing boathouse” vessels, essentially rafts with garden sheds on them. You can pole out into the lake; position yourself near the floating reed beds & fish. More importantly, it’s got a good stock of hard fighting big Pacu. It also has lesser numbers of other fish, including large Patin and some carp species.


Pacu fishing -the arena (1.05.08) [ed]The “Arena” ….


The game fishing platform (1.05.08) [ed]The Game-Fishing platform ….!



Trip 1 (1.05.08)

I joined Steve Burford & his son, Jamie for my first session at the pond. I brought my two boys, Siôn & Ceri along for the trip. I didn’t really have appropriate tackle for this trip – I used a 9’ Daiwa Apollo spinning rod & a Shimano Ultegra 5000 spooled with 15lb braid. Steve was using shorter, lighter gear. We took a “fishing boathouse” each & positioned ourselves some 30’ off the reed-bed “island” which is secured to a wire tether in the centre of the pond (the pond is shallow – you pole yourself out & then push the poles into the mud to anchor the raft). Steve & son had learned to fish the pond well, and were dropping tofu baits right next to the reed island and getting multiple strikes, landing a number of Pacu to c.5-6kg. I noticed that they lost a fair number of fish – these beasts fight hard & long, often running around/under structural features or turning sharply with a second wind once raft-side & pulling the hook.


Steve Burford bringing in Pacu  (1.05.08) [ed] Steve with Pacu (1.05.08) [ed] Steve Burford catching a Pacu


Jamie Burford fighting Pacu (1.05.08) [ed] Jamie releasing a Pacu (1.05.08) [ed]Jamie Burford – Pacu catch & release


We, on the other hand, were having a quiet time. Ceri was moaning about the heat, and was getting a little bored – the noise was certainly not helping matters, The 9’rod was also proving to be a bit ungainly for landing right next to the reeds (this seemed to be almost a pre-requisite for garnering takes), and I was struggling to keep the tofu on the hook. Finally, we got a decent strike & I was amazed at the power and ferocity of the fight – I’ve landed dorado & longtail tuna to 8kg on this rod & this fish had bent it over into a good horseshoe shape. After pressuring the fish away from the reeds and Steve’s raft pole I finally got it raft-side. Despite being only c.3-4’ deep, and the fish being only just under the surface, I only caught glimpses of colour through the murk water. As I leader the fish the hook pulled ….! On closer inspection, the hook had been crushed and deformed by the teeth of a sizeable Pacu (we fish with circle hooks & 50lb braid leaders to minimise cut-offs). And that was it for the day. I was sufficiently impressed with the fishing to give it another go a few weeks later.



Trip 2 (30.05.08)

On this trip, my wife Mako & I joined Anthony Sullivan. Since the last visit I’d bought a couple of 7’ graphite spinning rods & another Ultegra (6000) reel, so I was armed & ready! Anthony brought along a bag of palm oil seeds for bait whilst Mako had brought some sweet potato and I had some dried apricots. We were ready!


We started off close to the reeds but with no luck. After some advice from Aziz on the shore, we move the raft a little further away from the reeds. That did the trick – we were soon getting regular strikes. Anthony lost his first two fish to pulled hooks and then broke off on a fish as it came to the raft. He finally landed a c.5kg fish a little later (all on palm oil seeds). I was fairing no better – I lost my first two fish in the reeds and then lost a good fish as I turned it after the first run (on apricot and palm oil seeds). I finally landed a good fish after a c.10 minute tussle, on Mako’s sweet potato bait (much to her pleasure)! The fish made repeated powerful runs to the centre of the lake, finally boiling on the surface some 40m out! The 12-20lb class spinning rod was doubled over under the strain. The fish weighed in at 6.8kg (15lbs), my personal best fish from freshwater. Anthony then capped the session off with another couple of strikes and a final decent pacu. I enjoyed this trip, and was amazed by the ferocity of the takes and the tenacious and powerful fight from these fish.


 Anthony Sullivan fighting a Pacu (30.05.08) [ed] Pacu jumping (30.05.08) Leadering a decent Pacu (30.05.08)Anthony Sullivan fighting a Pacu


Anthony's Pacu landed (30.05.08) 1 of Anthony's Pacu (30.05.08)Anthony’s Pacu landed


Loaded up with a big Pacu #2 (30.05.08) Loaded up with a big Pacu #1 (30.05.08)Loaded up with a big Pacu


Big Pacu being leadered (30.05.08) Big Pacu landed (30.05.08)Big Pacu landed


6.8kg (15lb) Pacu (30.05.08)

6.8kg (15lb) Pacu


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