I’d heard a few stories about this pay pond, and read various reports and seen pictures online. I’d also heard a few comments downplaying the place. Anyway, I was finally here, fishing with Steve Burford and Ben Urlwin from the office (my place of work, not the famous British comedy ……). And it was only about a 20 minute drive to the site in Rawang from my home, with motorway almost the entire way. Easy!
The site consists of a number of separate ponds where you bait fish or fish lures and flies. The signpost at the entrance enticed us in with promise of monster fish:
Entrance signpost – full of promise …..!
We came, on this occasion, to bait fish for big catfish and whatever else took the bait. It was an exploratory trip for me. I’d brought two 12-30lb clas casting rods and a Daiwa Saltiga 4500 spooled with 30lb braid and a Penn Spinfisher 6500 spooled with 20lb. I opted to fish with the heavier set-up on this trip …… just in-case …..!! Bait was a disgusting mix of raw chicken liver with associated heart and possibly kidney (or the other way around) soaked in mashed up pilchards – it was really nasty, probably the most unpleasant bait I’ve ever fished with (and the liver is much better than the heart / kidney)!!
The pond itself was pretty large, and well set up with well made fishing huts with tables, chairs, a large bin and good lighting. In addition, there were numerous secure rod stands aligned along the bank. In the centre of the pond was an “island” – a restaurant set upon concrete pillars. This was a fish holding structure – I suspect it was also “ground-baited” with various food waste from the kitchen.
So, we’d arrived early afternoon – we were fishing by just after 2pm. It started off slow, but there was a lot of surface activity, and it was evident that there were big fish in the pond. We saw large fins break the surface, huge splashes and the occasional bow-wave as if a submarine had past by! It all added to the growing anticipation. I’d started off fishing with 5-0 circle hooks (the same hooks that I use for sailfish fishing) and started to get numerous knocks and sudden, short takes, but nothing was hooking up. Finally, at about 4pm, Ben got a good bite an hooked-up a reasonable Amazon Redtail Catfish of 4.5kg to the bank, where it was netted by our “ghillie”. We’d broken our duck.
Shortly after, Steve left his rod and went to get some beers. Almost immediately, his rod hooked up and I played a 3 kg carp-like fish (Jelawat). Steve followed this fish with another Redtail Cat of around 4 kg; and a short time later with a 4kg Grass Carp. As the light levels started to fall, the number of bite picked up – they were more numerous and more determined. Interestingly, the amount of surface activity had significantly reduced – it was feeding time. Ben then picked up another cat of a similar size.
I picked up my rod to re-bait and was into a fish, it looked like another Jelawat which threw the hook near the bank. I then lost a better fish just after hook-up, probably another cat. I changed down a hooksize before finally snagging my first Amazon Redtail Catfish of 5 kg.
It was now around 6 pm, and Ben had to leave. Its was a pity because the bite was improving. As he was paying up in the kiosk across the pond, Steve hooked up with another reasonable fish – this turned out to be a different species of cat – Asian Redtail Catfish (?), but was foul-hooked in line trailling from a previous break-off – the ghillie removed the offending hook and line and released the fish.
Finally, as the light was fading, I got a good take near the restaurant which put up a spirited fight – initially threatening to run under the structure. I managed to turn it and work it to the bank where it made a numer of short, but powerful runs before succumbing to the net. This turned out to be an 8 kg catfish and personal best from freshwater! That proved to be the last fish of the day – we finished off with beers and Chinese food before returning to KL.
The exploratory trip turned out to be very successful, we ended with 9 fish ranging from 3 – 8 kg:
- 5 Amazon Redtail Catfish
- 1 Asia Redtail Catfish
- 2 Jelawat
- 1 Grass Carp
Not bad at all! I’m already planning my next trip – I want to try the snakehead pond next and tacke one of the species off my Bucket List. It would also be nice to catch a few of the other giant bad boys advertised on the entrance billboard:
And, despite the artificial surroundings, we were out of the city and there was the odd bit of wildlife to see (you never know what the Stork might bring next time …..!):