Whilst searching for potential new fishing locations in Malaysia I chanced across the blogsite “Fishology” (http://www.fishyology.com) a couple of months ago. A number of entries caught my eye describing trips fishing out of Port Dickson. And, in particular, the fact that Talang Queenfish were being caught, together with the odd Kingfish (Tenggiri) …… both targets on my Bucket List. I exchanged a number of emails with the blog’s owner, Noru Razak, who kindly offered to host a trip out of Port Dickson.
So, the scene was set for Sunday 21st of July. I met up with Noru at the Seremban R&R service station and we proceeded to PD to meet up with Noru’s boatman in a small fishing Kampung to the south of PD. We quickly tackled-up, stowed the gear on the boat before it was launched, then waded out, climbed aboard and we were off, heading out in flat calm, if slightly hot and sticky conditions. We headed out into the main shipping lanes of the Strait of Malacca. The boat itself was a simple local fibreglass fishing boat, around 22’ long, and narrow, with coarse wooden planking. It was a very similar hull to the local Omani fishing boats that I used to see, and it felt very familiar. It was also smelling of fish – another good sign!
After about 20 minutes, we reached the fishing location – we were to drift fish over a wreck. I was amazed, the surface was boiling with fish and large Queenfish were periodically crashing the surface as they chased bait fish! The Captain, Apek, was hooked up second cast but pulled the hook. Then, on my third cast (using a small, pink Yozuri jig) I struck into a good Queenfish of 9lb that put up a good fight, including aerial display, on 15lb line. There you go – my first Talang Queenfish, that easy!
This set the pattern for the morning. We’d set up a drift, and then, peridocially fish would hit the surface and we’d get chases or strikes from Queenfish of various sizes. Apek was quietly bringing in fish and increasing his tally. Meanwhile, Noru was working a jig up from the bottom and hooked up a number of fish, unfortunately pulling the hooks in various stages of the fight. He was also bitten off by a predator, either a ‘cuda or tenggiri (narrow barred spanish mackerel). However, as the day wore on into early afternoon, surface activity slowed, but the deep jigging was starting to produce, and Noru put a Queenfish and then a couple of Spotted Mackerel on the deck.
I was working hard in the heat, intermittently casting (a variety of lures) whenever there was any surface activity and deep jigging. I was having no luck with the jigging, but Noru was getting plenty of action. Then, at about 2.00pm a large school of small baitfish (ikan bilis?) appeared alongside the boat and surface activity commenced in earnest. I was suddenly in action again and landed 4 Spotted Mackerel in quick succession. I believe these fish are Indo-Pacific King Mackerel (Tenggiri Bunga in Bahasa), and they were great fun on light tackle.
By now it was mid-afternoon, and the heat and humidity was taking a toll. Noru and Apek were also fasting, so it was particularly hard on them. We decided to have a few more casts and then call it a day. As queenfish had started to appear I switched to a small blue popper, and was rewarded second cast with another good queenfish of around 9-10lb which I released. With that, we decided to call it a day and head back to port, via the picturesque Tanjung Tuan headland.
I was completely amazed, having heard various anecdotal stories of very poor fishing out of Port Dickson over the years! Maybe fishing pressure has dropped off and the fish are making a return? I don’t know, let me try it out for a season to see what the consistency of the fishing is like. We’ll see. Anyway, a big than you to Noru and Captain Apek for a great first trip fishing PD.
Oh, and finally, I get to scratch a fish off the Bucket List ……