This was a spur-of-the-moment exploratory trip to check out the Jugra Salt Water catch and Release Ponds near Banting, located on the eastern banks of Sungai Langat. I’d read about these ponds on my friend, Noru Razak’s Blog (FISHYOLOGY.COM):
With further web research, I then found another articles about the location (sportfishin.asia):
These reports really whetted my appetite: decent sized Redfish and Groupers plus Snappers and (small) Giant Trevallys, with the option of small Barrmundi (Siakap) also thrown into the mix. The ponds were catch and release, lure fishing only ponds (and following my recent forays lure fishing for snakehead at FV Semenyih, really sounded interesting).
I found the general location very easily, thanks to the magic of WAZE. But when I arrived, the only people I saw were bait fishing for barramundi in a series of small, muddy ponds. The whole area was a series of fish farms, abandoned fish farms, or fish farms turned over to angling – there were, literally, ponds as far as the eye could see, but all of the order of c.120m x 30m or thereabouts. I didn’t have much luck when I enquired about catch and release fishing and decided that I must be in the wrong place.
I knew from my research that there was another sport fishing location in the area, so I went off in search of it and found it about 300m down the track, but it was closed. I doubled back for a second look at the first place. I was still uninspired. I decided, reluctantly to leave and checked on WAZE the distance and time to both Fish Valley Semenyih and the NEFFP in Rawang. Rawang was closer and faster to reach. I set WAZE to navigate and started to leave. Just as I was driving of I saw 3 men with light bait-casting gear and UVP fishing tops making their way towards a set of ponds. I stopped and asked, from my car, “is this the catch and release pond?”, and then “is it any good!” I got an affirmative answer to both questions. So I decided to pull over and give it a shot (I wasn’t really keen on driving all the way up to Rawang).
As I was unloading the car, one of the anglers said that he recognised me, that I looked familiar. He then said “you’ve got a fishing blog, you used to fish in Oman”! I was taken aback (as Warhol said: “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”, ha ha). It then transpired that the angler, Daniel, was a prominent player in the Malaysian angling scene, and I had already read some of his articles on http://www.fishmalaysia.com, including his one on the Toman pond at Fish Valley Semenyih! It was good karma, and after Daniel assured me that the ponds offered decent fishing I was keen to try.
The location consisted of 3 roughly 120m x 30m sized ponds, maybe a metre or so deep. The first, to the left, held grouper in the 4-5 kg range. The second, in the middle had Redfish and small GT’s, whilst catch and release anglers could fish half of the third pond (which was shared with bait fishermen on the opposite bank) for barramundi. I started off in the Grouper pond and got an immediate strike, which I missed. I fished it for about half an hour but only succeeding in snagging and losing a jig/soft plastic lure. Nobody was catching in this pond. I then switched to the Redfish pond. Again, I managed to blank and, one again lost a lure to a snag. I did see two redfish (including one of around 4 kg) caught together with a small GT. But things were slow here, too. By now, quite a few anglers had arrived to fish from 4pm until dusk. I kept alternating between the two ponds, without any success. I then saw a big grouper caught and that inspired me to re-try for groupers. Suddenly, I was hooked up to a good fish, right at the bank, nut it was only on for a few seconds until it came unbuttoned. And that was my last action in the Grouper pond.
Finally, for the last half hour or so, I switched to the Barramundi pond. I hooked up almost immediately to my first (and small) barramundi that gave a short, aggressive fight including a number of jumps. I followed this up a short time later with another, before fading light ended the session.
As I went to pay up (RM20/ hour for each of the first 2 hours, and then RM10 for each subsequent hour) I again had a chat with Daniel. He told me that the fishing was uncharacteristically poor today. He said that he fishes the place regularly, usually on a Sunday, and he averages around 6-8 Groupers a trip. He also enticed me with tales of a Giant Grouper pay pond on nearby Pulau Carey, which gave me food for thought!
It had been a poor trip, in terms of fishing, but I definitely saw enough of the place to give it at least one more go (I want a grouper and redfish). It was also good to exchange ideas with a fellow obsessive angler, and I got some good leads for future trips.