This is a hosted fly fishing trip that we do every year. Familiar faces regularly feature on this annual trip to Royal Belum, Temenggor lake.
The main target species is the hard-hitting sebarau (hampala barb) aka jungle perch. Not to be confused with the jungle perch of Australia. I’m not sure how the sebarau got tagged with the jungle perch name, the name often used in Malaysia and Thailand when referring to the hampala barb in English over here although the locals in Malaysia generally call them sebarau.
This trip sees seven people with two new faces, Faizal and Texan Chris.
Almost the entire drive is under the rain, typically monsoon weather. Thankfully, the journey is smooth although I cannot say the same for the back-to-the-city weekend traffic on the opposite direction.
Out of impulse, and hunger, we make a detour out to the town of Gopeng (incidentally a favourite peacock bass fishing ground of mine years ago) to look for some nice Chinese food for dinner.
With the help of Google maps and the helpful reviews, we end up at a small “hidden” Chinese restaurant that literally sent someone to catch a striped snakehead on order!
After a fulfilling meal, the drive was mostly in the dark and after traveling for 7-hour we arrive at the jetty to the pick up and transfer to our floating house for the next couple of days.
Surprise number 1 awaits us in the form of a mansion equivalent of a houseboat. Our usual 10-man houseboat is tiny in comparison to the two-storey behemoth we are being put in that can accommodate 40 people! Overdoing it but a welcome change and it gives us a good idea for future trips with large groups or those who prefer the luxury of extra space.
A little later that evening, newly wedded couple Paul Arden of Sexyloops fame and Ashley dropped in for a visit.
The Surprise Houseboat
Let The Fishing Begin
Quick Recap Of The Fishing. The monsoon is the preferred period for targeting the hard hitting sebarau. Continuous heavy rainfall and rising water level potentially signal huge number of sebarau moving out of the main body of deeper water to swim up the rivers to spawn.
These sebarau will be in fairly narrow waterways and holding in the shallows under cover of freshly submerged vegetation and structures.
Getting the conditions just right can be tricky though. Whatever it is, we always look forward to being out there and enjoying the houseboat stay, camaraderie and the food.
In 2016, we got the rainfall we hoped for, too much non-stop rain in that instance, water level was too low to begin with and below average fishing results. Some fish was caught but nothing significant and everyone was pretty much drenched most of the time.
2017 however is a different story. Conditions are much better and more favourable action in comparison.
Enjoy the pictorial below.