Thursday, March 1, 2012

Builders get down to business on fishing boat

Jiman dismantles the front section of the cabin.
The renovation of the fishing boat has well and truly started in Kuala Besut jetty, with the front part of the cabin from where the pilot sits stripped away. Work has been slow because it took a couple of days for the wood to be delivered and rainy weather meant little could be on on Thursday (March 1, 2012).

However, the builder Jiman bin Haron and the captain Yahya are working to a plan and a schedule and it is so far so good, with God's help. Eventually, the cabin will have new wood and it will be extended up to seven feet at the back to make room for more sleeping space.

There will be about five to six feet of fishing space from the rear of the boat once the cabin is extended, plenty of room to fight those big fish such as sailfish, wahoo, trevally and other creatures that nibble at your lures.
And then puts in the new frame.

A kitchen area will be constructed behind the cabin but it will not interfere with fighting space. There is still a lot of room along the sides and front to throw lines into the water. Stay tuned for more updates on the boat. We are still thinking of a name, so any suggestions would be good.

Remember, please book your trip with us ASAP because we are expecting a rich season of fishing and squid jigging this season. Email

Monday, February 27, 2012

Work starts on fishing boat

Builder Jiman bin Haron sizing up his task for the renovation.
We have just returned from from Besut in Terengganu state, having delivered the builder to the boat to work on renovations.

Jiman Bin Haron is an experienced professional and built the beds, wall cupboards and kitchen cabinets for my previous apartment. He also has plenty of experience building houses and other items. This is his first boat cabin and he is excited about the challenge.

We left him with the boat captain Yahya and his sidekick Zamri to start work on the rebuilding of the cabin. Ideally, we would have sleeping room for more than eight people, segregated for women and men if required and plenty of fishing room aft and fore, as well as on the sides.

Much of the day was spent looking for wood. We went to three sawmills before we found the correct wood for the cabin. The wood must be strong and also suitable for a marine environment, so that it doesn't rot easily when exposed to seawater.

The sticking point is where to put the bathroom. My preference is just behind the sleeping cabin aft with the entrance facing the side. However, Yahya said that would require cutting some heavy wood. Jiman suggested stern but that would affect the fishing area. We hope to come to a final decision soon.

The boat sits on the water in Kuala Besut jetty.
We are also in the process of collecting items compulsory in order to obtain an angling license. These include at least 10 life vests, a fire extinguisher and spotlights for night fishing, among others.

Bookings have been coming in regularly, including families, mates banding together and individuals. Perhentian Island is already open and boats are ferrying tourists there. However, the fishing weather is still not ideal but, hopefully, towards the end of march the boats will start heading out.

To make sure you enjoy the fishing season off Malaysia's east coast, book with us now. Squid jigging is popular for the first three months from April to June while fishing is there throughout the season. Email or call 0102250094.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vietnamese fishermen fail to fool Malaysian authorities

Picture by Suhaidi Mohd Ami (New Straits Times)
There is more news about illegal fishing in Malaysia from the local media. This time it involves suspected Vietnamese fishermen.

According to a New Straits Times report, 26 foreign fishermen, who authorities believe are from Vietnam, have been using fake registration plates on their boats and flying Malaysian flags to avoid detection.

But they have been apprehended by the Fisheries Department for questioning. The illegal fishermen, who cannot even speak Malay, were on two boats and were caught about 20 nautical miles from Pulau Tenggol, of Dungun in Terengganu.

Department director Abdul Khali Abdul Karim was quoted by the paper as saying: "The fishermen did not notice that they were being trailed by our officers as they were preoccupied in netting their catch.

"When our officers boarded the vessels, all of them were unable to speak Bahasa Malaysia, and they only possessed Vietnamese fishing licences."

The fishermen could be prosecuted under Section 15(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985 for catching fish in Malaysian waters without a permit, which carries a maximum jail term of six months  and a fine not exceeding RM1 million if convicted.

Dungun is about 200 kilometres south of Kuala Besut, where our boat is moored. However, you can be sure that we are 100 per cent legal. Our captain, Yahya bin Ngah is a Besut man and has his fisherman’s license. We are currently going through the processes of licensing the boat and Yahya for the 2012 season and we will not entertain tourists until all documents are finalised by the proper authorities.

We have received plenty of inquiries for our trips, which start in April. Please email to book your trip. If you book on or before February 29 2012, we will throw in free homestay for the duration of your trip. So contact us now!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Giant garoupa caught off Penang in Malaysia

Can you catch a fish this big? With the right equipment, skill and patience, you probably could. This huge garoupa (grouper) was the showpiece of the market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, where passers-by queued up to take a picture with the fish.

The giant, weighing 165 kilos and almost two metres long, according to an article in The Star, was caught by fisherman Tan Kah Seng in a trawling net off Teluk Bahang on Friday, February 10, 2012.

The report said that it took six men to hang it on display and it was eventually sold to Kar Be Cafe operator Chew Kean Ghee for RM8,500 (approx US$2,700).

It was not the first time Mr Tan had caught a whopper of a fish. In August, he landed a 168-kilo garoupa and in 2010, he hooked a 203-kilo shark.

In 2008, a fishing weighing 180 kilos was caught off Pulau Sembilan in the Straits of Malacca, the article said. Are these giants also swimming beneath the surface off Kuala Besut? Hopefully.

If they are, we will help you find them and catch them, although we don't use trawling nets. We give the fish a chance with 50-pound line, give or take. Our fishing and squid jigging excursions start in April. Don't miss out and book your trip now. Email us at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Malaysia and Indonesia agree to let straying fishermen go

Malaysia and Indonesia have always had a tense relationship though their people share similar cultures, religion and language. On a political scale, many disputes revolve around borders and what area of land or sea belongs to which country.

Indonesian fishing boat.

Fishermen from both countries have been taken into custody by the other for crossing maritime borders, especially those that are still under dispute. However, such arrests will cease after an agreement between the two countries recently.

According to a Bernama report from Nusa Dua, in Bali, fishermen who stray into their neighbour's countries will no longer be arrested but, instead, asked to leave. The guidelines were finalised after meetings between Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The report indicates that the maritime borders focus on five segments: two in the Straits of Malacca and one each in the Straits of Singapore, South China Sea and the Sulawesi Sea.

There is no problem of our fishing boat straying into foreign territory. We are moored off the east coast of Malaysia in Kuala Besut and the farthest we go is Redang Island, about six hours' away from the jetty. And there's little chance of bumping into illegal Indonesian fisherfolk either, given that Kalimantan is hundreds of miles away.

We might come across Thai boats plying the area but even that is rare. Thailand have rich fishing waters of their own and there is no need to come all the way to Malaysia.

Book your trip with us now. Squid is already flourishing in the waters off Besut though it is too dangerous for trips now because of the weather. However, enquiries are flowing in for the season's start in April so contact us now at

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sport fishing for whoppers by trolling

Trolling is a popular sport fishing method of catching big fish such as wahoo, tuna, sailfish and other whoppers.

A common strategy is to troll continuously around a reef with three or four rigs set up, from the back and the sides of the boat. The vessel simply drones around at about 4-5 knots while the fishermen wait patiently.

As soon as the sudden whirr of one line is heard, the other lines are reeled in and the fisherman whose turn it is sets himself up for the fight.

Sometimes, he may have a fighting chair, a fighting belt or just jab the butt of the reel into his abdomen.

While this is happening, the boat captain would kill the engine and start backing up to aid the fisherman. Of course, if two or more lines are hooked, it can be mayhem.

Trolling can be tense and exciting, especially in seas where there is an abundance of fish. The wait itself is mostly filled with silence as the fishermen immerse themselves in their own thoughts. And when the alarm sounds, it’s adrenaline-laced all hands on deck.

In Malaysia, it appears that trolling is not as popular as the local method of hooking live bait and letting it swim freely in the hope of attracting a monster.

Whatever method you prefer, the seas of Kuala Besut are populated with the kind of fighting fish that will surely have you pumped and ready for the challenge.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you fulfil your fishing dreams. Email (Picture from

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Captain's log - Malaysian fishing star in the making

Meet your captain, Yahya bin Ngah. He is the guy in the purple Baju Melayu, the traditional costume of Malay men in Malaysia. With him is his trusty side-kick Zamri.

These guys will be your sport fishing guides when you charter our fishing boat for your squidding or fishing excursion from April to September off Kuala Besut in northeastern peninsular Malaysia this season.

Yahya has been working extra hard to make sure the boat will be ready by April, even while his wife was giving birth to their third child (another daughter; that makes three girls).

He has just overseen repairs to the bottom of the vessel, where he patched up the hull and gave it a lick of white paint. He asked us what colour we wanted for the sidings and we told him to paint it the same colour as his costume.

He thought we were joking until we asked him if he found the colour yet. The boat is now back in the water awaiting work on the cabin, which will eventually feature sleeping quarters for at least seven. There will be separate cabins for men and women, for those who require such arrangements.

Anyway, Yahya is a top guy and is not like other fishing boat captains who send you to one place and stay there whether or not you catch any fish. He has a solid reputation as a captain and a fisherman. He wants you to catch fish and he will search every square metre of sea between Besut and the nearby islands for squid, fish and anything you want to catch.

Whether it is big fish such as wahoo, trevally and the like or bottom-fishing prizes such as garoupa or snapper, Yahya will help you find it.

Please make sure to book your tour with us ASAP because the season is approaching and the hordes will soon be making their way to Kuala Besut to be with Yahya and his crew. Contact See you in Besut.