Sailfish and Kelong Fishing – Kuala Rompin /Penyabong
Having hailed from Kuala Rompin as a kampung boy, spent my secondary school days outside Rompin, and varsity days in Australia, its always give me the urge to help out whatever I can to promote this home town of my mine to the outside world.
Malaysian, let alone other nationalities, are never be able to be enchanted by the warm and beauty of what Kuala Rompin can offers. Kuala Rompin is never being promoted in the same manner as Cameron Highland, Genting Highland or Gunung Tahan Forest Reserve. Its has been sidelined by the federal and state government for such a long times of its capability to lure tourists and by passers. Until sometimes ago some fisher man accidentally found out about it’s a breeding ground for sail Fish from Feb – Nov, when those migrating from the North to the south.
With that Kuala Rompin slowly but steady becomes the focal points of Sail/Bill Anglers around the world, and the support industry sprung out like mush room after rain, and directly contributed the back bone of economy in Kuala Rompin, which used to depend largely on small skills fishing and farming.
Sailfish has put Kuala Rompin on to the world map, hence it’s not an option but to preserve the whole eco-system and responsible fishing be strictly enforced to ensure survival those fish. From my conversation with some fishermen, apparently some sail fish ended up inside those fishing net and be make as fertilizer (as no one really eat sailfish, fortunately).
Releasing Sailfish not in correct manner also the fish caused the fish drawn without sufficiently having enough water pass through the lung, likewise holding the fish out of water for too long.
Sailfish is not only the fishes could be found in Kuala Rompin, obviously no other fishes could beat the thrilled and fighting spirit of Sailfish. Other fishes (eatable) that could be found around the sea are Parrot, grouper, Ibu gelama and others. All the Sailfish boat operators there would be able to provide exact fishes name and spots, for you to bring back some fishes for Barbeque, but Sail/Bill fish is absolutely and definitely no, it’s protected creature. So remember, its still many other fishes besides sailfish.
About 35 minutes down south from Kuala Rompin, passing through Endau, Johor, is a small malay fishing village, Penyabong (Penyabung), located two kelong (Residency in the middle of sea for anglers – picture), whereby you stay, fish, sleep, bath, eat (food & drink provided, BYO your own Beer or liquor or buy from them). Once you reach Penyabong, the Kelong operators would ferry you to the Kelong using a small fishing boat. Anyway, advance booking is required whether you would try your skill for one night or two. Those two kelong are located quite close to each other and it’s around three nautical miles from the shore.
The type of fishes depend on seasons as well your luck, certain season is only cattle fish. Arrangement can also be make with the kelong operator to venture out to the sea during night times.
Kelong fishing is more fun when you have a big group, anyone of this Kelong capable of housing 50-80 persons at any one time. You should be able to sumptuous the most fresh seafood inside the kelong, and Barbeque could be arranged if your group is big enough.