September 13, 2012
Casting around for a great adventure in Kuala Trong
By EDDIE CHUA
KUALA Trong, which is tucked snugly in the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
ecosystem in Perak, offers plenty of surprises for anglers.
Dubbed as the lost world by some fishos, the boat ride from the Kuala Trong
fishing jetty offers a scenic view of the swampy mangrove forest.
The journey itself is interesting. It gives one an insight to the mangrove forest
and its chains of streams and canals that connect to Sungai Temerloh, the river which separates the mainland and
Pulau Terong, which is also part of the 51km-long Matang mangrove forest that runs from Kuala Gula to the Matang
Aside from being a fishing heaven, this location also offers plenty of
opportunities for shutterbugs and bird watchers, as it is a stop-over point for migratory shorebirds.
If you are lucky enough, you might spot the endangered Milky Stork which has also
made this swampy forest its permanent home.
According to a survey conducted by the Coordination Committee on Mangrove Forest
Research and the Forestry Faculty of Universiti Putra Malaysia, there are no less than 100 Milky Storks, which are
exclusively found here, left in the wild.
The report also stated that the number of these birds had dwindled over the years
and there was no sign of them breeding.
Aside from this, one could also watch some of the 12 species of herons and egrets
feeding along the waterways or perching on the branches or roots of the mangrove trees that surround the
The entire mangrove forest, dissected by numerous streams, canals and rivers,
forms an intriguing maze. One could get lost here as the unchartered waterways zig-zag through the entire swampy
It is advisable to get an experience boatman when fishing here.
So, when my fishing buddy Ben Azryll organised a trip to this idyllic fishing
spot, it was an offer that I could not resist.
Kuala Trong offers estuary fishing in brackish water. During the low tide, many of
the fishing spots in this mangrove swamp are less than 5m deep.
While the fishing here is mainly casting, one could also do bottom
For casting, a light set up with between a 15 and 20 lb line is
For lures, one could use the spoon, minnow, chug, crankbait or soft plastics as
However, different lures target different species at different times.
For example, spoon is good for barracuda all day long, while the minnow is used on
dry and hot days for mangrove jacks. Soft plastic, which is attached to a hook sinker, is also effective for
mangrove jacks and tarpon, but only when the current is moderate.
Crankbaits are effective for the jacks and barras but suitable in the morning or
on cloudy days and when the river is calm.
Bottom fishing is only good for jenahak (golden snapper) as it rarely takes the
Personally, I prefer the soft plastics and crankbaits here. I found it effective,
especially those painted with bright flashy UV finish.
However, be prepared to get the lures stuck on the submerged mangrove roots,
fallen logs and twigs when casting for the jacks or barras along the riverbank.
Depending on the tide and season, fishing in Kuala Trong can also be
If you are there at the right time and find the right spot, good table-size fish
of between one and one-and-a-half kilogrammes are common here.
If you are hooked on casting and enjoy the idyllic tranquillity of the mangrove
forest, you will definitely find a great place in Kuala Trong.
For me, I am looking forward to return to this mangrove forest again next month.
The regular boatman who takes us out has promised yet another unforgettable fishing adventure. Meanwhile, happy
Source: The Star