Thursday, June 14, 2007

Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge

The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge

Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge actually takes advantage of the active migration season of the billfishes, such as marlin and sailfish (istiophorus platypterus), passing the Rompin area from the northern hemisphere to their destination in Australia, during the months of March to September.

This annual billfish migration, passing through the area in their thousands, could be seen and identified through satellite tracking. And one reason for their presence in the area is the abundant availability there of shoals of anchovies and other small fishes that make up their food.


Like all competitions, there are important rules and regulations to be followed by participants of the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge.

These rules of conduct are mostly based on the international standards set by The Billfish Foundation and The International Game Fish Association.

The most important competition rule of course is that the competition is based on the concept of catch and release.

This means that when a sailfish is caught, it is measured, weighed, tagged (and photographed) and then released back to the sea. There is a strict time limit of 3 minutes to record and do all these acts so as not to harm or injure the fish.

The organiser, the Joran Unit of Berita Harian newspaper, together with sponsorship and support from the Ministry of Tourism and the Pahang state government, plan to attract at least 250 sailfish fishing enthusiasts and 50 teams from all over the world, to participate in the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge 2007.

But judging from the initial responses and positive feedbacks received, there could be more participants and entries for the 2007 competition, tentatively scheduled on 3rd – 5th August 2007, being one of the major events in Pahang for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 tourism programs.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lutjanus sebae / Red Emperor

Recognising the shape of red emperor is generally the easiest form of positive identification, along with its red colouration. In juveniles the colour pattern is very distinct and striking with three darker red bars over a much paler red background.

The main threat to this species is probably habitat destruction by trawling which can flatten the coral around which red emperor live. Because we know so very little about the breeding, migration or movement of these fish it is extremely difficult to assess the impact of commercial and recreational fishing.

Western Fisheries magazine has reported that in some areas of the North-West the remaining biomass of red emperor may be as low as 20 per cent. This is generally considered to be a critical biomass level, below which the ability of the fish stocks to recover is very poor.

Red emperor are generally considered vulnerable to overfishing as they are at the top end of the desirability list of species for both the recreational and commercial sectors.

Big red emperor tend to hit hard and look for rough-edged coral lumps as soon as they feel resistance, and successful anglers rarely use line under 24kg. Many are now opting for the advantages of gelspun.

Standard dropper rigs – not unlike those used farther south for dhufish – are popular in breaking strains of 50 kilos upwards. Hooks should start at 7/0 and be strong. Circle hooks (see Boating Angler, Dec/Jan 1999) can also prove to be very effective but their sizes are a bit strange and you will probably need around 12/0 upwards in this hook style.

Red emperor are not too selective about bait so long as it’s fresh and a reasonable size. Pieces of mackerel or tuna are good, as are mulies. Occasionally a whole squid will do the trick.

tag: merah coreng

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Scientific Name: Platycephalus endrachtensis

The Flathead is a popular sport and table fish found in all parts of Australia. It inhabits estuaries and the open ocean. There are many species, including the dusky flathead (Platycephalus fuscus), the sand flathead, and the tiger flathead.

The Dusky Flathead are found in estuaries and coastal bays, from Cairns in Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. They occur over sand, mud, gravel and seagrass and can inhabit estuarine waters up to the tidal limit. They have a maximum size of 15 kg and maximum length of 1.5 m.

Ocean Flathead (Sand Flathead, Tiger Flathead, Bar-tailed Flathead) are, as named, generally located more offshore than the Dusky Flathead. Frequenting the sandy zones around and between coastal reefs. They are sometimes called lizards or lizard fish due to their reptilian appearance.

Fishing methods
Casting little bibbed lures around the shallows and along the dropoffs of an estuary is a great way to explore a large patch of fishing territory in a session. My spinning outfit these days comprises a 2m light graphite spin stick, 4kg braid and a short 10kg mono trace. This gear is very sensitive, a delight to use and allows me to feel just about every bump and knock from fish. I tend to look for slightly darker coloured areas, which mostly indicate drop-offs and holes where flathead could hide to ambush baitfish and prawns on a falling tide. It may seem surprising but there are areas of estuaries that consistently seem to produce flatties for knowledgable anglers.