For us, it has always been the impromptu fishing trips that has a bit more fun added into the equation. Maybe it’s trying out something new, unplanned and discovering a gem at the end of the experience from time to time.
We have been lucky, I must add, that on every impromptu fishing trip to discover a new location this year, we have caught more than we bargained for. Could it be the lack of expectation? Allowing nature to mould our experiences without our personal hopes placed on a ridiculous level? We never know. However, tasting the season in a Chai Latte whilst having breakfast in Coffee Bean ignited that impromptu fishing spirit once more on a wet Christmas Day in Kuala Lumpur.
We texted our usual fishermen friends and finally, Saran was the only one able to make it and raring to go. We knew of three new places we would like to try out but opted for something closer to the city as we were fishing after 3p.m.
Hulu Langat Fishing Resort, a catch and release sport fishing pond reigned supreme. Located only 45 minutes from KL City, we called in, booked a private fishing platform, had a quick lunch and sped off with the guidance of Waze, our trusty GPS Navigation app. What we were about to experience, inclusive of the journey was one we never expected.
Taking the Selangor state route, B26 Jalan Ampang – Hulu Langat, we were led to where once stood the famous Ampang Lookout Point, an attraction located 280 meters above sea level and just 20 mins from KLCC which consisted of restaurants offering the experience of dining with an unblocked view of the city from a hilltop. Though the Ampang Lookout Point is now permanently closed due to its unstable earth structure, a few local stalls have opened up nearby, covering an area with a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur. Instantly we knew, that a cup of Teh Tarik (local “pulled” milk tea) was in store on the way back, regardless of the outcome.
Once we were down from the hills, the surrounding took a drastic change. Almost as though we have travelled hours out of Kuala Lumpur in less than 10 minutes of descending from the hill, beginning from the city and ending in a more traditional and laid back township. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves turning into a dirt road, tracks were steep and bumpy surrounded by large trees, almost as though a jungle adventure was in store for us… turning a sharp bend, we saw the first sign that assured us we were on the right track…
If you know us by now, you will understand we are always ready for battle. Penn and Shakespeare fans we are, lets not even start on our love for the Ugly Stik. That banner immediately made us feel good. What a way to lure us in further (by US, I mean Naweshad and I, Saran is an Abu fan for life). Another banner ahead of us and we were welcomed by an unmissable sign that read Hulu Langat Fishing Resort, behind the large gates were a sight that was jaw dropping. We got out of the car as 10 year olds.
We could not believe the sight and size of this pond. Each private fishing platform was labelled with a fishing brand from Pure Fishing, it’s sponsor, we were already eyeing the platform we preferred which was labelled with the brand we trust. Penn of course. Indeed, we were kids in a one-of-a-kind fishing pond…move away candy store!
Unfortunately, the tackle we brought along with us was not appropriate to fish with, neither was it allowed by the management of the pond. Luckily, the pond’s concept, being similar if not the same to Bangkok’s famous Bungsamran meant that the pond was equipped with everything one would need to fish in it albeit with a rental or purchase price, depending on equipment or item. From your Rod & Reel to your terminal tackle, to your bait AND your meals, Hulu Langat Fishing Resort (HLFR) covered all corners to ensure that once your trip was made to the pond, there is no reason for you not to be able to fish in it.
The rod provided is a spinning Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging (50-100lbs test) paired with a Penn Fierce 6000 reel spooled with Spiderwire Stealth braid in red. Now THAT, is one sexy combination and I have no qualms chucking my 15lbs class Ugly Stik Lite and Penn Fierce combo aside for a heavier, sexier one.
Clearly, one needs some heavy gear to be fighting the fishes in HLFR. If you’re still wondering, species includes and are not limited to the Mekong River Catfish, the Amazon Red Tail Catfish and Pacu, to name a few. The sizes available are impressive and they are growing day by day.
A private platform rental will include your very own Ghillie, a fishing guide, that will assist in preparing the bait, baiting your hooks, looking out for ideal areas to cast to and even casting your line out for you accurately. With that, the mistake most people make is to immediately associate HLFR with Bungsamran, naming it the Malaysian version. It is not. It has a similar concept most probably adopted from Bungsamran however it cannot be compared to, and is far from Bungsamran. Understanding that HLFR as a separate entity will make the fishing experience a more enjoyable one.
With our gears rented, bait bought and platform ready, we were assigned a ghillie named Feroz and off we went marching over. To our delight, every platform was well maintained, each includes a dining area and a flat screen TV which has the local Astro cable channels on it. This has got to be the most luxurious fishing experience we were about to encounter in Malaysia.
As Feroz was preparing our terminal tackle and bait, two kind gentlemen, one of whom named Steven came by to ensure everything was well taken care of. They gave us pointers and useful information regarding the inception of the pond and it’s future plans, how the experience is governed by strict regulations to ensure satisfaction for every angler and proper care of the fishes. Though Steven and his friend do not work for HLFR, they are part of a team of friends that come by to assist in ensuring the pond’s rules and regulations are met by anglers, especially those that are not familiar with the concept. If this continues, HLFR could just be the most well maintained and managed pond in Malaysia.
Feroz, Steven & friend assisted us in casting the first few lines out. Naweshad and I picked our rod of choice, Saran was using his own as he came prepared with heavier gear. At this point, Steven was rooting for each of us to catch one fish each before they will leave us to our 4-hour session with Feroz.
We could see other anglers in front of us landing the Mekong Catfish one after another and it got us excited, before long, a weighted bottle used as an indicator with the main line going around through an open bail topples over, signalling that a fish has taken the bait. Feroz lifts the rod up, closes the bail and strikes swiftly to set the hook… it just so happens to be my rented rod.
Feroz passed the rod over to me, assisting in ways to hold the rod as I reeled the fish in. I must say, the adrenaline was one of a kind. Unlike a regular fishing trip, my energy and focus was not shared between baiting my hook, casting my line, setting my hook- someone else was doing all that for me. All I needed to do was fight the fish, and land it. That is exactly what I did.
For the impressive fight on heavy gear, a said to be “baby” Mekong Catfish emerges and is swooped into the net by Feroz. At 13lbs, I was contented with my very first Mekong Catfish. Not long after, Naweshad’s bottle topples over. With the same practice, he fights with a high of happiness plastered all over his face and lands his very first Mekong Catfish with a weight of 11lbs.
Saran was having some trouble with his gear, instead of leaving him stranded or even requesting him to rent a gear for himself, Steven and his friend assisted to fix Saran’s reel and ensured that it was good to fish with for the rest of the fishing hours. Once that was sorted, Saran’s indicator bottle topples over and with a very quick fight, he surprisingly lands himself a beautiful Pacu. Though we were aiming for the Mekong Catfish, having a variety of species is always welcomed. With that, Steven and friend left us to fish with our trusty Ghillie, Feroz.
The sun was setting and we had no bites after the first hour of fishing. Dark, heavy clouds were rolling in and it was drizzling on and off. Feroz was still hard at work, baiting our hooks and continuously checking on our lines, focused at all times. We have already mastered the art of casting and some of us were doing so on our own, being lazy in the sport of fishing takes away a certain level of fun so just sitting around and waiting for a bite was not a very comfortable option. We switched on a soccer match on TV and paid no attention to it, we kept looking out with hopes of catching another. The sun went down and the lights came on, Feroz went for dinner and as he came back suggested that we moved to another platform as the fishes have migrated. If I may use that term. A migration from the right to the left of the pond after sunset, and we packed up to follow suit.
To ease our migration and save time, another ghillie assisted in bringing our rods over and setting it up as we settle down. He took Saran’s rod and casted it out, a huge splash accompanied it as it landed in the water. Even before closing the bail, line was being pulled out almost immediately. I exclaimed that there was a fish however in a cool, calm, collected manner, the ghillie waited… and waited… and as I was about to scream my head off for him to strike, he closes the bail, gently strikes and scream goes the reel. How stylish of the substitute ghillie.
The fish was taking line, a lot of it, despite Saran’s attempt of tightening his drag time and again. It was definitely a fight to be reckoned with. Saran was breaking into a sweat, he kept a cool momentum despite an evident strain on his fishing rod and arms. Minutes felt like hours when finally, the float emerges from the water, indicating that the fish is about to surface when… POP goes the line. The float is now on the platform and the hook…empty. We lost the fish. Disappointment echoed through the air, our substitute ghillie, Naweshad and myself too could feel the pain of losing that fish. It could have very well been the 60lbs Mekong we all have been looking forward to and secretly hoping for. Nonetheless, the night is still young.
The skies finally opened up and just as I got my raincoat on, Feroz got excited and Naweshad told me to hurry on out to the platform as my rod is on to what seems to be a big one. The moment I took the rod from Feroz, I instantly knew, I would be in for quite the fight. With the drag as tight as it could possibly be, the fish was pulling hard enough to pull me over. The rain has rendered the platform slippery, even with rubber shoes on, the pulls were so strong it felt like I was on a tug-of-war. The concerns were very real, someone had to hang on to me or I would, without a doubt, be pulled over. Naweshad quickly grabs on to me as I focused on landing the fish without the worry of falling in. It took every might I have to lift the rod, with heavy rainfall clouding my vision,I had to rely on what I could feel from the fight alongside pointers from the guys. Finally, Feroz lifts the landing net and I reeled in faster, knowing that it could only mean that the fish was surfacing. I see the float emerge and cannot help but recall what happened with Saran, I released the tension on my lift, Feroz dips the landing net into the water and in goes the largest fish I have ever caught to date. Drenched, exhausted and a little dazed, the Mekong Catfish weighed 33lbs. With that, I am done for the day… or maybe just a few minutes.
Almost like a sequence mother nature has planned for us, next on to a fish was Naweshad. A quick but strong fight and he lands his second Mekong for the day, with a weight of 11lbs once more. After which, I landed another one of the same weight. We were rooting for Saran to catch the next one and wrap up our productive fishing session, and that was exactly what happened.
The rain finally stopped and Saran’s indicator bottle finally topples over… once more, a very strong take. He was quick to say that this did not feel as large as the one lost earlier but large it definitely was. Putting up a strong fight which lasted awhile, we waited anxiously to see colour and when we did, we were all delighted. Feroz nets and lifts another beautiful specimen of the Mekong Catfish, Saran’s first Mekong Catfish weighing 22lbs.
During the time that we have moved to the other platform, another kind friend of HLFR named Chee accompanied us throughout the night. This was something we welcomed as every information that was shared was essential and increasing our bite rate was also part of their goal. As we were packing up (honestly we didn’t unpack anything to start off with), we were thanking Feroz and Chee for their relentless efforts throughout the night in ensuring that our trip ended productively. It definitely did.
Landing a new species of fish and having most part of our experience cared for by a ghillie was a spoilt brats way of Fishing, however, it being Christmas Day, we welcomed the relaxed atmosphere. Despite it all, we too learnt a lot from Feroz and by the end of the day, we were able to bait our own hooks and cast out our lines as accurate as he would.
If you are considering to head out to HLFR for your next fishing trip, we highly recommend it, however, there are a few things I would like to point out with hopes that it would allow you to enjoy your trip as much as we did.
Based on reviews from the HLFR Facebook page, some anglers have been harsh to point out the low bite rates and expensive cost of fishing in the pond. Firstly, as I have mentioned, this pond IS NOT Bungsamran of Thailand, it would be wise to first stop comparing the two and adopt an open mindset to enjoy the experience of HLFR by allowing yourself the freedom to piece your personal opinion based on your own experience of fishing there.
The cost of fishing, for a VIP or VVIP platform includes not just a relaxing, spoilt brat trip that allows you to indulge in the nature as you fish, but also provides you with facilities that beats every other pond in Malaysia, hands down. A restaurant that caters to your meals, delivered to your platform, unsurpassed cleanliness, from the jetty to platform and even toilet, friendly staff and a complete set of essentials that you require to fish with. Truly, all you need to bring is yourself and a good attitude to fish, HLFR provides you with the rest and more. That, in my opinion is worth every penny for the experience.
You will catch a fish, you will have to wait for it, patience is key and sometimes, you may not land anything. Is that not what Fishing is about regardless of where you fish at?
If you haven’t tried out Hulu Langat Fishing Resort then why not do so sometime soon? If the cost is a little expensive, save up and try it out in the near future, afterall, it is a Fishing Resort, and the term Resort almost always involves a fun time during the holidays.
If you need to know more, for once, I need not list down information on this pond as it has an accurate and updated website with all you need to know and more about fishing and getting there. Visit the Hulu Langat Fishing Resort website and plan out your next relaxing and productive fishing trip with friends and family. Enjoy the video of our trip to HLFR and be inspired!
And yes, we stopped for more than just Teh Tarik on the way back, with the beautiful view of the city ahead of us to celebrate, albeit the cold and wet weather.