Tilapia nilotica, Tilapia mossambica
Probably the most common still water fish in our low lands. It is not indigenous to Malaysia but originates from Africa. Tilapia mossambica is presumed to have been introduced from Java in the early 40's. Now it is found it almost every freshwater pond in Peninsula Malaysia!A very hardy fish, it survives where even the local fishes perish! It is so hardy it has even acclimatised it self in saltwater estuaries in Port Klang and Straits of Tebrau, Johor!
Being so widespread, it is targeted by many coarse anglers. Common baits used are worms, crickets, dough and bread. Use of lures for this fish here is rare, but I have caught them on small plastic grubs and even a 4" diving minnow!
I believe one of the reasons this fish has survived is because it seems to learn fast! It learns the baits to avoid. Try fishing in a pond that has been neglected for several months by anglers. The fish will take any bait! You'll pull them up by the dozens! On the 3rd to 4th trip, a marked reduction of the catch will be noted unless the bait is changed! In the end the fish will get so cunning it will learn how to gently pick off the bait leaving the hook bare in time!
When that happens, only by refining ones skill in coarse angling will the fish be caught. Usage of ultra light fishing gear will ensure a good catch and great sport!
Tilapia less than a pound are common and easily caught in the wild. It is the bigger ones exceeding a kilo that are cunning and bait shy. Its eating quality is fair.There is another tilapia hybrid (originally from Taiwan), light red to pale pink found in the aqua-culture ponds. These are quite prevalent in the commercial fishing ponds.