Fishing around the Pearl of the Orient
Contributed by Daniel Wan
Anyone fishing in Penang can try the Japanese Wreck or Taiwan Wreck. The Taiwan Wreck is quite near to Kendi. Plenty of Silver Grunts (Pek Cho) and big gelama papan for bottom fishing.
The Kendi Wreck also has Pek Cho and bigger ones too. Its roughly 17 miles off Penang Island. Sometimes, kerisi, ang choh (red snapper), senangin (threadfin salmon), barracuda and certain times, tenggiri (spanish mackerel) come in there. Tuna too. Lots of baitfish like herring, selar, kembung, cincaru and queenfish for jigging.
For offshore beginners who want to go for cheap offshore fishing, The Japanese Wreck is not a bad place to try. Surface fishes range from barracudas (yellowtail and blacktails), todaks, occasionally cobia and Giant Trevally. During certain times of the year, the tenggiri arrive with the tuna and bonito. The Spaniards(tenggiri) are usually from the 7kg - 10kg bracket. I heard that one guy caught a 15kg one! The boatmen have said that sailfishes have been caught there before but not anymore.
Bottom fishes are the Pek Cho, Ang Choh, groupers, kerisi, kalak and gelama papan. The Pek Chos are the biggest population there. In fact, the wreck is famous for its Pek Chos but they're depleting fast. Jigging can bring in selar kuning, kembung, cincaru, queenfish, herring and even kurau.
There's this spot worth mentioning . My uncle has been there and he says the fishing is good. Golden Snappers from 4kgs-6kgs. It's roughly 24 miles from Penang. The GPS readings are : N 05 06.98' E099 58.17'
Anglers fishing from the shores in Penang can find good spots too. There's this spot in Batu Maung where Granite Blasting is done. In front of a little shrine is a big karang (coral reef). Try there at night. Siakaps, Mangrove Jacks and well dozen over species can be found there. I went there last time and the fishing was so good that we took our boat from the marina and anchored over the karang (coral reef). My friend's 18lb line went off like lightning and snapped! We suspected a stingray as big ones had been caught before. The problem with fishing there is that the currents are very very strong. This is because next to the granite blasting site is a waterway. Even heavy weights will make you 'fly kites'.
Try befriending the fish farm owners anywhere in Penang and let them allow you to fish from their farms at night. Provided you don't steal their fish, I'm sure they will allow you to fish there. Although they don't ask for it, perhaps a small sum can be paid as a token of appreciation. My cousins and I love going to the Batu Maung fish farm. We have caught large Siakap Tengah (Mangrove Jacks), Siakap and even Pek Cho. These are escapees from the nearby farms and can be recognized by their deformed tails which have been cut off. The gelamas and belukangs (salwater catfish) there are in plague numbers and are a nuisance. Beware! There are guard dogs on the farm. They can bite and even eat fish!! Watch your baits. But they will be friendly if you become a regular there.