The waters off Kuala Rompin have gained recognition as the sailfish capital of Asia. They are home to one of the largest populations of sailfish in the world that are drawn to the warm waters of the South China Sea, the local reefs and abundance of bait fish.
The high numbers of sailfish in the waters off Kuala Rompin are mainly due to the baitfish and squid migration and spawning of the species. The abundance of food source attracts the sailfish.
Juvenile sailfish are often caught here. It is also believed that sailfish spawn off these waters but as no scientific study or research have been carried out to confirm this.
Prized as game fish, the quiet village has been reeling in anglers from over the world due to the high numbers of sailfish found in its waters. Because of that, anglers stand a good chance of catching at least one or more sailfish.
Anglers are drawn to this sailfish destination after reading about it on the Internet. Word of mouth from friends who have fished there and magazine articles also contributed to the awareness.
SportFishin. Asia founder Juan Wei has urged the government to help boost the flourishing tourism attraction. He asks the authorities to conduct study and research on the sailfish population and movement and migration patterns of the fish.
“Conduct more boat patrols to minimise and stop illegal local and foreign fishing boats, especially so the trawlers,” he says. “Have no-netting exclusion zones to prevent over-fishing. They can also build and install artificial reefs to maintain and encourage marine life growth.”
Juan says sailfishing at Kuala Rompin will get a shot in the arm if the government builds better boating facilities for the charter operators.
He operates the only luxury sport fishing boat charter there with a 72ft Taiwanese-built sailfishing boat called Sea Urchin. He has a full-time crew on duty onboard.
Juan takes anglers between 10 and 30 nautical miles or 18km and 15km offshore to catch Sailfish, which is about one to two hours by boat.
“A novice angler will certainly enjoy this fishing expedition as they get to fish in comfort and guided by highly experience crew members,” he says. “Sea Urchin is also fully equipped with necessary fishing gear.
“Beginners and experienced anglers alike will be assisted by our full time professional fishing guides with many years of experience.
“Our fishing guides have been operating fishing charter services in Kuala Rompin since the 1990s and have tremendous amount of experience and knowledge about the fishing here.”
Juan practises a strict catch-and-release policy to ensure that the population of the species won’t dwindle in the waters off Kuala Rompin. He is confident that it could the biggest destination for sportfishing if the government and the operators work hand-in-hand to reel in more anglers from abroad.
Source : The Heat Malaysia Online