Fishing in Malaysia

Find out about the fishing seasons and the permits required to fish along the coast and in the National and Marine Parks of Malaysia...

Sport-fishing - called kaki pancing in Bahasa Malay - is a relatively recent sport in Malaysia, although it is growing in popularity.

Malaysia has more than 300 species of freshwater fish, of which about 40 species can be caught on rod and line, and many large and spectacular species of saltwater game fish. Sailfish weighing more than 60 kg, yellowfin tuna of more than 100 kg and Black Marlin of more than 250 kg, have been reported to be caught by game fishermen. The freshwater Tapah is known to swallow monkeys.

  • For information on the types of fish that can be caught in Malaysia along with their translation: Click here

Fishing Seasons and Areas

The best time to go fishing in the South China Sea is between February and November. In the Andaman Sea, off Langkawi, the best time is between December and March.

Tanjung Agas jetty, about 25 Km south of Port Dickson is a favourite spot with locals. Fishermen should beware of the crocodiles in the river.

In Putrajaya, the Astana Dugang Country Resort (about 30 minutes from KLIA) has two ponds stocked with some 30,000 freshwater fish.

  • Astana Dugang Country Resort
    : 11751, Bukit Dugang, Desa Putra, Sg Merab, 43800, Bangi, Selangor
  • For further information on popular fishing areas in Malaysia: Click here
  • The Malaysia Fishing Tourism blog also has information on fishing areas in Malaysia

Fishing Rules and Permits

Currently, there are no rules for sport-fishing and no permit or licence is required. However, as the sport becomes more popular new rules are being drafted by the government. At present, the only rules are in regard to National and Marine Parks. A permit to fish is required in National Parks. This costs approximately MYR 10, and can be obtained from the park office. In addition, a camera fee of MYR 7 may be charged.

In Marine Parks, no fishing is permitted within two nautical miles of the park boundary.

Teman Negara (National Forest), was the country's first national park. It was established in 1938 and covers more than 4,500 Km2 (1700 sq. miles). Within the park, fishing on the Sungai Tahan (River Tahan) is only permitted under the supervision of Golden Mahseer, a park-appointed outfitter.

For updates on any new regulations or requirements consult the Department of Fisheries Malaysia website.

Endangered Species

In order to maintain abundant stocks for sports-fishing, the practice of catch and release is being encouraged throughout the country, except for identified "alien species" which should be landed.

There are a number of endangered fish in Malaysia including sailfish (ikan layar) and marlin (mersuji), big sharks, and coral trout (kerapu bara).