A Pacu Paradise: Fishing in Air Kuning Dam – Empangan Air Kuning (EAK)

This is certainly one of the best places to fish for pacu in Malaysia, if not THE BEST.

In 2007 Nik Rahimi was granted permission to develop the Air Kuning Dam or popularly known locally as Empangan Air Kuning (EAK), into a recreational fishing park.

EAK is located inside Taman Botani Negara (national botanical gardens) in Shah Alam, Selangor, a short drive from the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

Watch this video to get a good picture of fishing in EAK

Why I Think EAK Has The Best Pacu Fishing in Malaysia?

  • It’s beautiful natural environments are absolutely breathtaking
  • Topwater action! For fly fishers, one of the uniqueness of EAK is the pacu here will often eat dry flies such as hoppers, klinkhammers and other buggy looking flies.
  • No chumming is needed although this often happens when there are more anglers around.

The environment and scenery here is fantastic. Perhaps EAK has the best pacu fishing possibly in the region?

Related: Lure and Bait Fishing Tips in EAK

Some Pacu Facts

The pacu, pronouced pa’ku, are related to the piranha but has very different teeth and grows much larger, up to 1 m in length and possibly up to 40 kg for some species.

Fishing for wild pacu may not be an easy proposition for many since they’re native to South America and that’s exactly at the opposite side of the planet for us here.

Fortunately, pacu are quite abundant here in Malaysia since their introduction in the 1980’s.

The tranquil setting in EAK

Many consider fishing for pacu here in EAK to be semi-wild although the fish are stocked as the environment puts you inside a real rainforest setting. 

Fishing in this small empangan (dam), you will find the water well stocked with fish, especially the hard-pulling pacu species. Other fish species you will find here are the toman (giant snakehead), jelawat (mad barb) and patin among others. Every now and then someone will pull out a sebarau (hamapala barb), peacock bass or local river catfish.

The water explodes as a pacu takes a topwater fly

Why You Want To Fish Here?

There are quite a large population of pacu in EAK. Many large ones, too. Many above 5kg or 10 pounds although catching them is not always easy.

Strongest Pacu in Malaysia?

Everyone of us who had fished for pacu regularly in different parts of Malaysia has said the pacu in EAK seem to fight the strongest. Why is that?

Perhaps it is because EAK resembles the pacu’s natural living conditions the closest to its natural habitat? Water source flowing through EAK are also very clean and comes from the surrounding hills thus giving an endless clean supply of oxygenated water.

In contrast, other pacu fishing spots around the country (and possibly the region) are just mostly featureless rugged-out holes in the ground, filled with water.

The Infamous Lower Dam Section in EAK

Many tales have surfaced from those who had attempted fishing the lower dam area.

For me, fishing the lower dam level is like playing a video game. Once you’ve caught plenty of fish and perhaps somewhat mastered the upper dam section, it is time to move on to the next level of the game. And that is to fish the lower dam section where monster pacu lurk.

Watch lower dam pacu kick my arse

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a hit. And if you’re ready, you’ll hopefully land that monster pacu.

Very often you’ll be given only one chance. After that the pond goes quiet.

The lower dam area of EAK is deeper and houses a smaller number of fish compared to the upper dam section but man, the fish in the lower dam are bigger and brutal!

The fish here are often darker in colour, almost like finding black giant trevally here against the silvery ones in the upper section.

I have not experienced many happy endings here. More often than not I get bullied and busted-off! But the take and the run when you get them is quite something.

To get the most rewarding experience, pick a quiet day and stalk out the fish here and see them eat your fly naturally. All it takes is that one fish to make your day.

This part of EAK is also a lot less accessible. There are very little place to fish from land-based. To fish most of the waters you’ll need a boat.

The problem with launching a boat is the moment a boat hits the water the fish gets spooked. Not always, but often.

And again another time

How to Catch More Pacu in EAK

If there is one single tip I can share with you on how to catch more fish in EAK is casting accuracy and casting distance.

Casting distance may not be too difficult with a spinning gear setup. However, if you are fly fishing, you will need that advantage.

You see, most of the fish in EAK if not all the fish in EAK has already been caught and are wary targets.

When there are heavy fishing pressure, the fish will often stay farther out.

It is not uncommon to have to cast 70 feet (21 metres) or more to get bites. Of course, if the fish won’t come to you you can always take the boat out!


Getting To EAK (Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam)

EAK is located inside the Taman Botani Negara (National Botanical Gardens) located in Shah Alam.

Since an unusually powerful storm in March 2019, sections of the park was closed and access rendered less convenient. The following are the necessary steps…

Entry Into EAK

Firstly upon arrival at Taman Botanical Negara in Shah Alam – walk to the main ticketing counter to get your park entry tickets.

Thereafter, proceed to the park ranger booth and register to go to EAK there.

Once you get to the pond, you need to pay the fishing fee which is only RM30 per person (one rod only).

If you face any issue while there, call “Tapa” of EAK Fishing at this number 0137226959. Note that if English is your only form of spoken language, there may be some communication problems. You may need to get some assistance from the counter staff.

If you’re thinking of walking to EAK, forget it.

Click for post and video on getting into EAK.

Fishing Fee

Current fishing fee in EAK is RM30 per rod for a day. No rod rentals available so bring your own gear.

Boat rental is RM40 for half-day. No PFD available (bring your own if needed).

If you need a fishing guide, contact us.

Operating Hours

8 AM to 6 PM

All information are correct at the time of posting, which may change in time. Come back or contact us / EAK / Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam if you have questions.

Flight Restrictions for Drones in EAK

As EAK is located close to the Subang airport, there is a flight restriction if you plan to fly a drone here.

You will often see small commercial planes, helicopters and even airforce planes flying overhead here.

The highest I could get the drone to currently is 100m (about 300ft). At this height, your drone may or may not clear some of the tree tops as EAK is located inside a valley.

The last time I flew a drone here was in 2013 and there was no restrictions back then.

Facilities in EAK

  • Sheltered rest huts
  • Toilet
  • Limited drinks for sale e.g. soft drinks and bottled drinking water

There are no access to food, fishing gear, etc. So be prepared.

The toilet facility in EAK

Tight lines and happy fishing. For more of pacu fishing in EAK, contact us.

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