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.
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 up to 40 kg.
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.
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.
Local anglers who has sampled pacu fishing around the country often say the pacu in EAK are the strongest, although they may not be the biggest.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of big pacu here but they are just difficult to catch.
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 mountains 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 holes in the ground filled with water.
Lower Dam Section
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 the monster pacu lurk.
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!
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.
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.
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.
They often stay as far away as possible from people.
The average distance I would estimate is 70 feet (21 metres) or more.
Getting To EAK (Taman Botani Negara)
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…
Find your way to Taman Botanical Negara in Shah Alam. Once there, walk to the ticketing booth to get your park entry tickets.
Call “Tapa” of EAK Fishing at this number 0137226959 for entry arrangement. Note that this is usually by being brought in one person at a time in a motorcycle, for the time being. It’s inconvenient – hopefully the park will resume normal operations again real soon. If English is your only form of spoken language, I’m not sure if Tapa is proficient. You may need to get some assistance from the counter staff.
If you’re thinking of walking to EAK, forget it.
Another option is to obtain the service of a fishing guide who will make all the necessary arrangements for you in the best way possible.
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).
8 AM to 6 PM
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.
Tight lines and happy fishing. For more of pacu fishing in EAK, contact us.