Rock Island Fishing Pond (RIFP) opened as a recreational fishing pond at the beginning of 2020. It was used as a fish farm of sorts before that.
You can still find duck breeding and goat farming adjacent to the fishing pond.
Watch out for a small fish sculpture at the turnoff from the main Simpang Pulai road that turns off into a narrow road that leads to the pond.
There are ample parking space once you get to the pond entrance. We had to go through the extra steps of registering our name, getting our temperature checked and hand sanitised before getting to the fishing part.
We had our nasi lemak and teh-o breakfast at the pond. Which was delicious!
I understand currently their opening hours are 9am to 12 midnight. It’s best you check beforehand if planning to go as it may change. I’ll leave the location and contact information below.
We only fished the morning session and left the place after lunch to head back to Kuala Lumpur. The bites were also slowing down as the sun rose overhead and temperatures climbed.
The pond is slightly rounded and rectangular in shape with a small island right smack in the middle making it look like a moat if you’re fishing around it and pretty much the shape of an “O”.
The depth we are told varies from 5 feet closer to the pond edge to around 12 feet at the deepest.
We had the privilege to be the first to fish from the island as before this all fishing are done from the mainland sides.
Lure casters and fly fishers may be allowed to fish from the island from now on.
We were told beforehand that peacock bass and Chaophraya catfish lurks around the island.
There is a small stream and waterfall that feeds cool freshwater into the pond making the water clean and keeping the fish healthy.
High-tension electricity cables run overhead across the pond here. They are too high to get in the way but you won’t want to be under them fishing if there is a thunderstorm.
There are 5 species of peacock bass in RIFP including the largest of them all, the Cichla temensis, that can grow up to 100cm and weigh up to 13kg.
JW managed one temensis that measured at 45cm.
We found the peacock bass are mainly concentrated along the edges. That is unsurprising as peacock bass are known to use cover for protection and ambush.
There appears to be a healthy population of peacock bass in RIFP. I also personally find them to be very nicely coloured with bright patterns and fins.
Many peacock bass readily took our flies and Ajid who was fishing with us on the island caught around 10 peacock bass with his lures such as soft plastics.
There are more than 200 chaophraya catfish in RIFP ranging in size from 10kg to the largest caught to date at 25kg.
Almost as soon as Nick stepped onto the island he connected to a good sized chaophraya cat. It was his first cast with the Charlie fly and he just started a figure-eight retrieve when the chaophraya catfish took the fly and took Nick round and round the little island. We had to come to his rescue with the huge landing net from across the pond.
No other chaophraya was caught the rest of the morning, although I had a bite/break off I think that’s more likely a pacu than a chaophraya.
First impression is the chaophraya appears to be more active around the island as we can see them rising but that’s non conclusive.
Some of us landed a few small pacu but saw some in the 7-8kg range landed by bottom fishers.
Other species in the pond include:
- Patin (Iridescent shark)
There are also the the odd haruan snakehead and arowana.
There is a healthy population of fish here. The easiest way to catch fish is obviously by using bait. Target species would likely be the pacu and patin.
The chaophraya and peacock bass are aggressive predatory species and will be a rewarding good sport for lure and fly fishers willing to work for them.
Ajid and Din who manages RIFP are very friendly and together with their onsite staff are very helpful.
Rock Island Fishing Pond location
RIFP is located not far off the Simpang Pulai exit of the North South Highway along the same road that leads up to the hill resort of Cameron Highlands.
Business hours: 9am – 12 midnight. Closed on Friday