HT6 – Fishing for Jungle Perch (Sebarau) in Sabah -Eastern Malaysia
The story of a HT6 #16.
Owner Tim Kempton
I was invited in place of a HT8 on a trip to Sabah in Eastern Malaysia to fish for Red Mahseeer and Jungle Perch (Sebarau) . We were fishing the renowned Tagal rivers in Sabah. The word ‘tagal’ in the local kadazan-dusun dialect means ‘no fishing’. The main purpose of ‘tagal’ is to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystem of the river for the benefit of the generations to come. The initiative started over 25 years ago, where villages progressively decided to implement a tagal program for their stretch of river. There are now over 500 Tagal programs. Each program has a yellow, green and red zone. The yellow zone can be harvested once a year as decided by the committee for that Talgal, and the catch divided among the community, including member of the community who did not join the program. The green zone is open to members and non members to fish whenever they like. The red zone is a total “no fish” zone, and strict penalties discourage poaching.
Rudi is a local guide (when he is not off fixing heavy mining machinery) who has negotiated with many of the several Tagal committees for the rights to fish the red and yellow zones. This is catch and release only. The money raised from the anglers is used to build infrastructure in the communities.
The Sebarua, or Hampala Barb, or Jungle Perch is found in the Mekong Basin, Thailand, in the various rivers in Peninsula Malaysia and also in Sumatra, Java and Borneo (Sabah). The Sebarau is a predatory fish and actively hunts smaller fish and invertebrates. The Sebarau inhabits various aquatic habitats including clear rivers and streams, which typically flow through intact forest, with either silty, sandy or gravelly substrates. The species can also adapt to more muddy, lowland rivers and reservoirs. It is considered to be a freshwater migratory species.
That’s the backstory.
I was strung up with a WF6F line. It was recommended to use a WF6 SA Magnum for the gurglers. This line would not load, and did not work. It made me look silly and even though I bent my back trying to make it load, I finally convinced Tim to take it off before he did some damage to me and probably him. He changed the line back to a Rio Gold WF6F line which suited the way I was designed to load.
There was a lot of casting in the jungle…long casts into the spots where the Sebarau were lurking. The Sebarau are aggressive and give impressive surface strikes. There was a lot of wading and the humidity and hot temperature called for frequent swims.
The fish of the trip was 2.8kg ..it smashed a green gurgler and took several minutes to land. This fishing required long accurate casts, to which I was ideally suited.
Im part of the HT collection together with the 4, 8 and 10. We now have a newcomer, the HT 12 with a fibre glass butt. Classy piece of ass!