Fishing In Borneo

Endowed with a wide variety of marine and inland angling destinations the states of Sabah and Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo, both host a plethora of fish species and presents the angler with an opportunity to discover one of the world's top fishing destinations.


The tropical seas hold most of the main target species of tropical game fish including the king of the seas, the Black Marlin and the Blue Marlin. Striped Marlin have also been taken and the Pacific Sailfish is common. Tuna - Yellowfin, Bigeye and Dogtooth are found in the deep water areas around atolls and drop offs. Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Cobia, Narrowbarred Mackerel, Dorado, Barracuda, Escolar, Rainbow Runner, Greater Amberjack and big sharks add to the variety of game fish to be found.

The rivers and lakes, with primeval rainforest providing an inspiring backdrop, have less abundance of species but can nevertheless be very rewarding angling destinations. The Malaysian Red Mahseer, the ferocious Giant Snakehead and the Hampala Barb all possess superb fighting qualities to test the anglers' skills to the limit.

For the casual visitor one can join the Cool Cat which departs on a weekly basis from the Marina at Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu, and which can take up to 15 clients per trip to the waters near Mengalum; a spot renowned for its catches of large tuna and sailfish.

It takes roughly two hours to reach the fishing grounds, near the island of Mengalum. The Cool Cat, a 60ft catamaran leaves at good speed and soon one is in the deep blue South China Sea, with Kota Kinabalu disappearing in the distance behind. A light breakfast is served as you enjoy the gentle breezes, fresh and invigorating, far from the city.

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The Rolex-IGFA Labuan International Offshore Event

This big game-fishing competition is held annually and is now part of the the International Angling Circuit, culminating in the world championship every year. The site where the competition is held is in the deep, nutrient rich waters of the Spratlys. Just 100 nautical miles north of Labuan on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, this exquisite deepwater area, with coral atolls rising from depths of 1000-2000 metres, is Malaysia's premier saltwater game fishing destination.

Fishing In Mengalum

Mengalum, situated in the South China Sea, has long been associated with voyaging of Ferdinand Magellan during the 16th century. Folklore has it that a metal anchor from Magellanâ's vessel is lodged in the south-western corner of the island near the shoreline. Mengalum Island is a good place for deep sea game fishing. Rich in marine life and natural wonders, a fishing trip to Mengalum exposes even the most seasoned fisherman to prized ocean catches such as amberjacks, barracudas, bill fish, groupers, mackerel, marlin, sailfish, snappers, giant trevally, yellow-fin tuna, mahi-mahi and more.

Fishing In Mantanani

Mantanani is another place for a leisure fishing trip. This island offers a variety of fish for anglers to test their skills. In the deep sea of Mantanani, with depths of more than 150m, you can expect to catch Amberjacks, Ruby, Kerisi Bali or Black Groupers.

Fishing In Layang-layang

Fishing in the waters of Layang-Layang, also known as Swallow Reef, is a 10 hour journey by boat. This is recommended for long charter anglers, as the fishing, here is particular good. Amberjacks, Barracudas, Bill fish, Groupers, Mackerel, Marlin that weights 40kg+, Sailfish, Snappers, giant Trevally, Tuna and many more is found on this water. The International Game Fishing Tournament Labuan 2010 is held here, as was the case in the previous years.