Desaru Fishing : Jigging and Casting for Tenggiri Batang

How I missed this beach!

Fishing at Desaru has always been special for me as it was one of the easiest places to get started on light jigging last time. The glory days of TU lighthouse were simply amazing and I'm sure the older anglers would know what I am talking about. Countless queenfish, GT, mackerals and so on... basically all the pelagics you could dream of! 

Desaru is also a place that is fairly near us (under an hour drive) that will produce good sized tenggiri batang also known as spanish mackerals. It is also the place that I caught some of my nicest red groupers on jigs.

The downside of Desaru? As it is a little more exposed than other fishing areas up the east coast of Malaysia, the weather can be a little unpredictable and stormy or bad conditions at sea will mean you might have to cut your trip short. That's what happened on this trip but I am not complaining!

During this trip, we started out very late at 10am and the fishes were in a frenzy till about 1230pm. The pelagics were extremely active and we had a blast. The macks were taking big long jigs right at the bottom and also casting minnows. Queenies also came in to have some fun and they were much better fighters than the macks. 

150g Kurau Deep chrome jig did the job!

The queenfish pest were around!

Very good size macks. The grouper was 2kg plus for reference.

Not bad for half day fishing?

Storms at Desaru are quite common

How I missed them!

Some tips fishing for tenggiri at Desaru that I have built up over many trips. They may not always work but you can try it.

  1. When possible, go big and go long when jigging. Having bigger and longer jigs makes it harder for the macks to swallow the jig and burst off your leader. Also, heavier jigs sink faster and this makes a difference if the spot bite radius is small (e.g. you're fishing off an FAD) or the strike zone is more towards the bottom. During this trip, I used 100g to 150g jigs and had many hits close to the bottom. Don't believe in rockstar micro jiggers when they tell you to use 30g to 40g simply because they had hits. What is most important is getting the fish in the icebox.
  2. For better hook up rates, use a treble hook at the tail of your jig. This is the oldest known trick in the history of fishing for macks. The trebles give you an extra hookup point, usually helps you hook the fish when they hit the tail end and also helps in ensuring the hookup is outside the fish jaws. 
  3. Macks don't fight that well and they tend to swim around in circles alot and tire out easily. Don't "pump" the fish but bring it in at a steady rate. You don't need to let it run or loosen your drag because one of the golden rules is to keep the fight short in case of the leader getting cut off.
  4. Hold your braid when you are letting out line or be alert during pauses. These fish often attack the jig or even your line during these moments. If you detect them, strike quickly to have a better chance of initiating a good hook up. 
  5. Always check your leader for frays. Sometimes, the fish hits your line gently and frays your leader. Macks can be a very strange fish...
  6. For minnows, try a variety. Sometimes they like fast and consistent, other days they like erratic or they may even like pause and twitch. During his trip, Storm So-Run heavy minnow worked better than the Jackson Pintail and the Duel Hardcore Minnow 110s. Seems like the fish liked erratic action during this trip.

How to get to Desaru Rothman Launch Point (most of the other fishing boats are also here)

Desaru is easily accessible via self drive. You can get to the launch point by following this map:

Rothman's meet up point. Basically you load up the boat here.
Pro Rothman wearing columbia fishing shirt!

After you load up, the boat will be towed to the water.

How to arrange a fishing trip at Desaru

Simply contact any of the fishing captains at Desaru for a slot. There are a few that are quite famous like Rothman, Sifu, Desaru Ah Long, Desaru Siong and so on.

  • Desaru Ah Long (Ahlong) contact: +60 16-779 1882 or
  • Desaru Siong contact: +012-7085596 or
  • Rothman Desaru Fishing Captain contact number: +60 12-730 7772 or

Then drive up or arrange your own transport to the launch point. Live prawns, water, ice are all available there and the only thing you need to buy is your own food.

Good luck!

The aftermath of the trip. Superb tenggiri batang slices!



SunStriderSanj said…
Bro what rod did you use for jigging in desaru?
SunStriderSanj said…
Bro what rod did u use with your 150g kurau jig?
SunStriderSanj said…
Another question bro, what is the average water depth that you play at in desaru?
Anonymous said…
Hi bro, may I know what the average depth of desaru waters are bro? Would you recommend slowfall jigging over there?
Nigel said…
The depth really depends. Some spots are 5m. Some are 40m.
Nigel said…
I used the zenaq ikari 64-5.
Nigel said…
Slow fall would be mainly for snapper and groupers.

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