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Merchong Malaysia Tee King Chong Fishing 2023

King Chong built a new platform for catches. Extremely useful!

Merchong! It’s been too long (yes it even rhymes) since we had a full-fledged fishing trip there. Merchong is actually situated at Nenasi, Malaysia. It’s after Rompin and just before Pekan. For the unacquainted Singaporean, fishing spots between Rompin, Pekan and Merchong are generally the same so they share the same fishing seasons and fishing styles. Many times, those fishing these areas may actually go to Tioman for fishing. Fishing is done in the wee hours for best fishing and so that they do not need to compete with too many boats. It is important to know where you are fishing exactly and where you are launching from. Boats from the areas above generally only have fishing licenses to fish the Pahang area and not the mersing or below area (e.g. Sibu, Sedili, Desaru) as these are considered under Johor Bahru.

Exotic river seafood at Restoran 23B Rompin

Restoran Dua Tiga

After breakfast in JB, we headed out to Restoran 23B Rompin which was formerly situated in Rompin town centre but moved to the countryside. At the restaurant, we ate the famous Tapah fish (also know as Wallago catfish), Bak Su Gong catfish, river prawns and wild jungle frogs. It’s actually kind of weird to call it river seafood because technically, the food comes from the river, not the sea. But, oh well, never mind. 

Live ba su gong

Wild frogs. These were not the biggest. They supposedly grow up to 4 or 5kg!

Lovely fish. Texture similar to frog and crab.

Wild frogs were yummy and meaty!

Star of the show. The tapah. Silky smooth skin, very fatty. Subtle flavour. Melt in your mouth.

River prawns aka udang galah

Gong bao wild frogs

Ordered bee hoon so we won't look too odd

Another picture of the star dish

We thoroughly enjoyed the catfish and some of us ate the best steamed fish in our life (including me, the fussy fish eater). This place is highly recommended if you have the time! I would pretty much agree that freshwater catfishes can blow away all the saltwater fish I have eaten.

Arriving at King Chong Merchong

How much is that cat at the window?

Hunting cat?

The dog poses!

David stuck liao

Vinz chilling out

We also went to the private beach

After the exotic and tasty lunch, we continued on to King Chong’s Merchong Chalet where we would be settling down. The one thing I love about fishing at Merchong is everything is contained within the kampong. The chalet, cookhouse, entertainment area, jetty (and live prawns) is all contained within each other so every morning you just have to wake up, eat breakfast, put your fishing things on the pickup and walk to the jetty. 

Compared to Pekan or Rompin, you don’t have to drive here and there to find food or bait. You also don’t have to squeeze with others and talk to other people because the kampong is private and there are more dogs and cats than humans. Perfect for me because I hate talking to people.

BBQ Dinner

How real men enjoy a holiday

After we settled down, we prepared our loots for dinner. We had rustic cuts of steak from Foodie Market Place, wild caught lobsters and sea prawns bought from local fishermen from Mersing/Endau. We ended up grilling the steaks and lobsters (decadent!). 

There was a fifth type of meat

Standard grilled wings

Teaching the boys how to be men

Calamari shared with another group. At merchong, it's kampong spirit. Have good things, we share. Bad catch then all emo together.

Steaks. We loved the Argentine one!

More steaks

Sea prawns from Mersing

Gilling time

Let's eat!

Teaching boys to be men

Potato salad

Arranging the steaks by type

This was the USDA prime ribeye I think.

Leftovers were used to make stewed HK beef and lobster porridge for breakfast. It was quite decadent but Ah Bao was not here, so we went all out.

Day 1 of fishing

After the first day of pigging out which felt like a few weeks of fishing, we finally went out fishing on day 1. We speculated for days about the wind and were also fairly inspired by another kaki’s catch. TLDR: it was Hawaii Five O for almost the whole day. Multiple man down and Lawrence was out flat. It was kind of hard for me as well as I had a splitting headache due to the rocking but managed a decent tuskfish aka eng ko. It was not humanely possible to cast or jig so baiting all the way!

Tackle data (Singaporean anglers would say tackle that made the difference)

  • Autumn Angel Tenya 35g, stock hooks, straight out of box
  • Tackle: Zenaq T60-1 custom, Shimano Stella 4000FE, PE 1.5, #10 Seaguar FXR
Straight out of box Autumn Angel Tenya

Decent size tuskfish

Could have made it bigger if I pushed out and hid my fingers but the fish was way bigger than how I made it look here!

The rest of the lads also landed quite a couple of quality fish. Biao lost a few good ones suspected to be big coral trouts and tuskfish. King Chong landed a random, outcast ebek which wasn’t in our target fish list. No idea why almost every catch report has to have a single ebek or chermin spoil the picture. Our day 1 catch spread on Baktao TikTok.

Ayam brand works you know?

Ebek pest

Not too bad, quality fish really...

I think we had this for dinner?

Great kakis!

The eng ko was really huge when put beside other fish. Pity I didn't weigh it.

Day 2 of fishing

Biao scores!

Golden chawali

Teeboon kaci

More cuttlefish than fish

Secured a good coral trout!

Day 2 was the same as Day 1. The wave height was slightly lower but was more intense so it didn’t make a big difference. Again, multiple man down but it was redemption time for Biao as he landed his good coral trout. Vinz also landed a coral trout on Jackall Bigbacker vibe (he is my fishing idol for casting in such conditions). Decent table fare was also landed and David landed a golden chawali aka blang aka boon nang aka known as golden chuwani.

Another trevally to spoil the picture!

The next time we see you, you will be in the soup!

Fun fact of East Coast of Malaysia (including Singapore): Just like how August to October is the green eye squid aka chemak season, March is the season of the cuttlefish aka baktao. We caught probably 10 or more big baktao during our trip. Some are sun drying on top of King Chong’s boat. See this TikTok video for cuttlefish cleaning!

And yes, another foodie’s paradise for us when we are back from our fishing. Below are mixed photos from the various dinners. I lost count of the photos already anyway.

Sea prawns

2nd day spread. Ebek curry was the bomb. Vinz was shocked.

What can I say?

Poached baktao

Spiced pork

Not sure, but I think this was breakfast

Mee hoon kuay for breakfast

Curry with salted fish (queenie salted fish, homemade)

Leftover steaks were made into stew


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