Beach fishing as many termed as surf fishing, is a hobby not new in Malaysia. Fishing on Malaysian beaches has evolved from one using shorter rods to those arming themselves with long surf rods and handsome gadgets like rod stands, shock leaders, grip sinkers as well as highly technical rigs.
Gigantic catches especially in the west coast are normally sting rays, while in the east coast if one is lucky, he will be able to fight salmon threadfin or sometimes groupers. This also depends very much on how good the angler is in casting his bait into the sea. More often than not, those who could cast a good distant will normally have the advantage of catching sizable fish. However it does not mean that those who could not cast very far cannot catch big fish. For the record, I have seen an angler with only a 6 feet rod caught not one but three sting rays on one single evening and he fishes just beside us the surf anglers with branded surf rods and awesome gears and rigs. Perhaps, someone simply have all the luck on his lucky day.
Malaysian beaches however are fairly flat except those in the east coast. During spring tides, fishing is near impossible in the west coast of Malaysia because the current will be so fast. The same however does not occur in the east coast as the coastlines are facing the South China Sea. As such those fishing in the east coast will find fishing is bliss all year round if they are at the right spot at the right time.
However more often than not, anglers will have to observe whether the beaches they intend to fish is free from shore netters or even trawlers with heavy fishing equipment that will blindly cast their nets anywhere they thought fishes are available. The phenomenon has always put the beach anglers at their mercy and the poor surf anglers will have to find other spots to fish and sometimes they have to risk their lives just to enjoy fishing scaling rocks or walk the wave breakers. When the fishermen were gone all fishes might have been spooked and fishing will become a very tiring affair.
Today even those who go out fishing in a boat will have to go out very-very far to enjoy fishing. The case that left surf anglers in Malaysia were left in limbo hence making it a very expensive hobby if one gears himself with best of breed surf fishing amour.
On a positive side, surf anglers will turn distant casters, casting leads on dry land seeking for a good casting distant. This helps the surf anglers rectify casting flaws and when they goes fishing, they could heap their chances to catch more fish or bigger fish than it was before.
The authorities should keep beaches clear from fishermen at least over a certain range. A boundary must be ascertained so that beach fishing can become a tourist attraction not only to the locals but also touring anglers. It is a winning strategy for many, not only the beach anglers. High time for anglers to also teach themselves of practicing catch and release on species that is still in infancy or those in extinction.
Beach fishing however is still a joy to many hobbyists. It indeed brings peace to me whenever I spent quality time during weekends with my family at the beach. It does not matter, whether I caught any fish, big fish or otherwise. Still it will remain as a pastime only I could relish while my family enjoy the delicious sea breeze.