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Local river fishing around Lumut

River fishing around Lumut on the main land is a bit different from using a rod or a boat in the way you may expect. I was lucky Mr. Goh from Explore the Wilderness invited me to join him and a few of his guest to see how the local villagers do their fishing in the Dinding river.

Pulling the net in, river fishing in the Dinding river arm
Pulling the net in, river fishing in the Dinding river arm

The only "disadvantage" was that we had to get out very early in the morning. Mrs. Goh picked me at home up at 6am! In Malaysia the sun comes up at 6.45am so it was still dark. Mr. Goh meanwhile picked up his guests from Kuala Lumpur who stayed at Teluk Rubiah enjoying the tranquility of this wonderful place.

Kampong Baharu

View from Kampong Bahru

The idea was to follow the local fishermen from Kampong Bahru to one of their fishing spots in the Dinding river arm. We arrived at around 6.30 am at Kampong Bahru where most people where still covered in deep sleep. Only one lady was already working on her nasi lemak she would serve to customers in the kampong for breakfast.

The nets are pulled in, now it's time to check what the catch is

Soon a few fishermen showed up and we were waiting for our motorboat to arrive. Once the boat arrived we all got in, life jackets were handed out so all would be safe. First we moved to the other side of the river to look at some of the fish farms in the river. It's a complete different kind of river fishing.

Hard work for little fishWe followed the fishermen from Kampong Bahru to another arm of the river where they set out the net. Basically they set a net on one place at the riverbank. Then the boat makes half a circle move on the river and comes back to the riverbank at another point.

The hard work starts then when the fishermen have to pull in the nets. Now we were here it was a bit easier as Mr. Goh's guests helped the fishermen to get their catch.

It's hard work, usually on both side there are 2 or 3 men pulling in the net. These nets are heavy and as they pull the nets out quite far in the river, it's not an easy job to pull them in.

After some time the net was pulled in and it was time to look at the catch. The river at this point contains a mix of sea- and fresh water. Therefore the catch can consist of fish that can live in both types of water.

This time there were a few interesting fish, a prawn and a squid. I could not help to think of the parents and grandparents of these fishermen who, for sure would have laughed away this catch. Here too the rivers do not contain as much fish anymore as in the past.


Not for nothing many of the fishermen try to breed fish in the river. This way of river fishing and making money in this industry is more profitable and easier.

Fish breeding in the river arms
Fish breeding in the river arms

Basically fish live in their natural environment, they get food and the catch is easy. There's one set back to this kind of fish breeding. The taste of the fish bred in this way is slightly different from the so called "wild fish". But as the demand is high for fish, this is an excellent alternative for over fishing in the river.

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Canoeing around Pangkor

I joined a group of students to canoe around Pulau Pangkor, an excellent experience and a good way to find out this part of the activities of Explore the Wilderness.

canoe around pangkor

Canoe around Pangkor

The Dinding River

Few pay attention to the Dinding river when they arrive in Lumut. They are too busy getting the ferry to Pulau Pangkor. Fair enough. However, it is worth to get a boat and visit the swamps and mangrove forest in the area.

Visit the mangrove forest, Taman Paya Bakau

or do a river cruise at the Dinding river

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Although Lumut is mostly ignored by travelers it is a popular destination for local tourists.

There are some good deals to be found in both Lumut and Teluk Batik. Have a look:

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