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Kelong Fishing


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Some time back, I posted a topic on Kelong fishing in the Photos section of Community.

I thought I’d add it into the Overseas Report this time round so that AFO members can use it as sort of a resource (and general knowledge) on info in some fishing habits elsewhere.

What may be unique to this part of the world may not be, in other parts. So as a form of a small contribution to AFO, I would like to add this here…

In Malaysia, we have monsoon weathers from around November till late February, whereby fishing in the South China Seas is a no go. We usually have strong winds and waves. So, during this window, we can’t get on a boat and go deep sea fishing but we have other alternatives like pond and river fishing but also what we call “Kelong†fishing.

In case you do not know what this is, below is a short description…

In earlier days, due to the monsoon, most commercial fishermen usually fish on platforms which are normally situated nearer to the islands (as it’s rather shallow compared to deep seas and it’s sheltered by the surrounding islands).

This method of fishing was devised by early South East Asian fishermen which not only provided shelter for them from the monsoons but also for bait-fishes, and in turn would attract other predators to these structures which are made from the strong nipah wood and can be as long as up to 20m in length. Bound by rattan, so there’s no need for nails, these structures can last for ten years, maybe more.

A ‘Kelong’ is a Malay word, used to describe a form of wooden platform anchored into the seabed. It acts as dwellings for families of these fishermen and also as a huge FAD (fish attracting device). Although there are some other variants like mobile ones, today, these are usually used as a kind of fishing resort-like nature whereby one can just relax and fish even during bad weather days.

Today, the Kelong is more for recreational fishing for families to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and confining themselves to fresh seabreeze, lots of food, fishing, drinking and get-togethers, it even have karaoke and satellite TV. It has now fast become a regular choice for most anglers and families for outings during holidays and weekends.

Fishes that can be caught is usually a wide variety of Queenfish, Parrotfish, Trevallys, Garoupas, various Snappers etc....

Below are some snap shots of Kelongs around Johor in Malaysia. One can also find them in the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore as well.

Hope you’ll enjoy these modest pics….

A typical Kelong...



Fishing on the open platform...




That's me with a remorra...


another.... sigh... :(


At least something different...


The eating area... one will not get hungry during your stay in a kelong...


Dormitory beds...


Fishing by the structures produces lots of bait fishes... for bigger monsters...



Other views of the kelong...





Me, relaxing...


Just a pic of the platform... was taking pictures while waiting for bites... :lol:18102007352.jpg

On our way back...


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tobie10 wrote:

Interesting post and nice pictures, thanks for sharing. I've had some of my best meals on those orange plates!

Those kelongs can withstand the monsoon rains? They don't look very sturdy, but I guess people would know how to build them by now..

Yep, some foods somehow taste better on them plates... I wonder why..? :)

The kelong has been around for ages, fishermen then used the kelongs to continue fishing right through the monsoons, cos it's being 'protected' by the nearby islands.

You'd be surprised how sturdy the nipah woods are...

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tobie10 wrote:

Haha...just as long as you don't watch where they wash those plates :) But mmmmm, hawker food!

That's really interesting that they're so sturdy, seems like a lot of fun.

right on, just don't look...

btw, do you know where they get the 'salt' from in hawker food...? :cheer:

kelong fishing can be fun when you have a group to party...

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Feral wrote:

Wow that's great info!never seen these before. I wonder if the Govt would get cranky if we built one over on the sandhills?

They definitely would get 'freaked' out... i believe... :laugh:

BTW, we even have a 5-star kelong (whatever that means..) here in Malaysia. It's built on concrete piling, with full facilities and the works! even have a driving range area for golfers! just wonder what happens to the balls once it has landed in the waters...?

The place is humongous...

Check their website and you'll see what I mean.... www.kelongparadise.com kelong07_r2_c2_f2.jpg

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mick fillet wrote:

WOW!! Thats way cool. I want one.

You sure do get around to doing some very interesting things Jon.We dont do things like that here in Oz that I am aware of , Do we??

Say for eg. If I were on a holiday over there could I go to one of these Kelong fishing huts? And if so is it expensive?

cheers Mick

Hi Mick,

In Oz, it's straight-to-the-point fishing... I kinda like it that way cos you guys have got good conservation of fish stocks...

Here, we don't, that's why a lot of it is rapidly depleting.

For a typical stay in a normal kelong, it would cost around RM150 (that's abt AUD50) per person. This is for a 24-hour period or thereabouts. Starts from 10am till 12pm the next day, and 5 meals is included (lunch+dinner+supper+b'fast+lunch), local coffee and tea is provided throughout. Beer is not included tho'... :)

You get to sleep in dormitory-style beds, quite basic...

If you're planning on coming over, let me know and I'll see what I can to for the arrangements.

Cheers, Jonathan

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great stuff .

something interesting and never seen before .

i reckon a party /soak a bait fishing trip on them would be kewl.:)

i always that some of the strength in structures like that,was the movement.

the wood and lashing being able to move and bend when getting hammered by a storm ,waves or winds .

one of the over at the sandhills would be kewl hey .

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