KANGAR – The people in Perlis, regardless of age, race and rank will not miss out on the opportunity to catch climbing perch or ‘puyu’ (Anabas Testudineus) with a rod and line after the padi harvest season from August to October.
A Bernama survey found many people started to converge on the padi fields in Kampung Mengkuang Layar, Kampung Wang Ulu, Titi Chai and Seriab, which were among the popular angling locations here, at around 4 pm until 7 pm.
One of the anglers met by Bernama, Azizan Ahmad, 67, said he would not miss out on the opportunity to hook climbing perches and cat fish (‘keli’) each time after the padi harvest.
“It is quite difficult to catch fish outside the harvest season because the water from the padi fields are released into the irrigation canals.
“The fish also escaped into the irrigation canals and it is hard to get a bite in the padi fields,” he told Bernama recently.
He said the climbing perches caught in the padi fields were tasty and sweet compared to those sold in the market.
“Climbing perch is ideal for making ‘gulai’ (coconut milk dish), ‘asam pedas’ (sour and spicy dish) or ‘perkasam’ (fermented fish) and is a shoo-in if eaten when the rice is hot,” said the father of three.
Azizan said, other than being used as dishes for the family, the fish catch could also be used as ‘pekasam’ and sold on a small scale.
Also sharing his experience was Mazlan Mustapa, 56, who said angling after the harvest season was exhilarating because of the bountiful catch possible compared to other times.
“All you need to do is throw a baited hook into the water and you will immediately get a fish. That is the satisfaction and thrill in angling in the padi fields during this season. The fishes take the bait fast as unlike fishing in the river or lake.
“I can get between 40 to 60 climbing perches besides some other fish such as cat fish, snakehead (‘haruan’) and gourami (‘sepat padi’) within an hour or two every day by only using crickets as bait,” said the self-employed father of five.
Perlis police chief Datuk Surina Saad picked up angling as her hobby from her late mother and her free time would be spent fishing for climbing perch.
“Angling for climbing perch can calm me and relaxes my mind. It also reminds me of the sweet memories of fishing with my late mother who loved fishing,” she said.